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Scouting Update: Peter Tago, RHP, Dana Hills (CA) HS (2010 Draft)

May 5, 2010

Right-hander Peter Tago has more than held his own this spring, showing consistent velocity from start to start and offering scouts a long and loose workhorse right-hander with the ability to live in the low-to-mid 90s and to snap more than enough breaking balls to please you.

Pitching Wednesday at Capistrano Valley, Tago looked strong from the first long toss and into the bullpen. Getting loose in the first inning, Tago went 91, 91, 92, 89, 91, 79 breaking ball, 91 fastball with late life, then consecutive 93s hard and low in the zone. 

Tago has had better overall control than he had in this outing, but at this stage, you want power from the kid, especially when he’s pitching his way into the first round and could go among the first five right-handed starters in a very deep year nationally. 

He needed 26 pitches to get out of the second inning. He will occasionally open up and fly off to the first base side, but on the flip side, sometimes his fastball life has a mind of its own. For me, Tago’s late fastball life deserves a big grade every bit as much as his raw velocity does. If you can get a guy who can miss bats for grounders as well as elevate for strikeouts and repeat the process, that is a very difficult guy to find. 

Tago can also be improvisational, sometimes making arm slot adjustments from pitch to pitch. He’s created much more slot consistency in the spring than he did last summer or in the fall. The arm slot doesn’t bother me, what I want is a guy whose slot works for his body type and isn’t under the ball. Tago’s ability to know when he’s under and to fix it has been detectable this spring. This is why you see more 92-94s and less 91s. 

The second inning showed Tago maintaining power. In these 26 pitches, his fastball never dipped below 92. In these high school games, Tago isn’t trying to paint corners, nor is he all over the map. He’s commanding more than controlling, which is al he really needs to do here.

As a minor league pro in the likely not-so-distant future, we’re going to see this guy start to pitch with his change-up and his slider a lot more. Those looks are going to be much cleaner looks than this one, because he’s going to be able to throw everything, and he’ll let loose whatever velocity he holds back in high school baseball. Over time, Tago will need to continue to develop some of the little things you can see him paying attention to right now, things such as pitching from the stretch and perfecting his slide step. 

In the second inning, Tago averaged 93 and hit 94 four times, including one sequence where he went 93, 94, 94, 93, 92 and 94. His final pitch of the inning was a hard 75 breaking ball. Tago’s true curveball is so sharp that some call it a slider, but Tago himself said he distinguishes between the two pitches and has preferred the curveball recently. 

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