Sam Weatherly 2020 MLB Draft Profile

Sam Weatherly
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Sam Weatherly is a left handed starting pitcher, currently in his Junior year at Clemson University. He is 20 years old, six-feet, four-inches tall and weighs 213 pounds. Sam is listed as the 86th ranked prospect on MLB.com. He was initially drafted in 2017 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round, but he decided to honor his commitment to Clemson. It’s a good thing he did as he has had time to develop and show some of his promising potential on the mound.

Weatherly’s freshman season at Clemson was inconsistent, but would develop into an All-American Third Team selection. He showed great improvement as a sophomore, and he really got into a groove during the abbreviated 2020 season. Before the pandemic struck, he boasted two wins and zero losses, 43 strikeouts in 22.2 innings and a 0.79 ERA. He was among the top ten in the NCAA Division I in opponent average with .096. Additionally, he had a 0.926 WHIP.

Strengths

Sam Weatherly uses a solid slider in the low-80 MPH  range that gets both right- and left- handed-hitters to chase. He also has some heat on his fastball that consistently gets in the low 90s. His athleticism is above average as evident by his being a two-way player during his freshman season and this athleticism should help him.

Throughout his college career, he has 106 strikeouts over 72.1 innings pitched. Although college stats can be deceiving for pitchers, his numbers carry some weight to them since he was facing valid competition in the ACC.

Probably his best strength is his ability to learn and improve. His first year at Clemson he struggled with command as a two-way player. The following year he spent most his time as a relief pitcher and improved his ERA from 6.64 down to 3.38. He also doubled his strikeout count despite pitching only nine more innings. This year was showing promise and further improvement before the shutdown. Perhaps one of the strongest skills to have when making the jump to the MLB is the ability to improve.

Weaknesses

Weatherly has made great strides, but he still needs to work on his control. Fewer hitters will chase his pitches in the major leagues, and this location issue has plagued him throughout his career. The caveat is that there are some signs of improvement. Also, it is common among young pitchers to struggle with control early on.

In addition to control, his changeup needs some work. It flashes signs of potential when he can get it to drop, but the consistency is not there yet. The strength of his third pitch is not a huge red flag considering he will have time to develop it.

There is a question about whether he will start or relieve at the next level. He possesses the stuff, size, and the athleticism to start. However, his success out of the bullpen in college coupled with his control issues could make him a long-term reliever.

MLB player Comparison

Brad Hand is a left-handed-relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. His six-foot, three-inch tall, 220 pound frame is similar to Weatherly’s. Hand throws a low 90s four-seam and low 80s slider not unlike Sam Weatherly. Hand similarly gets hitters to chase pitches but sometimes struggles with control. However, he also has a high strikeout rate.

Sam Weatherly has stuff that can play at the next level, the question that remains pertains to what role he should be developed in.

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