Reid Detmers Works On Adding Fourth Pitch

The loss of minor league games hasn’t stunted the development of Reid Detmers, the Louisville lefthander who was the 10th pick in the draft.

Detmers, who signed for $4.67 million, is using his time at the alternate site to refine a new slider grip that he believes will give him an effective fourth pitch.

“It’s going to be huge to get people off my changeup and curveball and give them something (else) to look at, to have four pitches rather than three,” the 21-year-old said.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Detmers was one of the most polished pitchers available in the draft, relying mostly on his low-90s fastball, sharp overhand curve and changeup to accumulate a 1.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 22 innings as a junior.

Detmers reported to summer camp intent on improving his slider, a pitch he described as “more of a slurve” that sat 77-80 mph in college. He asked his new teammates what grips worked for them. He sought input from his new coaches.

He began tinkering with different grips in catch sessions and felt something click with a “knuckle-slider” grip that has produced “more of a true slider.” Detmers took the pitch into his bullpen sessions and has been using it in intrasquad games. 

“It’s coming out like a fastball with a sharp break at the end, and it’s in the mid 80s now,” Detmers said. “It’s something I’m very proud of. It’s turned into a decent pitch.”

Detmers said he’s getting “positive feedback” from hitters. There’s a chance he’ll get to test the pitch against major leaguers this season.

“It’s not out of the question,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, “that he may be able to help us this year.”

Detmers believes he is “mentally ready” for the big leagues but needs to build up endurance to become a candidate for the rotation. Maddon believes Detmers has the repertoire to be successful in Anaheim, even if his fastball lacks the velocity of other top prospects.

“Guys who know what they’re doing out there, with feel for what they’re doing, I think can sustain a longer career,” Maddon said.



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