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2021 MLB Draft Profile: Spencer Schwellenbach

Are the Marlins interested in adding a potential two-way player to their organization?

Spencer Schwellenbach #1 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers throws out a runner at first base during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Overview

Position: RHP/SS

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 200 pounds

School: Nebraska

Spencer Schwellenbach is a right-handed pitcher/shortstop from Saginaw, Michigan and plays for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Schwellenbach is one of the top two-way prospects in the 2021 MLB Draft but most view Schwellenbach as a primary pitcher moving forward.

During his time at Nebraska, Schwellenbach was the starting shortstop for the Cornhuskers but was also their closer for the 2021 season. Schwellenbach was a three-year starter for the Cornhuskers.

As a position player, Schwellenbach is a career .282 hitter with good hitting tools. His career slash line at Nebraska was .282/.405/.423 with 114 hits, 19 doubles, 12 home runs, 67 RBIs, 66 walks and a .829 OPS. He is also a very sound defensive middle infielder.

On the mound, Schwellenbach only pitched his junior season but was one of the best closers in the country. Schwellenbach made eighteen appearances as all of them were in relief. He posted a 3-1 record with a 0.57 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, ten saves, 9.7 K/9 and a .198 opponent batting average.

At 6’1”, 200 pounds, Schwellenbach is about an average-sized prospect but still has some room to fill in his frame. Scouts are very split on Schwellenbach—some see him as a mid-rotation arm or a back-end relief pitcher; others think he could play the middle infield at the next level. Schwellenbach has a 50-grade hit tool but the power potential started to show in 2021. One thing that definitely stands out with Schwellenbach is his arm strength. The Nebraska product may be capable of playing third base or shortstop because of that.

On the mound, Schwellenbach possesses two plus pitches in his fastball and slider. His fastball sits in the mid-90s while also topping out at 99. Schwellenbach also has an impressive slider that got plenty of swing-and-miss especially against right-handed hitters. His changeup is a pretty average but does have some sink to it and his command of it is pretty good.

Strengths

  • Two-way player
  • Two plus pitches as pitcher
  • High velocity fastball
  • Plus slider especially versus RHH
  • Top notch bullpen option
  • Good hitting tools as a hitter
  • Some power potential at the plate
  • One of the strong arms in the draft for an infielder

Weaknesses

  • Only pitched one season at Nebraska and never started a game on the mound
  • Had elbow injury that prevented him from pitching early in his career
  • Questions if Spencer Schwellenbach could hit at a high level in the minors
  • Probably won’t stick at shortstop at next level

Pro Comparison: J.P. Feyereisen

Projection: Day One Draft pick


Bottom Line

With the 16th overall pick, it’ll be unlikely that the Marlins get a no-brainer top draft prospect to fall in their lap. Two-way player Spencer Schwellenbach could be their guy. Schwellenbach is a very talented player but not a conventional mid-first-round player, so they’ll probably be able to sign him for under slot value and use the extra money to pursue pricier high school prospects in later rounds.

To me, I think Schwellenbach could be a really good relief pitcher at the next level but I’m sure the Marlins would give him the opportunity to also be a position player in the minors if they take on the challenge of developing him.