Chapman isn't ready. At all.
Last night his control was better than it had been in the past few starts..... and yet it still left one scout thinking it could lead to him being a closer.
The final line for Chapman (six innings pitched, five hits, three runs, two walks, four strikeouts) against the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees doesn't look all that bad, and as a whole the outing really wasn't bad. What it was, however, was very telling. He is not ready for the big leagues right now, at least as a starting pitcher. If the Cincinnati Reds are determined to develop him as a starter, he has a lot of things to work on before he's going to be ready for the show.
I was left with doubts that Chapman can be a starter over the long haul. If the Reds are willing to be patient, allow him to refine his command and get him to some point of consistency with his fastball velocity, the finished product could very well be a front-end starter. But there are many hurdles to jump before that can happen.
Right now, Chapman looks like a future closer, especially if you are in the camp that wants him at the big-league level sooner rather than later. He had real trouble pacing himself Wednesday and maintaining steady velocity, and the effort he puts into producing that velocity appears to fluctuate from pitch to pitch. Can he maintain 95-plus mph on the fastball over the course of 100 pitches? Not based on what I saw. He has a difficult delivery to repeat, and his command is going to be a battle for him until he's completely comfortable with his mechanics.
I suggest everyone go read the entire article.