Detroit Tigers: 4 reasons Jackson Jobe is risky
Jackson Jobe Risk Factor Number 2 – Command and Control
In scouting terms, command and control are two different things. Control is the ability to throw pitches in the strike zone, while command is the ability to throw pitches to specific locations inside (or outside) the zone. A lack of either can seriously hijack a pitcher’s future, and just under 50% of our busts dealt with some form of command issue. The more severe the issue, the less likely it is a player will even reach the majors.
It is exceedingly difficult to succeed as a big-league starting pitcher with a walk rate (BB/9) higher than about 4.0, and it’s generally hard for relievers to survive with a rate above 5.0. We split the difference and looked at pitchers with a walk rate of 4.5 or above, and also added in pitchers who didn’t have severe control issues, but simply didn’t have the command to avoid getting rocked by big-league hitters.
There are some pretty high profile prospects who saw their careers ended by poor control. Colt Griffin was the first high-schooler recorded throwing 100 MPH. He never made it above Double-A, and finished his pro career with 278 walks and 271 strikeouts in 373.2 innings. Riley Pint, the 4th overall pick in 2016, arguably had the best pure stuff ever from a high-school arm. He retired last June, having walked 134 batters in 166.2 career innings.
Former Tiger hurler Casey Crosby was a top-100 prospect in 2010, but control issues dogged him for the rest of his minor-league career (5.2 BB/9), and ultimately held him to just 12.1 MLB innings. Jackson Jobe threw plenty of strikes in high school and on the showcase circuit, and he doesn’t have and glaring mechanical issues, but only time will tell if he can develop major-league command.