Marcus Stroman #94 – 2013 Top 100
Toronto Blue Jays
Date of Birth: May 1st, 1991 (22 years old)
Origin: 1st Round Pick(#22 overall) in 2012 out of Duke University
Weight: 185 lbs.
- 2011 College Notes, Volume 05 (Jeff Reese)
- 2012 College Notes, Volume 10 (Jeff Reese)
- 2012 Shadow Mock Draft (Bullpen Banter)
- 1st Day MLB Draft Reactions (Bullpen Banter)
Al Skorupa: Stroman was one of my favorite amateurs I saw last Spring. He’s an undersized power arm, yes, and there are questions about his ultimate role. Yet for all that, teams discussed taking him very high in the draft.
Stroman is an excellent athlete who played shortstop until his Junior season at Duke. Unfortunately he also has the pitching mechanics of a converted shortstop… with a hip slap and head jerk delivery. Normally those things often prevent a pitcher from repeating his delivery and hamper his command and control. In Stroman’s case his athleticism compensates for much of this and allows him to succeed and thrive.
The arsenal of pitches is impressive. He possesses a lively fastball in the mid 90’s with lots of running action, and the capability to reach back and run it up higher and harder when he needs to. The slider is Stroman’s best pitch, and its a plus plus offering that hitters weakly flail at. He also throws a cutter that works great with the slider, and his changeup fools plenty of hitters waiting on his other pitches.
Stroman is capable of starting in the big leagues in terms of pure stuff, command and control. The question is if his body can hold up to big innings pitched workloads. Given his athletic ability I’d be inclined to give him the chance to start, but he could be an absolutely devastating relief arm as soon as Opening Day.
Conor Dowely: Honestly, there’s not much I disagree with in Al’s assessment of Stroman. He has wicked stuff in either the rotation or the bullpen, and it could play in the majors very soon if the Blue Jays are so inclined. His delivery definitely has some red flags to it that could force him to the bullpen on its own; it’s choppy, there’s some bad motion in there, and he has issues repeating it well.
That said, I do think that with a little patience and proper coaching, Stroman’s athleticism can allow him to fix those delivery issues, or at least lessen them. If he can, the loose command he’s shown would tighten down, and that incredibly impressive slider would become a much more consistent pitch. If he can do that, he could become a solid #2 or a very good #3, especially if he harnesses the changeup that he flashed a few times when I saw him this past summer. If not, than you can do a lot worse than a potentially elite reliever.
Jeff Reese: So we have a consensus! My first look at Marcus Stroman came during his sophomore year at Duke, and it did not go well. The fastball and slider were still impressive offerings, but his control was poor and command non-existent. The start that I saw last year began similarly; however, the light switch suddenly flipped in the third inning of that start. When it did, Stroman morphed into one of the most dominant starters that I had the chance to watch.
The fastball overpowered hitters; the slider made them look silly with awkward, half-hearted swings; and the change up – while a bit firm – gave hitters another pitch to take empty swings at. Sonny Gray has been given the opportunity to prove that he can start in pro ball; hopefully the Blue Jays give Marcus Stroman the same opportunity. If they avoid the temptation of immediately throwing him into their bullpen, I think he’ll prove to be capable.
Fantasy Outlook by Al Skorupa:
While there are some reasons to believe Stroman is capable of starting, it seems much more likely he’ll move quickly into a bullpen role. Stroman throws mid 90′s plus with swing and miss stuff so he’s someone who should be capable of handling late innings and high leverage situations. The time lost to suspension should delay Stroman’s ETA, but he is not at all far from major league ready. The Toronto bullpen is fairly unsettled for the 2013 season and going forward, which only adds to the likelihood that the Jays bring him up quickly in a relief role.
Stroman’s stuff easily exceeds that of current Jays Closer Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos is still working his way back from
Tommy John shoulder surgery. If his ascent continues it’s not hard to imagine the diminutive right-hander soon forcing his way into a major role in the bullpen. Whether as a starter or reliever Stroman is a potential impact arm who is going to miss lots of bats.