Height/Weight: 6’2”, 195 lbs
Acquired: 18th round, 2008 (Berry College)
2011 Rank: NR
Why Ranked Here: McHugh ascends to the top 30 based on success on the field rather than pure potential.
McHugh works with a five-pitch mix: fastball, curveball, slider, cutter and changeup. He’s also messed around with two-and four-seam fastballs. This year, his fastball added a little life, and even by the Arizona Fall League, was sitting 89-91 touching 92 early in his outings. His curveball has some bite, and is my favorite of his off-speed offerings. The cutter has just enough movement to avoid the fat part of the bat and prevent solid contact.
I have an explicit bias for smart athletes. McHugh qualifies. He writes humorously and insightfully at his blog, A Day Older, A Day Wiser.
McHugh has thrown strikes and missed bats. He might not have a premium heater, but he works with what he has to produce excellent results. The Mets did not add him to the 40-man roster in November, leaving him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, and after a rough trip to the Arizona Fall League, the baseball world passed.
2011: After a solid season in Savannah in 2010, McHugh moved up to advanced-A St. Lucie to start the year, where he was struggling. Then, in May he was promoted to double-A Binghamton. Initially that too was a challenge. However, in his final 10 appearances at double-A he was lights out.
The chart below explains:
McHugh was so good in the second half for Binghamton, that he earned the team’s Pitcher of the Year Award. Enjoy his curveball in the video below.
The end of McHugh’s season was a tough trip to the Arizona Fall League: 6.91 ERA, 8 G, 7 GS, 27.1 IP, 42 H, 23 R, 21 ER, 11 BB, 24 SO. Even while allowing opponents to hit .362 off him, he still ran a K/BB over two.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Back-end starter. Strong middle-reliever.
Debbie Downer Says: Not enough fastball. Triple-A journey-man.
Projected 2012 Start: Triple-A Buffalo
MLB Arrival: September 2012