Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo offered the following scouting report on right-hander Trevor Gott after the then-22-year-old righty was acquired along with right-handed reliever Michael Brady in the 2-for-1+cash trade that sent Yunel Escobar and cash to the Los Angeles Angels in December 2015.
“He’s got mid-to-upper 90s velocity,” Rizzo said of Gott.
“He’s got good movement on his fastball. We took a good look at his delivery and the way he attacks hitters and it was something that we really liked and we think that he’s going to be a major factor for us, not only this year, but down the road too.”
Gott, who debuted in the majors with the Angels in 2015, wasn’t much of a factor at all in his first two seasons in the Nationals’ organization. He made just 13 appearances total in the big leagues in 2016-2017, giving up 17 hits, six walks, and 11 earned runs in nine innings pitched over that stretch.
He did, however, put up respectable numbers at Triple-A Syracuse last season, with a 3.86 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 13 walks (3.13 BB/9), and 35 Ks (8.44 K/9) in 37 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Rizzo told Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes earlier this Spring that he thought the time Gott spent with the Nationals’ top Minor League affiliate last season paid off.
“I think he’s refined his old breaking pitch. He was a young major leaguer with the Angels and came to us and didn’t get all the opportunities that he had with LA. I think his year in Triple-A last year was important for him. He worked on a lot of things, and I think you’ve seen the improvement.”
Gott told the WaPost reporter his slider was tighter, looked more like his fastball, and was a pitch he could use to get outs, whereas he’d previously been using it as a show pitch.
The early returns in Grapefruit League action were positive.
Gott, now 25, avoided giving up an earned run in 11 innings of work, (one unearned run scored while he was on the mound), allowing nine hits and two walks while striking out eight and holding opposing hitters to a .231 AVG.
With both Joaquin Benoit and Koda Glover injured, Gott’s impressive showing this Spring resulted in the right-hander surviving a couple rounds of cuts, and with Opening Day this week, the reliever is set to start the season in the majors.
Gott talked before the start of the 2017 campaign about some of the other relievers in the organization that received opportunities and flourished while he worked for another shot, noting that he was happy to see some pitchers he’d work with enjoying success, even if it meant the opportunities would have to wait.
“You’re not mad at all,” Gott explained, “because all those guys are my friends. I like seeing them succeed and if they’re pitching well, the team is doing well, so you’re not mad. I’m still young. Those guys were pitching well and it’s just how it goes. It’s part of the business. So you just wait your turn and if you get the opportunity, take advantage.”
Will he take advantage of the opportunity he’s getting early this season?