Breakdown of Texas Tech SP Bryce Bonnin

FSU will have a much different look in the batter’s box on Wednesday night, compared to Monday night, as they face Bryce Bonnin. Bonnin is a hard throwing righty that struggles to throw strikes. Bryce also isn’t the presence on the hill that Tommy Henry or Isaiah Campbell had as the sophomore stands 6’1, 190. Bonnin’s raw stuff is actually better than Campbell and Henry’s but the execution isn’t always there for Bonnin. Coming into college, he was rated the 14th best RHP in 2017 high school class. The righty started his career at Arkansas, but after Dave Van Horn used him minimally, he decided to transfer to Tim Tadlock’s Red Raiders, where he would be a weekend starter.

The Texas native got what he wanted, as he’s made 12 starts on the season and thrown 59 innings. Bonnin is a hard pitcher to pick up, only allowing 48 hits in 59 innings, but he really struggles with his control. The righty has walked 41 batters on the season, good for a 6.25 walks/9. Bonnin limits the damage from the walks by not allowing the big hit. On the season, the sophomore has only allowed 1 HR and just 12 XBH’s total. In 14 appearances this year, Bonnin has only got the loss once. Overall, the Red Raiders are 12-2 when Bonnin makes an appearance.

Bonnin has a lively and electric arm. His fastball can get all the way up to 96 and he will sit 94-95. Not only does the ball come in hot, but it has a good amount of sinking action. The righty will use it away early in the count, before coming in on the hands for strikeouts. The fastball inside sets up the slider outside or off the plate against righties. Against lefties, the fastball outside sets up a backdoor or back foot slider for a K. The fastballs swinging action gets lots of swings over the ball and weak ground balls. FSU’s lefties need to have an opposite field approach as the ball will be tailing away from them and if they try to pull it, a lot of weak ground balls to 2nd will happen. Sometimes the movement on the FB makes it tough for Bonnin to control the pitch. His performance will be reliant on his fastball command.

Bryce Bonnin FB

Bonnin is just a 2-pitch pitcher, but his slider is an elite pitch. The sophomore throws the 2 pitches at almost a 50/50 split. The slider will range from 87-90, a true power slider. The slider plays perfectly off of the fastball, as the two pitches split off in different directions. Bonnin has good command of the slider and isn’t afraid to use it first pitch or throw it over for a strike behind in the count. If I was an FSU righty, I would be sitting slider all the way. The only HR Bonnin has given up this year came on a slider to a right-handed hitter. The slider is his go-to pitch against righties, not the fastball. The righty will use the slider much less against lefties, but when he does, he goes back door to try to freeze the hitter.

Bryce Bonnin SL

I wrote yesterday that my ideal pitcher for FSU to face would be a righty that throws hard and struggles with command and efficiency. That is exactly the pitcher Bonnin is. Not to mention, that most of the time he is a 1-pitch pitcher to lefties, which FSU will have 6 of in the lineup Wednesday night. Bonnin is on when he is throwing first-pitch strikes, if he isn’t it will be a long night for the Arkansas transfer on the hill. FSU will make Bonnin work and be patient and maybe looking for one exact pitch to hit early in the count. I would expect FSU’s offense to break out tonight. The 2-3-4 combination of Albert, Mendoza, and Martin are all due, and they’ll be facing a pitcher that fits right into what they like seeing.

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