The Cincinnati Reds selected Packy Naughton in the 9th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft. He was quite successful with the Billings Mustangs that season, posting a 3.15 ERA in 60.0 innings with 20 walks and 63 strikeouts. The Reds sent the left handed starter to join the Dayton Dragons to begin his 2018 season.
April got out to a nice start for Packy Naughton. In his first three starts of the season he threw 17.1 innings and allowed just five earned runs (2.60 ERA) with three walks and 15 strikeouts. The fourth start of the month saw him run into trouble in Lansing as he allowed five earned in 4.0 innings. He did rebound well to end the month, putting together a quality start at home against Fort Wayne with eight strikeouts. He finished the month with five starts and a 4.28 ERA in 27.1 innings. That came along with eight walks and 26 strikeouts.
May began with two straight starts that lasted 7.0 innings and saw Packy Naughton allow five total runs in those starts. It was the start on the 16th against Lansing, again, that got to him. He was charged with seven runs in 4.1 innings that day. The next time out he’d allow just two runs in 5.0 innings. The month closed out, though, with a tough outing in Bowling Green where he failed to make it out of the 4th inning. For the month he posted a 6.0 ERA in 27.0 innings with five walks and 21 strikeouts.
In June things got out to a solid start for Packy Naughton as he allowed one earned in 5.1 innings against Lansing. But taking on Lake County in the next start was a struggle as he gave up four runs in 4.0 innings. The lefty rebounded well with his best start of the season to that point, allowing zero earned in 6.2 innings against South Bend. Unfortunately the worst start he had on the season followed. He allowed 12 baserunners and six earned in 3.1 innings on the 17th. Things improved the next time out, but weren’t great as he allowed three runs in 4.0 innings. Naughton closed out the month strong, though, tossing 6.0 shutout frames. The ERA in June improved to 4.30 in 29.1 innings, but he allowed 41 total hits. The peripherals were solid, giving up three homers, walking six, and striking out 24.
July picked up where June left off for Packy Naughton. In his first two starts he threw 15.0 shutout innings, allowed just eight base runners and he struck out 14. The third start of the month was quite goo, too, as Naughton allowed two runs in 6.0 innings. But things went south in the final two starts of the month. He allowed 10 runs in 10 innings on 19 hits – including three homers. Overall, the strong start to the month led to a 3.48 ERA in 31.0 innings with just five walks and 25 strikeouts.
Packy Naughton’s first start of August came on the first day of the month and it wasn’t his best of the final stretch of the season. He allowed five runs in 5.0 innings in his start against Fort Wayne. The left-hander rebounded well, though, tossing 10.2 shutout innings with just 6 hits and 16 strikeouts in his next two starts. Returning home to Daytona, he had a hiccup as he allowed five earned in 6.2 innings. The next three starts were all dominant for Naughton. He closed out the year allowing just two earned runs in 17.0 innings with one walk and 15 strikeouts. Over his final seven starts he posted a 2.75 ERA in 39.1 innings with 10 walks and 41 strikeouts. He also allowed just one home run in that time.
2018 Season Stats for Packy Naughton
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Packy Naughton Scouting Report
Fastball | The lefty isn’t a fireballer, but has solid velocity. The pitch works in the low 89-92 range and will occasionally touch 93-94 MPH.
Slider | The pitch works in the low 80’s and is an average offering when it’s at its best.
Curveball | You can see the pitch in the video above, but during the regular season it didn’t show up too often. When it did, it worked in the 76-78 MPH range and had traditional 12-6 break to it. It’s a fringe-average offering.
Change Up | His best offering, it’s an above-average offering at it’s best and works in the low 80’s.
The stuff for Packy Naughton doesn’t jump off of the page at you. It’s solid, but unspectacular. Scouts note that he’s got advanced pitchability and like his control. The control showed up well in the stats, too, as he walked just 34 batters and struck out 137. Command, was where he would get into trouble at times, leaving hittable pitches in the middle of the zone. Hitters on the season hit .280 against him. That’s pretty high, but he negated it by being quite stingy with walks and with home runs.
There’s a chance he can develop into a back of the rotation starter, though he’ll probably need a pitch to take a step forward as he continues to develop for that to happen. Could be a solid relief option down the road if the slider improves just a little bit. The Reds will likely give him time to try and develop as a starter before making a decision on which way to ultimately go down the road.
Interesting stat on Packy Naughton
As noted, he was very stingy with home runs. He allowed just 12 all season in 154.0 innings pitched. But he was actually a low groundball rate pitcher. Only 38.1% of the balls in play against him were on the ground.