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Max Lazar Scouting Report, Milwaukee Brewers — January, 2018

Full Name: Max Lazar
DOB: June 3, 1999 (18)
Birthplace: Coral Springs, FL
School: None
Acquired: 11th Round, 2017 MLB Draft
Height, Weight: 6’3”, 165 lbs.
Position: RHP
Bats/Throws: R/R
Dates Observed: 2017 — August 10
Affiliate(s): AZL Brewers (Rookie, Milwaukee Brewers)
Previous Coverage: None

Tool (PV/FV)
Notes & Comments
Fastball (50/60)
Good feel for low-90s fastball; straight pitch, with occasional subtle cut to arm-side. Quick, loose, athletic arm speed that makes fastball sneaky hard at times getting up on hitters. Can get around the pitch and drop his elbow, nearly throwing it uphill; generally lacks downward plane which would add significant life to the fastball. That said, he shows advanced command feel of it side-to-side and already demonstrates encouraging arm strength to run it up; easy to imagine him with a plus fastball once he grows into his body and irons out arm action. Loves to challenge hitters with it. Velocity: 89-92.

Curveball (40/50)
Surprisingly sharp breaking ball at its best; 11-to-5 look with great feel for both a called strike and a put-away pitch. Tight spinner with big hump and good depth when he gets out in front at release. Inconsistent, with tendency to cast the pitch and get around the side of it at times too, robbing it of downward break and pushing it to a 10-to-4 spinner across the zone. Arm action sells the pitch, though; fastball arm speed played it up some against rookie ball hitters in 2017 and bodes well for future development with consistency. Velocity: 77-80.

Slider (35/45)
Occasionally sharp with tight, hard 10-to-4 movement out of modest sweeping action, but too often bleeds into slightly harder version of the curveball without wipeout break late. Spinner that he tends to get around and under even more than the curveball at times; difficult to distinguish from curve at points, too, without significant speed differential or true power look to slider. That said, he will throw it for a strike and challenge hitters within the zone. Long development road ahead, so plenty of opportunity to improve the slider, but may ultimately be best picking one of his breaking balls and perfecting it rather than dividing attention between the two. Velocity: 81-84.

Changeup (30/45)
Modest downward life on the pitch with some arm-side fade; occasional tumble, but lacks feel for nuanced touch and throws it as a get-over more than a put-away right now. Tendency to slow body and arm action down through release; tipping it and affecting release point, command, and pitch life. Ways to go with the changeup right now but, as with breaking balls, long development road ahead and the fact that he already consistently throws it for a strike helps start the process. Velocity: 80-83.

Command (50/60)
Exceptional command already even as a teenager in first pro summer; control is ahead of command, as to be expected, but real feel for both sides of the plate, particularly with his fastball. Tempo aids command significantly; works extremely, extremely quickly between pitches and clearly wants to put pressure on hitters. Almost relentless in both tempo and desire to fill up the zone; traits will serve him well as off-speed improves and gives him the ability to throw a true wipeout pitch.

Works from the far first base side of the rubber; athletic, very lean body with repeatable mechanics up until moderate to nearly max-effort arm path through release point. Three-quarters release with some gunslinger-like feel to his arm action, but doesn’t drop down low in that traditional gunslinger way. Long arm action in the back; shows the ball early to hitters, particularly LHH. Lands slightly closed off to the plate, but with open toe at foot strike. Modest recoil after release; that, along with some problems getting overly rotational rather than being linear to the plate are things to be ironed out. Delivery should continue to repeat well as a rotation arm moving forward, particularly as he fills out with age.

Extremely lean frame with lots of room to grow into his body; nowhere close to final form and should add 30+ pounds of good weight in the next few years, which in turn could aid his fastball considerably and help make his delivery more consistent and powerful. Turned down a college offer at Florida Atlantic to sign with the Brewers after being selected in the 11th round last summer; may prove to be a nice late-round find.

OFP (50 FV)
Back-end rotation arm at his ceiling thanks to early command show with deep arsenal and feel for strikes with all his pitches. Enough raw arm strength at his age that the bullpen could be an option down the road, too, but he’ll be best served by throwing as many innings as possible the next few years. Ability to challenge hitters and work remarkably quickly bodes well for Max Lazar as a sneaky-good lower-round draft pick for the Milwaukee Brewers; can’t see enough here for a frontline arm, but well within the realm of possibilities that he turns into a #4/#5 rotation option over the next five years as he grows. MLB ETA: 2022.

Max Lazar Scouting Report, Milwaukee Brewers — Game Video

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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census, the author of We Is Blaze, (obviously) a fan of minor league baseball, and an unlikely expert on the animated classic TV show King Of The Hill. For more on Bobby and the personal, human side of this site, follow him on Twitter and Facebook: @BobbyDeMuro.

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