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DeCarr's Stock Still Rising

By NEB, 05/05/14, 9:30PM EDT


Austin DeCarr Perfect Game profile Position: RHP Height: 6-3 Weight: 220 Bats/Throws: R-R Birthdate: March 14, 1995 High School: Salisbury Prep City, State: Foxboro, Mass. Travel Team: North East Rays Commitment: Clemson Projected Draft Round: 2-3

Throughout the Draft Focus profiles that have been completed to this point, Perfect Game has covered a vast array of prospects for the 2014 MLB Draft and their journey to their elite statuses. Salisbury’s Austin DeCarr has taken a path different from everybody else and has seen his stock elevate as much as anybody else this spring. The journey for DeCarr has been a long and winding one, which has seen him go from an undrafted member of the 2013 class to a likely top 3 round pick in the 2014 class. The Foxboro, Mass. native first made his splash on the national scene coming into the summer of his sophomore year when word began to circulate that he was touching 90-91 mph with his fastball. However, his progress was impeded by bone spurs in his throwing arm which caused him to miss his junior season and the subsequent summer, a time that is regarded as the most important season for players in their recruitment process. DeCarr was able to come back for a healthy senior season at Xaverian Brothers High School (Westwood, Mass.) but wasn’t quite where he wanted to be with his velocity and overall performance. Upon graduating with the class of 2013, DeCarr’s future was still up in the air with a forked road leading him down two different paths. Down one path was the option most recently graduated seniors take and that was commit to a college and spend three years until the 2017 MLB Draft comes around. The second, and the one he chose, was spend a year of post-grad work for John Toffey at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn. Prior to making the decision about the 2014 spring season, his summer coach, Scott Patterson, suggested DeCarr attend the nearby Area Code try-out at Bentley College. DeCarr did in fact attend, and on that early June day it became clear that DeCarr would become a member of the 2014 class and prove what he was capable of with a re-do of a healthy senior year. In his 15-pitch outing, the 6-foot-3 DeCarr was 90-91 mph with his fastball, touching 93. Safe to say he found his velocity again. With that single showing DeCarr was able to put his name back on the national scene that showed promise back in 2011, his sophomore year of high school. With pro teams trying to sign him as an undrafted free agent and colleges filling up his mailbox with letters, DeCarr was confident in his decision to attend Salisbury the following fall, but not before making the full tour along the summer circuit. The first stop was in Minnesota for the National Showcase, his first Perfect Game Showcase in nearly two years. He threw well and received a PG grade of 9.5, throwing his heater in the 89-91 mph range and garnering the following report: Large athletic build, very good present strength, physically mature. Fast paced, high energy delivery, high 3/4's arm slot, good arm speed with a deep arm action. Fastball topped at 91 mph, maintained velocity well, fastball mostly straight, tends to pitch up in the zone with his fastball. Slows delivery on curveball, good spin and some depth at lower velocities, tends to overthrow curveball at times causing it to flatten out. In the next three tournaments, the newly minted Clemson Tiger topped at either 90 or 91 with his fastball for Patterson and the Northeast Baseball Rays. DeCarr was perhaps showing a sign of thing to come at the East Coast Professional Showcase in Syracuse, N.Y., as his fastball sat 90-93 mph, certainly his best velocity of the summer. The transition over the next 7-8 months was a remarkable one and sent scouts scrambling around in the early spring with reports of big velocity climbs from DeCarr. In his first start for Salisbury down in Fort Pierce, Fla., word was spreading that the future Tiger was 93-95 mph with an improved curveball. His next start was again in Florida and provided Perfect Game the opportunity to see the strides DeCarr made in the off-season. With a large group of scouts behind the backstop, DeCarr delivered again, coming out at 93-95 mph with his fastball in the first inning and showed a curveball that has a chance to be a wipeout pitch at the next level. Since the National, DeCarr seems to have toned down the pace of his delivery with less effort and shows better shape and bite to his curveball, along with the obvious increase in velocity. His strong, durable frame allows him carry his 90-93 mph velocity throughout an outing, and in Florida touched 94 mph in his last inning of work. The arm action is clean without much effort with the ball coming out from a three-quarters slot. DeCarr was able to throw to both sides of the plates and painted the inner half to righthanded hitters especially well. The pitch that will be a difference maker for DeCarr at the next level will be his aforementioned curveball. When everything is right mechanically on the pitch, it shows hard, late biting 11-to-5 action in the upper-70s. In this particular outing he was dropping his elbow at times and pulling the pitch across his body rather than staying on top of it. He also flashed a mid-80s changeup that showed some fading life to his arm side and has worked it into his outings more of his recent starts. Having been back in the Northeast now for a couple of weeks, DeCarr has still been showing the big velocity, with reports coming from his last start that his fastball touched 96 mph. His first two starts came in raw, cold weather and understandably his fastball was topping in the low-90s rather than the mid-90s he has started to show again. DeCarr attributes his giant leap forward in his development to two things. For the first time in four years he didn’t play football – where he was the quarterback – and has now focused exclusively on pitching, building up his arm strength and polishing his mechanics. Not only do those steps reduce risk of physical injury, it helps preserve the arm to give it the proper rest after a long summer season. The second and most important reason for his improvements according to DeCarr was the work he put in this off-season with trainers Eric Cressey and Matt Blake. Cressey owns a weight-training facility in Eastern Massachusetts and DeCarr took full advantage, strengthening everything that is essential for pitching under the guidance of Cressey and Blake. So to say the path that Austin DeCarr took to elite prospect status is different than most might be an understatement. Nonetheless he has arrived prominently in early round draft conversations and is showing what people were speculating he could become back in 2011