We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Micah Ottenbreit, 18 years old, RHP
Ottenbreit is a super-projectable righty with low-90s velo right now and a more advanced curveball/changeup complement than is typical for a cold weather high schooler. While his stuff quality is advanced, that descriptor does not extend to his command. Pitches often sail on him, up and to his arm side. He needs to develop control several grades better than he currently has just to be a reliever, but Ottenbreit has starter-quality stuff and fits in with the $1 million prep arm archetype that typically falls toward the top of the 40 FV tier on our lists.
Jay: 20, Ethan: 20, Alex: 19
Holy smokes is that kid young.
Seriously, look at that picture. I know that we are all getting older and that eventually, there are players in the big leagues who were born after 2000 and it will happen with regularity soon, but whenever I see a player this young, it’s just striking to see. Anyway...
Ottenbreit looks like one of those kids who really, really needs professional coaching. In this video, as the scouting report says, almost all of his misses were high and inside to his arm side. You can see why so many of the right-handed batters were flinching since they were likely scared to death. When he was able to throw strikes, there was a solid, repeatable delivery, a decent curveball that locked up a few of the batters and working changeup. When a team drafts a pitcher, they are looking for that stuff first, thinking that if the control is fixable, they might have something on their hands. Considering the Phillies went overslot to sign Ottenbreit, they obviously believe they can teach him that command he needs. The tools are there for him to get better as he adds some strength, but hoo boy do they need to teach him some command.
The foundation for him to be a major league starter is there. Adding some good weight to his frame is the first step, followed by professional coaching. He’ll probably start in the complex league in 2022, but if he can start to harness the control even a little bit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a few end of season starts in Low-A. He’s a project, for sure, but one that could have some dividends paid in a few seasons.
Keep an eye on Ottenbreit this year.