Michael Hobbs Scouting Report & Game Video
Dates Observed: June 21, 2018
Team/Organization: Santa Barbara Foresters (California Collegiate League)
League/Level: College summer baseball
Scouting Notes: Physically strong kid; thick lower half produces good explosiveness to the plate, low three-quarters release point and plenty of pitch life across his entire repertoire. Lacks height for plane but shows good pitch manipulation across the board with plenty of late movement at the plate; high-effort, high-energy mechanics with some intensity, violent delivery with late head whip through release. Question his ability to repeat violent, high-effort mechanics over long period and remain a rotation arm because of it, but he’s a truly exceptional competitor who really rears back and challenges hitters. Good pacing, good uptempo look on the mound; forces hitters’ hand early, never really lets up in trying to pound the zone… Fastball ranged 88-94 (mostly 89-92) in late June look here; paired with infrequent 86-88 cutter, impressive power 79-84 slider, and rare 80-82 changeup; had him 1.26 – 1.35 to the plate with runner on first … Fastball has great sink with late arm-side life at the plate; got hitters to pound it into the ground while overpowering a few on sheer velo; ties up RHH on inner half with late, hard arm-side action into their hands, drew some remarkably bad/awkward swings … Showed cutter just a couple times early on, but I wish he’d gone back to it; very hard look with late glove-side life; not much depth at all here and stays on one plane, but enough velo to get in on LHH hands and keep them honest with some power and that late movement; should add velo with time and could be effective against pro LHH if he wants to get in there … Slider was very, very impressive in this look; misses bats with very late, sharp break with depth; went to it a ton, and got some exceptionally poor swings. Sells slider with advanced arm action/arm speed, very hard to pick it up coming out of his hand with hitters fooled on spin, break, velo; true wipeout pitch that misses bats; really, really commits to throwing it and he’s got a good one. Plus pitch with real potential to thrive … It’s probable Michael Hobbs will eventually work his way into the weekend rotation at St. Mary’s, but for me, his pro ball future is as a closer or high-leverage set up man; he’ll need a little more velo across the board to succeed there, but that should come in time. Just a sophomore-to-be for the 2019 season, he’s a must-follow for the 2020 MLB Draft with a big-time ceiling as a high-end closer, and a very realistic shot to fall back into a nice set-up man gig a few years from now.
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