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DOB: 1/17/1991 (Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 185
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (UCLA)
The third overall selection in the 2011 draft, Bauer opened the 2012 season at Double-A Mobile and posted a 1.68 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 48.1 innings. He was promptly promoted to Triple-A Reno in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, where he registered a 2.82 ERA over eight starts.
Bauer was called up to the majors in late June and registered a 6.06 ERA with 13 walks in 16.1 innings. Command issues and general tentativeness, as well his unwillingness to make changes requested by the Diamondbacks, resulted in a trade to Indians this offseason.
6’1”, 185-pound right-hander who’s limber and athletic; employs an unorthodox, torque-oriented delivery; well-documented training regimen including pole-to-pole long toss before starts; cerebral hurler who utilizes physics to optimize delivery; head pulls off to glove side and prevents consistent release point; explosive, quick arm; everything is masked with deception.
Fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s with some late arm-side action; flattens out when left up in the zone; curveball is an absolute hammer and a second plus pitch; delivery makes it especially deceptive and difficult to recognize out of his hand; loaded arsenal also features a tumbling splitter, slider and above-average changeup.
Struggled in majors as he tried to nibble at the strike zone; didn’t trust his pure stuff; tried to fool hitters with deep arsenal; more concerned about executing perfect pitches; concerns about his makeup and coachability, shaky relationship with organization contributed to disappointing showing.
Spring Training Forecast
Bauer will enter the spring with a legitimate chance to break camp in the Tribe’s starting rotation, though he’ll have to show that last year’s command issues are behind him.
The right-hander has a legitimate chance to make the team’s Opening Day rotation, though the Indians may decide to send him to Triple-A to open the season. Either way, Bauer will likely spend a majority of the 2013 season in the major leagues.