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Don’t sleep on Connor Van Scoyoc in 2024 Rockies Fans

When the Colorado Rockies aimed to improve and increase their pitching depth in 2023, they made a slew of moves during the summer to trade for pitching. One of their first moves was sending veteran infielder Mike Moustakas to the Los Angeles Angels for right-handed prospect Connor Van Scoyoc. The move was not necessarily earth-shattering, however, the Rockies have acquired an arm with plenty of potential flying under the radar.

Originally drafted by the Angels in the 11th round in 2018, Van Scoyoc didn’t exactly light the world on fire in his first couple of seasons of pro ball. He had okay results in 2019 in the Arizona League before losing the 2020 season due to COVID-19 while also recovering from Tommy John surgery. In his second season in 2021, he struggled to a 6.48 ERA but there was really nowhere to go but up for the then 21-year-old as he aimed to get healthy again. 2022 was a huge year for Van Scoyoc as he spent the entire season with the Low-A Inland Empire 66ers and turned in a decent 4.28 ERA in 23 starts over 120 innings. He clocked in 140 strikeouts against 39 walks and appeared poised to take a big step in the Angels system when they sent him to the Arizona Fall League in 2022.

Unfortunately for Van Scoyoc, the AFL didn’t offer much hope as he gave up 26 runs in 26 innings of work over seven starts. The main culprit for his struggles was the 13 walks he gave up and the 1.769 WHIP that was totaled by the end of the short fall season.

Luckily for him, he turned things around and continued his success into the 2023 season. He was left unranked on most prospect lists for the Angels, but that didn’t stop him from having the best year of his career so far with the High-A Tri-City Dust Devils. Van Scoyoc made 11 starts with Tri-City, posting an elite 2.76 ERA over 62 innings of work. Walks were still evident with 25, but he countered that with 56 strikeouts and limited hits against him, resulting in a 1.097 WHIP, thanks largely in part to a 51.2% groundball rate at the time. While his team was set to face the Spokane Indians, Van Scoyoc learned the news that he was traded to the Rockies organization and had to walk across the field to the other dugout to join his new team.

He made just four starts with Spokane, allowing 11 runs on 26 hits in 24 1/3 innings, which isn’t the prettiest stat but was still effective. The most important thing in that span was just five walks against 22 strikeouts. He was able to receive a promotion to Double-A where the jump in difficulty was evident. He made eight more starts with the Yard Goats, allowing 27 runs on 47 hits in 41 2/3 innings for a 5.62 ERA to go along with 15 walks and 36 strikeouts. In total, across three teams over two levels, Van Scoyoc made 23 starts in 2023, totaling 128 innings pitched and a 3.80 ERA. He was Rule 5 eligible but not selected this off-season.

Van Scoyoc is one of the more under-the-radar prospects for the Rockies in 2024. The Rockies are in search of legitimate starters that can eat innings and Van Scoyoc has the potential to be one of those bulldog workhorses. Of his 23 starts last season, he pitched five or more innings 17 times. His 240 total innings over the past two seasons are the type of numbers that should be attractive to the Rockies.

The main key to Van Scoyoc’s success is throwing strikes. The Rockies are trying to stress that approach across the organization and Van Scoyoc fits that mold. He threw 1,069 pitches after his trade to the Rockies, with 696 of them landing for strikes. He has always been a quick worker on the mound, and often efficient, aiming for a pitch-to-contact approach. In 2023 he averaged 3.612 pitches per plate appearance and 15.18 pitches per inning.

He’s able to be effective in the zone thanks to a fastball that sits 91-93 mph. What makes the fastball so effective is in how he throws the ball. Van Scoyoc utilizes a stranger arm angle that helps his fastball play in the zone as a bat-misser. He can cut or sink his heater and has an above-average curveball, all of which are enhanced by what some could consider a funkier movement. It’s nothing too bizarre, but his deceptive mechanics are a reason to be excited about his potential.

He will likely begin the year in Double-A which is a reasonable place to begin his 2024 season. The shuffle of moving to a new organization and adjusting to the new culture can be hard for any prospect mid-season, and the hope is that a full winter working with the organization will lead to a smoother start in Hartford. As long as he continues to throw strikes and work efficiently to get groundballs, there is a real chance that Van Scoyoc could find his way to the big league roster in 2024. He fits the Rockies’ typical mold of a pitcher and could end up working well in the confines of Coors Field. While fans and the media are likely to place more focus on some of the top name prospects in the organization, they shouldn’t sleep on what Van Scoyoc can do in 2024.



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