July is the month in which the players who have been excelling all season in the minors begin getting promotions to higher levels. Predictably, that means the TinCaps will likely be losing some of their best players over the next month or so. That process began today with the promotion of 23-year-old right-hander Gabe Mosser to High-A Lake Elsinore.
Mosser has been on the Fort Wayne roster since Opening Day and has been one of the better pitchers in the Midwest League all season. His 4-5 record and 4.25 ERA are nothing to write home about, but his peripheral stats have been much better. His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 2.70 is second in the league (Joey Cantillo is first at 2.10), meaning he has been fairly unlucky this season. His strikeout and walk numbers have been elite, as well. He's struck out more than a hitter per inning and walked just 1.50 per nine innings, a K/BB rate of 6.33 that is easily the best in the Midwest League.
The 2018 27th-round pick struggled in his final two Midwest League starts, but his combination of stuff and command means he has little left to prove in A-ball. He'll be challenged more in Lake Elsinore and if he excels there he could start 2020 in Double-A.
The TinCaps' playoff hopes – which are already flickering after a 4-11 start to the second half – likely hinge on the quality of the players that replace those who will be called up. The pitcher replacing Mosser in the Fort Wayne rotation is 20-year-old right-hander Brandon Komar, a 13th-round pick in the 2019 draft. Komar has just 5 2/3 innings under his belt as a pro (all with the Arizona League Padres), but those innings have been dominant: he hasn't given up an earned run and he's struck out 10 with just two walks. Komar, a product of Madison College, throws only in the high-80s, but he has four pitches, including a solid slider and curveball. His changeup is good and he disguises it well.
Komar is expected to get his first Midwest League start Sunday at Great Lakes.