The Washington Nationals promoted rookie relief pitcher Koda Glover to the major league roster yesterday. He threw a shutout inning of relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Let's take a look at what he offers.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Koda Glover, RHP, Washington Nationals
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-5 WT: 225 DOB: April 13, 1993
Glover was drafted in the eighth round last June from Oklahoma State University. In college he showed a 92-95 MPH fastball and usually threw strikes but his slider was inconsistent. In pro ball his velocity picked up, reportedly as high as 98-99, the slider was sharper, and his command was even better than anticipated. Some believe he could be in the majors within a year, likely in a middle relief role. There is some chance to be a closer down the line if he can find a weapon to use against lefties (who hit .316 against him at Hagerstown). Grade C+.
Just over one year after being drafted, Glover has arrived in the majors thanks to a 2.18 ERA in 45 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A with a combined 52/14 K/BB and just 31 hits allowed. A rapid rise for anyone but especially an eighth-rounder. He hit 98 MPH last night and there are no real questions about the quality of his stuff. He's had no problems against left-handed batters this year and the breaking ball that was erratic in college continues to improve.
Glover throws hard and throws strikes. It isn't more complicated than that. Assuming that remains true, he'll be a fine relief option and could close eventually.