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Orioles prospect season in review: Tanner Scott

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The fireballing relief prospect has moved quickly, but is still a work in progress...

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles drafted Tanner Scott in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. They must have thought highly of the big lefty because they almost tripled the slot allocation of $240,000 and offered him a signing bonus of $650,000. What was the hubbub? Premium velocity. Scott’s fastball sits mid 90s and he can touch 100 miles per hour.

Scott’s short season debut in 2014 was shaky at best. He walked (20) nearly as many batters as he struck out (23) in 23 innings, but he showed enough improvement at Aberdeen in 2015, that he was pushed to Delmarva before season’s end.

Across both levels, Scott struck out 60 and walked 22 in 42.1 innings. Scott logged eight more appearances in the Arizona Fall League and struck out ten more batters. Scott was named to the AFL’s Top Prospects list.

Scott started appearing more prominently on Orioles top prospect lists at the beginning of 2016. John Sickels ranked him 19th in the system, Fangraphs ranked him 15th and MLB.com had him ranked 10th by the end of the season. He turned heads in Spring Training when he struck out the side in a March 10 exhibition game against the Yankees. What to make of Scott’s 2016? Well, he’s got the stuff, but he’s not exactly the finished article, is he?

Tanner Scott began 2016 as a member of the Frederick Keys. He struck out 30% of the batters he faced, but pitched to a 4.47 ERA/3.94 FIP. At the end of July, the Warehouse brain trust made the decision to bump Scott up to Bowie.

Scott ended up walking 15 batters in 16 innings and striking out 18 while batters hit .429 on balls in play. He didn’t make a whole lot of appearances on which one could render judgment, but his strikeout rate dropped down to 23%, though his walk rate was not all that different from his rate at Frederick.

Scott obviously has the stuff to generate whiffs and has demonstrated an almost Britton-esque ability to generate grounders (56.3% at Frederick, 58.5% at Bowie)...and did I mention that he’s a lefty? Can he put it all together and become another homegrown weapon in the Orioles pen? Maybe we’ll learn a little more about Tanner Scott when he spends this autumn in Arizona on Peter Angelos’s dime.

Stats from Fangraphs, MiLB.com and StatCorner.com