Spectometer Plateau Leap Alert: Stephen Kohlscheen & David Colvin

Another thing the Mariners seem to like to do is snap up pitchers in late rounds in whom they see some upside.

In these fishing expeditions, they seem to favor tall, right-handed guys from college or junior college programs with strikeout potential.

Interestingly, given that the new collective bargaining agreement eliminated the 41st to 50th rounds, they seemed to have a pretty strong track record in that lower part of the draft.


2010 36th round Forest Snow 6-foot-6, 220 8.4 K/9
2010 45th round Stephen Kohlscheen 6-foot-6, 223 10.1 K/9
2010 50th round David Holman 6-foot-6, 220 5.4 K/9
2011 40th round Trevor Miller 6-foot-3, 190 6.7 K/9
2011 44th round Joshua Corrales 6-foot-2, 205 8.7 K/9
2011 47th round Brandon Plotz 6-foot-3, 205 10.0 K/9

Out of that crop, Snow briefly looked like the emerging star, but he was pushed up the ladder too quickly and faded fast before regrouping considerably in 2013 out of the bullpen.  Some of the others didn’t pitch in 2013 and may have been released or quit.

But in 2013, a new potential bullpen asset emerged in Kohlscheen.

The big righty struggled in his junior year at Auburn (6.49 ERA), but he appears to have added some bulk since then (listed at 198 at Auburn, 223 now), and, after a couple of up-and-down years in the Mariner organization, he seems to have pulled everything together this season:

66.2 IP | 2.30 ERA | 2.95 FIP | 1.08 WHIP | 3.4 BB/9 | 11.5 K/9 | .125 ISO-against

Kohlscheen was especially deathly against RH hitters, striking out 36% of them (60 of 168) and holding them to a .184/.275/.272 slash line.

His plateau-leap-itude can be seen in his dropping walk rate (down from 4.6) and WHIP (down from 1.61) while maintaining his sky-high K-rate (11.7 K/9 last year).  Obviously, he figured out how to limit damage while still blowing out a huge number of righty hitters.

Of course, Kohlscheen was in the “Goon Squad” pen at Jackson with fellow strikeout aces Tyler Burgoon and Carson Smith (and many others), so he may have gotten lost in the shuffle a bit, but if he keeps up the 11.5 K/9 with decent command/control he’ll get noticed.


David Colvin follows the same pattern (RH, 6-foot-3, 215, from Pomona-Pitzer in California) except for the “very bottom of the draft” part … he was taken the 27th round, so he’s a gold-plated prospect compared to the above group.

Colvin was actually quite good in 2012, but was kind of old for Clinton so I didn’t rank him too highly.  He was kind of old for High Desert as well, but doing what he did there earns him “plateau leap” status.

These stats are all from the California League:

57.2 IP | 2.34 ERA | 2.54 FIP | 1.21 WHIP | 2.0 BB/9 | 9.7 K/9 | .121 ISO-against

And, somehow, he actually made it through a Cal League season only giving up a single home run at High Desert in 30.2 IP in Adelanto, and only nine other extra-base hits there.

When a pitcher moves from Clinton to High Desert and gets better, that’s worth noting.  And putting him on the map.


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