Name: Nick Schumacher
Position: Pitcher (RH Reliever)
2010 Level(s): Fort Wayne (Low-A), Lake Elsinore (High-A)
Nothing really jumps off the page at you about Nick Schumacher.
He’s 25 and still in A-ball. His FIPs at both stops this year have been in the mid-4′s, as a reliever, mind you. He doesn’t strike out many batters for a bullpen guy, and his walk rates are average.
So why is he on this list at all, then? There are certainly some noteworthy guys past the top 100.
No, it’s not because he has 21 saves–those are meaningless to me.
Really, Schumacher’s an interesting pitcher. Despite being a reliever, he has the repertoire of a starter, throwing a fastball, cutter, changeup, slider, and curveball. Heck, that’s more varied than most starters.
Schumacher’s cutter is a good groundball pitch, and he uses the changeup to get swings and misses. Since he works primarily off the cutter, he gets a ton of grounders (56.3% career), and he’s able to hang in against both lefties and righties.
With the cutter, changeup, and a solid slider and show-pitch curve, Schumacher has the ability to transcend his middling velocity. He’s going to need good command to get to the majors, of course, and his current K/BB ratios don’t cut it. Schumacher did have a great 2009 in Fort Wayne, though, so his stuff has worked in the past.
So, he’s a longshot, but there are some intriguing aspects of Schumacher’s game. Hopefully he can throw more quality strikes and shoot up this list next year–at 25, he better get moving.