The MLB Draft is just one day away, and we conclude our player profiles of potential Detroit Tigers draft picks with Sam Bachman.
Sam Bachman Background
Sam Bachman is a starting pitcher for the University of Miami Ohio. The 6’1”, 235-lbs, 21-year-old is one of the top prospects in college baseball and projects to be taken in the first half of this year’s MLB draft.
Through thoughtful planning and a strong work ethic, Bachman has transformed himself into a big-league talent. After arriving on campus Bachman started lifting weights, cleaned up his diet, and overhauled his mechanics. The results? Twenty pounds of muscle and a triple digit fastball.
Sam Bachman Scouting Report
Flying under the radar compared to players like Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter, Bachman had some of the nastiest stuff in all of college baseball this past season. He has a unique twist on the classic 1-2 fastball/slider combo.
His rendition of the duo consists of a two-seamer and a gyro slider. Bachman’s best pitch is his 70 grade (according to MLB.com) two-seam fastball. He throws it in the upper 90s, with excellent arm side run and sinking action. Scouts rave about its impressive horizontal movement.
The fastball blends perfectly with a late breaking gyro slider, similar to Luis Castillo’s. This low spinning slider falls off the table rather than sweeping away from hitters.
Bachman tunnels these pitches effectively, and the arm side run of the fastball plays well off the movement on the slider. These two pitches alone give Bachman big league potential, but he’ll need to find a third pitch and better control if he wants to be a starter.
According to Prospectslive.com
"“Bachman has the type of stuff that will always be difficult to fully command, but an improvement in fastball command and changeup feel will boost his chances of starting. Has the floor of a high leverage pen arm with the ability to fill that role as soon as this fall. Has the fastball + slider combination to get right-handed big leaguers out.”"
Sam Bachman’s command is best when he’s throwing glove side. While command has been an issue, he has improved in each of his three college seasons. A concerning 1.92 SO/BB rate in 2019 was raised to a formidable 5.47 in 2021. His 2.6 BB/9 in 2021 is about average at the MLB level.
If Bachman can command his fastball and slider he profiles as a reliever. If he wants to be a starter, he’ll also need to improve his stamina and changeup. In 2021 he pitched 7 innings or more only twice in 12 starts.
Bachman’s changeup needs work, but it has potential. The mid 80s offering tunnels well with his other pitches but will need more control if he wants to throw it to righties.
Sam Bachman’s College Stats
Will the Tigers Draft Sam Bachman?
As with a lot of players projected in the middle of the first round, Bachman is a stretch for the Tigers at at number 3, and likely won’t be around for picks 32 and 39. There is a small chance Bachman falls due to medical concerns — he missed two starts this year with arm soreness — but the Tigers have better options whether they want to take a high school or college player. The Tigers fate will be determined by Pittsburgh and Texas picking before them.
Regardless of who’s selected in the first two picks of the draft there will still be better pitchers or better hitters available for Detroit. Bachman is like Ty Madden’s evil twin.
Bachman has the stuff, but Madden has the command. Madden’s seasoned approach and success at Texas this year may just be enough for him to sit inside the top 10 while Bachman is on the outside looking in. Whoever ends up with Bachman will have a potential starter, and at worst a capable reliever.