KATOH's always been skeptical of Newcomb due to his high walk rates and age relative to level. Those concerns remain, as Newcomb's walked over 13% in his age-24 season, but he's also upped his strikeout rate this year at Triple-A. Newcomb has his warts, but he's proven he can miss near-big-league bats.
(Note: Mitchell wrote this before Newcomb's last start, in which he allowed two earned runs over six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks.)
Newcomb’s walk percentage has always been his weakness, statistically speaking. But his impressive strikeout percentage (29.7) is starting to offset that. Notes Mitchell: “Strikeout rate matters more than walk rate for pitchers, but only slightly.” According to KATOH, Newcomb’s height (6-5) is a plus and so is his college background (college pitchers have an edge over high schoolers).
As noted, Newcomb’s strikeout percentage at Gwinnett is very good, his walk percentage (13.3) is not good and so the difference between the two (16.5) is just OK (though getting better). But Newcomb’s fastball velocity reportedly is 94 mph, which is very good and bodes well for his chances of success if he can improve his control.