Last night I saw Trent Stevenson pitch four innings in West Virginia, allowing one run on two walks and three hits. Stevenson had a rough start to the year, with a 4.76 ERA in April, and a 9.64 ERA in 14 innings in May. However, he’s really bounced back in June, with a 2.20 ERA in 16.1 innings. His last two outings have been strong, allowing one run in four innings each time out. I talked to Trent after the game to see what the biggest change was between the start of the season, and his recent performance.
“I feel like I’m a lot more comfortable with my delivery, and figuring things out mentally,” Stevenson said about his recent success. As for specific pitches, he has been working on getting a feel for his slider.
“I didn’t have a feel for it at the beginning of the year, and I’m starting to get a feel for it and starting to throw it for strikes more often,” he said about the pitch. “Tonight I didn’t feel like I had the best fastball command. Change-ups coming along, and that felt good tonight. I’m just developing my slider, that’s the biggest thing for me right now.”
Stevenson is a tall, lean pitcher with lots of room for projectability. He’s 6′ 6″, 175 pounds, and could add velocity when he fills out. The 2009 7th round pick has thrown in the 88-90 MPH range when I’ve seen him. His slider has been inconsistent in the past, but was effective last night, throwing a few batters off balance. He’s more of a project than 2009 prep pitchers like Zack Von Rosenberg and Colton Cain. His large projectable frame and easy delivery give him a strong chance of increasing velocity in the future. If that happens, having a good, sharp slider to pair with his fastball will give Stevenson a strong 1-2 punch.