6’4 - 210
T - R
Graceffo has quickly risen up the Cardinals top 30 and MLB top 100 prospect leaderboards. At the end of last season, the former Villanova Wildcat was not amongst the Cardinals top 30 prospects according to MLBPipline. Now the 2021 fifth round pick is the organizations 3rd best prospect, ahead of Matthew Liberatore and the 83rd best prospect in baseball on MLBPipeline.com. Graceffo got off to a strong start this season posting a 0.99 ERA to go along with 56 strikeouts whilst only walking 4 batters over 45 ⅔ innings at the A+ level. His numbers have changed quite a bit since being promoted to AA. In 14 starts, 6 more than he had in A+, he’s posted a 4.58 ERA, stuck out 59 batters and walked 17 over 74 ⅔ innings as of August 25th.
Strengths- Graceffo has a good frame which should help him reduce the stress placed on his body via a starter’s workload. He has an extremely repeatable delivery out of the stretch that is very compact. He features a plus slider that is a true put away pitch at the Major League level.
Weaknesses- Graceffo’s breaking pitches float over the middle of the plate with too much regularity. The former Nova pitcher gets away with a lot of mistakes that will be punished in AAA and the major. Despite it being a good pitch, his fastball is not overpowering and is used more so to set up other pitches.
Command/control- His command is inconsistent for the most part. He has moments where he is able to dot sliders and fastballs to the glove side with regularity which makes him an extremely difficult pitcher to hit. Although he also has stretches where his curveball and slider stay in the middle to upper third portion of the plate with his changeup leaking too far to his arm side. Graceffo really struggles to consistently command his pitches for long stretches of an outing. He is able to throw all of his pitches in the strike zone, although they end up in the wrong part of the zone too often. Rather than locating the curve in the bottom third of the zone it floats up into the upper third making it an easy pitch to hit rather than a put away pitch. The former Wildcat does need to improve his ability to locate the changeup low arm side in the zone.
Overall stuff- The former fifth rounder has a plus pitch in his slider. It is very sharp with a bigger break that will be a dominant out pitch in the majors if he can command it with regularity. His fastball is not overpowering, and he does need to work on locating it with more consistency. Graceffo’s fastball does not have the velocity or movement to dominate the inner third of the plate to righties. It is more so a pitch that he uses to set up his other pitches or to try and steal strikes low glove side. His curveball is inconsistent, like the slider it can become a true out pitch although it is not located with enough regularity. It has a big looping break to it like a 12-6 curve that can be played off of the fastball if started in the right spot with consistency. It does have the potential to become a plus offering down the road. His changeup plays off of the fastball well, although like his other pitches his command of it needs to be refined. It does feature a good bit of fade on it to generate whiffs or weak contact against lefties is located in the right spot.
Fastball - 55 - Curveball - 55 - Slider 60 - Changeup 50 - Control - 50 - Command 50