Name: Chris Viall
Born: Soquel, California
Age: 20 (9/28/95)
Height/Weight: 6'9"/230 lbs
School: Stanford University (Stanford, California)
Thanks to a blazing 95 MPH fastball and tall body that projected some more velocity, Chris Viall was drafted out of high school by his hometown San Fransisco Giants in the 39th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. The right-hander elected to go to college instead of signing with them, attending Stanford University. Though he initially started his collegiate career as a starting pitcher, the right-hander was eventually transitioned to the bullpen. In the three years that he pitched as a Cardinal, he went back-and-forth between starting and relieving, primarily getting action as a middle reliever with spot starts sprinkled in here and there.
Standing an imposing 6'9" and weighing 230 pounds, Chris Viall is an intimidating pitcher. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot. Like many tall pitchers, Viall has had problems with the the consistency of his mechanics. He utilizes a high leg kick, but his leg lift is sometimes high and sometimes half-hearted, leading to weight and momentum imbalances almost immediately in his delivery. His is inconsistent in where he plants his landing leg, sometimes planting it down and facing his catcher and sometimes planting it down pointing towards the on-deck circle. When he is not repeating his mechanics, his release point varies, causing his control to suffers and his velocity to diminish.
His biggest asset is his fastball. The pitch sits in the low-to-mid-90s, tops out as high as 97 MPH, and gets a lot of movement. Thanks to his height and the length of his arms, Viall's fastball appears even faster to hitters, as he gets good arm extension and the ball has less distance to travel. He complements his fastball with a tight curve that sits in the low 80s and a changeup. Viall's curve is his best secondary pitch, but he has a good feel for the changeup, a pitch he has not used much throughout his collegiate career.
Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous has said that Viall will most likely move very quickly though the system, perhaps hinting that the big man will be used as a reliever. His strengths certainly would be played up in short bursts, while his issues repeating his release point would be limited simply by virtue of throwing fewer pitches per appearance.