In last weeks installment I profiled University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher. This week we’ll stay in the college ranks, but switch it over to the pitching side. University of Hartford lefty Sean Newcomb is a promising young arm who could rocket up draft boards in the coming months. He currently falls in the 10-20 range in most rankings.
Sean Newcomb, University of Hartford
Newcomb could easily be overlooked coming from such a small school. In 2013 he posted a 3.75 ERA in 72 innings for the Hartford Hawks. Newcomb also struck out an impressive 92 batters while walking 32. The big lefty was given the opportunity to put himself on the map while pitching in the Cape Cod league– and he didn’t disappoint. While the stats weren’t eye popping, the stuff was. Some scouts believe he has as much upside as any pitcher in the draft.
Newcomb’s fastball shows the type of velocity and pop that will get scouts attention. The pitch routinely sits in the mid-90’s and has touched 97. It’s a heavy pitch that he throws with good downward plane and it also has some tail to it.
Even though the fastball is eye-catching, the slider is Sean’s out pitch and will be his biggest asset as a professional. Already flashing plus potential, with some refinement and consistency it could be plus-plus. A potential monster pitch that will be death to lefties and a weapon against righties as well.
The Hartford ace’s least developed pitch is his changeup. Currently an average offering that could definitely use some work if he wants to help himself against right handers. In some video I saw Newcomb appeared to slow his arm down when throwing the pitch and didn’t show the ability to command it, often leaving it up in the zone.
Newcomb struggled with walks at both the collegiate level as well as in his short time in the Cape. There’s nothing to suggest that he can’t improve his control with experience, but I don’t think we’re looking at a guy who will put up Cliff Lee-like walk numbers.
A sizzling fastball to go along with a wipeout slider definitely makes for an enticing draft prospect. When you factor in that he’s lefty and has a great frame that should make him a durable innings-eater, you’ve got yourself a potential top-10 pick. The delivery seems smooth with maybe a little upper-body stiffness, but the velocity comes easy. There isn’t a whole lot of effort involved. I think the Mets should take a very close look at this potential stud who’s already drawing Jon Lester comparisons.