Back in December the Baltimore Orioles selected Mac Sceroler from the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 draft. At the time, Sceroler was not rated as one of the Reds Top 30 prospects. He hadn’t pitched in 2020 at the alternate site, and with the minor league season cancelled, it meant that he hadn’t really pitched anywhere since the 2019 season. That year he spent the entire season with the Daytona Tortugas – at the time, the Advanced-A affiliate, where he posted a 3.69 ERA in 117.0 innings with 29 walks and 127 strikeouts.
During that season Mac Sceroler worked in the low 90’s with his fastball and would occasionally touch 95, while mixing in a good breaking ball and a solid change up. His control stood out a little bit, but he hadn’t really stood out statistically or from a stuff standpoint in his career. He had been a solid pitcher, getting the job done that was asked of him, but he had never been considered a top 25 prospect in the organization on any list.
Despite that, the Baltimore Orioles saw something that they liked enough to think that the right-handed pitcher had what it takes to potentially make the big jump from A-ball to the big leagues.
This spring the results in the games weren’t great. Mac Sceroler pitched in five games and threw 7.0 innings with six walks and three strikeouts to go along with a 6.43 ERA. Spring training stats don’t often tell us much. There are a lot of different things going on that can dictate the outcome from inning to inning, game to game, and the sample size is also incredibly small.
Still, the results aren’t what you wanted to see for someone competing for a job. The Orioles, however, saw enough to think that Mac Sceroler is worth keeping around a bit and working with. Spincinnati is a thing that gets talked about in the organization as they have targeted pitchers who can really spin the baseball. Sceroler is a guy who has one of those high spin rates, too.
While many of the parks in the Cactus League don’t have pitch tracking during spring training, in the Grapefruit League most parts do. For the most part this spring, Sceroler worked with his fastball and his curveball. His curveball had an average spin rate of 2833. His average fastball had a spin rate of 2452.
There were 268 pitchers that threw at least 20 curveballs in Major League Baseball last season. Mac Sceroler’s curveball spin rate would have rated as the 37th highest in baseball. There were 579 pitchers who threw at least 100 fastballs in Major League Baseball last season. Sceroler’s fastball spin rate of 2452 would have rated as the 74th highest in baseball.
Mac Sceroler can spin the baseball at high rates, even when compared to big league pitchers. There are likely adjustments that need to be made in order to get those pitches to play better, but it seems that the Orioles are willing to try and make those adjustments in the season at the highest level of play. He’ll have to remain on the big league 26-man roster all season or be returned to Cincinnati.
Kyle Holder returned to the Yankees
The Cincinnati Reds returned infielder Kyle Holder to the New York Yankees on Tuesday after deciding he wouldn’t make the team. Holder was acquired from the Phillies in January, but was a Rule 5 pick from the Yankees and still had to be treated by the same rules after being acquired by the Reds.