Hey guys, I was in Greenville the other night to get a look at Braves CF Ronald Acuna. I was also lucky enough to see Touki Toussaint. take the mound for Rome. This was my 2nd look at Touki. I saw him last Summer in Asheville soon after the Braves acquired him from the Diamondbacks. He was all over the place that day but the potential was obvious. I know statistically at least he’s turned the corner this season and has been a lot more consistent. So getting this 2nd look a year later is a nice before and after.
Touki recently turned 20, he’s listed 6’3″ 185 lbs, he bats and throws right. Touki was drafted by the Diamondbacks 16th overall in the 2014 draft out of high school in Corral Springs, Fl (Fort Lauderdale metro). I believe I heard at the time of the draft he was either the 1st ever player of Haitian decent to play professional baseball or the 1st ever drafted. I poked around the net a little bit this morning trying to find it but if anybody could clear that up for me that would be good, thanks.
I thought on the field that Touki looked 6’3″ 195 lbs and he appeared to be in excellent shape. There is a good amount of projection left.
Touki stands on the 3rd base side of the rubber, he utilizes a 3/4 release point. There is some effort in the delivery, but he repeats it well. He utilizes a high leg kick and it does create some deception. He’s a good athlete who works fast and has excellent arm speed.
In this 1st video we see Touki’s 1st start as a Brave courtesy of Chris Blessing (On Twitter @C_Blessing) and his release is kind of all over the place.
The 2nd video (also from Chris Blessing) is from April of this year, I wish it were more recent but he’s noticeably more consistent with his release point. When I saw him last July he was missing a lot side to side and often by feet. He still has a ways to go but he’s much more consistently around the plate now. The most obvious adjustment from one video to the other is he switched to the 3rd base side of the rubber. We only see him pitching from the stretch in the 1st video because there was a runner on 1st at the start of it.
The fastball sat 91-95, touched 96 a few times, and 97 once in the 5th inning. Early on he was mostly 91-93, and touching the higher bands,by the 3rd inning he was 93-95. With arm side run, the lower the velocity the higher the movement. Even in the lower bands, very few batters were able to square the pitch and drive it to their pull side. 60 current, potential double plus.
The 11-5 curve was sometimes 11-4:30 or 11-5:30. It was thrown most often in the high 70’s. It has nice shape and very sharp bite. He still has a hard time throwing the pitch for strikes. But it is a swing and miss generator and a weapon with 2 strikes. 70
Touki throws the change at 83-86. He does a nice job mimicking the arm speed of the fastball. He wasn’t finishing the pitch in my viewing leaving many above the belt on the inner 3rd. The pitch did feature some fade and sink but it’s clearly his 3rd pitch. 45
Sequencing: 80% fastballs 1st time through but went down from there. 60% by the 5th inning. Curves 10%, early 20% by the middle innings. Same for the change ups.
Command/Control: Early on he was pounding the zone with fastballs it was control over command but it was still nice to see. He wasn’t as consistent with location in innings 3-5. He mostly bounced the curve all night but he did land a few of them in the zone. He also took something off on a few of them and landed them in the zone.
Touki Toussaint is a lot of fun to watch, he works fast and has electric stuff. He was struggling to put away hitters the other night because they were laying off of the curve and spoiling the fastball. I don’t know that I saw his best change up yet. He’s come a long way since last July but there is more development still to come. I really hope he maxes out his range of outcomes. That would be fun to see. He has top of the rotation starter upside. He could still be a dynamic 8th or 9th inning guy as a fall back option. He’s in good hands in the Braves system. They know a thing or two about pitching.