MLB Draft Profile: Sam Bachman

MLB Draft Profile: Sam Bachman

by May 19, 2021 3 comments

Miami (Ohio) will look to add to their already impressive 13 Major League pitchers when hard-throwing Sam Bachman is selected in the first round of the 2021 MLB draft in Atlanta.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 235 lbs.
Age: 21
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2019: 7-1, 3.93 ERA, 75 SOs, 1.361 WHIP
2020: 1-2, 3.42 ERA, 31 SOs, 1.310 WHIP
2021: 3-3, 2.25 ERA, 75 SOs, 0.833 WHIP

Scouting Grades

Fastball: 70
Slider: 65
Changeup: 55
Control: 50
Overall: 55

Bachman will most likely be the program’s first-ever first-round selection. However, it was not always a foregone conclusion that he would be a first-round selection. Coming into college, he was the 260th ranked RHP in the country and was only reaching the low 90s on his fastball and slider. After his first two years of college ball, he was able to get his fastball around 94. Today, Bachman is throwing in the upper 90s and even hits 101 on the gun. He came into college as a very raw, and underdeveloped arm. Now, he may be the most interesting prospect in the draft.

Strengths

While command will be something to look out for, especially with the types of pitches and movement he has, his power and rapid improvement on his breaking pitches is something that scouts rave about. Entering college, he was just getting his fastball above 90. He will walk into his first day as a pro ballplayer in the upper-90s and low-100s. With sinking action on his fastball, he generates a lot of groundball and swing-and-miss stuff.

Not only has his fastball gotten stronger, but his slider is also now sitting in the mid-80s with a lot more bite. While his fastball is what will make him a rich man, he has done an exceptional job locating his slider. With 80 percent of his sliders being called a strike and a 22 percent swing-and-miss rate. If he can find some control and command, his slider may become a devastating put-away pitch. His changeup, which he primarily throws to lefties, also has more zip (85-88) but is not at the point of being a pitch he can count on to get some outs.

Bachman has pro-ready stuff already. His fastball and slider combination has proven to be an effective one-two combo that any hitter should be concerned about. He doesn’t quite have the command needed for his fastball, but his slider has proven to be a great finishing pitch. If he can develop a third pitch, he could become one of the better pitching prospects in this draft.

Weaknesses

Bachman could be a starter in this league, but his game translates to more of a high-leverage reliever. He worked hard on his athleticism and conditioning in college and it shows. However, losing most of the 2020 season due to covid and missing time this season has only allowed him to go over the 75-pitch mark once since the COVID-19 pandemic. This should not be a real problem as many starters make the transition to the bullpen after getting drafted, but Bachman has only made a relief appearance once in his college career so it may take him longer to get comfortable in a different role.

Another area of concern is that he tends to allow too many men on base. He allowed 4.1 BB/9 in his first two seasons of college ball and had a WHIP of 1.335 in that span. He has since lowered his WHIP to 0.833 and BB/9 to 2.8 in the 2021 season. As mentioned above, he has significantly improved the rate at which he throws his slider and fastball for strikes, but his changeup is practically non-existent to this point. He does not have a real feel for the pitch leading to a lack of movement and trouble hitting his locations. A lack of a third pitch is what is keeping him from being a top-10 pick in this draft when he has top-10 potential.

Scouts are urging Bachman to slow down and control the pace of the game, especially with the power that comes behind his pitches. His up-tempo motion will wear him down and make him lose some of his best stuff as he goes deeper into his appearances. Not only that, but with his big frame, he will be more prone to injury.

Pro Comparison: Emmanuel Clase

Both players throw hard, have bigger frames, and have some serious swing-and-miss stuff. Clase was moved to the bullpen after being traded to the Rangers and struck out 27 batters in 28.1 IP in Low-A Spokane. He was then dealt to the Cleveland Indians and has a 1.00 ERA with 19 SOs in 18.0 IP. Bachman has the same potential to be a scary, and exciting arm out of the pen.

Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 17, Cincinnati Reds

Bachman could very well find himself in the top-10 if a team likes his ability as a starter. However, many teams see him as a late-round reliever and he will most likely slip in this draft. That is no knock on him, but he is an unpolished project right now. He has all the tools to be a successful reliever right now. If his goal is to reach the major leagues as fast as possible, committing to a bullpen role would be smart.

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Main Image Credit: https://miamiredhawks.com/sports/baseball/roster/sam-bachman/6662

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