In my article about right-handed pitcher Colin Selby this week, I talked about his strong second half improvement in 2021, while coming back from Tommy John surgery. I also mentioned his individual pitch improvements, including an added slider, a new changeup and a fastball that has touched 100 MPH.
Today, let’s take a look at a video of his recent off-season bullpen session, which shows off those pitches, as well as the curveball, which gives him an interesting four-pitch arsenal.
Tread Athlete @Colin_Selby40 getting ready for the season sitting an easy 95-97 with a 91.7 MPH changeup? 😱
— Tread Athletics (@TreadHQ) January 17, 2022
You can see the fastball fairly well in that video. As it notes up top, he was sitting 95-97 MPH during this session. Selby has shown 93-95 MPH as a starter in the past, so the velocity isn’t something new, but his average fastball was up about two MPH last year near the end of the season, sitting 96-99, touching 100 MPH. Selby has been 95-98 MPH in his most recent sessions, and his fastball shows some tailing action.
The changeup is brand new this winter. His old changeup wasn’t effective and he thought about getting rid of the pitch, but he was convinced to add in a two-seam changeup to add depth and movement to the pitch. In a recent session, the changeup was 90-91, and you can see it hit 91.7 MPH in the video. It’s still a work in progress in the early stages.
Out of his two breaking balls, the slider is a harder pitch, coming in about 88-89, with late/sharp movement. His curveball has a nice 11-to-5 break and sits around 83-84 MPH. The curve looks to be his #2 pitch behind the fastball, but that could just be due to the fact that the slider was added around the All-Star break in 2021.
Selby had an extremely impressive second half in 2021, highlighted by a much better walk rate and a higher strikeout rate than the first half. That’s in addition to a .142 BAA in his last 40.2 innings. He’s days away from reporting to Pirate City, where he will have an improving slider/changeup combo to add to his upper 90s fastball and curve that he can use in any count. That makes him one to watch this year in Altoona.
Pirates Prospects Spotlight
Colin Selby was a late-round draft pick in 2018, who really blossomed during his first full season in the Pirates system. He was left back in Extended Spring Training in 2019, only to put up impressive results that got him promoted to Greensboro, where he did well in 17 starts and moved into our top 50 prospects list. He was sidetracked by Tommy John surgery in March of 2020, but he’s returned even better than before, and now looks like a potential hidden gem in the system, who should be on the prospect radar for more people. This article looks at the changes he made to get his 2021 season on track in June, as well as what he’s doing this winter to help him achieve his big league dreams.