- Full name Brooks Casey Pounders
- Born 09/26/1990 in Riverside, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 265 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Temecula Valley
- Debut 07/05/2016
Drafted in the 2nd round (53rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 (signed for $670,000).
View Draft ReportAmong California preps, Temecula Valley High righthander Brooks Pounders has split scouts more than any other player. Pounders' father Brad was a star at UC Riverside and played in the Padres farm system in the 1980s. Brooks is a jumbo-sized 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, who despite his intimidating size is not a fireballer. Instead, he has a feel for four pitches and advanced secondary stuff. His fastball ranges from 88-90 mph, peaking at 91. He throws both a tight curveball and hard slider, both of which have plus potential, and rounds out his repertoire with a changeup. Pounders' frame is not projectable, so he doesn't figure to throw much harder in the future. His fastball is fairly straight, and his command can be inconsistent. Those factors may combine to depress Pounder's draft position, and if he slides he'll end up at Southern California.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Pounders starred at Southern California prep power Temecula Valley High before the Pirates drafted him 53rd overall in 2009 and signed him for $670,000. The Pirates traded him two years later to the Royals in a deal for infielder Yamaico Navarro, and the Angels brought him back to his native southern California after the 2016 season in exchange for minor league righthander Jared Ruxer. Pounders has the size of a power pitcher, but he's long succeeded more with feel and the ability to mix pitches and locate. The son of former UC Riverside and Padres minor league pitcher Brad Pounders, Brooks missed much of 2014 and 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery and a strained oblique but has gained a small bump in velocity since returning to health, with his once 88-91 mph fastball now sitting 91-93. Pounders' slider is his best secondary offering, but like his fastball, it's average. He will mix in a changeup that flashes average but isn't consistent and a fringy early-count curveball. Pounders made his big league debut in 2016 after seven seasons in the minors. He's an emergency starter/low-leverage reliever, but he's ready to handle that role right now.
Minor League Top Prospects
Scouts were split on Pounders when they watched him in high school this spring, as he has a big frame at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds but not a big fastball. A second-rounder who signed for $670,000, he doesn't offer much projection either, though he does have an advanced feel for his secondary pitches. Pounders' fastball typically sits at 89-92 mph, though it sometimes dips to 86. His 78-82 mph is his best secondary pitch and has good armside fade. He hasn't used his curveball much, but the Pirates think he has good feel for it and believe he'll be a big league starter with advanced feel and command of three pitches. "He walked a couple guys the first time we saw him," Yankees manager Tom Slater said. "Since then, he's been really solid. He looks like a horse to me. He threw the ball well and he's not a max-effort guy."