Prospect Watch: How Orioles novice Kyle Pradesh took a step forward in surprisingly competitive Baltimore

The Baltimore Oriolesthe surprise team of the Summer Baseball League, now looks unlikely to make the playoffs after losing three of four this week against Toronto Blue Jays, the main team they are after in the wild card race. On Thursday, the Orioles entered 4 games again from the Blue Jays with 25 games, Which led to SportsLine forecast to give them a 5 percent chance in the post-season.

If the Orioles really fell victim to the odds and lost the playoffs, they could at least find solace in right-back Kyle Pradesh’s late-season appearance.

Pradesh, which was originally acquired in the trade that sent Dylan Bundy to Los Angeles Angels, had two distinct seasons during the season, with the month he missed due to shoulder inflammation as a demarcation streak. Prior to the injury, Pradesh had started 10 times and scored a modest 7.38 ERA; In his eight starts since returning from the injured list, he has accumulated a 3.09 ERA.

Pradesh has been particularly impressive lately. He had a short and ineffective start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday that muddied the waters, but before that he threw a 15 combined lock-up on the road against two of the squad leaders, Houston Astros and the Cleveland Guardiansduring the previous two beginnings.

Predictably, it wasn’t Pradesh’s shoulder problems that caused his shift or the proverbial radioactive spider bite. The driving forces have been the adjustments he made throughout the season to his mechanics and pitch mix.

Pradesh canceled the rocker move he used to start his operation. These days, it basically works from scratch at all times, and it’s an approach that seems to be more popular. He’s also changed where he stands on the rubber courts, slithering toward the side of first base in late August in a spectator-inspired motion. Milwaukee Brewers Right Corbin Burns, According to Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun,.

Pradesh has also recalibrated its arsenal. He’s only thrown two pitches more than 15 percent of the time this season, in fastball and sliding. The first is sitting in the mid-nineties and acting like a cutter. To wit, the tilt on the Pradesh fastball is similar to that of the fastballs thrown by Max Fried, Julio Urreas and Jose Quintana, among other lefties. Pradesh, of course, is valid. Meanwhile, its slider features an above-average break, both vertically and horizontally.

While Pradesh threw a fastball at least 50 percent of the time before the injury, he threw it 48 percent of the time in August and 36 percent in two appearances in September. Its slider benefited, as its usage rate rose to 38 percent. Given how effective his slider is at losing bats, it’s plausible that he should post greater swing and fail rates and greater strike rates. This, in turn, can help hide one of its enduring weaknesses: its location.

There is a difference between control and leadership. The former involves throwing hits and avoiding walking, and the latter is about throwing good hits – or, sometimes, throwing quality balls. Pradesh has yet to make strides in these respects. He’s been prone to hard hitting all season (ranking 6th in average breakout speed vs, according to Statcast), and he actually walked at a higher rate of hits (albeit barely) in the second half of his season than he did in the first.

Perhaps Pradesh can improve in those arenas going forward. If his season has shown anything, it is that he has the willingness to work and the ability to adapt.