The spotlight is shining now on a pair of Nationals prospects that pitched for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
Right-hander Kyle McGowin notched three wins in six starts for the Mesa. He recorded 27 strikeouts with no walks. His pitching coach in the AFL, Michael Tejera, said McGowin did well for himself as he prepares for 2018. The 26-year-old McGowin throws a fastball, slider and changeup.
“Kyle has three pitches. All three pitches were working for him,” Tejera said. “He was throwing all three pitches for strikes. He was commanding the baseball. I was telling him, ‘Try to know what kind of pitcher you are.’ He had good location. His slider was working as an out pitch. He made a lot of improvement through the AFL, but the main thing for him was commanding his pitches.”
Right-hander Jimmy Cordero was outstanding for Mesa, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in nine games. Cordero, also 26, recorded 13 strikeouts, allowing no homers and two walks in 12 innings.
“The most important thing for him was he was throwing strikes, he was throwing the baseball over the plate on a consistent basis,” Tejera said. “I give him a lot of credit because he was working very hard every day. We worked on the towel drill, working on his mechanics, his delivery, and he really put a lot of work into it. It showed throughout the AFL season, all the hard work he put into it.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes, that’s what he was working for. We all know he has major league stuff. He has got an above-average fastball. His slider is above average. He throws a changeup. He throws a curveball.”
The bottom line for Tejera is that Cordero has stuff that can play at the top level and this season could be a game changer for the Dominican hurler.
“His pitches are major league average to above-average,” Tejera said. “His control was good. He put a lot of work into it and it paid off for him. Hopefully, he takes what he did right now in the AFL to next year.”
Cordero was so good he allowed only two earned runs and 11 hits in nine games. Mesa pitching was very good as they reached the AFL title game. We will review the rest of the roster of Nats prospects with Mesa in our next few posts.