#43: Zachary Dotson Scouting Report

Dotson again missed most of the season

The Mets went overslot to draft Zachary Dotson in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft. Since then, however, Dotson has struggled stay on the field for numerous reasons. But, when he finally does get consistent mound time, Dotson could show the Mets spent wisely to get him. Check out his scouting report to learn more.

Vital Statistics
Name: Zachary Dotson
DOB: October 30, 1990
Height: 6'3"
Weight 190
Throws: Left
Bats: Left
Status: 13th Round (2009) – Effingham County HS (GA)

One of the questions observers and fans alike had about the Mets' drafting style related to the organization's lack of desire to go over-slot for a prospect on the board. That trend has recently shifted as the organization has made calculated decisions to draft over-slot on a small collection of talent in recent years. One of those players is 2009 13th round pick Zachary Dotson.

Dotson, a left-hander drafted as an 18-year-old out of high school, represents a small but important change in draft philosophy. Unfortunately, the organization did not get a chance to see a return on its investment as shoulder fatigue sidelined Dotson for his first summer in 2009.

Finally though, the organization saw their man in action in extended spring training and ultimately in the Gulf Coast League this season. However, another problem popped up. Dotson failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs and thus missed 50 games, or all but four appearances for the GCL Mets. Coaches know there is talent to be had from Dotson, but there has been an unfortunate lack of time to work with him and get him on track.

"He didn't get any reps last year because he was hurt and he started the season on the disabled list with the rehab program so there really hasn't been much time to work with him at his full strength," said 2010 Gulf Coast League pitching coach Hector Berrios. "He started coming along at the latter part of extended spring training, but he's relatively new to game situations."

Dotson is physically with room to grow on his frame that could turn him into a formidable southpaw, but as of this past summer required work to build a consistent delivery out a big body with a long reach. For Berrios, getting Dotson in sync was one of his foremost projects.

"We're working with him to take away all excess movement (in his delivery)," Berrios said. "We want to simplify things for him and get him to consistently throw the ball over the plate. The thing with him is to get the pitches over the plate so he's not pitching himself in a position where he's eating up pitch counts and not getting the necessary repetition."

That repetition has been the significantly lacking element to Dotson's game to this point in his career. He will be just 20 years old when the 2011 season begins, but between injuries, down time and suspension he is behind the learning curve. Nevertheless, this is a potentially high upside arm the Mets believe can get going quickly once on the field.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2010

Gulf Coast League

0-1

0

16.1

12

9

18

3.31



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Much of Dotson's stock upon his drafting was in his fastball, but his velocity is not as high as reportedly when he came off the board. Dotson's fastball was anywhere between 88-91 MPH during the season though coaches said he went as high as 93 MPH during the summer. Scouts referred to his arm strength being his best trait though his velocity may not truly correspondent to it. Give him a couple more seasons to add strength to his frame and shoulder and he may pitch in the higher end of his velocity range.

Other Pitches: Dotson's best secondary pitch is a mid-70s slider. When he stays on top of it, he generates good, tight break. It needs a little more seasoning, but when he keeps it down in the zone he has the chance of developing it into a finishing pitch. He backs it up with a mid-70s curveball that he does not use as much, instead turning his attention to his slider command. He adds a high-70s circle-changeup which he has good feel for but command is spotty.

Pitching: Dotson has the raw stuff in place to be a fairly formidable pitcher, but right now is something of a mixed bag in approach. He shows aggressiveness in using his fastball but has not found a rhythm to use his complete repertoire which is not too surprising given his disrupted playing time. Dotson flashes the promise with repertoire but has not yet put it all together into a consistent attack.

Projection: Dotson's projection is not clear given the amount of time he has missed and his young age. First and foremost, he needs a full, healthy season of mound time and coaching up. If he can put the pitches together and add more strength to his frame, he has a chance of catching on at the back of the rotation. More fastball velocity would aid in that projection. There still is not much to know about how he will fare long term until he hits a long-season league.

ETA: 2015. Chances are Dotson once again returns to the short-season level, likely Kingsport. However, he could be a paper move onto the Savannah roster to get him on the mound as soon as possible after he finishes out the rest of his suspension. Either way, we likely will not see Dotson until about the time extended spring training breaks.

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