A fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2014, Antone was added to the 40-man roster for 2020. The right-hander earned the spot after coming on strong down the stretch in 2019 with Triple-A Louisville. Over his last two starts -- both seven-inning outings -- he walked one batter and struck out 19.
Antone touched 96 mph at times last season and was sitting in the 91-93 mph range. He throws his fastball with good sink and tail down in the zone to get a lot of ground-ball outs. His slider also got significantly better. He has a pretty good changeup that has some tumble-dive to it -- a sort of split-forkball hybrid pitch. He’ll need to use his fastball at the top of the zone better. His velocity climbed and he missed more bats in the second half.
Especially with more access to analytical data, Antone should benefit as he continues to learn how to use his stuff. He could help the Reds as a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 40 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Antone has taken a bit of a circuitous route to pro ball. Initially drafted by the Mets out of the Texas high school ranks in 2012, he opted to attend Texas Christian University. When he didn't get much mound time, he transferred to Weatherford Community College and landed as a fifth-rounder with the Reds.
Antone is a big, strong right-hander with some arm strength. He can crank his fastball up to 95 mph. It has some sink to it, eliciting a fair amount of groundball outs. He has thrown both a slider and a curve in the past, with the former being a much more promising option. He's also shown some feel for a changeup, but needs to use it more for it to become a more viable weapon. He's generally around the strike zone, but needs to command the ball better, as he was hit during his pro debut.
If the Reds can clean up Antone's delivery a bit and help him keep the ball down in the zone more, his size and arm strength give him the chance to move up the organizational ladder.