May 10, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach McAllister (34) is taken out of the game during the fifth inning by manager Terry Francona (17) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Middling Prospect of the Day: Duke von Schamann

When the Cleveland Indians dealt Colt Hynes to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of spring training, after designating him for assignment, no one in the world paused and gave it a second thought. Check that, his parents may have been upset. Cleveland went about their business, wondering whether Kyrie Irving was headed elsewhere, as the Tribe acquired a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher named Duke von Schamann for Hynes, who never actually threw a pitch in the Cleveland organization. Do you want to know what the world thinks of von Schamann? Baseball Reference says this about the Hynes deal:

  • April 6, 2014: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Error. (seriously)

Only, von Schamann may be much better than the mistake that the Mecca of baseball statistics considers him. With Trevor Bauer finally promoted, Danny Salazar strugging (even in the minors), and Josh Tomlin pitching well in Cleveland, the  Tribe’s pitching depth within the organization could be tested, especially with Zach McAllister pitching so poorly of late. With so much drama in the C-L-E, it’s kinda hard being…a pitcher with options.

For that reason, you should know more about Duke von Schmann, who is quickly climbing the organizational ladder and qualifies as a candidate for a call-up in coming weeks to fill a rotation or bullpen spot, even if it is just temporarily.

Von Schamann was a 15th round pick in the 2012 draft out of Texas Tech, where he recorded a 2.08 ERA for the Red Raiders in 2012, the third-lowest at the school in the aluminum bat era. That same year, he became the first pitcher since 2000 to lead Texas Tech in wins, ERA, complete games, strikeouts and innings pitched. At 6’5″, 220 pounds, von Schamann has the prototypical body to be an innings-eating, mid-rotation starter, but the same could have been said about McAllister and his 6’6″, 240 pound frame – nothing is ever guaranteed! Since joining the professional ranks, von Schamann has done some nice things. He has a 3.93 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 249.1 innings, allowing just 2.1 walks per nine innings. He has survived a couple of hitter-friendly ballparks within the Dodgers’ organization, specifically Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga. While he doesn’t have lights-out stuff to put away batters with strikeouts (just a 6.2 strikeouts per nine), he does a solid job of keeping runners off the base paths, which has value in a back-end starting role or out of the bullpen.

Von Schamann has made a spot start at the Triple-A level this year, but he has spent most of his time in Akron. He has struggled a bit over his last three starts (8.16 ERA, 1.88 WHIP over 14.1 innings), but he was very effective in his other six appearances (0.93 ERA, 0.66 WHIP over 29 innings) prior to his recent meltdown.

Duke von Schamann turns 23 in June. He has a nice collegiate pedigree and, though not highly acclaimed in the prospect world, seems to have enough to be useful from time to time. That isn’t saying much, but after a game in which nearly every pitcher on the 25-man roster got time on the mound due to the struggles of the starting pitcher, you can never say never with a fresh arm.

A scouting report from Dodgers Digest:

Duke von Schamann, RHP (6’4, 220, 23 years old)
An easy 80 name to go along with Pratt Maynard, von Schamann is one of the better “pitchers” in the Dodgers’ system. Drafted as a college senior, he’s more mature than most coming out of college, and it shows on the mound. He doesn’t have plus-stuff, but he knows what to do with his pitches. His 88-90 MPH fastball has some sink to it. When he’s going well, he locates it where he wants. He also has a curveball that is a little loopy, but also has an 11-5 break. His changeup is fringy and in the upper-70s-to-low-80s.

His delivery is clean and he repeats it well. He has some of the best control and command in the system. He’s not afraid to throw any pitch in any count because of his plus-control. As a big guy, one would expect more velocity. But he’s a smart pitcher who profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter or a long-reliever. He should go back to Chattanooga in 2014.

Schamann the Indians if they don’t get this young man promoted soon!

Tags: Cleveland Indians Duke Von Schamann

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