Nick Goody | RHP
A Florida kid from Orlando, Goody both pitched and played shortstop at University High School. He wasn’t much of a pro prospect as a prep player and subsequently went undrafted in 2009. Goody pitched for the State College of Florida at Manatee-Sarasota in 2010 and allowed eight runs in 19.2 innings with a 22/7 K/BB as a freshman reliever. Since he was attending a two-year school, Goody was draft-eligible in 2010, though MLB teams against passed and he went undrafted.
After a stint in the Florida Collegiate Summer League, Goody dominated as a sophomore starter with the Manatees. He led the team in innings (84), strikeouts (114), and ERA (1.29) while allowing 47 hits and walking 33 batters. The performance earned him Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year and JuCo All-American honors. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked Goody as the 64th best prospect in Florida prior to the 2001 draft, and the Yankees selected him in the 22nd round (689th overall) that year. He did not sign and instead transferred to Louisiana State for his junior season.
Goody stepped right in as the Tigers’ closer this spring, pitching to a 2.67 ERA with a stellar 45/4 K/BB (!) in 33.2 innings. He helped LSU to the SEC Championship. Baseball America ranked Goody as the 239th best prospect in the draft this summer, and that’s pretty much exactly where the Yankees drafted him — in the sixth round and 217th overall. He signed relatively quickly for a slightly-below-slot $140k bonus.
The Yankees assigned Goody to Short Season Staten Island after signing, but he wasn’t there very long. After striking out five in 3.1 innings across three appearances, the team bumped him up to Low-A Charleston. He struck out 40 while walking just seven in 24.2 innings with the River Dogs, earning him another promotion. This time he went to High-A Tampa.
Goody finished the season with Tampa, where he struck out seven in four innings spread across three appearances. All told, he pitched to a 1.12 ERA with 52 strikeouts (14.6 K/9 and 7.3 K%) and nine walks (2.5 BB/9 and 42.3 BB%) in 32 innings after turning pro this summer. Between college and pro ball, Goody posted a 97/13 K/BB in 65.2 innings in 2012.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 lbs., Goody has a classic relief profile. His fastball sits in the 91-94 mph range and he backs it up with a hard, late-breaking slider. He hides the ball well by briefly turning his back to the batter during his delivery, and as those walk rates suggests, he’s very aggressive in the zone and throws a lot of strikes. Goody does not have any kind of meaningful third pitch and won’t need one in relief. There is some okay-at-best video at YouTube.
Goody figures to move very quickly as an advanced college reliever, and he’ll presumably open the season back at High-A with a midseason promotion in the cards if he stays healthy. A cameo with Triple-A Scranton at the end of the season would not be surprising.
I jumped on the Goody bandwagon soon after the draft and, at the moment, I consider him the team’s second best relief prospect behind Mark Montgomery. He has good velocity, he misses bats with an out-pitch breaking ball, he throws strikes … what’s not to like? Goody wasn’t exactly a great scouting find since he was the closer at a major college program, but he’s a great value in the sixth round (especially at a below-slot bonus) in an age where MLB is trying to cut down on draft spending. He and Montgomery are already looking like important cogs in the future of the Yankees’ bullpen.