- Full name Derek Robert Law
- Born 09/14/1990 in Pittsburgh, PA
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Miami Dade CC
- Debut 04/15/2016
Drafted in the 9th round (297th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 2011 (signed for $125,000).
View Draft ReportLaw scares off evaluators with his rough arm action and hard delivery, though he shows a fastball in the 89-93 mph range and holds his velocity. He dominated juco competition (8-5, 2.35, 121/16 SO/BB ratio in 92 innings) with his fastball and power downer curve.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Law is the son of a big leaguer--sort of. His father Joe made the Athletics big league roster for a few days but never appeared in a game. The younger Law impressed the Giants by piling up strikeouts wherever he went, but he fell to the ninth round in 2011 because scouts were concerned about the effort in his delivery. Their concerns were somewhat validated when Law blew out his elbow and required Tommy John surgery in 2014. He returned to action in late June 2015. His delivery still is not pretty and features a stab in his takeaway, stiffness in his lower half and a finishing spin-off to first base. But Law has toned down his hip turn as he gathers himself over the rubber, and he manages to stay around the strike zone consistently enough to receive average grades for his control. He hides the ball well with his over-the-top delivery, and his stuff bounced back nicely in his return. He still can run his plus fastball up to 93-96 mph, and his 12-to-6 breaking ball is a plus pitch as well, giving him two swing-and-miss offerings. Law is ready for Triple-A Sacramento and could help San Francisco at some point in 2016 as a setup man.
If not for a midseason elbow injury in 2014 that required Tommy John surgery, Law may have pitched his way into the Giants' postseason plans. He has blazed a trail of success wherever he has gone, including a 45-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio at high Class A San Jose to end the 2013 season. Scouts and hitters have always been a little leery of Law because of an unconventional delivery. He uses a pronounced hip turn that turns his back to the hitter while he begins his takeaway with a pronounced stab. It makes it hard to pick up the ball, which is especially frightening when Law uncorks a plus 91-95 mph fastball that seems harder than that because of his delivery, and a plus, overhand 12-to-6 curveball that has been described as a "bowel-locker." Law also uses a below-average changeup against lefties. He'll miss at least half of the 2015 season as he rehabs from the surgery, but he has the makings of a future closer.
Law's father Joe pitched nine seasons in the Athletics system and once spent four days on Oakland's major league roster, but he never appeared in the majors. The junior Law certainly doesn't have the textbook delivery that would suggest baseball bloodlines, perhaps explaining how a power arm was able to slide in the draft both out of high school (28th-round pick by the Rangers in 2009) and out of junior college (ninth round, Giants, 2011). Law turns his back to the hitter, stabs with his takeaway arm action and throws over the top, giving him deception along with perhaps the best breaking ball in the Giants system. It's a hard curve that breaks sharply down, and his fastball has good downward plane as well. Law boosted his velocity, threw consistently in the low 90s and was a dynamic force after being promoted to high Class A San Jose, where he posted an unreal 45-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28 innings. The Giants sent Law to the Arizona Fall League for some additional exposure, and he was among the most dominant relievers on the circuit with a 16/6 SO/BB ratio. His electric stuff and ability to neutralize righthanders could allow him to move rapidly through the system.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the San Francisco Giants in 2014