German placed fifth in NCAA Division I in ERA (1.58) and sixth in WHIP (0.83) in 2018, becoming the highest-drafted pitcher in North Florida history when the Yankees grabbed him in the fourth round. Known more for his advanced feel for pitching in college, he opened eyes when his velocity jumped about 3 mph during his pro debut. He continued to throw hard in his first full season, though he missed a month with shoulder soreness and lacked his usual control.
After working with a 90-95 mph fastball with the Ospreys, German has operated at 94-96 and peaked at 98 with running action as a pro. He also has made progress with his changeup, which has the makings of a solid pitch with some fade and sink but can get too firm at times. He'll need to tighten up his breaking ball to remain a starter and have more success against right-handed hitters, and New York is trying to help him turn his college slurve into more of a true slider.
German's walk rate nearly tripled from 1.5 per nine innings between college and pro ball in 2018 to 4.2 in the Minors last season. He has sound mechanics and a history of repeating them well, so the hope is that he regains his former control, improves his slider and develops into a rotation option. If not, he'll have to make it as a fastball-oriented reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 40
German ranked fifth in NCAA Division I in ERA (1.58) and sixth in WHIP (0.83) as a junior at North Florida last spring, becoming the highest-drafted pitcher in Ospreys history when the Yankees took him in the fourth round. He lived up to his reputation for advanced pitchability after signing for a below-slot $347,500 and also opened eyes when his fastball jumped about 3 mph in his first pro summer.
One of several New York pitching prospects who are throwing harder as pros than they did as collegians, German worked at 90-95 mph for North Florida and sat at 94-98 in his debut. Even at lower velocities, his heater was effective because he commands it well to both sides of the plate. He also throws a mid-80s slider with tight break and has some feel for a changeup, though both of his secondary pitches usually grade as average.
With his strong build and a sound delivery that he repeats well, German should have the durability and pitch efficiency needed for a starter. To stay in that role, he'll probably need to improve either his slider or changeup to give him a solid second offering. His floor as a back-of-the-rotation option appealed to the Yankees when they drafted him and now his ceiling is more appealing.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
North Florida has never had a pitcher taken in the top five rounds of the Draft, with only outfielders Todd Dunn and Donnie Dewees going that early. German, who began the year as the Ospreys' Tuesday starter but worked his way to being their Friday night ace en route to being a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, has the chance to become the first.
German has a solid three-pitch mix that points to a future as a starting pitcher at the next level. He'll throw his fastball in the 90-94 mph range and maintains his velocity, able to reach back for that 94 late in starts when he needs it. His breaking ball is close to a 12-to-6 curve with late and sharp break to it and he throws an effective mid-80s circle change that has the bottom fall out of it. He commands all three pitches well and has thrown a lot more strikes, while missing more bats, this year compared to his sophomore season.
German has a limited ceiling, that of a No. 4 or 5 starter. But his performance in his Draft season has had more than GSA voters take notice, giving him a good chance to become the first North Florida pitcher to go in the top six rounds since the Tigers took Tyler Stohr in 2008.