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Tim Melville 2016 Season Preview

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What, exactly, is a Tim Melville, anyway?

He is known to stare into your soul as he throws a baseball at you.
He is known to stare into your soul as he throws a baseball at you.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fast Facts

Born on October 9, 1989 in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, MO, Tim Melville's path to becoming an American professional athlete was longer than most. Around the age of 10, he noticed that he was having trouble breathing during exercise and assumed that he was developing asthma. Finally, after his mother read an article in a magazine that perfectly described his symptoms, it was discovered that he actually had developed an abnormality in his rib cage called pectus excavatum, which gives the appearance of a sunken chest. He would end up having a surgery to correct the condition, which allowed him to compete in athletics without any trouble.

Melville would end up being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. His minor league career up to this point has been mostly forgettable. The Royals had high hopes for him early, and he even rated the 93rd best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2010 season, but he would mostly bounce around the Rookie and Single-A teams in his first three seasons. He would battle injuries for most of 2012, and ended up having Tommy John surgery at the end of the season. His stint in Double-A in 2014 didn't go much better post-TJS, and he would eventually be released then signed by the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2015 season. He spent the entire 2015 season pitching in Triple-A Toledo, where he went 7-10 with a 4.63 ERA over 27 starts.

Organizational Information

Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from Wentzville Holt HS (Wentzville, MO).
Signed by the Cincinnati Reds on a minor league contract - December 1, 2015.

Career Statistics

2016 Spring Training

Scouting Report

Tim Melville throws a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball that sits in the 90-93 mph range. His most reliant off-speed pitch is a curveball that he will throw in pretty much any count. He'll also throw in a slider and change-up. Melville has a good physical make-up for a pitcher, standing at 6'4". He has struggled with his command throughout his career, posting a 7.3 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9 in six years in the minor leagues.

While he struggled in Triple-A last season, he did show some improvements, especially compared to his 2014 spent in Double-A. He struggled with his command again in the first half of the season, posting a 12.2% walk rate through July. He would end up turning it around in August, though, only walking seven batters over the final two months of the season while striking out 37.

2016 Projections

2016 Depth Charts 1 2 0 5 5 28.0 6.46 4.48 1.54 .300 69.0 % 5.45 5.54 -0.1
2016 Steamer 1 2 0 5 5 28.0 6.42 4.12 1.25 .285 70.8 % 4.75 4.99 0.1
2016 ZiPS 4 8 21 21 104.0 6.49 4.85 1.82 .303 67.3 % 6.14 6.08 -0.9


Outlook

When he was signed back in December, Tim Melville was mainly regarded as an organizational depth signing. With so many young pitchers in the Reds' rotation, it certainly wasn't the worst thing the Reds could do. If anything, he could make a move to the bullpen and crack the roster there with so many question marks surrounding the Reds' 'pen in 2016. Now, with spring training injuries to Jon Moscot and Anthony DeSclafani, coupled with the projected May returns of Homer Bailey and John Lamb, he has a chance to make the MLB roster on opening day, and is in the running to start game 3 for the Reds. While his career has been a disappointment up to this point hopefully he can build off of the end of his 2015 campaign and take advantage of this opportunity. It would be a perfect chance to turn things around, and with the state of the Reds rotation at the moment, the team could certainly use a turn-around from him, too.