Kansas City Royals’ pitching prospect Connor Mayes was a 24th round pick this June out of the University of Texas. Born and raised in arguably the recruiting capital of the country, Mayes had tough competition. However, he was still able to be ranked in the top 100 RHP’s in Texas out of high school. His career at Texas was up and down, half as starter, half as reliever, putting up decent numbers. In the end, KC still saw something in Connor no matter what his stats were.
Most likely what they saw was his plus command and consistent mixture of all 4 pitches. Because of his poise, he got promoted to Advanced Rookie level very quickly after only throwing 5 innings in Arizona. However, he does have his flaws, and won’t wow with his stuff.
Although his 4-seam fastball sits around 88-89, he attacks the upper half of zone thinking he can blow away hitters. Although he is deceiving himself, that approach gives him confidence and poise, which is not seen in a lot of young prospects. He has the ability to move his fastball to both sides of the plate. But, his fastball lacks some movement and his misses tend to be left over the middle. He throws both a slider (78-82mph) and curveball (71-75mph), but neither one has emerged as his secondary pitch or out pitch. Connor only throws his changeup 8-10 times an outing, which is fine as it doesn’t have enough tailing action to be an effective out pitch to lefties. Once he identifies his secondary pitch he should be moved up unless his poised mechanics get him there first.
He has great ability to repeat his sound delivery. His arm comes straight up to his ear creating the ideal 90 degree angle. He shifts his weight nicely, but tends to open his chest a bit resulting in leaving his fastball outside. With his good arm slot he can reach back to the low 90’s, but lack of enough of a pause before release is holding his velocity back. More of a pause will keep his front shoulder in resulting in more pop of the glove. At the end of the day his stuff still won’t wow, but his command is incredible. His ceiling is a 4 or 5 starter potentially reaching The Show in mid-2019 for a short stint.
Scouting Grades: FB 35 (ceiling 45), SL 30 (ceiling 35), CB 28 (ceiling 33), CH 25 (ceiling 30), Controll 45 (ceiling 50), Overall 35 (ceiling 45)
*Scale: 20-30 well below average, 40 is below average, 50 average, 60 above average, 70-80 well above average