Age (Majority 2021 season): 25
Height: 5’8; Weight: 185
Acquired: Draft – 7th round – 2017
Rule 5 eligible: Eligible
Background & Info – 2020 status: McCarty is a Hattiesburg, Mississippi native and was a high school quarterback coached by Brett Favre. He went to Southern Miss where he was teammates with future Cleveland draft pick Nick Sandlin. After a good college career Cleveland took McCarty in the seventh round in 2017. He started in Lake County in 2018 after a brief showing in short season ball in 2017 and climbed to High-A in 2018 as well. In spring training of 2019 he suffered a shoulder injury which delayed his start to the season but made it to High-A late in the year. He had a few bad starts in 2019 where he was knocked out of outings early and ran into some bad batted ball luck that skewed his numbers. In 2019 McCarty tossed 55.2 innings with 60 strikeouts and 16 walks. He only allowed two homers but 75 hits which drove his WHIP to 1.63. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) was 2.55. McCarty is a bit undersized but has a solid, athletic frame. It’s more of a relief style build for a lefty but he’s got enough strength to him to fill out his frame for being undersized and the potential to handle a decent workload.
Delivery: Works from the third base side of the rubber. Uses a midsection leg kick to load and work up. He drives down on his backside well and turns his back to the hitter as he gets into his lower half to create the ability to push himself downhill naturally and get to a high 3/4 arm slot. His delivery creates good deception through hiding the ball and his arm slot. Not a lot of effort in the delivery and fairly repeatable.
Fastball: 89-93 and tops out at about 94. Four-seamer that tends to be very straight. Gets good downhill plane on it thanks to his arm angle. Spots it well but is often ineffective and too hittable in the zone due to the lack of movement and fringe average velocity. Works well north and south with it. He does throw what looks like a cut-fastball at times, which actually seems to be more of a variant of his slider and fastball. Average command of the pitch. Lack of movement and velocity keep it just a shade below average.
Slider: Tight, 2-8 direction on the pitch. Low-to-mid 80s. Doesn’t really have a lot of sweeping action but has some late break to it. Generally features consistent shape except for when he throws what looks like a cutter where it has more horizontal movement and less vertical break. Not his primary secondary weapon but a usable pitch.
Curve: Low-70s with 11-5 break. Not a true up/down style curveball but has good vertical movement and depth. Probably his best secondary offering.
Changeup: Mid-high 70s with promising features including some armside run and fade. Uses his arm speed effectively to sell the pitch. Should be a good enough offering to keep right handed hitters of his fastball even without being an above average offering. Good command of the pitch down in the zone.
Command+Control: Locates all four pitches well. He’s generally in the zone or on the fringes with everything, which he needs to be to be effective without good velocity or above average raw stuff. Repeatable, athletic with his delivery. More likely to get beat being in the zone too much as opposed to walks. Should feature even better command in a normal full season than what he had in 2019 with a late start due to a shoulder injury.
Grade: Control: 50 – Command: 45
The first box McCarty checks among the profile of pitchers Cleveland likes is being athletic. McCarty was a high school quarterback, like Zach Plesac. Having coaching from Brett Favre shouldn’t hurt.
McCarty had a good 2018 performance and was delayed in 2019 by his shoulder. If that’s healthy there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in Double-A in 2021. If he continues on the path he was on before the lost 2020 season he could continue to work his way up the ladder and have a future as a back of the rotation type arm or at worst, a sixth or seventh type starter that gets some looks. There’s a chance he could be used in a relief role thanks to his command, deception, being a left hander and having at least one or two average secondaries. He is a bit older but he has the stuff as a left hander to potentially get a look in the majors in some capacity if he continues to throw strikes and stay healthy.
Future/Roles: Back of the rotation/Up-and-down type starter or long relief
2021 Status: Double-A Akron