Nathan Flores Scouting Report
Santa Ana College
Notes & Comments
Tight little arm-side run with occasional sink on his fastball; moves very late to arm side with some feel for back-door on glove-side corner to LHH; can manipulate it sink, but inconsistent right now. Touched 88 mph early in my look, but always was a little bit out of control at the top of his velocity band, and tends to overthrow there without consistent ability to get it down in the bottom third of the zone. Throws considerably harder from full windup than stretch — 85-88 mph from the full, 82-85 from the stretch — but definite raw arm strength considering he’s undersized with some room left to grow into his body; imperative that he can work down in the zone at upper velocity band, though, or else it’s ultimately useless. Velocity: 82-88.
Lots of potential with his changeup; arguably his best pitch right now with legitimate feel for the strike zone and some ability to miss bats and/or get off barrels. Changeup has real arm-side life with some sink and late tumble. Comes out of his hand with arm action and arm speed like a fastball; deceptive; sells the pitch very well with great extension out front. Chance to be an average or better pitch in time; makings of a potential strikeout pitch with further development to manipulate for consistent downward movement. Velocity: 74-78.
Struggled mightily to feel slider in my look; never quite got on top of the pitch enough to throw a good one with downward break in the bottom third of the strike zone. Struggled considerably to get on top of the ball and release it out in front; lots of sliders backing up to arm-side with little bite or break; lacks feel for the pitch and tends to overthrow it without any consistent expectation to command the pitch within the zone. No doubt I saw it on a particularly bad day, but still considerable work to do here to make the slider a legitimate third pitch; must finish the pitch and push through tendency to recoil after release. Velocity: 68-73.
Struggles to stay on top of all his pitches at times; tendency to overthrow with balls staying high, especially when he reaches back for more velocity. Both control and command have considerable development ahead, particularly if he’s to remain a rotation arm (more on that below). In the event that he does get on top of the ball, he’s got decent raw arm strength with surprising downward plane considering his lack of height (5’11”, 175 lbs.). Long way to go to improve command profile here, and he may ultimately fit best as a short/situational reliever at any levels beyond Santa Ana College.
Worked exclusively from the stretch in his full start during my look. Surprisingly quick to the plate; timed him from 1.28 to 1.34 to the plate with runners on first base, notable for a lefty. High three-quarters release with quick, short arm action and a very short arm swing in the back with a high back elbow. Arm path there reminds me a bit of Billy Wagner; almost like a catcher with short, efficient arm path with little back swing behind his body; hides the ball well to RHH and LHH and that deception helps him, particularly with the changeup.
Undersized; some room left to grow into his body by adding muscle, but he’ll always be undersized for the mound and profiles better at higher levels as a reliever with some strength/arm strength/velocity left to build out in short stints. He must prove durability with his size and must sustain better arm strength as he develops. Changeup is good and already shows some potential as a pro pitch, but the fastball, slider, and general command profile must grow around it for Nathan Flores to have any shot at the next level.
Unlikely MLB Draft option for 2018, but potential here with good raw arm strength and one good secondary to have a shot at pro ball after his four-year stop beyond Santa Ana College. Arm strength is there and will continue to come; must improve command down in the zone with his upper 80s look, and must be more consistent and effective with his slider as a secondary offering to LHH in particular; still a year or two away from being in the MLB Draft conversation with some critical development to come, but there’s some very raw potential here.
OFP (45 FV)
Can’t imagine him as much more than a reliever at ceiling; has middle relief/low leverage work written all over him with natural ability to match up to LHH (assuming slider improvements) and the changeup to matchup against RHH if he transitions into middle/long relief to eat innings in low-leverage situations. Considerable work to do to reach pro ball, but he’s a lefty with some arm strength and one decent secondary, so there’s enough of a foundation here to keep Nathan Flores in the back of your mind; worth checking in on his development a year from now.
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