The Texas Rangers have invested a lot of resources into the pitcher position in recent years. They drafted Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker with their first selections in back-to-back seasons. In 2018 they selected Cole Winn in the first-round, followed by Owen White in the second. On top of all of that, they gave Brock Porter a $3.7 million signing bonus, the largest ever for a draft pick after the second round.
Taking all of that into consideration, some players will not receive the fanfare that they might deserve. That might be the case for Tekoah Roby, the third-round selection from 2020. All that Roby has done since is challenge hitters and steadily improve.
His 2021 campaign was off to a fantastic start before being cut short due to a elbow sprain, but he was fully healthy last year and stood his ground as one of the youngest starters in the High-A South Atlantic League. So far in 2022 it has been a mixed bag in terms of results, but the statistics point towards Roby’s numbers improving throughout the year.
Right now, Roby’s ERA is sitting at 5.49 after 39.1 innings pitched. He’s on a heater right now, having only given up two runs in his last two starts, one of which he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He ranks third in the Texas League in innings pitched among qualified pitchers, and 11th in strikeouts. All while being the third youngest pitcher in the Texas League.
Roby possesses a four-pitch repertoire that he uses to overwhelm hitters from all areas of the zone. His fastball typically sits at around 95 mph, and has fantastic vertical break due to the extension that he gets in his delivery. He throws a changeup low-80s that fades to his arm side, and he also added a low-80s slider over the summer that still needs improvement. However, his true plus pitch is his curveball. It sits in the high-70s with lots of spin and elite downward break. The tight spin causes the ball to just fall right off the table, it is a true strikeout pitch for him.
His delivery is consistent and controlled. There is no wasted movement, and his motion looks the same with every pitch. His biggest struggle is control, he’s able to fill up the zone but he leaves too many pitches down the middle. He gets hit around, but he has the sixth best BB% among qualified Texas League pitchers with 6.1%. However, he has the 9th worst HR/9 with 1.14. As the 21 year-old gains more experience, he will be able to locate his pitches better.
Currently, I don’t think I would project Roby as a potential ace, but I believe that he can become a great number two, or mid-rotation starter. He has four solid pitches that can be effective Major League options with some development.
Tekoah Roby has displayed immense skill at such a young age, but he’s not being discussed as much as he should. Roby deserves your attention, because he will be a problem for his opponents.