Hey guys I got my 1st look at the high profile right hander Mike Soroka last night as the Rome Braves were in Hickory taking on the Crawdads.
He’s one of the players I had near the top of my list to see, especially after the start he’s had and he didn’t disappoint.
Mike Soroka, is age 18, he’s listed 6’4″ 195 lbs, he bats and throws right. Soroka was drafted 28th overall in the 2015 draft out of high school in Calgary, Alberta, Cn.
Soroka is thick in the core and legs, I guessed he was 6’3″ 215 last night. He stands on the 3rd base side of the rubber, uses a simple, low effort, repeatable delivery and he remains balanced throughout. He finishes in excellent fielding position. He uses a 3/4 release point and he gets to a good plane on his pitches. He’s athletic, with quick feet and a very good pick off move. He works fast.
Soroka’s fastball was 92-95 last night, mostly 93-94 with nice downward movement. He mixed in a few at 93 with cutting action that stayed on one plane but would run away from right handers. He held his velo throughout the start for the most part, throwing 90-92 touching 93 in the 5th and 6th. The 1-2 MPH drop for an 18 year old is not bad, you know he’s going to continue to get stronger. He pitched in on righties a lot with the fastball, busted some bats, others hit if off of there thumbs and a lot of awkward swings. He commanded the pitch very well down and in on righties. When he missed, he missed off the plate away, which he did quite a bit looking for the outer 3rd. He kept the ball down very well last night. 55 pitch for me, future 60 if he gains command to the outer 3rd.
Soroka’s curve ball sat 77-81 with nice shape and a late, sharp 11-5 break. He froze a lot of right handers with the pitch throwing it right at them landing it on the inside corner at the knees. But he missed his location occasionally leaving the pitch in the middle of the plate, He also bounced quite a few when he was ahead in the count. A Potential plus pitch , just needs to tighten the command and get a little more consistent.
I only counted three change ups last night (82-83) all to lefties. He mimicked the arm speed of the fastball well but the pitch seemed fairly straight.
Sequencing- Soroka threw 80% fastballs the 1st time through the order but he mixed in more and more curve balls as the night progressed. By the 5th and 6th inning he was throwing 35-40% curves. He mixed in the occasional change.
Here we get many good looks at Soroka courtesy of David Lee (Baseball Prospectus and the Augusta Chronicle) (Twitter @David11Lee)
Overall I came away impressed with Soroka, hard to believe he’s just an 18 year old. He faced a tough lineup and just cruised. His only real jam was early with speedster Eric Jenkins on 2nd base and 23 yr old Cuban import Andy Ibanez at the plate. Ibanez has been destroying this level, so he would be a good test. The six pitch at bat ended in a strikeout, he threw five curve balls and Ibanez really expanded his zone swinging at the last two.
Soroka has mid rotation upside and perhaps more. A potential plus fastball and curve. We’ll see how far the change comes along.