Name: Jackson Goddard
DOB: 12/12/1996 (Age 22)
Acquired: 3rd Round Pick, 2018 Draft
Most Notable Tool: Mid 90s Fastball
Season Stats: 13 Games (12 Starts), 1-3, 4.18 ERA, 28 IP, 27/12 K/BB, 1 HR, 1.11 WHIP, 41.2% GB rate for Short A Hillsboro
2018 Season Summary: Even though injuries limited him to 52 innings in college, the Diamondbacks saw enough potential to take him with their 3rd round selection. Goddard pitched 1 inning for the AZL Dbacks, but otherwise spent the rest of the season in Short A Hillsboro. The inconsistency issue that plagued him throughout his college career continued in his first year in the pros. Due to the short number of innings he got per start, the 3-4 bad games he had ended up inflating his ERA. Otherwise, he was tough to hit overall with batters putting up a .198 average (.265 BABIP) and a solid 24% strikeout rate. Walks and pitching with runners in scoring position were an issue with a 11% BB rate and a 62.5% strand rate. I attribute that a bit to perhaps not being able to establish an early rhythm due to though short starts.
Tools: Fastball 50/60, Slider 45/55, Change-Up 45/55, Command 40/50
Goddard has the potential for 3 above average to plus pitches, although the command for them is inconsistent. Walks have been an issue for Goddard with more than 10% of hitters getting free passes in college and the pros. That’s something he’ll have to iron out if he wants to remain a starter. The delivery itself isn’t an issue although there is effort in the arm acceleration phase and that causes him to fall off a bit.
Upside: Goddard’s ability to throw strikes will determine if he starts or relieves at the MLB level. Goddard has a pair of swing and miss pitches (FB, SL), but often finds himself behind in the count. Due to the ability to miss bats, he could profile as a late-inning reliever if starting does not work out. However, as a starter he has the upside of a #3 guy if command allows it.
Risk: Command is the #1 issue at play, with the walks being a big problem. Since he does a good job of avoiding the barrel and misses bats at a solid enough rate, there is a second possible career outcome. However, if the command does not develop he probably won’t make it to the majors as more than a reliever.
Likely 2019 Assignment: Goodard will likely see time in Kane County to start the season where they will lengthen his starts to about 5 innings and further as the season progresses. He pitched about 80 innings between college and pros, so they can only realistically push him to 100 to 110 innings.
ETA: 2021 Season