One of the very first members ot the entire 2012 draft class to appear in the majors, Michael Roth upped his prospect status and now has himself in position to fight for an opening Day roster spot.
Position: LHP Highest Level: MLB
Bats: L Throws: L Height: 6'1" Weight: 210
Age: 23 Born: 2/15/90
2013 Rank: #28
2013 Season Stats
Double-A: 79.1 IP, 6-3, 4.20 ERA, 24 H, 36 BB, 8 HR, 51 SO, 4.93 FIP, .290 BABIP, 47.2 GB%
AFL: 21.0 IP, 1-0, 3.43 ERA, 18 H, 10 BB, 0 HR, 10 SO, 3.82 FIP, .273 BABIP
MLB: 20.0 IP, 1-1, 7.20 ERA, 24 H, 6 BB, 0 HR, 17 SO, 2.40 FIP, .369 BABIP, 41.3 GB%
Fastball = B-
I know this grade bucks conventional wisdom on Michael Roth but hear me out. In college, he was a lefty that sat 86-89 mph that lived low and on the corners. The average major league fastball from a LHP is between 88-90 mph, and average grades earn a “C” in this grading system. Last season, in his relief appearances, Roth was sitting 91-93 mph. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering where that extra 4-5 mph came from. I’ve come to the conclusion that 2-3 of it came from Roth just rocking back and firing knowing full well he didn’t have to last more than an inning or two. The other 2 mph probably came from increased strength and higher quality coaching that helped him get the most from his body. When Roth returned to a starting role in AA he was still sitting 90-91 with regularity.
Offspeed Pitches = C+
Roth offers a plus changeup and two different types of curve (one for a LHB, another for a RHB) that are used to offer a bit of a different look. The changeup is really what keeps hitters off-balance, but as we saw this past season, the side-arm curve he uses on LHB can be knee-buckling.
Control = C
I’m really tempted to give Roth a better grade than this because I know he has considerably more control than we saw while he was with the Angels and what he showed in AA this season. But the numbers aren’t lying, right now he’s sporting a BB/9 up toward 5. I’m not worried though, before long it will be more reflective of his abilities.
Command = B
Roth rarely misses to the point where he’s made a huge mistake. When he misses his spots, it’s usually where the batter can’t punish him. So combined with his abilities as a finesse type of pitcher, Roth is above average in this department.
Mechanics = B
Last season, I noted that Roth alternated between a side-arm delivery against LHB and a three-quarters delivery on RHB and that this approach never works at the Major League level. Though his ERA wasn’t pretty, Roth definitely showed last year that he can and will use multiple arm angles at the Major League level. It’s part of what makes him such an effective pitcher and he continues to pull it off.