Christian (CJ) Zwahlen
Christian (CJ) Zwahlen

CLASS OF 2021

RHP
1B

Christian (CJ)
Zwahlen

Washington State
Dana Hills (HS) • CA
6-3 • 225LBS • R/R
Travel Team: Saddleback Cowboys

Rankings

2021 National

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2021 State

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6/27/20

Body: 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. Large, sturdy ideal pitches frame for a right-handed starting pitcher. Mature build with room for more thanks to broad shoulders and a strong lower half. Looks the part of a next level starting pitcher. 

Mechanics: Right-handed pitcher. Zwahlen uses a drop-and-drive delivery with a short arm path through to a high ¾ arm slot. His arm is loose, mechanics repeatable but showing a little stiffness throughout. Does a good job keeping his body in-line with home plate and his head balanced and on target, which should help him command the zone. Arm speed is consistent pitch-to-pitch helping keep his off-speed pitches deceptive. TrackMan data backs this up with relatively consistent tracked release points of his three-pitch mix. 

Fastball: Release speed averaged 88.7 mph, minimum release speed of 86.2 mph and a maximum release speed of 90.1 mph. Spin rate averaged 2154 RPM (revolutions per minute), minimum 2030 RPM and maximum 2271 RPM. Spin rate average is slightly below the 2019 MLB average, average at the NCAA level and above-average at the High School level. Induced vertical break average of 14.7 (50th percentile) shows that his fastball has average ride and the induced horizontal break average of 16, maximum 18 (93rd percentile) shows that his fastball has extreme run. These two metrics show that his fastball should result in a high number of ground balls, higher batting average against, few swinging strikes, low OPS and low SLG in comparison to a fastball with more ride and and less run. 

Changeup: Release speed averaged 80.7 mph, minimum release speed of 79.7 mph and a maximum release speed of 81.8 mph. Spin rate averaged 1347 RPM, minimum 1251 RPM and maximum 1443 RPM. Spin rate is below average for the 2019 MLB, NCAA and High School averages. Induced vertical break average of 9.8 (21st percentile) and induced horizontal break average of 15, maximum 16 (93rd percentile). These two metrics show that his change-up has significant sink and extreme run which should result in a very high amount of ground balls, low OPS, low SLG and high batting average against. 

VIDEO EMBED
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Curveball: Release speed averaged 70.4 mph, minimum release speed of 70.2 mph and a maximum release speed of 71.8 mph. Spin rate averaged 1857 RPM, minimum 1775 RPM and maximum 1919 RPM. Spin rate is below average for the 2019 MLB, NCAA and High School averages. Induced vertical break average of -2.7 and induced horizontal break average of -15, showing that his curveball has significant side-to-side movement. This movement should enable him to effectively attack right-handed hitters away and in and left-handed hitters in. 

Summary: Zwahlen has the look and feel of a starting right-handed pitcher with potential to get through the line-up three times at the next level. The key to his success will be utilizing the extreme run on his fastball and changeup and coupling that with an effective breaking ball. Zwahlen does not possess the current spin rates to garner a high-level of swinging strikes at the next level but has the current ability to generate a lot of contact on the ground. This should result in a lot of outs especially with defensive shifts and better overall defense at the next level. The future PAC-12 right-hander currently projects as a Sunday starter in the PAC-12 and could see his value increased with a jump in spin rate and speed.
9/14/19

Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. Extra large frame with strength in the shoulders down to the wrists and in the upper part of the lower half. Zwahlen uses a dip-and-drive delivery with a short arm path through to a 3/4 slot. His arm is loose and his mechanics repeatable. Working from the middle of the rubber, Zwahlen commanded his 85 mph fastball black-to-black while keeping it below the knees of the hitter flashing downward action. Zwahlen kept his curveball low in the zone with it’s 11/5 shape by starting it just above the hitters knee and inducing several swing-and-miss results. His changeup at 77-78 mph was an effective out pitch with its late diving action to the back foot of righties. Zwahlen showed he prefered to set up hitters by starting away before pounding them in. 

1/05/19

SoCal Preseason All-State - 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, long and lanky, projectable pitchers build with room for growth. Drop and drive approach, consistent direction and balance. Releases the ball from an over the top release point, arm action is loose, arm speed is quick. Keeps glove side high to create downward plane, sits on back leg with slight uphill lean back that hurt command at times. Featured a sharp 12/6 curveball from the same arm slot as the fastball and showed good command of the pitch. Change-up had some run and sink. Starter potential with added strength.

1/05/19

SoCal Preseason All-State Quick Hits - Zwahlen impressed once again after our initial viewing last month in Palm Desert. Zwalen has a long, lean, loose frame that figures to add strength. Shows a loose, clean arm and feel for three pitches that he commands to varying degrees. His mechanics are clean and repeatable and at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds with large feet and long limbs, he figures to continue to grow physically.

12/09/18

Zwahlen is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher that has the attention of college recruiters thanks in part to a fastball that flashes armside run at 86-88 mph. He also features a curveball that is at time sharp and biting at 69-71 mph. It's a pitch he threw to hitter when ahead and behind in the count. Clearly one he has a lot of confidence in. Showed feel for a changeup at 80-81 mph as the pitch ran back over the plate to righties. Despite being 190-pounds, his frame is lean, long and looks like it can handle addition of mass/strength.

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