- Led the National League in fWAR (3.1) among all rookie pitchers in 2015
- Knows more about oblique muscles than 99% of all humans
- Born on April 18, 1990 in Freehold, NJ - the same hometown as current Chicago Cubs reliever Brad Brach
- Was college teammates at the University of Florida with former Red Preston Tucker, as well as big leaguers Mike Zunino and Matt Den Dekker, among many others
- Just got married!
- Drafted in the 22nd round by the Boston Red Sox in 2008, but opted to attend the University of Florida instead
- Drafted in the 6th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, signed for $235,000
- Traded to the Cincinnati Reds alongside Chad Wallach in exchange for Mat Latos at the end of 2014
- Made MLB debut on May 14, 2014
- Under team control through the end of the 2020 season; earning $2.13 million in 2019, his second year of arbitration eligibility
Disco was a FanGraphs darling in his breakout 2015 season, in what still stands today as his most quantity-driven season. He backed that up with a brilliant, albeit abbreviated 123.1 IP in 2016, which was loved by Baseball Reference. Each was rated as roughly a 3-win season by those respective clearing houses, though each was similarly meh on the season they, respectively, did not adore.
Considering Disco backed those up with an elbow injury that sapped his entire 2017 season and a second oblique injury that put chains on his 2018, that’s just about as worthy a description of his outlook as can be - who knows?
At his best, Disco looks the part of a solid #2 starter for most any club, one constantly on the cusp of ‘putting it all together,’ if you will. That even popped up in his 2018 performances, as he spun together 34.1 IP across 5 August starts that were largely brilliant - a 2.62 ERA, only 3 dingers allowed, and a stellar 27/4 K/BB. Still, his September failed to back that up, and he finished with a 4.93 ERA in what could only be categorized in full as a disappointing season.
That said, Disco has shown time and time again when healthy that he’s the kind of workhorse that every rotation could use, seemingly able to get deeper into games before running into a 100 pitch wall than most of his peers. Not to mention, the Cincinnati Reds already bet big on a pitcher who posted a nearly identical 4.90 ERA just last year as their future staff ace, and that one is roughly 5 months older than DeSclafani.
For now, at the time of publishing this, Disco appears to be as healthy as he’s been at this juncture of spring camp since that breakout 2015 season, and if he can do anything close to replicating that year for the 2019 Reds, both he and the team’s rebuilt pitching staff should be in a pretty wonderful position. Banking on him staying healthy and fully rebounding, though, is always tough to do, which makes the way the Reds did that rebuilding - adding veteran starters while holding on to their AAA/AAAA starting depth - pretty well thought out, since it’s truly tough to count on Disco to make 33 starts this year in any scenario.
Still, he’s also shown that he can be incredibly valuable even if he misses just a little bit of time, and that’s something that we’d all point to as progress at this point.