Kirby was among the most efficient college arms in history at Elon in 2019, and rode that to first-round status and a solid first run in pro ball.
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He’s an athletic 6-foot-4 with a strong build up over 200 pounds. His profile seals out a lot of the risk that’s typical of a small-college starter, including a four-pitch arsenal, pitchability and mound presence to spare.
Kirby sits 90-93 mph with an easy delivery he repeats well, touching 95 and manipulating movement like no other arm in the system. In fact, only Marco Gonzales can brag he’s better at it in the entire org.
Kirby’s two-seamer shows good sink and he stays on top of everything well to maximize spin and break. His slider grades about average and his curveball a bit better, but his changeup has flashed plus and should give him at least one above-average big-league secondary pitch, which pairs well with his fastball command.
The right-hander doesn’t possess the ceiling of an arm like Isaiah Campbell, but his floor is higher and he’s likely to mow down low-level minor leaguers and hit the big leagues at similar rate as Logan Gilbert, who is likely to debut in 2020.
Kirby likely starts 2020 at Class-A West Virginia as a future No. 3 starter, but the polish, command and ability to mix fastballs for additional value offer Kirby a shot to end up a No. 2 in the mold of a Rick Porcello or Chris Carpenter.
Jason A. Churchill
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