Surname: Landon Sims
Position: starting pitcher
Acquired: 2022 MLB Draft, Competitive Balance Round A (34), $2.347M signing bonus
Tool: Fastball 65, Slider 70, Changeup 40, Command 50, Overall 50
Sims has an explosive fastball with a high spin rate and carry at the top of the zone that’s in the mid 90’s and tops out at around 98 MPH. He also handles arguably the best slider in the Diamondbacks system, averaging mid-80s with lots of late and horizontal sweep. Those two pitches are already double blinking and are good enough to become a big league pitcher. His move is well behind his other two spots but will be key for him to develop if he wants to be a big league starter. He might consider adding a fourth pitch to use as a backup against lefties if the switch never develops.
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As far as makeup goes, Sims gets an 80’s due to his competitive rabid nature and how he controls the pace at bats. Rob Friedman, known as Pitching Ninja on Twitter, calls him a pace-of-the-game enforcer.
Estimated Time Of Arrival: 2025
Risk: Very high
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2022 at a glance
After a successful run as a closer for a National Champion Mississippi State Squad, Sims was named her Friday night starter in 2022. He made three electrifying starts and went 0-2 with a 2.87 ERA and a 27/2 strikeout to walk ratio in 15.2 innings. During his March 11 start against Tulane, he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and required surgery from Tommy John three days later. He was one of many college poor who went down with a significant arm injury in the 2022 draft class, causing his stock to drop from a potential top 10 pick to 34th pick. The D-Backs called his name with the 34th overall pick, trying to buy cheap a pitcher who will either start or close in the big leagues.
2023 at a glance
Sims is likely to complete his rehab and return to the mound early in the 2023 season. Player development staff will carefully monitor their workload, which can add up to around 80-90 innings. The goal will be to get him to at least 150 innings by 2025 so he can work his way into a big league starter workload. He can start the year with Low-A Visalia to see how his stuff looks for a few starts before stepping up to High-A Hillsboro for most of the season. I wouldn’t be shocked to see his season end with Double-A Amarillo to create a challenging environment for him.
Sims is a difficult long-term projection right now, but the two most likely outcomes would like to be included in the big league list. If he stays injury-free and successfully puts up to 150 innings in the 2025 season, he’ll likely end up in the middle of the rotational arm with an elite two-pitch mix of fastball and sliders with the occasional switch. If there’s even one injury that causes him to miss a lot of time and not be able to catch up in the Arizona Fall League, the D-backs could look to quickly get him back into a high-leverage helper . I have no doubt Sims will become a key pitcher for the D-Backs if he’s healthy, the only question is whether he starts or finishes games.