Dodgers Prospects: Ryan Pepiot – More Than a Power Arm

His change-up is amazing

Ryan Pepiot at Spring Training 2020

Ryan Pepiot is a young man that is creating a lot of buzz around the Dodgers organization, and, as the Dodgers #7 prospect, he hasn’t disappointed.

At 6’3″ and 215 pounds the talented right-hander is, no doubt, a power pitcher.

But, what separates him is that he is much, much more than just that.

In college, at Butler University, he set school records for single-season strikeouts at 126, and career strikeouts as well at 306.

The Change-Up

His performance at Butler, and the fact that he has an elite pitch in his arsenal, set him up to be drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft by the Dodgers.

The elite pitch I was referencing is his change-up. Here’s what Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes had to say about that pitch to Baseball America’s Bill Plunkett.

“I think his changeup is one of the best pitches in our org,”

Notice that Rhymes didn’t say that Pepiots change-up was one of the best change-ups in the Dodgers organization, he said it was one of the best pitches in the organization. That’s some pretty high praise from someone like Rhymes who would know.

Take a look at Pepiots change up for yourself and you be your own judge. Watch the 2nd pitch and. 4th pitches in this video fall off the table.

Pepiot’s change-up is 84-86, which is an 8-10 mph difference from his fastball so it creates a lot of swing and miss for him.

I’ve had a chance to watch Ryan Pepiot on 3 different occasions, at both OKC and Tulsa, and my biggest takeaway is that, although he possesses the big arm, he really is a guy that pitches.

Not Just a Power Arm

Pepiot commands 4 pitches and his breaking ball looks just like his fastball coming out of his hand, so hitters just simply don’t pick up the spin. And, again, he has an elite pitch.

In the last outing I saw in OKC, Pepiot was throwing a sharp breaking 12-6ish type breaking ball and it was his most effective pitch. Fast forward to :24 seconds to see his slider-shaped pitch and then watch the next pitch at :28 seconds to see Pepiots sharp breaking 12-6 shaped breaking ball.

His fastball is straight over the top and he’s not cross-firing like he has in the past, but that’s a trade-off. Here’s a video of the release point I’m talking about. Notice how it is over the top and his hand stays behind the ball as opposed to getting to the side of it or covering it up for a breaking ball.

Pepiot’s fastball got hit pretty well in the first couple innings the first time I saw him, but, starting in the 3rd inning of that game, he turned to his other 3 pitches and it was lights out.

Although his fastball got hit around some the first time I saw him, it is definitely a power pitch that will record a lot of strikeouts. Watch the first couple of pitches to see what his fastball looks like up in the zone.

His fastball is anywhere from 96 up in the zone to 91 with sink down in the zone. Watch the 2nd pitch of the following video to see his fastball with sink down in the zone

Pepiot is a guy that is ascending through the ranks and was one of the factors, in my opinion, that made the trade for Max Scherzer and Trae Turner possible. That’s because, although Josiah Gray and Gerardo Carillo were big losses, Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson, and Landon Knack allow the Dodgers organization to absorb those losses and keep a bright future ahead.

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