10 words or fewer: LHRP offers lots of strikeouts and promise. Nearly MLB-ready.
Position: RP | Age (2016): 23
Throws: L | Bats: L
Height: 6’2″ | Weight: 225
2015 Rank: Unranked
Fastball – B- This is more of a relative grade, as Mahle has occasional appearances where he’s only throwing 88-89, and others in which he’ll be 92-93. The average lefty throws 89-90, so he does have an above average fastball most of the time, and others, more of an average offering.
Off-speed Pitches – B-. I haven’t seen Mahle use a change up at all, but he does throw a bit of a Frisbee slider which should be absolute death on LHB.
Control – A. As is the pattern from the Dipoto regime of the Angels, a lot of future backend starters and RPs were drafted with the exact opposite repertorie as every other bullpen prospect. Instead of hard throwing types with no control, we’re seeing a lot of crafty strike throwers. Mahle fall sin the latter, as he osted a 2.2 BB/9 this season.
Command – B. In Spring Training, Mahle was lit up by major league quality hitters when he wasn’t in full form. I think when he’s nice and warmed up and finds his groove, his command could result in getting major league hitters out.
Mechanics – B. Mahle’s a pure lefty reliever, coming from a borderline sidearm arm, which makes it appear as though the ball is coming from behind the ball against LHP. The mechanics of a RP really matter little themselves, as RP’s have such a short, yet dynamic lifespan anyway. Whatever way they get hitters out, tends to be fine with major league organizations.
Performance – B+. It’s hard not to be optimistic about Greg’s 2015 performance. As a relatively unknown 15th round selection out of Santa Barbara, in his first season he climbed up to AA, posted an ERA in the low threes, kept his hits down, walks even lower and struck out more than a batter per inning. The only way I can really picture it going better is if he had ridiculous video game numbers in the minors like Bedrosian did.
Projection – C. Not a whole lot of projection to Mahle. He sort of is what he is, but that’s not such a bad thing in his case. He’s been so consistently good in the minors that he earned 25 saves in his first season. However, because his velocity isn’t through the roof, it’s hard to picture Mahle being a closer in the majors. His splits vs. righties and lefties indicate both have struggled to mount much of anything against him, which makes it seem as though Mahle could be an effective setup man or middle reliever. This makes a lot of sense to me. But I think at the worst, Mahle should emerge as a very effective option to deploy against LHB.
Estimated Time of Arrival – 2017. AA really wasn’t much of a challenge for Mahle. He should be moved up to AAA this year with the chance for a potential September call-up. But in 2017, that’s where I think we’ll see him emerge as consistent tool to be utilized in the late innings.
What to expect in 2016 – AAA. Pacific Coast League. Salt Lake City. Pretty much every pitcher’s nightmare. If Mahle can keep them at bay, the majors shouldn’t be out of his reach.
Most Likely Scenario – I think Mahle will be used primarily as a lefty specialist in 2017, and then in 2018 and 2019, he’ll begin to be utilized in more of a full inning role, making him a middle reliever.
Grade as a Prospect – C. Middle relievers or lefty specialists just can’t really qualify as elite prospects, no matter how consistent they are.