DOB: 01/04/1992 (Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6'3", 195 pounds
Drafted: First Round, 2014 (Cal-State Fullerton)
Michael Lorenzen is a stellar athlete, and it shows in his fluid motions on the mound. His athleticism and loose arm action help him generate an above-average fastball, which sits in the high 90s, with good, late life.
Lorenzen's second pitch, a slurve, projects to be a second plus offering at maturity, and when he's locating his fastball well, the pitch is a true swing-and-miss offering. Lorenzen can locate his fastball and slurve with relative consistency—his fastball more so than his breaking ball—and that figures to improve as he adapts to life as a full-time pitcher.
Lorenzen is a competitor, and he handled aggressive assignments well in 2013, working through four separate minor league levels in just a few months time. Another aggressive assignment in 2014 had Lorenzen working as a starter for the first time in his career, at the Double-A level.
The 22-year-old has stymied opposing hitters through the first half of the season, and he appears to be on the fast track toward a spot in the Reds' starting rotation.
Lorenzen is new to starting, and his fastball will likely lose a few ticks as he adjusts to working more than two innings at a time. Though it will still play as a plus pitch, Lorenzen will have to be wary of leaving the pitch up and over the plate, as he'll no longer be able to blow the pitch past more advanced hitters.
Lorenzen's changeup is still a work in progress. Compared to major league pitchers, Lorenzen's change is a below-average pitch, and he'll need it to function as at least an average offering in order to survive as a No. 2 or mid-rotation starter.
The Cal-State Fullerton product will also need to improve his command. He's walking just 2.7 batters per nine innings, but his pitch count tends to limit him from working past the fifth or sixth inning.