The Cincinnati Reds landed four pitchers at the trading deadline for their minor league system when they moved both Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto. Coming back in the Mike Leake trade was potential utility man and power bat Adam Duvall and young right handed pitcher Keury Mella.
With the San Francisco Giants Keury Mella had posted a 3.31 ERA in 81.2 innings while pitching in the California League. He had 83 strikeouts and just 26 walks on the season when he was acquired by the Reds.
The just-turned 22-year-old Mella made his debut with the organization, on seven days rest since his last start, on August 5th for the Daytona Tortugas. The results were solid, but unspectacular as he allowed a run in 5.0 innings with three hits allowed, four walks and four strikeouts. By looking at the line, you can tell that he struggled with his control. You can see some video from the start below:
While there were some obvious struggles in the start for the right hander, there were some good things to see in the game as well.
Fastball | Coming into the organization scouting reports had his fastball sitting in the 93-95 MPH range and touching 97 at times. On this night he was a tick higher than that, sitting 94-96 and he touched 97 twice in the outing. The pitch showed good sinking action and a little bit of armside run as well.
Change Up | He didn’t use this pitch much, only showing it against left handed hitters. It flashed itself as an above-average offering at 83-85 MPH, but a majority of the ones that he did throw were well below-average without much action to them. When the pitch was at it’s best it showed good movement, running away from lefties and had a little bit of sink to it as well.
Curveball | Another pitch that flashed itself as above-average, but unlike the change up even when it wasn’t at it’s best, it was still a solid offering that was average for the most part. It came in around 78-81 MPH and showed 11-5 breaking action.
Other | The mechanics aren’t the cleanest as there is some effort in the delivery. It also provides some deception. In the long run, there is some concern that he winds up in the bullpen because of his mechanics. His control has been good throughout his career, so as long as he can stay healthy he should remain in the rotation moving forward.
His change up is going to need to be more consistent than it was on this night, but he showed the potential with three above-average pitches and his history suggests he throws plenty of strikes. If he can continue to throw strikes and his change up becomes a little more consistent he’s got a chance to be a very good starter. If his mechanics hold him back or the change up doesn’t develop consistency, he’s got a future at the back end of a bullpen.