Name: Trey Cobb
Born: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Age: 21 (6/24/94)
Height/Weight: 6'1"/200 lbs
School: Oklahoma State University
Trey Cobb, the Mets’ eighth pick in the 2017 draft, takes baseball very seriously. Thanks to his “no fooling around” demeanor, the right-hander helped his high school team to the playoffs and to championships as a sophomore, junior, and senior. He was recruited by multiple colleges—LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona, Stanford, Alabama, Florida, Miami and Wichita State, among others—but eventually decided on attending Oklahoma State University because of his parents, who are OSU alum, and because of the coaching staff working there.
Though primarily a starter in high school, Coach Stillwater shifted the right-hander to the bullpen. The move there fit Cobb. Pitching in relief, after all, is in his blood: His grandfather, Frank Linzy, played professional baseball for ten seasons with the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Philadelphia Phillies, serving as bullpen fireman for those teams. Appearing in 18 games, the freshman posted a 3.12 ERA, allowing 37 hits, walking 18, and striking out 28. His 2015 season was very similar: appearing in 31 games, Cobb posted a 2.61 ERA, allowing 48 hits, walking 19, and striking out 53. He was named to the Big-12 Championship All-Tournament Team, and was an honorable mention on the All-Big 12 Team.
In 2016, his junior year, Cobb served as OSU’s opening day starter and made 12 starts throughout the year. The right-hander posted a 3.09 in 81.2 innings pitched, allowing 81 hits, walking 32, and striking out 100. The best season of his baseball career benefitted him in the 2016 MLB Draft, as the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the 12th round, the 374th pick overall. When pressed between accepting the Cubs’ offer—which likely would have been well below the $100,000 slot that Round 10 picks can be offered—or returning to college, Cobb decided to take the gamble and returned to college, not to finish his degree and graduate, but to bolster his standing in the 2017 draft.
Cobb’s gamble backfired to a degree. As the 2017 baseball season approached, his elbow began experiencing pain. He was eventually diagnosed with a broken bone in his pitching elbow and was sidelined for the first seven weeks of the season. The senior made his debut on April 1st and went on to appear in 18 more, all out of the bullpen. He wound up posted a 3.37 ERA in 26.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 9, and striking out 36 batters.
Cobb’s fastball generally sits in the low-90s, topping out around 95 MPH. The pitch gets plenty of sink, and as a result, Cobb gets a preponderance of ground balls and has been able to limit home run damage over the course of his career. He complements the sinking fastball with a slider that grades out as average-to-above-average thanks to its spin and depth. The right-hander also has a feel for a changeup, throwing it with the same arm speed and release point as his fastball, but he doesn’t feature it very often.
Cobb uses somewhat unorthodox pitching mechanics. He throws almost sidearm, from a low three-quarters arm slot. He wraps his arm behind his back, which may have had an impact on his elbow injury from early 2017. He hesitates slightly before delivering the ball, losing momentum and making him rely on his quick arm rather than his body to generate velocity. His command and the consistency of his stuff comes and goes from inning-to-inning and outing-to-outing as a result.