Scouting Mets Prospect #11: Scott Shaw

Shaw entered with a very deep repertoire

The Mets drafted right-hander Scott Shaw in the 13th round of the 2008 draft but feel they scored much higher value than his round would dictate. During his stint in Brooklyn, Shaw showed off a unique blend of tools and maturity that has the organization believing they have a fast riser in their possession, and he should confirm those beliefs with a big second season.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Scott Shaw
DOB: August 3, 1986
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 230
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Status: 13th Round Pick (2008) – University of Illinois

Heading into the start of the 2008 New York-Penn League season, right-hander Scott Shaw did not generate the kind of attention that teammate and first-round pick Brad Holt received, but that is how the 22-year-old and 13th round pick in last summer's draft likes it. Humble by nature, Shaw brings a quiet competitiveness born out of his intelligence for his position.

Shaw, who brings all of his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame to the mound, has the aptitude and studios behavior for his position which led him to 6-3 record and 2.80 ERA in 74 innings pitched with 79 strikeouts against 15 walks. He has characteristics that instantly stood out to pitching coordinator Rick Waits

"I think he's probably one of the most prepared pitchers that we have in the organization, and that's really amazing coming in. I don't think anyone studies the game more or is more meticulous about his preparation," said Waits.

His preparation leads to confidence and comfort leads to maximum efficiency as he rarely wastes pitches or energy. With a smooth, repeatable delivery and a plan behind every pitch, he was able to stay ahead of hitters throughout the season and pitched his way out of jams.

"I feel like I was very efficient on the mound. I was working fast, throwing a lot of strikes and for a new pitcher that's what you need to do," he said. "If I'm working deep into counts, I'm not going to last very long into games. I'm just going up there trying to get guys out early in three pitches or less."

That approach was reinforced by Brooklyn pitching coach Hector Berrios who worked with the right-hander to get the most out of his pitches and stay on the attack.

"He's always in an attack mode, he knows how to get ahead and expand the strike zone. When he got here, he was a totally different pitcher than what we saw in college. He's very mature, meticulous and he really is set in his routine. He doesn't mess with it and everything he works on transfers into the game," Berrios explained.

Shaw's entire game is predicated on his ability to pound the strike zone with all four of pitches, pitch to contact and limit his walks. With his good extension and easy motion, he simply trusts his stuff enough to know at-bats should not last too long.

"Limiting walks is about getting ahead early attacking hitters early and throwing a lot of strikes. If I do that, and I force guys to swing early in the count or I'm making pitches they don't want to swing early on, I'll make guys more defensive," he explained.

"If I get ahead in the count, I'll have all the room to throw whatever I want when hitters have their back against the wall. That's the advantage I'm always looking for, putting myself ahead in the count early which will diminish walks and always keep me ahead."

Throughout the 2008 season, Shaw stayed ahead early and often, and coaches and scouts do not expect that to change any time soon. Following his standout rookie season and very impressive stint in the Hawaiian Winter League, he is ready for the next step.

"I think I got a lot better as a pitcher and accomplishing those things left me really satisfied. I'll be ready to come into Spring Training and finding the rhythm I had shouldn't be too difficult. I have the mental confidence and belief that it will all be there," he closed.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2008

Brooklyn

6-3

0

74.0

66

15

79

2.80



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup

Fastball: Shaw's four-seam fastball sat 88-90 MPH during the regular season, but he saw a jump into the 91-93 MPH range during his stint in the Hawaiian Winter League. The increase in velocity is directly attributed to getting better extension on his fastball which should allow him to pitch in that higher range this upcoming season. He picked up a sinking, two-seam fastball during the fall Instructional League season and carried that into Hawaii. He throws the two-seam fastball a few ticks off his four-seam with tailing action, and it should quickly grow into a stronger pitch with more in-game usage.

Other Pitches: Shaw's top breaking pitch is his slider which he throws in the upper-70s with terrific diving action. He has the touch to spot his slider on either corner and uses it as a finishing pitch because of his ability to expand the strike zone. He follows that with a near-plus changeup that collapses through the zone and is difficult for hitters to pick up because of his excellent arm speed. The amount of drop he gets with his changeup generates a high number of swings and misses. He fills out his repertoire with a curveball that is more of a utility pitch. He will mix his curveball throughout a start, but does not have the confidence to throw it in a two-strike count like he does with the rest of his pitches.

Pitching: Shaw is a quick worker who has a precise plan for every pitch he throws. He does not go out there to play games with hitters as he starts off at-bats with his fastball and works in his secondary stuff to force swings and put hitters away. He seldom finds himself in deep counts because of his command and desire to attract swings. His pitch rate and command make him an innings eater which is perhaps his most compelling trait. His size, strength and durability will allow him to total 200 innings in a season and if he can maintain that, it will ascend him above many other pitchers.

Projection: Shaw's stamina and capacity to pile up the innings is a huge separating element when comparing him to pitchers with similar skill sets. Despite his low-90s fastball, the term "gunslinger" has been used to describe Shaw because of his attacking style. Once he establishes himself as a fastball pitcher, the overall quality of his game will rise with it. His big frame, tools and great make up have the organization thinking that the right-hander will move quickly up the ranks. He has the project-ability to be in the middle of the big league rotation, but if he can turn his slider into a plus-pitch, combined with his plus-fastball command and changeup, he could put himself in position as a number two starter in the future.

ETA: 2011. Shaw has shown enough that he should jump right to St. Lucie in 2009 and could see a promotion to Binghamton during the summer, especially after his impressive winter ball performance. The Mets will likely put Shaw in the best position to excel at higher levels over the next two seasons which should put him on course to make his big league debut early in 2011.

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