The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Chase Petty, a hard-throwing right-handed prep prospect out of New Jersey.
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Chase Petty, Right-Handed Pitcher, Mainland Regional (N.J.)
Weight: 185 lbs.
2018: 11 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 11 K
2019: 11 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
2021: 42 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 15 BB, 82 K
This Chase Petty kid is good. The right-hander has dominated in high school, firing near-no-hitters left and right and racking up more than a dozen strikeouts quite frequently. The Florida commit has an elite fastball as well as a slider that complements his heater quite nicely. There is no doubt that Petty will hear his name called in the first round of this summer’s MLB Draft.
Let’s start with the obvious: the heater. Petty fires his fastball with immense confidence, power, and strength. He consistently fires between 95 mph and 99 mph, maxing out at 102 mph in-game. Wow. Undeniably, his stuff mirrors and even one-ups that of the top pitchers in the Majors, so the projection with Petty is obviously going to be quite favorable. Of course, having an elite fastball means nothing if you don’t have another pitch to complement it with. That’s where his slider comes in.
Petty employs a very dominant slider, too. This pitch also has velocity, sitting in the upper-90s, and runs glove-side (away from right-handed hitters). There’s room for him to improve this pitch (more on that later), but when he throws it, you can clearly see just how nasty of a pitch it could develop into.
The right-hander is also working on a slider, the development of which has progressed nicely. It’s not a lethal pitch at this point, but it has some pretty good drop. For Petty, adding a third pitch is crucial. Beyond a one-two punch (in Petty’s case, the fastball and slider), having a third offering is essential, even if it’s just an average pitch. Quite simply, having the ability to abandon his first two offerings could at least create an element of surprise for batters, if not more. Ultimately, the addition of a changeup to his repertoire is going to pay off.
Petty isn’t a perfect pitcher, and there are some very legitimate qualms about his game. Most notably, his command has garnered some attention. There have been times when he has missed all over the zone, specifically letting any of his three pitches sail high or low of the zone. It may not look like it from his 0.183 BB/K rate, but walks have been a very legitimate issue for Petty. His command doesn’t need to be elite, but it needs to improve in order for him to succeed at the next level. As MLB Pipeline notes, some teams fear there “there could be reliever risk” in the 18-year-old.
Petty’s delivery, which has likely factored into his command struggles, also presents a concern. Interestingly, Petty, who now sports a low three-quarters arm slot when throwing, “used to throw from a 1:30 arm-slot,” according to Joe Doyle of Lookout Landing, who adds that Petty was recently diagnosed with flat collarbones. “Traditionally, pitchers with flatter collarbones have a more difficult, strenuous time getting their arms into a more vertical position.” This is why he switched arm slots, and as a result, he has had to morph into a sinker-ball pitcher. Ultimately, while Petty could overcome all of this and still be a dominant pitcher, none of this is positive.
At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Petty may be slightly undersized, but he has a really strong frame and has proven that he can produce. This is a nitpicky complaint, and it shouldn’t have a significant impact on his stock.
Pro Comparison: Adbert Alzolay
When you look at the metrics between Alzolay and Petty, you will notice a lot of similarities. For starters, both rely on their fastball. Alzolay’s sinker registers 2,246 RPM while Petty’s is in the upper 2,100s. They both use their sliders frequently, too; for both of them, this pitch amasses roughly 2,650 RPM. Further, the right-handers both have changeups, as well, though they both use them infrequently and merely possess them as an average third option.
As for non-spin data, Petty throws a bit faster—roughly two to four mph faster per pitch, give or take. He’s also taller by two inches and lighter by about 20 pounds, which isn’t a whole lot. The 26-year-old is 4-4 with a 3.62 ERA and 0.91 WHIP through 10 starts (54.2 innings) this year. He ranks above-average in strikeouts, chase rate, and xBA.
Draft Projection: Mid First Round
Petty is going to be drafted in the first round, and depending on how his high school career ends, he could be a top-15 pick. There is a lot to like about the right-hander, and the fact of the matter is that he throws hard and fast. That’s tremendously attractive when looking at pitchers’ draft stocks, and it will make Petty a top name on many teams’ boards on July 11.