- Full name Thomas R. Koehler
- Born 06/29/1986 in Bronx, NY
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School SUNY Stony Brook
- Debut 09/05/2012
Drafted in the 18th round (538th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2008.
View Draft ReportStony Brook righthander Tom Koehler has improved his stock as a senior by getting his body into much better shape. Koehler has always had good stuff and ran his fastball up to 94 as a junior, but scouts shied away from him because of his weight, and he went undrafted. He worked hard to firm up his body in the offseason and lost 35-40 pounds, and he anchored Stony Brook's America East-championship pitching staff this spring, going 6-5, 4.15 with 111 strikeouts and 45 walks in 93 innings. He works in the 92-94 range with a sinking, average to plus fastball, and he pitches off it well. His slider is a plus pitch at times, and he mixes in a promising changeup with some tumble. He'll flash a good overhand curveball, but other times he'll throw a flat one. His arm action has some funk, with a wrap in the back that affects his command, but with a 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame, he has a chance to be a workhorse if he can keep his body in shape.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Koehler had enjoyed nothing but success since signing for $1,000 as an 18th-rounder in 2008. He almost made things look too easy in 2010, when he tied for the minor league lead with 16 victories and was honored as the Southern League's top pitcher. He went 5-0, 2.92 in his first nine Triple-A starts last year, but then got away from working off his fastball and finally hit adversity. He posted a 7.56 ERA over his next 12 starts, as he relied too much on his secondary pitches and lost his ability to command the bottom half of the strike zone, before getting back on track in the final month. Koehler doesn't have a huge margin for error and has to set up hitters with his full repertoire and keep the ball down to succeed. He can throw his fastball at 90-94 mph, but it lacks life and gets pounded if he leaves it up in the zone. He also throws a high-80s cutter, a hard spike curveball and a changeup that's a potential plus pitch. He tended to nibble at the strike zone last year rather than attack hitters like he had in the past, and he's going to have to throw more strikes to make it as a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever in the majors. His struggles may make him a better pitcher in the long run, though they cost him a chance to make his big league debut last year, when the Marlins went through 11 starting pitchers. Miami did protect him on its 40-man roster in November.
The fiercely competitive Koehler has turned himself into a prospect since signing for $1,000 as an 18throunder out of Stony Brook in 2008. He went 16-2, 2.61 for Jacksonville last season, tying for the minor league lead in victories while being named the Southern League's most outstanding pitcher. He also finished second to Jacksonville teammate Elih Villanueva in the SL ERA race. Though the two prompt natural comparisons because they had similar seasons in Double-A, they differ in style. Koehler has better pure stuff, starting with a fastball that operates at 91-94 mph. It tends to run too true at times, and he needs to command it better down in the zone. The Marlins took away his slider last season and had him throw a cutter instead, and it came on nicely as the year progressed. Koehler also throws a hard spike curveball. His changeup is a work in progress, though it shows flashes of being a plus pitch. Koehler is a workhorse who projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever. He should move to Triple-A in 2011, where he'll continue to refine his command and his changeup.