Sean Newcomb

Position: LHSP
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Gwinnett Braves
League: International League
Born: 06/12/1993 (Age: 30)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 255
B/T: Left / Left
Acquired: 1st Rd., (#15 overall) 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft (LAA); Acquired in trade for A. Simmons 11/12/15 (ATL)

Prospect Spotlight

Coming over to the Braves as one of the key pieces in the trade that sent Andrelton Simmons (SS, Angels) to Los Angeles before the 2016 season, Newcomb brings big stuff and plus swing-and-miss capability to the table, but is limited by the inability (at least to-date) to limit the walks. Last season for Double-A Mississippi Newcomb struck out 9.77-per- nine innings, and he walked 4.56-per-nine innings, and went six or more innings in only 11 of his 27 starts, while averaging 90-plus pitches per outing. His 60-grade heater sits in the low-to-mid 90s and was up to 96 mph a few times in his last start versus Norfolk. He pairs that with a sharp curveball in the low 80s that shows ingredients to be plus, but the execution is inconsistent and it tends to get loose and takes on a bigger shape. His third pitch is a circle changeup that is firm in the zone and lacks the good dive and velo separation you look for. His arm works very well and he is an athletic kid, so the pitch should develop with time, but he will need to start mixing it in more so that he has options versus big league lineups.

Newcomb is also a fly ball guy (0.76 GO:AO in 2017 and 0.97for his career), which is not a great combo when you’re walking almost five hitters a night — but he has a respectable 7.4 H/9 this season and has only allowed one home run over 42 ⅔ innings pitched. So while the walks are an issue and the fly balls are not ideal, he is keeping the ball off of the barrel and seems able to dial up the put-away pitch when needed.

His walk rate is in line with his 2016 numbers at 4.43 BB/9 – however the strikeouts have spiked a bit to 10.97-per nine. Those two numbers are representative of positive trends, but once again Newcomb isn’t pitching deep into games, as he has only gone more than 5 ⅓ innings twice in eight starts, while averaging about 95 pitches per outing. Newcomb has the stuff to be a very good number four starter at the major league level, however he will have to get more efficient with his pitches and execute on a more consistent basis, lest he get worked over by the more patient big league lineups.