ZACH Zachary Adams EFLIN
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   PHILLIES - IL
Height: 6' 6" Bats:   R
Weight: 215 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/8/1994 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 56  
Birth City: Orlando, FL
Draft: Padres #1 (comp.) - 2012 - Out of high school (FL)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2012 AZL AZL-Padres   4 7 9 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 1   7.71
2013 MWL FORT WAYNE   22 118.2 110 86 31 22 0 0 0 7 6   2.65
2014 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   24 128 138 93 31 24 0 0 0 10 7   3.80
2015 EL READING   23 131.2 136 68 23 23 0 0 0 8 6   3.69
2016 IL LEHIGH VALLEY   11 68.1 49 55 11 11 0 0 0 5 2   2.90
2016 NL PHILLIES   11 63.1 67 31 17 11 2 1 0 3 5 0.269 5.54
2017 NL PHILLIES $537.00 11 64.1 79 35 12 11 0 0 0 1 5 0.309 6.16
2017 GCL GULF COAST   2 7 5 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0   1.29
2017 IL LEHIGH VALLEY   8 43.1 48 38 15 7 0 0 0 1 4   4.57
2017 FSL CLEARWATER   1 5 1 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2018 IL LEHIGH VALLEY   4 20 20 15 5 4 0 0 0 2 2   4.05
2018 NL PHILLIES   24 128 130 123 37 24 0 0 0 11 8 0.261 4.36
2019 NL PHILLIES $590.00 32 163.1 172 129 48 28 2 1 0 10 13 0.268 4.13
2020 NL PHILLIES $972.00 11 59 60 70 15 10 1 1 0 4 2 0.263 3.97
Personal
  • Eflin's sister, Candace, is autistic. And the two share a special bond.

    “My relationship with my sister is very special,” Eflin said. “It’s not like a normal relationship. She’s the most important thing in my life. I’ve been with her every step of the way and she’s been with me. I’m blessed to have her in my life. I feel like if she was normal I wouldn’t have worked so much.”

    But Eflin shows more than just love for his sister. He and his teammates help with the Challenger Division of the local Little League, a level of baseball and softball designated for kids with mental and physical handicaps. They go every Wednesday and Saturday when there isn’t conflict with their own game.

  • Zach is a self-described family man.

  • In 2012, his senior year at Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida, Eflin committed to the University of Central Florida (which he later passed up). On the season, he was 7-0 with a 0.51 ERA and was a first-team All-Central Florida selection.

  • In June 2012, Eflin got drafted by the Padres (see below).

  • In 2013, Baseball America rated Eflin as the 16th-best prospect in the Padres' organization. He was at #14 in the winter before 2014 spring camps opened.

    After coming to the Phillies' farm system, Zach was rated their 13th-best prospect in the spring of 2016.

  • Zach was too young to remember the grief and mourning, but is painfully aware of the the sorrow and heartache that tore his family apart.

    He can’t recall the day his parents came home from the hospital to let them know his 7-year-old sister, Ashley, died of leukemia, but the rest of the images are vivid, and still intense in his life.

    He remembers all too well his mother’s alcoholism that left deep and dark scars. The divorce. The severe financial distress on the family. The family leaving home and living with his grandparents for survival.

    “You don’t ever forget things like that,’’ Eflin tells USA TODAY Sports. "How can you? You just can’t.’’

    It was his father, Larry Eflin, who kept the family together. He worked long hours of maintenance at the University of Central Florida. The job didn’t pay much, and there were plenty of times they were in need of financial assistance. But he would always protect his family, supporting three young children on his own. (Bob Nightengale- USA TODAY-May 15, 2019)

  • There is the oldest, Brittany, who became the mother of the house with Cathy Eflin unavailable due to her alcoholism, leading to three DWIs in 10 years. There is his sister Candace, who has special needs after being born with global developmental delay. And there is Zach.

    They never had much of a childhood in Oviedo, Florida, but always had one another, surviving on love and faith.

    “That’s why I want to inspire anybody who ever had family issues,’’ says Eflin, whose grandfather was a pastor for 60 years. “You can fulfill a dream even when things aren’t going your way.

    “I am living proof of that.’’

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2012: The Padres chose Eflin in the first round, out of Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida. The Padres chose Eflin as compensation pick for losing Heath Bell to the Marlins. San Diego signed Zach, via scout Willie Bosque, for $1.2 million, below the $1.5 million MLB slot.

