- Full name Dany Gilbert Kiti Toussaint
- Born 06/20/1996 in Pembroke Pines, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Coral Springs Christian Academy
- Debut 08/13/2018
Drafted in the 1st round (16th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 (signed for $2,700,000).
View Draft ReportToussaint might have the least baseball experience of any top draft prospect, yet arguably the highest ceiling of any high school pitcher. He's of Haitian descent and was a soccer player who began playing baseball as a teenager. He gained note in scouting circles as an underclassman by running his fastball up to 97 mph with a hammer breaking ball. While his control was below-average on the showcase circuit last summer, he showed all the raw material. Then he made significant strides as a pitcher this spring. Although he sat 90-93 mph at the National High School Invitational in frigid weather, Toussaint has had numerous starts where he sat 93-96 mph, touching 97 with plus life. He has elite arm speed and whip-like arm action with long arms. His curveball shows flashes of being a plus-plus offering and potentially the best in the class. His hammer, according to TrackMan, had the highest spin rate of any Perfect Game All-American. Toussaint's changeup improved dramatically and has at least plus potential. Control will be his biggest question mark, as he has struggled to consistently fill up the strike zone. But his elite, quick-twitch athleticism could go toward allaying those concerns, as he is probably the best athlete in the pitching class. Toussaint also has a great pitcher's body at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds with a high waist, long extremities and large hands. He is also young for the class and won't turn 18 until after the draft.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: The Braves essentially paid for an extra first-round pick when they acquired Toussaint in 2015 because of their willingness to take on the $9 million salary of the injured Bronson Arroyo. Toussaint has taken a little longer to develop than some of his fellow Braves prep pitching prospects, but he still reached the majors at age 22.
Scouting Report: Below-average control has always been Toussaint's biggest hiccup. He has consistently struggled to locate his fastball. It's a quality pitch as it sits 93-97 mph and earns plus grades. He generally works his sinker down in the zone to his arm side, but to succeed he needs to be able to spot his four-seamer to his glove side. If Toussaint can develop even average control and command, he could dominate because of his plus curveball that has long been a weapon and a more recently developed plus split-changeup. He has steadily improved his control, but he still lands hard in his finish and struggles to maintain his direction to the plate. Toussaint is extremely athletic, so there is reason to believe that he can add the final refinements to reach his high ceiling.
The Future: Toussaint made big strides in 2018, and he could develop into a mid-rotation starter. His stuff would play up even more in the bullpen, which may be a useful short-term role for the Braves since they have a surplus of quality big league ready starting pitchers.
Data demonstrates that first-round high school pitching prospects can take a while to develop. Toussaint is a prime example of that adage, because his minor league career has yet to match the expectations that come with his exceptional stuff. Scouts who see Toussaint on a good night throw an easy plus grade on his 93-95 mph fastball and a plus-plus grade on his 12-to-6 hammer curveball. After tweaking his grip, his changeup has improved to become a useful, fringe-average third pitch that he can throw for strikes as well. It lacks late drop, but it has good deception and separation. He's an excellent athlete with long arms and a solid frame. But Toussaint has yet to develop the consistency to go with his stuff, and his fastball proves more hittable than its velocity (he can touch 98 mph) would indicate. Too often, his control wanders and he leaves hittable fastballs up in the zone. When he runs into trouble, he's yet to figure out how to limit the damage. With a long arm action, Toussaint has yet to show he can consistently repeat his delivery, leading to below-average control. The pieces are there for Toussaint to be a solid mid-rotation starter, but he has plenty of work to do on control and consistency as he heads back to Double-A Mississippi.
