Player: Tom Windle
Drafted by: Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 56 Overall)
DOB: 3/10/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’4”/215 lbs.
Previously Drafted: 2010: Chicago White Sox (28th round)
Selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 28th round of the 2010 draft, Tom Windle, a native of Maple Grove, decided to honor his commitment to the University of Minnesota rather than begin his professional career.
Working primarily out of the Gophers’ bullpen during his freshman season, the left-hander registered a 1.52 ERA with 35/11 K/BB in 41.1 innings spanning 19 appearances. As a sophomore in 2012, he turned in another strong performance in relief, posting a 3.27 ERA and 37/17 K/BB while appearing in 18 games.
Windle’s first significant exposure as a starter came last summer in the Cape Cod League, and he made the most of the opportunity by showcasing advanced command of three pitches.
Overall, he registered a 2.34 ERA with 47/7 K/BB in 38.1 innings. His overwhelming success resulted in a full-time move to the starting rotation this spring, and the southpaw responded with the best season of his career. Making 14 starts for the Gophers, he posted a 2.14 ERA with 86/33 K/BB and allowed only 70 hits in 92.2 innings.
Even though he’s one of the better college left-handers in this year’s class, Windle’s high floor makes him a safe prospect and one who will likely be selected in the second round.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Has a projectable 6’4”, 215-pound frame with room to add strength; stiff arm action that looks forced; creates natural deception; minimal hip rotation; some use of lower half; almost max-effort delivery, though he repeats it well; tends to rely on arm strength.
Sits 90-92 mph with late life to his arm side; has bumped 93-94 mph early in starts and in shorter bursts; throws the pitch on a consistent downhill plane; will pound lower portion of the strike zone when he’s on; attacks hitters both vertically and horizontally; has a feel for changing eye levels.
Inconsistent offering but flashes plus potential; thrown in 81-84 mph range with depth and tilt off fastball plane; pitch is difficult to recognize due to arm action; tight rotation; only potential swing-and-miss offering.
Potential solid-average pitch thrown at 80-82 mph; really sells the pitch thanks to unorthodox arm action; turns it over well to create some sink and fade to the arm side; highly effective when he’s painting with the fastball.
Possesses some of the best control in the draft class; plays up due to his natural deception; always around zone with all three pitches; overall consistency separates him from the field.
Demonstrates a legitimate feel for pitching; fastball command throughout strike zone is crucial to success of secondary offerings; changes opposing hitters’ eye levels well; good sequencing; aggressive approach allows him to challenge both right- and left-handed hitters; will be forced to improve command of slider and changeup at the next level.
MLB Player Comparison: Tony Cingrani
Projection: Ceiling of a No. 3 starter; floor of a late-inning, left-handed reliever.
MLB ETA: 2015
Chances of Signing: 85 percent