MLB.com recently released a series of clips of Detroit Tigers top prospect Case Mize discussing what he has learned in spring training, along with demonstrating his grips and approaches for his four-pitch arsenal. Given an overall Future Value (FV) rating of 55 by FanGraphs, and a 60 FV by MLB Pipeline, the 2018 No. 1 draft pick has a lot of expectations resting on his talents.
Check out these six one-minute videos explaining various parts of Casey Mize’s game
First off, Mize tells us about what he has learned this spring, in particular the value of his time in big league camp among the stars and veterans.
“The biggest thing is being around a group of the best players in the world, honestly. I get to see how they prepare each day... how early they get here to do everything they need to do.”
Mize quickly runs through his repertoire in this video, showing off his very traditional four-seamer, his splitter that splits the horseshoe seam in half, his standard cutter grip, and his new slurve pitch with the spiked knuckle grip. In the clips following, he gets much more in-depth.
In this clip, Mize talks about how he works his fastball and his general approach, as well as how he came to develop his other pitches. Both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline have his fastball arsenal graded at 60 FV.
“Every time I go glove side, it’s a four-seam; every time I go arm side it’s a two-seam. It’s probably 50/50, it just depends, you know?”
Casey talks about his vertical-ish breaking ball in this video, and how his mechanics affect the pitch. While he’s a believer in the true 12-6 drop curveball, it’s not something he can throw from his arm slot. Neither FanGraphs nor MLB Pipeline provided a grade for the slurve/curveball.
“The thing is, for me, my arms slot doesn’t really allow me to call it a curveball... The way it releases, and you know, how I throw it (from the three-quarters arm slot), I would call it a slurve.”
In reference to Mize’s horizontally-oriented breaking ball, he discusses in this video the relationship between his slider and his cutter, and how they differ. However, while FanGraphs differentiates between the two — a 55 FV for the slider and a 65 FV for the cutter — MLB Pipeline only rates the slider, which it grades at 60 FV and appears to be a fair compromise between the two.
“So my goal with the slider is to really sit like a football and have it spin like a bullet for it to be really hard... I call that a cutter, but by definition it’s a slider.”
And finally, we come to Mize’s top-rated pitch: the offspeed split-finger. For reference, FanGraphs rates the splitter as 65 FV and MLB Pipeline rates it a 70 FV, which is borderline elite. Here’s what he has to say about one of the best pitches in last year’s draft and why it’s so potentially devastating.
“That’s one that has to be on for me. Sometimes it’s spiking or sailing here and there, but I’m never going to give up on the split because it matches with the two-seam fastball so well — they have a similar spin.”
It is beyond evident that Casey Mize is a devout scholar in the art of pitching — I’d give him a 70 grade student tool based my experience with him in spring training so far. He will finish off the month with the minor league squad warming up for the long season ahead and will begin the regular season with the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers.