- Full name Zachary Adams Eflin
- Born 04/08/1994 in Orlando, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Paul J. Hagerty
- Debut 06/14/2016
Drafted in the C-A round (33rd overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2012 (signed for $1,200,000).
View Draft ReportEflin was shaping up as a first-round wild card. The Central Florida recruit had added velocity over the course of the 2011 showcase circuit and was maintaining that velocity this spring, sitting in the 90-94 mph range and touching 96-97 at times. Eflin complements his fastball with one of the best changeups in the prep ranks and an inconsistent, slurvy curveball that nonetheless has decent shape and flashed average. Eflin missed the month of April due to triceps tendinitis, and an MRI on his elbow came back negative. Eflin returned to pitch three innings in his team's playoff finale and touched 94 while flashing a solid breaking ball. Eflin was pitching his way into the first round until his injury; his signability and performance at the Florida prep all-star game in Sebring likely will determine how high he goes in the draft, though he still had a shot to go out in the first round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Eflin landed in Philadelphia in December 2014 after a pair of trades shuffled him from the Padres to the Dodgers (in the Matt Kemp deal) and then from the Dodgers to the Phillies. Eflin, who signed for $1.2 million as a sandwich pick in 2012, advanced to Double-A Reading in 2015. He also spent part of the summer pitching for Team USA at the Pan American Games, where the U.S. squad fell just short of gold. Eflin pitches to contact, so the Phillies spent the summer trying to teach him to finish hitters to get more strikeouts. His arsenal consists of a low- to mid-90s fastball with above-average life, a low-80s slider that flashes above-average and a changeup and cutter with average potential. Eflin has plenty of weapons with which to generate more whiffs, which will be a goal as he advances to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2016.
Eflin pitches to his strengths like few pitchers his age. While many of his contemporaries have better raw stuff, the 2012 prep supplemental firstrounder has ranked among his league's leaders in ERA and walk rate in each of his two full seasons. After winning the low Class A Midwest League ERA title in 2013 (2.73), he ranked third in the California League in ERA (3.80) and fifth in walk rate (2.2 per nine innings) at high Class A Lake Elsinore in 2014. Eflin generates good downhill plane from a mature, 6-foot-4 frame, and he typically sits 90-92 mph with riding, sinking life to his arm side, while bumping 95 when he elevates his four-seamer. He keeps the ball on the ground by locating his pitches down in the zone, changing speeds and throwing a plus, low-80s changeup to any batter in any count. If Eflin had a reliable third pitch, he probably would have a higher strikeout rate, but his fringe-average cutter/slider hybrid doesn't typically fool batters with its minimal vertical break. Scouts see Eflin filling a big league role, with a ceiling of a durable No. 4 starter, because he commands the strike zone and works efficiently. Those same attributes make him less risky than other starters in his peer group, and he's ready for Double-A in 2015.
The Padres hit the state of Florida hard in the 2012 draft, selecting three prep righthanders in the first four rounds. Eflin, taken 33rd overall and signed for $1.2 million, appears to be a safer bet to reach his ceiling than either Walker Weickel (sandwich round) or Walker Lockett (fourth). After all, he won the low Class A Midwest League ERA title (2.73) in 2013 while also placing fifth with a 1.19 WHIP, throwing three average-to-above pitches but no wipeout offering. Eflin touched the mid-90s in high school but sits more comfortably at 90-92 mph with sink in a pro rotation. He threw one of the top changeups in the MWL, showing advanced arm speed, and he throws the above-average pitch in any count. Eflin scrapped the fringy curveball he threw as an amateur to pick up a slider, and he succeeded in throwing it as a chase pitch, though it will require further power and precision to be a consistent average pitch. A physical 6-foot-4, Eflin tends to stay tall and rigid in his delivery, preventing him from getting ideal extension and plane on his pitches. Scouts see him as a potential No. 4 starter in the big leagues if he can refine his command, and he's ready for high Class A Lake Elsinore.
Eflin did not pitch last April due to triceps tendinitis, and if not for the injury he might have been a first-round pick. Still, he went 33rd overall to the Padres as the second pick in the sandwich round and came to terms for $1.2 million, eschewing a Central Florida commitment. He made four appearances in the Rookie-level Arizona League, going through the lineup roughly once, but he didn't pitch after July 14 after contracting mononucleosis. A strapping 6-foot-4 righty, Eflin bumped 96 mph as an amateur and showed consistent solid velocity after signing. He throws strikes while pitching at 92, though San Diego loves his arm action and repeatable delivery, believing he could sit a tick higher once he adjusts to a pro routine. He had one of the best changeups in last year's prep ranks, sitting at 80-82 mph with late, biting action that causes the pitch to bottom out as it reaches the plate. He doesn't throw a breaking ball with the same consistency, and his slurvy curveball has average shape. Some scouts project the curve to be average to a tick above. An MRI on Eflin's elbow last spring revealed no damage, so he could represent a significant draft bargain if he regains the form he showed in late 2011 and early 2012. The Padres see a mid-rotation workhorse based on his big frame and potential for at least solid stuff across the board.
Eflin was shaping up as a first-round wild card. The Central Florida recruit had added velocity over the course of the 2011 showcase circuit and was maintaining that velocity this spring, sitting in the 90-94 mph range and touching 96-97 at times. Eflin complements his fastball with one of the best changeups in the prep ranks and an inconsistent, slurvy curveball that nonetheless has decent shape and flashed average. Eflin missed the month of April due to triceps tendinitis, and an MRI on his elbow came back negative. Eflin returned to pitch three innings in his team's playoff finale and touched 94 while flashing a solid breaking ball. Eflin was pitching his way into the first round until his injury; his signability and performance at the Florida prep all-star game in Sebring likely will determine how high he goes in the draft, though he still had a shot to go out in the first round.
Minor League Top Prospects
Fried stood head and shoulders above the other pitchers in the Fort Wayne rotation, but Eflin might have been No. 2. Scouts were undecided. He combines a plus fastball with an above-average changeup and better feel than Joe Ross?though Ross has better pure stuff. Eflin doesn?t show plus velocity as consistently as Ross, but at 88-94 mph, he has more than enough velo and he touched 97 in the past. His ability to sink, cut and run his fastball makes it an even more effective pitch. His changeup was one of the best in the league, with excellent arm speed that sells the deception. His breaking ball is an effective chase pitch, but he?ll have to prove he can throw it for strikes more often and keep it from getting too loopy.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the San Diego Padres in 2014