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Originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of UNC-Greensboro, right-handed pitching prospect Max Povse was part of the Alex Jackson trade that brought him over to the Seattle Mariners ahead of the 2017 season. Over this summer — his first with the Mariners — split between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma, Povse finished 4-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 22 games (13 starts), logging 70.2 innings and allowing 75 hits and 26 walks against 61 strikeouts. He also made his big league debut over the summer, pitching three times for the Seattle Mariners and logging no record and a 7.36 ERA in 3.2 innings.

After the summer, the Mariners sent Max Povse to the Arizona Fall League, where he pitched for the Peoria Javelinas. In six games (all starts) with Peoria, the 6’8″, 185 lb. righty logged 25.2 innings and finished 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA and a 25:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Still young at 24 years old (DOB: August 23, 1993) ahead of the 2018 season, Max Povse has an outside shot to battle for a back-end rotation gig with the Seattle Mariners this spring thanks to a deep arsenal with feel and a strong command profile. Below, you’ll find Baseball Census‘ full Max Povse scouting report, including multiple game videos, tool grades, and projection notes.

Max Povse Scouting Report, Seattle Mariners — 2017

Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League

Four-Seam Fastball (50)
Great natural downward plane thanks to height at 6’8″ and nearly overhand release. Very straight pitch; can run it up into mid 90s on occasion when he needs it, especially to raise hitter eye level, but not a true weapon with life beyond getting established early in games/first time through a lineup. Will flatten and get hit, especially when up; likely to use two-seamer as much/more than four-seamer to give a little extra life and hopefully get off a barrel. Velocity: 91-94, T 95.

Two-Seam Fastball (45)
Four-seam fastball action out of hand with late arm-side run. Exceptional downward plane helps sink/fade play up, and it’ll get ground balls when it stays down. Particularly effective with natural life in on hands of RHH; will still run even up in the zone when it flattens out, getting in on bat handle of RHH when thrown hard. Plays up some with good command, especially to arm side, but lacks above-average look and same life/consistency to glove side. Velocity: 88-91, T 92.

Changeup (40)
Tunnels well along with fastballs; sits arm-side with some run and a bit of natural tumble to the plate. Lacks true, late downward movement that would otherwise grade it out higher, and struggles to miss bats, instead favoring weak contact off the barrel when thrown at its best. Not a true put-away pitch; nothing jumps off the page here but solid enough to survive, particularly against LHH; draws more contact than ideal. Velocity: 82-85, T 86.

Curveball (40)
Tighter, shorter hump with 11-to-5 break. Good speed differential leaves hitters off balance with typically solid arm action and speed selling it at release (occasional issues with slowing down arm speed to tip pitch). Lacks full, hard bite to miss bats, but effective to get off the barrel and draw weaker contact when down in the zone. Some side-to-side feel with command. Not a true put-away pitch; ultimately draws more contact than ideal and thus below average without ability to miss bats, but workable in situations if it’s down. Velocity: 77-81, T 82.

Control/Command (55/45)
Control ahead of command; sum total of the two leaves him able to start games. Good control feel for off-speed pitches with some nuance side-to-side, particularly with the changeup. Feel for multi-plane execution with fastball, with some ability to raise eye levels and blow hitters away above zone with harder fastball when he needs to reach back. Extension out front with ability to hit glove side with consistency; lacks nuanced feel to backdoor fastball there, but enough side to side touch to keep hitters honest multiple times through lineup.

High three-quarters/nearly overhand release amplified by height and exceptional downward plane. Short arm swing through the back at hand break hides the ball from hitters very well; ball will jump on them quickly with some mild deception because of it. Long and slow to the plate; struggles to hold runners on at times with lots of moving pieces to get in sync at drive to plate. Inconsistent arm speeds; will slow down arm speed and cut extension at times on off-speed pitches, slightly (but noticeably) altering delivery. Lots of work ahead to maintain frame, body, athleticism, and mechanics as he ages; lots of risk in mechanics getting out of line with long frame and limbs.

Big, physical guy with obvious upside from exceptional build, but lacking in true put-away stuff; doesn’t quite have enough raw life in his arsenal to consistently put away hitters, and contact-heavy profile leaves him susceptible to getting beat absent true plus command of his stuff. Still, deep arsenal with large frame, strike-throwing habits, and a great downward plane will get him a shot to start; could slide into swingman role over the next few years.

Max Povse Scouting Report — Seattle Mariners — 2017 Game Video

Max Povse Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection

A big, physical kid who reached the big leagues for the first time in 2017, Max Povse ought to fight for a rotation gig to begin the 2018 season out of spring training with the Seattle Mariners. It’s highly likely he heads back to Triple-A Tacoma for more seasoning, or perhaps he fills out a low-leverage bullpen role in the big leagues where he can work multiple innings, but long term he’ll get a shot or two at starting some games as a back-end rotation arm with a deep and consistent—but unspectacular—arsenal.

The big takeaway of Povse’s AFL run for me was his ability to throw everything in his arsenal for a strike (good!) while falling just short of being able to put guys away with wipeout stuff (not as good!). Too many times hitters fouled off Povse’s better off-speed looks only to hit fastballs with two strikes, and while the big righty can get by with his repertoire and command at the next level by drawing some weak contact, it’s that general contact-heavy profile that will challenge his ceiling in the coming years. To that end, I think it’s highly likely that Max Povse turns into a swingman-type arm: some starts, some long relief outings, and a mix of generally lower-leverage innings to help the Seattle Mariners the next few seasons during what increasingly looks to be a win-now window for them in the AL West.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Back-end rotation ceiling with physical upside and full arsenal; low-leverage middle/long relief floor lacking quality off-speed (40/45)

MLB ETA: 2017

Did you like this Max Povse scouting report? Get more prospects here:

Seattle Mariners OF Luis Liberato — CLICK HERE

Seattle Mariners RHP Nathan Bannister — CLICK HERE

Tampa Bay Rays 3B Kevin Padlo — CLICK HERE

St. Louis Cardinals RHP Arturo Reyes — CLICK HERE

Miami Marlins LHP Scott Squier — CLICK HERE


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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