The Dodgers drafted five pitchers in the first 10 rounds of the 2012 MLB Draft, two of which profile as relief pitchers. Scott Griggs is the hardest thrower of the five, and could have a future at the back-end of a bullpen.
How He Got Here
Griggs was the Dodgers’ eighth-round selection in the 2012 MLB Draft and signed for $135,100, the recommended slot amount for the 266th overall pick. He attended UCLA and fared well as the team’s closer, as he struck out 64 in 37 1/3 innings in his junior season. Previously, he was drafted in the 34th round of the draft in 2009 by the Mariners, but he declined to sign.
In 2012, Griggs pitched at two levels of the minors in his debut season — Rookie League Ogden and Low-A Great Lakes. The 21-year-old pitched decently against slightly younger competition, posting a 14.7 K/9 and 4.1 H/9 in 11 innings. Unfortunately for Griggs, he also walked 6.5 batters per nine innings, which is one of the biggest question marks about him going forward. He was promoted to Great Lakes and his numbers suffered, as expected for a first-year player. The biggest thing that stands out is he walked 13 batters in 11 2/3 innings — something that won’t get it done for him in the future.
Griggs is 6’4, 205 pounds, and the weight is probably pretty accurate. He has a good frame for a power reliever, and he could put on a little weight and not have to worry.
Griggs has a two-pitch arsenal — a fastball and power curveball.
When I saw him, his fastball sat in the 92-94 MPH range and touched 96. He can get a little wild with the pitch, but it’s a potentially plus pitch based on the velocity.
His curveball is a power breaker that sits in the upper-70s. It has sharp break and, while not as good as his fastball, is a swing-and-miss pitch. Jared Massey (Dodger Diamond) pointed out that Griggs slows down his arm when he throws his curveball, which is something the minor-league pitching coaches will have to work to improve, as big league hitters — and good minor-league hitters — will pick up on that quickly.
He could add a third pitch down the road, but his two-pitch combination should be enough to get him through the minors. If he gets his command issues resolved, he could be a setup man and possibly close in a pinch.
Griggs’ delivery is clean and smooth. He throws from the windup before there are any runners on base, which is not exactly surprising, as most relief pitchers these days throw exclusively from the stretch. There are no hitches or funk in his delivery. He delivers his pitches from a true overhand arm slot, helping him to get some nice downward movement on his fastball. He can bore it in on right-handers.
Griggs has the potential to be a late-inning reliever. His command and control are going to determine his future, but he has arm talent that can’t be taught. His mechanics are solid, so his control issues appear to be mental. If Griggs can be more efficient with his two-pitch mix, he could be — at worse — a setup man. If he has control issues throughout his career, the best he could hope for is a middle relief role.