Scout's Video View: Indians Prospect Triston McKenzie
After missing the first two months with an injury, Indians No. 2 prospect Triston McKenzie is slated to make his Double-A debut on Thursday night. McKenzie also ranks No. 35 in BA's most recent Top 100 prospects list. We asked Ryan Isaac, who was part of the baseball operations departments for the Padres and Diamondbacks and served as a pro scout for the Rays and Twins, to break down what he saw.
Delivery: McKenzie’s long, thin frame doesn’t scream durability, but he’s a very easy operator with a lightning quick arm. He has a simple delivery that he repeats, which enables him to get the ball to both sides of the plate. The ball jumps out of his hand, his and his high three-quarters release point leverages his height and creates downhill plane. He shows a free and easy arm action. His energy toward the plate is good, and on some offerings his hips and core really fire.
Fastball: McKenzie's fastball velocity has gradually improved during his pro career. It doesn’t show a lot of traditional life, but the plane is excellent and it has plus carry through the zone. I see him pitching comfortably around 94-95 as a mature athlete.
Curveball: His slot and release point create the foundation for a breaking ball of vertical shape and good depth. The rotation is solid and he has feel for spinning it. He throws it hard, and he might find further success as he develops some touch for the pitch. Baseline of a future average major league curveball.
Changeup: Deception over consistency, but that’s typical for McKenzie’s age. He’s got the arm speed, mechanics, and athleticism to develop the CH into an average offering and a good third ML pitch.
Command/Control: He shows an advanced ability to move the fastball to both sides of the plate against any hitter. He has the feel and command to move the ball around vertically and pitch both at the top and bottom of the zone effectively. His fastball command will be a true weapon. He’s a natural strike-thrower who isn’t afraid to challenge hitters.
Pitchability: McKenzie attacks hitters with a fastball that plays up due to plane and spin rate. Stuff to change eye level regularly both in and out of the zone.
Summation: Future No. 2 starter with two swing-and-miss pitches, plus command and control, and solid mechanics. Tremendously impressive stuff and track record for his age.