Originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of UNC-Greensboro, right-handed pitching prospect Max Povse was part of the Alex Jackson trade that brought him over to the Seattle Mariners ahead of the 2017 season. Over this summer — his first with the Mariners — split between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma, Povse finished 4-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 22 games (13 starts), logging 70.2 innings and allowing 75 hits and 26 walks against 61 strikeouts. He also made his big league debut over the summer, pitching three times for the Seattle Mariners and logging no record and a 7.36 ERA in 3.2 innings.
After the summer, the Mariners sent Max Povse to the Arizona Fall League, where he pitched for the Peoria Javelinas. In six games (all starts) with Peoria, the 6’8″, 185 lb. righty logged 25.2 innings and finished 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA and a 25:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Still young at 24 years old (DOB: August 23, 1993) ahead of the 2018 season, Max Povse has an outside shot to battle for a back-end rotation gig with the Seattle Mariners this spring thanks to a deep arsenal with feel and a strong command profile. Below, you’ll find Baseball Census‘ full Max Povse scouting report, including multiple game videos, tool grades, and projection notes.
Max Povse Scouting Report, Seattle Mariners — 2017
Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League
Max Povse Scouting Report — Seattle Mariners — 2017 Game Video
Max Povse Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection
A big, physical kid who reached the big leagues for the first time in 2017, Max Povse ought to fight for a rotation gig to begin the 2018 season out of spring training with the Seattle Mariners. It’s highly likely he heads back to Triple-A Tacoma for more seasoning, or perhaps he fills out a low-leverage bullpen role in the big leagues where he can work multiple innings, but long term he’ll get a shot or two at starting some games as a back-end rotation arm with a deep and consistent—but unspectacular—arsenal.
The big takeaway of Povse’s AFL run for me was his ability to throw everything in his arsenal for a strike (good!) while falling just short of being able to put guys away with wipeout stuff (not as good!). Too many times hitters fouled off Povse’s better off-speed looks only to hit fastballs with two strikes, and while the big righty can get by with his repertoire and command at the next level by drawing some weak contact, it’s that general contact-heavy profile that will challenge his ceiling in the coming years. To that end, I think it’s highly likely that Max Povse turns into a swingman-type arm: some starts, some long relief outings, and a mix of generally lower-leverage innings to help the Seattle Mariners the next few seasons during what increasingly looks to be a win-now window for them in the AL West.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Back-end rotation ceiling with physical upside and full arsenal; low-leverage middle/long relief floor lacking quality off-speed (40/45)
MLB ETA: 2017
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