Joshua Sborz

Position: RHSP
Level: High A
Affiliate: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Age: 22
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 2nd Rd. (CBB), 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft (LAD)

Prospect Spotlight

Sborz entered the 2016 season as the 20th-ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ organization; a slightly depressed ranking due to the upper levels of their system being loaded with some baseball’s best prospects.  I was able to get a look at Sborz on May 12th versus the Lancaster Jethawks, my first look at him since his College World Series appearances with Virginia in 2015.  While his final line (9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 Ks and 1 BB across 5. 2 IP) was pedestrian, it does not reflect how well he threw and the level of stuff that was on display.  He had little help from his defense and at least five of the nine hits were off of weak contact; with three slow rollers for infield hits, a bleeder that snuck through a drawn-in infield and one broken bat flare that found outfield grass.  The homer and two doubles he gave up were scalded, but, all-in-all, he deserved better.

Sborz boasts at least two potential plus offerings with his fastball and slider to go along with above-average future command.  Nothing he throws is straight — his fastball gets tail to both sides and has some serious late hop in the strike-zone, and will also get some cut action to the glove side.  He can really dial up some bore in on righties, as well.  The slider has tight, ¾ depth and bites late; he is a little inconsistent with it now, as he will drop his elbow and get on the side of it at times, but it has the makings of a swing-and-miss pitch.  He will mix in a curveball, but he used it sparingly this time out and it showed more as a variation of the slider.

His strong frame, athletic actions and compact delivery make it easy for him to repeat, and while he does have some effort and looks a bit deliberate at times, as he gains better feel for his rhythm I see things smoothing out.  Not that they are the same pitcher, but with his body type and the efficiency of his actions, I see a little bit of Zack Greinke in there. Since the draft, there has been some industry discussion on whether or not Sborz should stay in the rotation or focus on becoming a back-end of the bullpen guy.  For me, it hinges on his development of the changeup.  He threw three on May 12 at 84 mph, but they lacked much action and he did not show feel.  Should he be able to develop the pitch, it will give him something going away from lefties and I think he’ll have a real chance to be a solid middle-rotation guy. – Dave DeFreitas