I’ve been breaking down scouting reports and tape in a final push to complete my First-Year Player Draft Guide for dynasty leagues (should be available January 1). One player that I’m having a hard time finalizing is Brady Singer. I just can’t get a read on if he’s going to stick as an SP and what his ultimate upside is there. So, thanks to YouTube, I decided to sit down and chart a full start of his to see him in more detail.
On June 1, Florida faced off against Jacksonville U in the 2nd game of the Gainesville regional. Singer took the mound for the Gators, but he was coming off an extended break from his last start (May 11) due to a lingering hamstring issue. At this point, he was being mocked as high as the #4 overall pick in the draft, but would ultimately slide down to the Royals at pick #18.
Singer just overwhelmed the Jacksonville hitters in the 1st, only needing 9 pitches to induce 3 soft groundball outs.
In the second, the Jacksonville #5 hitter worked a single off a nice at-bat against Singer, but the ball wasn’t hit hard. Singer promptly got the next batter to roll a slider over to SS for an easy double play.
A little trouble in the 3rd. Singer’s control and 2S velocity dipped a bit (89-90 mph by the end of the inning).
Then he comes out in the 4th and throws the slider on 5 of 10 pitches. I love how he throws this wrinkle at Jacksonville at this point in the game. Really shows off his pitching IQ and sequencing.
I have to pause here to break down that CH he threw to get the strikeout, because it was unfair. The Jacksonville batter has done a nice job so far trying to slow down the at-bat, taking his time getting into the box and trying to throw off Singer’s rhythym. Singer gets behind in the count but keeps pumping 2-seam fastballs at the hitter. Then, he breaks off a changeup with a similar shape to the 2-seamer, thrown from the same arm slot. BUT the changeup just dies:
Jacksonville batter is ready to turn on this one, which looks like it’s going to float in over the heart of the plate. But look at where the catcher’s mitt is at.
The poor kid is just throwing his bat at the ball.
Look where the catcher winds up catching the pitch. Just a really well-executed changeup. Comes out at the same arm slot with the same shape as the 2S. Great fade and sink mean the thing just drops off the table and rolls right out of the zone.
Singer gets out of trouble in the 5th when he makes a fantastic play fielding a bunt and tagging the runner out on his way to home.
Here’s a good example of the tailing movement on Singer’s 2-seam fastball:
It’s a 2-2 count, and Singer throws the kid a 2S fastball (91 mph) from a nearly identical arm slot that he just threw him a slider (79 mph). So the batter has less time to make a decision and is looking at a 2-seamer that looks like it’s going to hit him (starts at the batter’s front hip). However…
By the point the batter needs to make a decision, the 2-seamer is tailing but still looking inside. Look how far it has to move to hit the catcher’s mitt from this point.
Spin it to win it Brady. The batter has committed to his take as the 2-seamer just keeps tailing back over the plate.
Where it pops the glove on the inside corner for a called strike 3. Great movement on this pitch.
Singer finishes off the 6th by striking out the side.
He missed here with the 2S and it got punished. I think this is a spot where he could work on using the 4S and climbing the ladder with it.
Looking like he’s back in some trouble after the HR, Singer makes a great pitch and he baits the batter into rolling over into an inning-ending double play.
It was a really nice performance for Singer, who was coming off a long rest. The biggest thing that stuck out to me from watching this full start is that the release point on all 4 of his offerings is very consistent. This lets his whole arsenal play up. Also, I was impressed by a couple of instances where he pitched backward and relied on his plus-slider to do the heavy lifting. Finally, the movement on the changeup really looked good. He only threw 6 of them by my count, so maybe he just doesn’t trust it a lot yet. But it’s a potential plus offering for him as well.
I’ve decided to bump Singer’s floor up. His arsenal combined with his feel for pitching and sequencing means I think he will make it as at least an SP5. For now, his ceiling is still an SP3 to me. Without a 4S that he gets to more, I just don’t see him as an ace. Still, he’s going to be a very good piece for the Royals rotation, and he should be pitching in the majors very soon.