Part of a series of scouting reports on intriguing players in the 2022 MLB Draft. To read all the reports (and reports from past years), click here.
PARKER MESSICK, LHP
|College||Florida State University (RS SO. 2022)|
|Bio||L/L 6-0, 225 lbs.|
|Date of Birth||10/26/2000|
>> Number in parentheses represents Future Value projection
Scouting Report Written by Brandon Tew
Draft Expectation: 2nd – 3rd Round
Why are we writing about a guy who may not go in the first round?
Because Parker Messick is one of the most intriguing arms in the 2022 MLB Draft. He possesses a fastball with a touch below average velocity, but a true plus weapon in his changeup. Messick attacks hitters with extreme competitiveness and has succeeded at every level in his career.
Messick was one of the best freshman pitchers in college baseball but then he raised his game in 2021. He was named ACC Pitcher of the Year with 126 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched and a 3.10 ERA.
Messick backed up his 2021 performance with a very good 2022 season. His numbers dipped slightly to a 3.38 ERA in 98⅔ innings pitched with 144 strikeouts this spring (5th in Division I).
Messick is a sturdily-built 6-foot left-handed pitcher who goes right after hitters, pounding the zone with fastballs.
Messick works at a high tempo and with a funky delivery. The windup is simple yet deceptive as he gets his arm back behind him in a unique position and hides the ball well until he comes toward the plate.
The drop and drive Messick creates off the rubber helps him release the ball with good extension as he whirls his back leg around his front half. This allows Messick’s fastball to play up. He has pretty good carry through the zone too and will sneak high fastballs by hitters when thrown at the very top of the zone.
The fastball, as with any pitcher, is a key for Messick. There was an increase in his velo up one to two mph from the 2021 season. In 2022 Messick sat more 90-93 MPH, touching 94, whereas in 2021 he was more 88-91.
At times Messick’s command will flash plus and really stand out. When at his best, Messick can control both sides of the plate with not only his fastball, but also his changeup. Messick also has a great understanding of working up and down in the zone throwing to all quadrants.
After giving up only six dingers in 2021 Messick surrendered 15 home runs in 2022 mostly due to poor fastball location. The execution of his fastball is what has made him such a productive pitcher but he needs even more consistent command of the pitch at the next level.
Messick has never had an issue throwing strikes, with a 66.5% strike rate in his college career and a 6.7 K/BB ratio. It has always been command of his fastball that has hurt him at times.
His changeup is one of the best in college baseball, as batters are left looking foolish in its wake. His 14-strikeout performance against Duke on March 25 showed just how lethal the fastball and changeup combo can be.
Parker Messick's 14 Strikeouts. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ZJEUpg3G3V
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 26, 2022
The changeup is a plus pitch, one that just dies, hitting a wall in front of the plate. Messick’s ability to kill spin and create incredible depth with the pitch is what makes swings look awful against it.
But what makes it really effective is the arm speed he generates on the pitch. The combination of that arm speed and movement masks the velocity difference between his fastball and changeup really well.
Messick has a great feel for the pitch and can throw it below the zone with good fade, or down at the knees to steal a strike. He can also cut it if he wants a different action on the pitch, which shows an advanced feel.
Messick separates himself from most other pitchers with his confidence to throw a changeup to both sides of the plate to any batter.
Pitchers will usually work down and away from hitters with changeups. But Messick has no fear with it as it routinely dives underneath barrels as a true swing-and-miss pitch for him.
.@FSUBaseball’s Parker Messick leads the country with 128 strikeouts.
His changeup is disgusting. Opponents whiff on 55% of their swings against it.
There’s only one SP in MLB this year getting that much swing and miss on his changeup: Brandon Woodruff.
— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) May 10, 2022
Messick’s breaking pitches are vital for continued success. He has improved the shape of his slider and added sharpness to it. The pitch keeps hitters off of his changeup.
His curveball has a tendency to become more of a slurve-type pitch from his arm slot and blends at times with his slider. He could scrap the pitch altogether.
The shape of his slider, when thrown well, is effective and should continue to improve for him. It has become a pitch he’s more and more comfortable with. The tunneling of the fastball and changeup down is already very good, so a breaking pitch that he can pair with his fastball, both high and low, will be important.
Messick wants the ball, oozes confidence, and commands the mound every time he pitches. That level of competitiveness and mentality is what will carry him long term. Messick turns into an electric factory when he’s on the mound, complete with celebratory air punches.
Parker Messick, Elevated Fastball…and K Strut. pic.twitter.com/3PnFR6BQbL
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 11, 2022
Messick’s strikeout reactions are passionate and that’s how he approaches pitching, with a fierce mentality that he is better than the batter in the box. There’s no denying that he has the competitiveness and attitude of a pro.
Messick is a left-handed strike-thrower with extreme competitiveness. The improvement of his breaking pitches will determine his future, but his changeup is one of the best in the draft.
A left-handed pitcher with a plus changeup and starter or swing-man potential depending on the development of his breaking pitches.
Ceiling: Matthew Boyd
Floor: Jalen Beeks