In the 5th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Reds decided to go with a pitcher. A proven pitcher at that. They selected Thomas Farr, a 6-foot tall right-handed pitcher from the University of South Carolina. Farr is a transfer from N.W Florida State College where he played two seasons.
At 22 years of age, Thomas Farr is still relatively young, but he is among the most experienced of all Reds’ draft picks. He was a 2017 high school graduate and got three and a half years of college under his belt before being drafted.
The most impressive feature that Farr has to offer is definitely his fastball. His fastball is consistently in the 93-96 range and it has even clocked in as high as 98. Farr used this fastball to create deception for his other pitches throughout his collegiate career. This fastball was the main reason he was able to reach 90 strikeouts in 83.66 innings this past season. His fastball also helped create additional deception to his curveball, which sits in the low to mid-80s in velocity.
His curveball is a good offering on its own but paired with his fastball, it just creates more trouble for hitters. While he has shown a below-average changeup, his above-average fastball has done more than enough to cover it. In the big leagues, just a fastball won’t get a pitcher by. Even with his impressive fastball, Farris going to have to prove there is more to his game than just that.
Where Does He Fit?
Farr was a starting pitcher for the last two seasons in college. But, there have been questions as to whether he will remain one as a professional. Some draw this conclusion because of his lack of a third pitch. He sometimes shows a changeup, but it is far from a professional-level pitch. The Reds will need to develop his changeup well if they plan on using him as a starting pitcher in the future.
As of right now, Farr has been used as both a starter and a reliever as a professional. He made a 1 inning start in his only appearance for the rookie ball team. Then, he pitched three innings in relief in his Low-A debut for the Daytona Tortugas. He has yet to surrender a run and has struck out seven in his four innings of professional work.
As for his future, it will all depend if he can develop a third, and even a fourth, pitch to add to his arsenal. There are very few, if any, starting pitchers that are successful with only a fastball and a breaking ball combo. Farr, more than likely, will not be the outlier of that trend.
Thomas Farr has a few signs of great potential and a few signs of limited potential.
Starting with the negatives, Farr is a bit undersized and has already filled out his frame. Any developments in velocity will come from mechanical changes and movement patterns. Now, it is not impossible to make an impact as a pitcher 6 foot tall or shorter, but the Reds tend to stick to drafting bigger pitchers.
On the plus side, Farr has the potential to develop another pitch or two. He will be working with some of the best pitching coaches that the MLB has to offer. If he can develop another plus pitch or two, well, this is the unofficial warning. Watch out MLB, because Thomas Farr is no joke.
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