One of the most intriguing players in camp this spring will be Colin Poche. While the Tampa Bay Rays are only a couple of days removed from their first workout, the lefty is already leaving an impression on teammates and coaches.
Would you believe me if I told you that a 92 MPH fastball was one of the best in the Tampa Bay Rays organization? Probably not, but Colin Poche’s fastball is in deed one of the best and his time spent across AA and AAA last season prove it. Now, Poche will lean on his best pitch as he fights for a big league spot in Tampa Bay.
While Poche only completed his first bullpen session in camp a mere 2 days ago, his fastball is gaining attention from both his bosses and peers.
Marc Topkin quoted Ryne Stanek as saying, “He throws absolute invisible-balls”, while Nick Cuiffo had this to say about Poche’s pitch, “He makes his 92 mile per hour fastball look like an Aroldis Chapman’s 102 fastball”. Pretty high praise of you ask me.
In an interview, Kevin Cash, the man who Poche hopes to be playing for come opening day had this to say about his fastball, “I sat behind him, and you see that something is different. He really hides the ball well, and when it comes out, he has a lot of that elite-pitch action to the fastball”.
The numbers back up Poche as well. He spent 2018 dominating hitters at the AA and AAA levels striking out 110 batters in 66 innings of work. He struck out 45.6% of the hitters he faced, which is the best clip in the minor leagues (min. 60 IP).
I ranked Poche as the 10th best pitching prospect in the Rays system and made note of his dominant 15.0 K/9 ratio. Personally, I love his stuff and said this about the lefty when ranking him, “I fully expect Poche to dominate in spring training and break camp with the big league club.”
Only time will tell, but Poche could not have asked to a better start to the most important month of his life.
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