Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #14 Adam Macko
Photo credit:Phrake Photography
18 days ago
Adam Macko was born in Slovakia, was raised in Ireland, and trained at Vauxhall Academy in Alberta with a potential teammate, Damiano Palmegiani.
What’s more, is that he’s a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher with excellent secondary stuff. Therefore, he ranks as Blue Jays Nation’s #14 prospect heading into 2023.
Let’s look at the criteria before delving in.
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be reviewing their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Adam Macko‘s career so far:
The Slovakian-born left-handed pitcher was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 draft by the Seattle Mariners and was a part of the Teoscar Hernández trade in late November.
He started his professional career in 2019 with Seattle’s rookie team, where he posted a 3.38 ERA and a 3.80 FIP in 21.1 innings pitched. He was mainly used as a reliever that season and posted a 33 K%, but a rather high 11.7 BB%.
Macko’s next season came in 2021 with Seattle’s Low-A team. The then 20-year-old pitched as a starter and had a 4.59 ERA and a 3.33 FIP in 33.1 innings pitched, which saw an increased 36.1 K%, but a rather high 13.5 BB%. According to MLB Pipeline, he missed the majority of the 2021 season with rotator tendinitis.
In 2022 with Seattle’s High-A team, he posted a 3.99 ERA and a 3.77 FIP in 38.1 innings pitched. He continued to maintain a high 35.9 K%, but his BB% was still on the relatively high side as well, as it sat at 12% for the season. Per MLB Pipeline, he had an elbow strain and a meniscus injury, which ended his season in late May.
During the 2022 season, he had a 39.66 whiff rate, which isn’t something a lot of Jays’ prospects can claim. He also had a 34.74 called strike + whiff percentage as well as a 16.72 swinging strike percentage.
Macko returned to action in the Arizona Fall League, where he had mixed results. He had a 6.08 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched in his seven appearances. He mainly pitched as a reliever and posted a 21.9 K% and an incredibly high 20.3 BB%.
Adam Macko‘s stuff:
The 22-year-old lefty features a fastball that sits anywhere between 92-95 mph, and has touched as high as 98 mph. He also features a two-seam fastball which has a sinking motion. As for his off-speed stuff, he features a curveball (his best pitch), a slider (which could become one of his best pitches), and a changeup, which is rather underrated.
Compact build, with muscular legs, slim upper half, and broad shoulders, he has projection remaining. Macko pitches with a low 3/4 arm slot, giving him a funky release point. He gets plenty of ride on his four-seam fastball, and plenty of sinking action on his two-seam fastball. He has a plus-plus loopy curveball, and when paired with his high-velocity fastball, it gives batters a hard time. Changeup can be used all over the zone, it has arm side fade and breaks downwards, missing bats. His sweeping slider has tons of depth. Macko hasn’t been able to show a high-quality of command and control in his young career and has spent significant time on the injured list the past few seasons.
Where he’ll start in 2023:
How Macko does in spring training will determine where he starts the 2023 season. If he has a great spring training, it’s possible he will start the season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. If his spring training isn’t great, it’s possible he’d start his season repeating High-A, with a chance for promotion during the season.
Macko has great makeup as he is a left-handed pitcher who throws heat. Not just that, but he has great secondary stuff, and could add even more velocity. The big step that would take him to the next level is improved control and command, and that can be helped by staying healthy.
If Macko can hit his ceiling, the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old.
Next up, we’ll have another draftee from the 2022 class. This prospect hit the fifth-most homers thus far from his class, so definitely stay tuned!
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