Player: Colby Suggs
Drafted by: Miami Marlins (No. 73 Overall)
DOB: 10/25/1991 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’/225 lbs.
Previously Drafted: N/A
It didn’t take long for Colby Suggs to emerge as a weapon out of the Arkansas bullpen. As a freshman, the right-hander registered a minuscule 0.90 ERA and .133 BAA with 22 strikeouts in 20 innings but also issued 17 walks during that span.
Suggs dominated again as a sophomore in 2012, registering a 1.38 ERA and .203 BAA while walking 19 batters over 39 innings of work. And while he did fan his share of batters during that span (36), his overall strikeout rate was down from the previous year.
However, Suggs bounced back in style over the summer, playing for the Wareham Gatemen in the prestigious Cape Cod League and posting a 1.37 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 19.2 innings. More importantly, the right-hander showcased vastly improved command with only eight walks during that span.
Unfortunately, the adjustments Suggs made over the summer didn’t carry over into his junior campaign this season. Serving as the Razorbacks’ closer exclusively for the first time in his collegiate career, he registered a 1.74 ERA with 12 saves in 23 appearances and allowed only 10 hits during that span. And even though the right-hander posted the best strikeout rate of his career (12.63 K/9) with 29 punch-outs in 20.2 innings, he also posted a career-worst walk rate (7.40 BB/9).
Although he may receive some consideration as a starter at the next level—as is the case with many college relievers who feature two dynamic pitches—Suggs’ lack of physical projection and high-effort delivery will likely restrict him to a late-inning role. That said, he’s a candidate to be selected in either the second or third round this year and could conceivably hop on the fast track to the major leagues with the right organization.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
6’, 225-pound frame is durable but requires little to no physical projection; some athleticism present; utilizes powerful lower half to generate velocity; max-effort delivery; use of shoulders and glove hand help to create downhill plane toward the plate.
Currently a plus pitch with plus-plus potential; sits comfortably in the 93-96 mph range; features natural sinking action when located down in the zone; heavy pitch that eats up right-handed batters; can reach back for 97-98 mph; fastball becomes very hittable when left up in the zone.
Feel for breaking ball has steadily improved over the last year; when he’s on, the pitch has tight spin and sharp, downer bite; potential swing-and-miss offering at the next level; thrown consistently in the 78-83 mph range and is a hammer when he’s locating the fastball.
The reason he’s never been developed as a starter; max-effort delivery can hinder ability to control both pitches; has the stuff to be effective in short bursts even when he struggles to throw strikes; relies on overpowering opposing hitters rather than making perfect pitch.
Stressful delivery and tendency to overthrow results in below-average command; gives up few hits and misses plenty of bats, but perennially high walk rate is concerning; ironing out some mechanical kinks may allow him to pound the zone more consistently; fringy fastball command and tendency to pitch up in the zone could lead to initial struggles as a professional.
MLB Player Comparison: Heath Bell
Projection: Closer for a second-division team
MLB ETA: 2014
Chances of Signing: 95%