Austin Brice, RHP Miami Marlins
Height: 6-4, Weight: 205
Austin Brice was Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Austin’s 2011 performance in the Gulf Coast League was impressive; 6-0, 2.96 ERA, 55 strike outs, 48 1/3 innings including 9 starts.
Before we expand, let’s see what we had to say about Austin Brice 340° in our recent Baseball Instinct 360°:
340°. Austin Brice, RHP Marlins 6/19/1992 – We got to see Brice in person and he has room to add weight to his 6’3″/190 frame. Displayed strikeout ability in his 2nd season in the Gulf Coast League, but his command needs improvement when he gets to Low-A Greensboro in 2012 if he wants to move on to the next level as a starter. ETA 2014.
Let’s take a look at the Stuff and the Mechanics now:
The 19 year old has already shown the stuff, it’s his control that needs improvement. He struck out over 26 % of the batters he has faced which is outstanding and his 10.2 K/9 led the Gulf Coast League. The problem is that he has walked over 15 % which is not so outstanding.
His arsenal includes a low 90s fastball which he can get into the mid 90s and an above average curveball. The curve still lacks command but it projects out as above average. The curve is a good change of pace in the low 80s which is a nice 10+ mph split from the fastball.
His raw stuff is outstanding, but the changeup is still a pitch in the making. How well it develops will determine an upside of a #3 or a back end arm.
Austin is a big and athletic pitcher with a plus fastball but not an overly stressful delivery. He uses his 6’4″ frame well and is composed for such a young starter. There are no glaring weaknesses in his current mechanics outside of his tempo being off by a count. It tends to lead to his arm coming through just a little late. Over the long term it could cause undue stress on his arm, but it’s also an easy fix and should be corrected in 2012.
Austin Brice’s prospects look exceptional for such a young player and if he harnesses his command could find himself in the big leagues as a starter eventually. But if the command and changeup don’t improve, don’t give up on him, he could still be used as a bullpen option, possibly in a set-up roll.With a plus fastball and curveball combo he has enough to keep advancing. We like Austin Brice and will stick with our assessment that his MLB debut could be as soon as 2014. But there is a lot of growth still needed for him to reach his ultimate upside.
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