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March 10, 2022 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jacob Wallace and other 2021 Greenville relievers part one


For the last few months, we've been updating the scouting reports of many players in the system. Over the next few weeks, we will highlight these updated reports. Today's update focuses on a group of relievers who spent time in Greenville last year, led by right-hander Jacob Wallace . These scouting reports are written by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Physical Description: Average, proportional frame with minimal remaining projection. Above-average athlete.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. High-effort delivery. Quick leg kick and gets low coming forward. Long arm action behind before he whips his arm forward. Extremely quick arm. Opens chest towards the plate while arm drags behind. Lands on-line to the plate before falling off to the first base side. Deception comes from off-putting delivery.

Fastball: 96-98 mph. Pitch shows life and can be thrown up in the zone. Really jumps on hitters. Command and control need refinement. Potential plus-plus offering.

Slider: 84-86 mph. 10-to-4 shape with depth and bite. True swing-and-miss pitch with major league out pitch potential with development. Elite spin rate that has been recorded at over 3000 rpm consistently. Potential plus offering with improved consistency.

Changeup: Third pitch used on occasion with late, arm-side movement. Did not throw in outing scouted in 2021. Added the pitch after turning pro.

Career Notes: Grew up in Methuen, Massachusetts, grew up a Red Sox fan and starred at Methuen High before becoming the closer at UConn. Pitched for Bourne in the 2018 Cape Cod League, where he was named the co-recipient of the John Claffey New England Top Prospect Award and was named a CCBL All-Star. Was acquired late in the 2020 season, so club did not have him report to the Alternate Training Site. Participated in the 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Potential middle reliever. Ceiling of a late-inning reliever. True relief profile with the potential for a standout fastball/slider combination. Has potential for two plus pitches, and his unique delivery gives hitters a very different look on the mound. Command and control need refinement in order to reach his potential. Very intense on the mound, always competes.

Ryan Fernandez, Right-handed pitcher
Physical Description: Average frame, minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a high three-quarters arm slot from the third base side of the rubber. Jerky, stiff delivery. High leg kick, stays vertical. Shorter arm action with a stab behind. Stays online to the plate. Quick arm.

Fastball: 92-94 mph. Tops out at 95 mph. Straight, lacks life. Throws strikes, but does not project as a bat-missing offering. Fringe-average potential pitch.

Slider: 85-87 mph. Short, horizontal movement. Shape gets longer at lower velocities and is more cutter-like when thrown harder. Fringe-average potential.

Curveball: 80-84 mph. Short, vertical break. Very quick downward action. Struggles to land in the zone for strikes. Below-average potential.

Changeup: 83-85 mph. Firm, inconsistent. Will flash vertical drop on occasion. Below-average potential.

Career Notes: Not a draft target out of high school, ended up at Hillsborough CC in Tampa. Selected in the 23rd round, had no reported college commitment.

Summation: Projects as a mid-minors organizational depth arm. Lacks a true out pitch to get major league-quality hitters out. Could stick around for a while due to his ability to throw strikes and pitch multiple innings.

Physical Description: Average frame with minimal remaining projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the first base side of the rubber. Medium leg kick with short arm action going back and quick coming forward. Simple mechanics. Apparently simplified leg kick during 2021 season, previously using a very high leg kick in which his lower leg was parallel to the ground at shoulder height.

Fastball: 93-95 mph. Lacks life, shows sink when down in the zone. Not a bat-missing pitch, designed to generate weak contact. Potential average offering.

Slider: 84-86 mph. Horizontal shape usually, but will show some depth on occasion. Has feel and confidence in pitch. Will throw often and sometimes pitch backwards off it. Potential average offering.

Changeup: 85-87 mph. On the firm side with late drop. Below-average potential.

Career Notes: Had Tommy John surgery in college. Participated in Fall Instructional League in 2019.

Summation: Potential minor league depth arm. Lacks a carrying pitch. Arsenal is on the average side and will struggle to miss bats against more advanced hitters. If he throws enough strikes, could stick around as an organizational arm.

Brendan Nail, Left-handed pitcher
Physical Description: Average frame, minimal physical projection.

Mechanics: Throws from a three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the third base side of the rubber. Short arm action behind. Does a good job hiding the ball behind his body during his delivery. Delivery makes it tough for left-handed hitters to pick the ball up out of his hand.

Fastball: 92-94 mph. Pitch shows natural cut and jumps on hitters. Command and control need improvement. Has shown the ability to miss bats with the pitch, at least in the low minors. Velocity has increased from 89-91 mph in 2019. Potential above-average offering.

Slider: 83-85 mph. Short, tight breaking ball with good depth at times. Potential average offering.

Career Notes: Undrafted out of Western Carolina as a junior, signed for full “slot” for an undrafted free agent after a strong Cape Cod League showing. Missed extended time in 2018 with an undisclosed injury. Did not make 2019 debut with Greenville until April 30, then was demoted back to extended spring training after four appearances. Was much better in return to Greenville after an eight-game stint in Lowell, posting a 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 26 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

Summation: Profiles as an organizational arm. Ceiling of an emergency, up-and-down left-hander. Left-handedness gives him a chance, but will have to prove it at each level and is behind the development curve. Uptick in his stuff has given him a better chance of success against more advanced hitters. Has always missed bats.

Photo Credit: Jacob Wallace by Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive, Ryan Fernandez and Brendan Nail by Kelly O'Connor and Cody Scroggins by Bryan Green

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.