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Newest addition to 2019 Marlins super bullpen: Tommy Eveld

Returning home to the Sunshine State, Eveld is an unusual prospect with legitimate major league potential.

Once a Marlin, always a Marlin!
Photo by @coachmark123/Twitter

To the surprise of many, the Marlins still hadn’t made a move with just hours remaining prior to the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. But they finally broke the ice by flipping veteran reliever Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league RHP Tommy Eveld.

The former college quarterback and wide receiver at USF stands at 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds. After tearing his ACL in 2014, Eveld decided he was done with football, so he walked onto the baseball team during his junior year. After not even stepping onto a baseball field after 10th grade, he ended up dominating at the college ranks and was drafted the next year in the ninth round of the 2016 draft.

Eveld grew up in Tampa, Florida, which should make the trade to Marlins a very easy adjustment from a personal standpoint. Initially, he’ll report to Double-A Jacksonville.

As a reliever this year in the D-backs system, Eveld has posted a 1.11 ERA across 36 13 innings in High-A and 4 13 innings at Double-A. He has the ability to throw four different pitches including a fastball, slider, curve and change-up (five?!), but primarily features the 92-95 mph heater and a slider that sits 85-90. The slider acts as more of a power slider or cutter, which reminds me a lot of Luis Severino’s slider.

The slider will tunnel well with the fastball and has potential to miss bats and induce weak contact.

Eveld has shown an aptitude for getting players to hit the ball on the ground. Throughout the minors, his ground ball percentage has hovered right above 50%, which would put him in the top 30 for ground ball percentage among major league relievers in 2018. Interesting to note that Ziegler currently leads the league in ground ball percentage at 74%.

As a 24-year-old this season, Eveld is a tad behind other players his age, but he should be able to progress quickly through Double-A to close out this season. Health permitting, he will definitely be able to make an impact at the big league level next season.

One of our staff writers compared this trade to the Steve Cishek trade that brought back a late-blooming Kyle Barraclough. That trade has worked out very well and it would not be surprising to see Eveld perform to the level that Barraclough has this year for the Marlins.

Oh, and Eveld can do this.

Without any use for the 38-year-old Ziegler after this season, the Marlins should be very pleased with the return of a cheap, controllable bullpen arm. A possible bullpen with Conley, Guerrero, Barraclough and Eveld could be very fun to watch next season...and don’t sleep on Dylan Lee, either.