Who Is Zack Littell? - Pinstriped Prospects
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Who Is Zack Littell?

Zack Littell with the Bakersfield Blaze (Photo Credit: Bobby DeMuro)

On Friday night the New York Yankees announced that they traded left-handed pitcher James Pazos to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed minor league pitcher Zack Littell.

Littell, 21, was originally drafted by the Mariners in the eleventh round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Eastern Alamance High School.  That season he made his professional debut in the Arizona League where he went 0-6 in 10 games, seven starts, allowing 22 earned runs in 33 1/3 innings of work.

The next season Littell started 13 games for the Pulaski Mariners where he went 5-5 with a 4.52 ERA and striking out 64 in 69 2/3 innings of work.

In 2015 he started 21 games for the Midwest League Clinton Lumberkings.  In his first full season, he was 3-6 with a 3.91 ERA.  He struck out 84 batters that year in 112 2/3 innings pitched.

Littell started the 2016 season with Clinton but earned himself a promotion to the Bakersfield Blaze after going 5-5 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 starts striking out 95 batters in 97 2/3 innings of work.  After his promotion to the California League, he appeared in another 12 games, 11 starts, where he struck out 61 in 68 innings of work.

In the playoffs, this past season Littell appeared in just one game for the Bakersfield Blaze, and in 7 1/3 innings he struck out 11 batters and allowed only one run on four hits and a walk.

He earned pitcher of the week honors twice in 2016, first on June 12, 2016, and the second on August 21.  He went on to win Player of the Month for the California League in July.

Baseball America rated Littell to have the best curveball in the entire Mariners system.  MLB Pipeline had him listed as the #14 prospect in the Seattle farm system as well as was named Mariners prospect of the year by MLB.com.

His fastball is his best pitch, sitting in the low 90s and tops out in the mid-90s.  He attacks hitters, setting up his curveball which is easily his best secondary pitch.  He is working on developing his changeup, a pitch he has said he needs to take velocity off.

 

Special thanks to Bobby DeMuro for the video and photo.

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