LA Angels: An analytical look at 2020 first-rounder Reid Detmers
By Daniel Preciado
Curveball and Outlook
Detmers’ best pitch out of college was his curveball, a somewhat good-looking pitch visually, it’s just not as good as some said it was. Curveballs at 72.63 mph, what he averaged at Louisville, don’t fare well even with double-digit vertical drop and some horizontal break. It’s still an above average pitch because of its axis and similarities towards the fastball out of hand (similar release height at 6.01) and its steep approach angle. His curveball got 11 swing-and-misses on 110 pitches in 2020, which is well below average, but he also threw it for a strike 69% of the time, which is extremely valuable as curveballs have the lowest strike percentage among pitch types generally. It’s a good, not great pitch, but velocity is the end all be all in baseball now and with such low velo, the room for error is much higher.
Now, Detmers wasn’t a bad pick for the Angels, but the upside you’re getting is severely limited and at best, the Angels are looking at a number four starter in a staff that has plenty of those types. Given the Angels’ horrific track record with developing arms, maybe Mick Abel wouldn’t have been a strategic pick here, but his data is far better, and he likely would’ve saved them some money for a shot at Cole Wilcox in the third round over David Calabrese. In that case, they would’ve had a better pitcher then Reid Detmers (in Wilcox), more upside in Abel, and could’ve used their fourth round pick on somebody far less volatile. Instead we’re left with two extremely raw prep bats, a low ceiling starter with below-average velocity and only two above-average pitches, and a late round flyer in Adam Seminaris.
Let’s hope that Detmers winds up being a good pick despite the poor metric data. The Angels need it.