Travis MacGregor Scouting Report
6’3” · 180 lbs. · R/R
DOB: October 15, 1997
Notes & Comments
Primarily 88-92 in my look, but dialed it up infrequently to 94-95 with life. Good but inconsistent fastball life late to arm-side; sneaky velocity that jumps on guys, particularly when he gets on top and comes downhill. Flashes good hard, running, sinking fastball at times; will back door it to glove-side against RHH but without enough consistency yet. Pitch can get away from him running to arm-side, but when he’s on top and downhill, there’s plenty of late, hard life with sink; flashes above-average and should see some velo gain along with consistency in manipulating pitch life with age. Velocity: 88-94.
Slider is tight, small; hump isn’t significant and break starts early, sweeps, and is pretty compact. Can manipulate it for vertical depth on 11-to-5 break, but it’s short and command must be pinpoint to corners and off the plate for him to succeed in missing bats. Almost a cutter in movement & size, but with better depth; improvements to come here in manipulating the pitch for more depth and later break; could potentially use a slightly larger hump to really change speeds, as well. All that said, he showed encouraging ability to really get it out to glove-side and off the plate; good feel for extending and throwing it there once ahead in the count. Velocity: 79-83.
Changeup really grew on me as outing wore on; good touch and feel, really uses it well with some nuance to LHH in particular. Tunnels it well with the fastball, even drawing some bad swings and misses from RHH with good, late fade when he gets on top and extends out front. Arm speed and arm action comparable to fastball; sells the pitch well. Will take off and float arm-side without much tumble or depth when he doesn’t get on top of it, but fairly consistent already in delivery and execution of the pitch. May be worth exploring more velocity differential from fastball, but enough life on changeup to get by in current range when it’s thrown right. Velocity: 82-84.
General use of all three pitches in/near the strike zone, with control ahead of command at this stage. Tendency to lose both fastball and changeup off to arm-side when they get away from him; struggled in my look to consistently establish fastball to corners early in outing. Arguably enough pitch life here to get by on low-middle sets for now, but really needs to hit corners against better hitters to excel. Will get slider consistently out to glove side; even without much break or depth, didn’t see too many backup sliders or full cement mixers in my look; finishes the pitch well off the plate. At his age/level, certainly flashed enough of a command profile to warrant future rotation role; I’m bullish he’ll maintain rotation profile with improved command as he ages.
Working from the middle of the rubber; small hip turn to close at balance. Subtle drop and drive guy who lands on line to the plate with front toe actually pointed slightly open at times; flexible lower half, though stride from windup is longer and with better leg drive than stride from stretch. High three-quarters release with good downward plane to the plate that plays up his pitch life. Fairly consistent, full follow through to target, though tendency at times to fall off glove-side to first base; tends to happen more from stretch than windup. All together, relatively low effort, repeatable delivery without max exertion that profiles well in starter role. He already repeats it fairly well with generally consistent release point; work to be done to stay on line through target at all times, particularly from the stretch, but generally it’s a solid mechanical look.
Tall, long and lean with a very thin lower half in particular that has plenty of room to add bulk — and durability — with age. Plenty of physical upside remaining before he hits final form; very long arms and legs; should be another couple years before he really, fully grows into his body. Travis MacGregor was something of a surprise pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates at 68th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft; he wasn’t on many draft boards that high and the Pirates took a fair amount of heat publicly for the pick. Lots of physical upside here with some serious pitchability and the flashes of two above-average pitches already, though; far from a wasted pick, even with considerable development still to come before realizing any value. Likely ticketed for extended spring training, and then short-season West Virginia in the New York-Penn League, in 2018; perhaps a shot to jump to Low-A West Virginia in the South Atlantic League by the end of the year, but no real need to rush MacGregor here in his age-20 season.
OFP (50 FV)
Back-end rotation arm at ceiling; even as a surprise second round arm back in 2016, Travis MacGregor flashes some good raw stuff and is already equipped with an idea of how to use his entire repertoire. Along with physical upside coming with age and development, there’s a lot to like here, and the combination gives MacGregor a shot to make an impact in a back-end rotation role one day. Will be a long road to get there, but could prove to be a shrew under-slot second round pick if it comes together. If he fails as a starter, I’d be curious as to if/how his raw stuff and pitch life might play up in short, high-leverage bullpen stints; lower-leverage long relief will always be in the mix beyond that. Above all, at 20 years old with decent stuff and an idea of how to use it, patience is a virtue and the best is yet to come for Travis MacGregor and the Pittsburgh Pirates. MLB ETA: 2022.
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