Norcal ProCase Spotlight: LHP Jack Nilsson

Blaine Clemmens
Northern CA Director of Scouting

LINCOLN, CA. - Nilsson, presently our 82nd ranked 2021 in California (8th among LHP), didn't have his greatest day as it relates to his results and/or control of the zone. But there were enough pitches he threw that showed the very high ceiling for what his stuff will look like one day. Like a few others at this ProCase, the attendance of over 50 MLB scouting personnel ended up going a long way toward Jack being selected for the Athletics Area Code Games team. With his raw stuff, projectable frame, and loose arm, there are sure to be ample looks at him in the spring season.


Body: 6-foot-2, 175-pounds. Long and lean with a high waist. Looks to have very little body fat, quite trim and streamlined w/some budding musculature in the lower half.

Delivery: Takes hands over the head to start, with a small rocker step. Post foot didn't make a full turn to get flush with the rubber and that very well could have cause his control struggles in this outing. Online stride, firm and stable stride leg. Long and deep arm action on backside getting to a 3/4 slot and sling-ish arm action. The arm is quick and the body control is good, could develop better extension and finish. Couple of adjustments (plant foot for better direction & the finish/extension) and the stuff could really jump.

FB: Pitched 85-88 mph, w/peaks of 89-90 mph. Sneaky hot through the zone, there is plenty more in the tank as a lot of that velocity comes strictly off his arm speed and arm strength. On a few occasions he shoved the FB inside very well to RHH and if he can do that, he's got a chance to develop a starter's repertoire. Average induced vertical break of 8.6 (high of 11.1). Average horizontal break of -15, average FB spin of 2138 (high of 2440).

SL: 75-77 mph, threw a couple that had late snap and backfoot break vs RHH, which can be a nasty strikeout pitch for him, as that location on the glove side also is devastating vs a LHH. Average 2250 spin rate and high of 2331. Occasionally sweepy action, related to his release point and timing of his hands and feet. The long-ish arm action can occasionally get stuck on backside a bit, taking away the effective bite on some of his sliders. 

CB: Did not see one in this outing

CHG: Did not show or utilize in this outing

Summary: The raw stuff, body, arm speed, all of it is there. Development of a third pitch (CHG) would be helpful and necessary if he's to develop as a starter. The slider can play as an out caliber pitch vs RHH and LHH hitters, which makes him unique as a LHP who can regularly strike out RHHs. Ability and willingness to pitch inside vs RHH is also a strong attribute. Until seeing the development of the third pitch and seeing evidence that the control struggles were an aberration, Nilsson profiles as a reliever with strikeout stuff, both collegiately and down the road as a professional prospect.