20. RHP Freddy Tarnok
Size: 6’3 185
Bio: The Braves took Tarnok with the 80th overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft. He was a bit of a late bloomer as Tarnok originally committed to the University of Tampa as an infielder/pitcher, but his draft stock skyrocketed during his senior year when he started pitching more. Tarnok was primarily a SS/3B as a junior in high school, but started pitching some late in his junior year. For his senior season, he finished with a 0.66 ERA over 53 innings pitched and posted a 63/11 K/BB ratio.
Scouting Report: Despite the thin frame, Tarnok consistently pitches 92-94 MPH and has been clocked as high as 97 MPH. He has a relatively smooth delivery with a high leg-kick. He repeats his delivery very well thanks in part to his above average athleticism. The fastball shows nice arm side run, and he has solid control despite not focusing on pitching until a year ago. His curveball sits in the upper 70’s with a sharp, downward break. The changeup is still a work in progress as he primarily relied on his fastball/curveball combo in high school.
Future: Tarnok only threw 25 innings as a junior in high school and then followed that up his senior year with 53 innings in 2017 (with an additional 14 innings for the Braves’ GCL club). Tarnok finished his GCL season with a 2.57 ERA with 10 K’s to just 3 BB in those 14 innings. Expect Tarnok to open the 2018 season in an extended spring training where the Braves will monitor his pitch counts and work with him on his command and developing his changeup. Once the Danville Braves season starts in late June, Tarnok should get 10-12 starts to finish out his 2018 season. Tarnok has plenty of upside but he remains a bit raw as a pitcher, so Atlanta will certainly be patient with him.
GCL Braves: 2.57 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 6.43 K/9, 1.93 BB/9 over 8 GS and 14.0 IP
Video courtesy of @SteveGivarz.