With as many minor league players teams have, it is often easy to get lost in the shuffle. Part of that has to do with performance, and sometimes it has to do with injury. Jade Todd since being drafted by the Tigers hasn’t had a bunch of luck when it comes to injury. And while every season is important to a prospect’s status, 2012 couldn’t be more important to a guy like Todd. Staying on the field will be of vital importance, and if he does so, he could shoot up Tigers prospect lists very quickly.
For a more in depth look at Jade Todd, keep on truckin…..
Todd was selected in the 7th round in the 2008 draft out of high school in Alabama. At 6’2″ and 190lbs or so, Todd is a stocky left-hander that has hanging around the Gulf Coast League and West Michigan since he signed. In fact, the past 3 seasons he has split between the two organizations. Todd began his rather quickly, and managed to get 12 appearances and 42.1 innings in before the season ended for the GCL Tigers. He was rather impressive, going 3-1 with an ERA of 2.34, striking out 48 batters. In 2009, Todd began his season in West Michigan only to suffer a shoulder injury and pitch only a total of 21.1 innings on the season. After rehabbing, 2010 began much the same way. Pitching for West Michigan, and then finishing in the GCL. Todd struggled for the first time in 2010, and in 14 starts with West Michigan, posting a 5.11 ERA. Near the end of the season, Todd was back again in the Gulf Coast League, pitching much better. In 2011, the roles were reversed. Still battling injury, Todd didn’t make an appearance until the short season leagues began in July, this time starting out in the Gulf Coast League. He finished 2011 on the Whitecaps in a relief role, where he posted an ERA of 3.99.
Todd isn’t considered a crafty lefty, but he isn’t what you would consider a power pitcher either. He uses a 3 pitch mix for the most part, but has also been working on cutting his fastball a little bit as well, to give hitters an even different look. His fastball normally sits 88-91 and offers very little movement. He does have pretty good command with his fastball and is able to move it around the zone pretty well. His mechanics, despite his injuries are pretty sound, but his body could use some tightening up to give him better stamina.
Todd’s best secondary is probably his curve ball. Todd spins the curve ball well, giving it good, large break. It falls under the category of a 12 to 6 curve, and while he does sometimes fail to get on top of the pitch, it is a potential above average offering. His curve can be thrown for strikes, and it does induce some swings and misses.
His change up is also a solid offering, but qualifies as just having average potential. There isn’t a lot of fade on the pitch, and it almost acts more as a batting practice fastball. Todd has a tendency to throw it without the same conviction as his fastball, and it sometimes can be picked up on by hitters.
I will be interested in two things right off the bat with Todd in 2012. Where he starts, and whether or not he is starting games or relieving them. If he is strong in the spring, and I had to guess, I think Lakeland would be a good starting point for Todd. It’s warmer obviously, and at 22 years old, he has to start moving up the organizational ladder. He just can’t move between West Michigan and the Gulf Coast League his whole life.
I think Todd is going to be a reliever ultimately. The arm issues have held him back from cracking more than 92 innings in one season, and it would probably take 3 healthy seasons in a row to develop a starters innings count. That just doesn’t seem in the cards for Todd. That being said, his stuff isn’t outstanding, but it is plenty good enough to potentially flourish in a relief role. I could see a long man here if everything goes right. If not, he could be out of a baseball in a year or two, which is unfortunate, because there is some talent there.