Name: Michael Schwimer
DOB: 2/19/86 (25 as of April 1, 2011)
Weight: 240 lbs
Drafted: 14th round, 2008 ($5,000 bonus)
Pre Draft Report: Michael Schwimer was drafted out of the University of Virginia in the 14th Round of the 2008 draft. Schwimer ranks 2nd all-time in appearances and 4th in saves at UVA. Heading into the ’08 draft, Baseball America ranked Schwimer the 13th best prospect in Virginia heading into the draft. In its scouting report, BA noted that Schwimer profiled best as a setup man, throwing a 90-93 fastball and a mid-80s slider to go with a splitter that he used as a change. It also noted that he was able to command all three pitches.
Schwimer went undrafted as a college junior, then signed for $5,000 after his senior year and started his career with Williamsport.
Career Synopsis: Schwimer began his career shortly after getting drafted with Williamsport in the NYPL. After getting knocked around in his first four innings, Schwimer posted a 0.97 ERA over his final 37 innings. He ended up striking out 62 hitters and walking 15 over the 41.1 innings, and didn’t allow a homer. After the season, he participated in the FIL.
Bypassing Lakewood, Schwimer spent 2009 at Clearwater before meriting a brief promotion to Reading at the end of the year. Across the two stops, he struck out 12.4 hitters per nine, walked 2.9, and allowed 51 hits and 2 homers over 64.2 innings. Following the season, Schwimer pitched 12 innings in the Arizona Fall League.
Schwimer began 2010 in Reading, putting up a 3.60 ERA over 32 games and being named to the Eastern League All-Star game. Again, his K rate was phenomenal at 13.0, while his walk rate remained in line with his career pace of 3.1. His HR rate was the highest of his career at 1.1, but his overall performance was enough to merit a callup to Lehigh Valley. In AAA, Schwimer was again stingy allowing hits and homers (1 in 20 IP) and his walk rate remained constant, but his strikeout rate plummeted to 8.1 (compared to his career rate of 12.3). The results were still solid as he ended his AAA stint with a 1.35 ERA.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Schwimer’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Upside: Schwimer has been a pleasant surprise for the Phils. After striking out less than a batter an inning in college, he has struck out 227 hitters and allowed 134 hits in 166 professional innings. At 25, there’s not much room for projection, but even if that is the case, what he is certainly isn’t bad. He throws 90-93 and has adjusted his mechanics since college to throw on more of a downward plane. He has an above average slider and splitter and his control is very solid. While he doesn’t profile as an end-of-game shutdown guy, he certainly should have a career in middle relief. He’ll begin the season in Lehigh Valley’s bullpen, but is on the short list of guys likely to get the call if the big league pen has a need.
This video outlines what you need to know regarding Scwhimer. Despite his angular frame, he’s not going to just blow it by you, he’s going to move his fastball around and keep you off balance. His fastball has good movement to the glove side. As he has highlighted first hand, he hides the ball well, and because of his long arms and legs, the ball appears to jump on hitters really quickly. Add that to the downhill plane he creates, and its a recipe for bad swings and lots of groundballs. His delivery is very clean, not a ton of moving parts, and he repeats it well, something not all big men can say.