Tanner Scott Angling For More Control
BALTIMORE—Lefthander Tanner Scott still has plenty of heat on his fastball. He just needs to locate it more consistently.
Scott averaged 8.0 walks per nine innings between high Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie, but he also averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine and his fastball touched 100 mph.
"He kind of started slow, but he got better as the year went on,” Bowie pitching coach Alan Mills said. "It’s just a matter of him getting more comfortable with his delivery and getting a more consistent release point.”
It’s important to remember that Scott, a 2014 sixth-rounder from Howard (Texas) JC, advanced to the Eastern League at age 22. The guy with the triple-digit heater must be graded on a curve.
"He throws close to 100 (mph) and that’s hard to find,” said Mills, a former big league reliever. "His breaking ball is in the process of getting a lot better. He’s kind of feeling his way through.
"I’ve been there. I didn’t throw that hard, but I’ve been in that situation where I couldn’t throw the ball where I wanted to. But it’s just a matter of once he gets more comfortable with his delivery, he’ll find the strike zone.”
Scott went a combined 5-4, 4.76 with a 1.51 WHIP in 64.1 relief innings this year. He ranks as the Orioles’ No. 10 prospect.
"Sometimes, I think the expectations are really high and if you look at how well he pitched, how well he did, he made huge strides this year,” farm director Brian Graham said. "I’m really pleased with how he pitched this year—his control and command and the ability to use his breaking ball, as well.”
Scott is starting for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, though he’s going to remain a reliever in the minors.
"The idea is he’s pitching against really good competition and he’s being able to have a bullpen in between his outings,” Graham said, "and that’s all part of the development process.”
• Mills is a candidate to replace Dave Wallace as big league pitching coach or be named bullpen coach if Dom Chiti is promoted. Wallace is retiring as a coach to spend more time with his family, but he could stay in the organization in an instructional role.