After spending four years at Clemson and pitching out of the bullpen, Carson Spiers went undrafted in a shortened-to-5-rounds 2020 Major League Baseball draft. As a free agent he would sign with Cincinnati, but with the minor league season being cancelled shortly thereafter the right hander had to wait until the start of the 2021 season to make his professional debut.
The Reds assigned Carson Spiers to Low-A Daytona when the 2021 campaign began in early May. What was perhaps a bit surprising was that he was in the rotation even though he had never made a single start in parts of four seasons in college. In his first professional game he allowed a run in 4.2 innings with a walk and four strikeouts. His next two starts were even better. Against St. Lucie he struck out nine batters in 6.0 shutout innings and followed that up with a 1-run outing against Jupiter where he struck out eight in 6.0 innings. Four days later he made an appearance out of the bullpen against Jupiter and picked up the save. He returned to the rotation three days later and maybe he should have been given a normal time frame because he allowed six runs in 5.0 innings.
Despite the struggle in that start on short rest, the Reds promoted Carson Spiers to High-A Dayton on May 30th. When he joined the Dragons he was placed in the bullpen. His first two outings were a bit of a struggle as he allowed seven earned runs in 5.0 innings. On June 8th he came out of the bullpen in the 3rd inning and allowed just one hit over 6.0 innings of relief and he struck out nine batters as Dayton rallied to win after trailing 7-0 entering the 3rd inning. After one more relief outing, Spiers joined the Dayton rotation for the remainder of the season.
His first five starts, spanning a months worth of time, were solid but unspectacular as he threw 23.1 innings and allowed 27 hits, walked eight batters, struck out 27, and posted a 4.63 ERA. It was the following month where he really went on a heater. In six starts from July 20th through August 23rd he posted a 2.10 ERA in 30.0 innings while allowing just 16 hits and striking out 40 batters. Spiers would have a bit of a hiccup in the series against Fort Wayne that followed, giving up eight runs in 8.1 innings over two starts. The righty finished out the season strong, giving up just two earned runs in 15.0 innings over three games.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Carson Spiers Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 205 lbs | Acquired: Free Agent (2020)
Born: November 11, 1997
Fastball | When the season began he was sitting 89-92, but as the season progressed he began throwing harder and was sitting 92-93 and touching 96.
Slider | An average offering that will flash a bit better at times that works in the low-to-mid 80’s.
Curveball | Another average offering that works in the mid-to-upper 70’s.
Change Up | An above-average to plus offering that works in the low-to-mid 80’s.
A reliever turned starter that throws five pitches? Yeah, that’s what you get with Carson Spiers. He throws both a 2-seam and a 4-seam fastball and mixes in three average or better secondary offerings.
Four to five average or better pitches is a good place to begin with for a starting pitcher. But that’s not all that Spiers brings to the table on the mound. He’s also a guy who pounds the strikezone. The righty walked just 34 of the 448 batters he faced during the 2021 season and while sometimes walk totals in A-ball can be a bit deceiving due to the approach of less advanced hitters, that’s not the case with Spiers. He can and does throw all of his pitches for strikes, but he can also locate them just off the plate, too.
It feels like there’s a high floor with Carson Spiers as a guy with plenty of pitches and a good ability to throw strikes. But there also seems to be a bit of a limited ceiling. Nothing really sticks out in his profile as a starter, or really as a reliever. As a starter he profiles as a back end guy who would fill in at the #4 or #5 spot, and as a reliever the profile looks like a middle reliever.
Interesting Stat on Carson Spiers
With runners in scoring position Spiers held opponents to a .186/.252/.256 line in 86 at-bats.
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