Taylor Jungmann – 6-6, 220 – RHP – Texas
Tenth Inning Overall Rank: 6
Physical: Tall and limber with a strong core, Jungmann shows control of his long arms. He is loose and fairly athletic. Shows a surprising amount of body control for such a tall young pitcher, allowing for surprising control/command. He still has a little room for growth in his upper body, leaving a little bit of projection.
Delivery: I was not particularly a fan of Jungmann’s delivery coming into the season. He throws from a low-three-quarters slot
and, in the past, tended to sling the ball across his body, pivoting across a stiff landing leg. This caused quite a bit of deception in his delivery and gave hitters (particularly righties) fits, but it did not bode well for future health or consistency of command. Jungmann has effectively addressed those issues this season. He now lands with a softer left leg that is pointed less toward the right-handed hitter and more toward home. He still maintains deception in his delivery, and has not moved the arm slot, but his left leg has less impact, his body isn’t jerking as much as it used to, and the new pivot point allows for better control and command (evidenced by a career low 1.98 BB/9). I no longer have health or command concerns, and his improved body control and cleaner mechanics actually make him an incredibly safe arm.
Stuff: Nothing in Jungmann’s arsenal will wow you, but he commands three potential plus pitches to both sides of the plate. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and Jungmann feeds off it. He has supreme confidence in the pitch, commanding it well and throwing it in any count. His breaking ball, which I’ll call a slurve, is an ever evolving pitch. In the past, he’s thrown a harder, sharper slider that is a good weapon against left-handed hitters. He still throws it, but has leaned on a more traditional curve this season, on which hitters have a tough time squaring up. The more up and down motion of the pitch is a stark contrast to the horizontal movement Jungmann usually generates from his nearly sidearm delivery. The breaking ball is a feel pitch, which Jungmann can adjust in velocity and plane, and provides a weapon against hitters on both sides of the plate. He throws two change-ups, a traditional version of the pitch with good depth and fade and a “screw change,” which is deceptive and falls off the table like a breaking ball. It’s unclear whether Jungmann will keep the screw change in pro ball, as he sometimes telegraphs the pitch and it has been more of a novelty against college hitters, but it’s actually quite effective (and hilarious) when used properly.
The Skinny: Jungman brings advanced feel of three potential plus pitches, adding and subtracting velocity and moving them around the strike zone at will. One small point of concern is his “low” K-rate. He misses bats, but you usually see a top 10 college arm K more than a batter per inning. The fact that Jungmann’s K/9 rate has dipped to 8.51 even with the new bats suggests that one shouldn’t expect big strikeout numbers from him as a pro. It also suggests, however, that Jungmann doesn’t have to pitch for the strikeout to be successful. Along with the lower K-rate, Jungmann is showing the best control and command of his young career. He keeps runners off the base paths by limiting walks and his stuff, along with his deceptive delivery and good command, keeps hitters off-balance. I imagine Jungman posting a K rate in the sixes, a walk rate under 3, and ERA’s consistently under 4. If Jungmann grows a little in the upper body and adds some velocity, he could step into the front of a rotation, but he’s a very safe bet to stick as a successful starter in MLB as soon as Auguest of 2012.
Future Projection: #2 Starter on a contending team, possible ace with a little growth, very high floor.