As a senior sign in the eighth round of the 2015 draft, Tommy Bergjans’ initial value to the club was in bonus savings in slot so that the Dodgers could chase tougher signs. Since the track record of college seniors becoming legitimate prospects is fairly inconsistent, the Dodgers were likely making an educated guess that Bergjans’ strikeout prowess at Haverford College and his ability to throw strikes might translate into some future utility.
As a complementary trade chip sent to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz, I would argue that Bergjans fulfilled more value to the club than could be expected of an eighth-round budget selection.
Though I have only limited tools to evaluate Bergjans, what is evident from the scant video from college and at Rancho Cucamonga is that Bergjans’ calling card is a tight slider that he exhibits excellent command of in the zone. Despite a high leg kick, Bergjans’ employs and efficient delivery that he repeats easily with his athleticism. He’s slight of build and lacks projection, and his fastball is known for it’s velocity. Still, the pitch plays up due to his command and late movement, making it a solid complement to his slider.
Though Bergjans leaves the Dodger organization with a strikeout percentage around 24%, I would expect the number to dip as he moves up the organizational ladder. He’s been effective in Rancho Cucamonga, but had several names to leap in the organizational depth chart to get an opportunity to start at the big league level. From a stuff and body perspective, Bergjans has similarities to former Rockies reliever Matt Daley, and I believe like Daley, Bergjans upside is likely in middle relief as a breaking-ball-heavy arm.