Eovaldi a Diamond in the Rough


On December 19, 2014 the Yankees dealt Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for hard throwing RHP Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and prospect Domingo German. The centerpiece for the Yankees was Eovaldi, who is a hard throwing RHP with a 100+mph fastball. However, he has never been able to translate his talent into a winning record.

In 2015 Larry Rosthchild, the Yankees pitching coach, will be tasked with helping Eovaldi reach his potential. The pitches at Eovaldi’s disposal are: 4 seam fastball, 2 seam fastball, curveball, cutter and a slider. The problem with Eovaldi is that apparently he relies too much on his fastball. According to Fangraph, last year it accounted for 57% of his pitches. As it stands, Neither the Dodgers nor the Marlins have succeeded with him on that end. 

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The challenge ahead for Rosthchild is helping him trust his other pitches. For example, in 2014 his most effective pitch wasn’t his four-seam fastball. It was his two-seam fastball. Unfortunately, he only chose to throw it 6% of the time. It was so effective that its AVG was .170 compared to .315 of his four-seam fastball. Basically, that means that out of every 10 fastballs, at least 3 were hit successfully. However, out of every 10 two seam fastballs he threw, less than 2 resulted in hits. This shows that Eovaldi actually has decent material to be competent in a rotation. However, he needs to learn to trust his other pitches if he hopes to be effective.

When the Yankees decided to trade for him, they knew that his game still needed to be polished. “I don’t think he’s a finished product, but we’re really excited to add him to the mix,” said Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM, in regards to Eovaldi. While his game needs work, his durability is the real reason he was acquired. Last year Eovaldi pitched 199 innings. If the Yankees manage to polish this diamond in the rough and if he stays healthy, he may well become a force to be reckoned with in the AL East.