Toussaint had one of the most electric arms in the 2014 draft and went 16th overall to the Diamondbacks. After a year in the Arizona system, the righthander was traded on his birthday, along with Bronson Arroyo (and his salary), to the Braves for utility infielder Phil Gosselin. The inexplicable move was Atlanta's gain, particularly after Toussaint began to show his previous potential after dropping his arm slot from overhand to three-quarters in 2016 under the tutelage of low Class A Rome pitching coach Dan Meyer. The alteration made Toussaint's delivery more compact and efficient. At the same time, his mid-90s fastball became a swing-and-miss pitch, and his sharp, fall-from-the-sky curveball, which D-backs officials encouraged him not to rely on, returned to its previous status as a plus pitch. As a result, Toussaint's strikeout rate improved from 6.0 per nine innings in the first half to 11.2 in the second. He still is inconsistent with his changeup, though it flashed above-average as an amateur, and he has struggled with his overall control. His progress with his third pitch will determine whether his long-term role is starter or reliever, but better control is mandatory in either situation. He will attempt to improve in those departments in 2017 at high Class A Florida.
The Braves had Toussaint ranked in the top 10 on their 2014 draft board. The Diamondbacks drafted the Florida native, who spent time growing up in Haiti, at No. 16 overall. The Braves acquired Toussaint from Arizona on June 20, the oneyear anniversary of his signing date, by agreeing to take on injured veteran Bronson Arroyo. Thus, the Braves essentially purchased Toussaint for $10 million. Toussaint combines superior athleticism and a three-pitch repertoire with a frame that has excellent projectability. His lightning-quick arm generates a live fastball that tops out at 98 mph. His plus curveball resides in the mid-70s with a hard, late break. Much like his breaking ball, his changeup needs work but has the depth and fade to be a plus pitch. Toussaint has struggled with his control, which led to elevated pitch counts and a walk rate of 4.9 per nine innings at two low Class A stops in 2015. The Braves believe his athleticism will allow him to repeat his delivery more consistently with some fine-tuning. Scouts love Toussaint's potential but realize the raw righthander has work to do. If everything comes together, Toussaint could be a top-of-the-rotation starter. Barring a setback in spring training, he should move up to high Class A Carolina in 2016.
The Diamondbacks were thrilled to find Toussaint's name on the draft board when their turn came for the 16th overall pick in 2014. They convinced him to forego his commitment to Vanderbilt with a $2.7 million bonus. Toussaint was born in Haiti and lived there until he was 6, and he didn't begin playing baseball until he was 11. While he's less experienced than most high school pitchers in his draft class, he's a showcase veteran who can match the ceiling of any prep arm in the 2014 draft. Toussaint made his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League before moving up to Rookie-level Missoula in 2014. With big hands and a long wingspan, he uses explosive arm speed to deliver a fastball in the 90-95 mph range with plus life. He's athletic and the ball comes out of his hand easy. He has a natural ability to spin the ball, thus the jewel of Toussaint's arsenal is a 74-77 mph curveball that projects as a double-plus pitch. He has a good feel for a slightly above-average changeup with tumble that ranges from 79-84 mph with enough potential that it could develop into a third plus pitch. Toussaint struggled with command as a pro in 2014, but he looked more comfortable on the mound in instructional league with more consistency in repeating his high three-quarters delivery. Toussaint may be ready for an assignment to low Class A Kane County in 2015, though he may stay in extended spring training for a while to limit his innings and keep him out of the Midwest League's coldest weather. Touissant has ace potential if he tames his control.
Toussaint might have the least baseball experience of any top draft prospect, yet arguably the highest ceiling of any high school pitcher. He's of Haitian descent and was a soccer player who began playing baseball as a teenager. He gained note in scouting circles as an underclassman by running his fastball up to 97 mph with a hammer breaking ball. While his control was below-average on the showcase circuit last summer, he showed all the raw material. Then he made significant strides as a pitcher this spring. Although he sat 90-93 mph at the National High School Invitational in frigid weather, Toussaint has had numerous starts where he sat 93-96 mph, touching 97 with plus life. He has elite arm speed and whip-like arm action with long arms. His curveball shows flashes of being a plus-plus offering and potentially the best in the class. His hammer, according to TrackMan, had the highest spin rate of any Perfect Game All-American. Toussaint's changeup improved dramatically and has at least plus potential. Control will be his biggest question mark, as he has struggled to consistently fill up the strike zone. But his elite, quick-twitch athleticism could go toward allaying those concerns, as he is probably the best athlete in the pitching class. Toussaint also has a great pitcher's body at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds with a high waist, long extremities and large hands. He is also young for the class and won't turn 18 until after the draft.
