Tanner Witt was a late first-round target for teams in the 2020 MLB Draft out of high school. He made it clear, however, that he wanted to go to college. He helped lead the Texas Longhorns to the semifinals of the 2021 College World Series. In only his second start of his sophomore season, Witt went down to a UCL injury that sidelined him until May 1st of this year. Upon his return, it was clear that he was not game-ready, but he has still shown the upside that Major League teams want from collegiate pitchers.
🤘 @TexasBaseball defeats Tennessee, 8-4, to move on in the College World Series.
Tanner Witt was excellent out of the bullpen for the Horns, 5.2 scoreless.
— Teddy Cahill (@tedcahill) June 22, 2021
Tanner Witt Draft Profile
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Tanner Witt has a plus fastball that sits between 92-95 and can touch 97. Add in an upper-70s curveball with downward movement and you have two plus pitches that Tanner can build from. His changeup projects to be his thirst best pitch when all is said and done, and could give him a repertoire of three-plus pitches with an above-average slider to round it out. Witt has shown the ability to strike batters out, as through 75.2 college innings, he has struck out 93 batters for a K/9 of 11.06. If Witt’s performance can improve as projected, you can expect an upper-9 K/9 from him in The Bigs.
Tanner Witt’s biggest weakness is his control. In those same 75.2 collegiate innings, he has walked a total of 34 batters. This gives him a BB/9 of 4.04. He is expected to improve upon his control, however, and locate his pitches better. If he is able to do so, his ceiling projects to be a number two or number three starter. If his control does not improve, his ceiling may be as a long reliever making spot starts on double-header days or filling in due to injuries.
MLB Player Comparison
The closest MLB player to compare Tanner Witt to would be Miles Mikolas of the St. Louis Cardinals. Mikolas debuted in MLB on May 5th, 2012. He has since spent time with three different clubs, with most of his career coming as a Cardinal. Mikolas has pitched to a career ERA of 3.70 across 792.2 innings with 594 strikeouts. He has been an All-Star twice and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting once.
While Miles Mikolas has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, he has always stayed right around league average in terms of production. The 34-year-old has also dealt with a number of injuries and has only qualified for the ERA title three times. Tanner Witt definitely has the potential to shatter expectations and be an even better pitcher than Miles Mikolas once all is said and done. He most certainly projects to be a better strikeout artist than Mikolas, despite also projecting to walk more batters than Mikolas does. However, the similarities in their repertoire, including velocity and break, show that Tanner Witt may be on a path that leads this late-first-rounder to the middle of a perennial contenders rotation.
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