When Michael Augustine wrote about Zac Gallen’s repertoire back in February, he called the 24-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander “a potential future ace.” Raw stuff wasn’t the reason. None of Gallen’s offerings grade out as plus-plus (although his changeup comes close). In terms of velocity, the former University of North Carolina Tar Heels hurler averaged a pedestrian 93.1 mph with his heater last season.
What makes Gallen good is his command, as well as his ability to mix, match, and tunnel his five-pitch mix. The numbers back up the promise. After debuting with the Miami Marlins last June — he was dealt to the D-Backs at the trade deadline — Gallen put up a 2.81 ERA and a 3.61 FIP over 15 starts. Despite the lack of a power profile, he punched out 96 batters in 80 innings.
Three months after Augustine addressed Gallen’s pitches from an analytical angle, we’re going to learn about them from the pitcher himself. Gallen chronicled the origin and development of each in a phone conversation earlier this week.
David Laurila: What is your full repertoire?
Zac Gallen: “Four-seam, changeup, curveball, and… I call it a cutter, but it’s…