Minor League Top Prospects
Toussaint long had big stuff with a mid-90s fastball and hellacious curveball, but he didn’t have the control of them to be effective until this year. Toussaint shot from Double-A to Triple-A and to the majors once he locked in his control and was particularly dominant in the IL. He ranked second in the league in ERA (1.43) and opponent average (.193) during his time there, and spent September with the Braves as they chased a the NL East division title. Toussaint’s key was reducing walks, but even with his progress he still has room to grow in that arena. Another big key was the development of a new split-changeup, which his manager Damon Berryhill labeled a plus pitch.
Poor control held Toussaint back early in his career. Despite being the 16th pick in the 2014 draft, he spent two seasons at low Class A and most of a third at high Class A. He threw strikes more consistently in a breakthrough 2018 season that began in the SL and concluded in the big leagues. In 24 minor league starts at Double-A and Triple-A, he walked a career-low 3.5 per nine innings. Toussaint graduated from thrower to pitcher this season after polishing his primary pitches and adding a third weapon in his split-changeup. He cruises through the early innings at 92-94 mph and can reach 96. His fastball runs to his arm side and presents a tough look for same-side batters because of his lower three-quarters slot, though he doesn’t command the pitch to his glove side as effectively. Toussaint’s go-to secondary pitch has been a plus mid-70s curveball with tight rotation and top-to-bottom action. He learned to control the pitch much more effectively this season, while also developing a mid-to-high-80s split-change that features more horizontal break than vertical drop. He earned praise for his mound presence and ability to hold baserunners.
Early in the year, Toussaint had mid-90s velocity readings but little else. He struggled to locate his mid-90s fastball, and even when he did, it generated fewer swings and misses and more solid contact than expected. Rome pitching coach Dan Meyer helped Toussaint lower his arm slot to more true three-quarters. The move gave his fastball more movement to turn it into a swing-and-miss offering for the first time. That also allowed him to get to his hard, jaw-dropping breaking ball more often. Toussaint's strikeout rate jumped from 6.0 per nine innings in the first half to 11.2 per nine in the second. Toussaint, whom the Braves acquired from the Diamondbacks in June 2015 in the Bronson Arroyo salary dump, has below-average control that needs improvement. His plus fastball and breaking ball give him a chance to be a dominating starter or closer, but his poor control makes him a high-risk prospect.
Statistically, Toussaint's stint in Rome was fairly disastrous. He gave up too many home runs (six in 10 starts), walked too many batters (6.1 per nine innings) and ran up his pitch counts too quickly. Scouts who saw Toussaint, though, were tantalized by what he could be. He still touches 98 mph with his live, fast, whippy arm, while his curveball could end up being even better than his fastball. His breaking ball is not always consistent, but it has power and depth, and he can already manipulate it to vary the break and tilt on the pitch. Some scouts project it to a double-plus grade. Toussaint's changeup has much further to go, for he has little feel for locating it yet. Toussaint's control and command are well below-average and will have to improve. He struggles to maintain a consistent release point and is prone to overthrowing, which is unnecessary because his arm speed can generate velocity with minimal effort.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Atlanta Braves in 2019
- Rated Best Curveball in the Atlanta Braves in 2019
The graduations of Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies have thinned the Braves’ system. Yet they still have a plethora of pitchers who feel right at home at the back of the Top 10 Prospects. Toussaint has come the farthest the fastest, and he could help the big league bullpen in the second half. He has long had a potent mid-90s fastball and a hammer curveball, but he has refined his changeup to get better late tumble. Toussaint reached double digits in strikeouts four times in 16 Double-A starts, but more importantly he made modest improvements to his fringe-average control.