In the 2010 compensation round of the MLB Draft the Cardinals "stole" Tyrell Jenkins as it came to the surprise of many that he remained available as the end of the Sandwich Round approached. As Jenkins is currently slated to open up the New York Penn League season with the Batavia Muckdogs, I thought it would be fitting to preview the young right-hander and offer up a Scouting Report as well.
Jenkins is a 6'4 180 lb righty out of Henderson High School in Texas and pitched a few outings for the Johnson City Cardinals after he signed last year. He's an incredible athlete as he was a three-sport star in High School and there's been a history of better athlete's succeeding in pro ball. The reason is because good athletes tend to get injured less and Jenkins in particular has a free and easy delivery despite it being a tad unorthodox. Aside from being a good athlete (which is something scouts drool upon), he has nasty top of the rotation stuff.
He has a real loose arm and he at times dials his fastball up to 95 MPH. It has more tailing away action than sink. He's deciptive enough to throw it consistently enough without it getting hit. He repeats his delivery and throws all of his pitches at the same arm angle. His change up isn't close to being developed yet thus it's a particularly raw pitch but he has a feel for it. The other pitch Jenkins features is a 1-7 curveball with some good velocity on it. It's a go-to pitch of his and he uses it more than his change up.
While his command isn't great, he's still young and should improve a great deal -- There are few minor leaguers who have more upside than Jenkins. He's a real bulldog on the mound and shows great moxy regardless of how he's doing.
Alas, his plus athleticism is something that's hard to find in minor league arm's such as Jenkins. He's a real project but projects as a top of the rotation arm should he make his way to the Majors. He's currently in Extended Spring Training and looks to stay there until the New York Penn League season starts on June 22nd.