Doval was easily the hardest thrower of the night in the California League All-Star Game, named to the North team because of his power stuff despite an unsightly 5.19 ERA in the first half. The 21-year-old signed with San Francisco prior to the 2016 season and has been used exclusively in relief as a pro. There’s natural deception in his crossfire delivery, especially to righties, though the way he uncoils wildly down the mound impacts his control. Doval’s fastball touches triple-digits and sits in the upper-90s, exploding on hitters from a slingy low three-quarters release point. It could play as a plus pitch right now if he threw more consistent strikes, though what’s presently 30-grade control/command causes him to fall into hitter’s counts and spray fastballs over the plate. Doval’s best off-speed is a 92-to-96 mph cutter, which flashes above-average with sharp, late bite away from right-handed bats. He throws a true slider in the 87-to-90 mph range, though it’s a below-average pitch he struggles to stay on top of.
The velocity and deception give Doval the tools to pitch in a setup role, though he’ll need to significantly improve his control to reach that upside. He also could use another speed, as everything is hard and there’s little in his arsenal to work against lefties. He’s holding same-side hitters to a paltry .183 average and keeps the ball on the ground, traits that give a more realistic ceiling of a hard-throwing middle reliever who can induce double plays and face mostly righties. Doval is young enough that there’s still time to project on his overall pitchability. Power arms like this typically have a short shelf life, but can move to the big leagues quickly if one thing clicks.