  • December 2014: The Padres dealt Eflin to the Dodgers. One day later, Los Angeles sent him to Philadelphia in the Jimmy Rollins deal.

  • Jan 10, 2020: Zach and the Phils avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2.6 million deal.

  • Dec 2, 2020: The Phillies agreed to a one-year contract with Eflin for $4.4 million.
Pitching
  • Eflin is pronounced EFF-lynn.

  • Eflin has a 91-95 mph 4-seam FASTBALL with above-average life, and a 90-94 mph 2-seam SINKER. His best secondary pitch is his a plus 85-88 mph CHANGEUP with sink and late bite, which gets a 55 grade. He also has an 85-87 mph SLIDER that has decent shape and is an effective chase pitch that will flash 50 at times. And he has a 45 grade 77-80 mph CURVEBALL.

    He has excellent arm speed on his change, which sells its deception.

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 44.3% of the time; Sinker only 19.1% of the time; Change 6.9%; Slider 25.2%; and Curve 4.4% of the time.

    2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 22.9% of the time, his Sinker 46%; Change 7.2%; Slider 12.2%;  and Curveball 11.7% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.7 mph, Sinker 92.7, Changeup 86.5, Slider 86, and Curve 77.9 mph.

    2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 46.5% of the time, his Sinker 11.8%; Change 11.1%; Slider 22.7%;  Curveball 5.4%; and Cutter 2.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.3 mph, Sinker 93.7, Changeup 87.2, Slider 86.1, Curve 78, and Cutter 89 mph.

    2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 33.3% of the time, his Sinker 22.2%; Change 7.9%; Slider 30.7%; Curveball 5.4%; and Cutter less than 1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.3 mph, Sinker 93.6, Changeup 87.1, Slider 87.5, Curve 78.2, and Cutter 90 mph.

    2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 9.1% of the time, his Sinker 52%; Change 5.5%; Slider 20%; Curveball 12.9%; and Cutter less than 1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.8 mph, Sinker 94.2, Changeup 88.3, Slider 88.9, Curve 79.4, and Cutter 87.6 mph.

  • Zach gets a 55 for his fine control.

  • Zach has an easy arm action and stays tall and rigid in his repeatable delivery. But that keeps him from getting maximum extension out front.

    "The strength has caught up with the ability to repeat the arm action and delivery," an area scout said in the spring of 2012. "It's one of the cleaner arm actions. He has done a good job of building arm strength and strength of the body."

  • Eflin could develop into a #4 in a rotation.

  • In 2013, Eflin first teamed with pitching coach Burt Hooton at low Class A Fort Wayne.

    “I started working in bullpens on throwing my two-seamer a lot more,” Eflin said. “Burt basically expressed that you need to throw the ball to contact, and I think that really helped my game a lot as far as locating my two-seamer, making my pitching a craft and understanding the hitters.

    “Location, location, what to do in certain counts and reading hitters—I think that was the biggest thing that’s helped me so far.”

  • In 2015, Zach improved his knowledge of pitch sequencing and how to best finish off a hitter when he has two strikes on him.

    Eflin pitches to contact and has learned how to finish hitters off with a strikeout, when appropriate.

  • May 11, 2019: Eflin recorded his second career shutout.

  • Sept 18, 2019: Eflin is 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts since rejoining the rotation and recommitting himself to throwing more sinkers. 

    “At the end of the day, I’m going out and attacking guys and if it’s my sinker that day that’s working, I’m going to use my sinker. If it’s my changeup, I’m going to use my changeup,” Eflin said. “We figure out what we have going early in the bullpen before the game. Today was the sinker. It’s been working these last couple outings so if it’s there next outing you’ll probably see it again.”

  • In 2019, Eflin took some positive steps. He went 10-13 with a 4.13 ERA, but he showed flashes of his potential at the beginning and end of the season. He was 6-7 with a 2.83 ERA through his first 14 starts before going 1-4 with an 8.75 ERA in his next 11 appearances, including four relief outings following a demotion to the bullpen in July.

  • The 25-year-old grew tired at times of throwing four-seam fastballs at the top of the strike zone, putting his favored sinker in his back pocket. Eflin got back to his sinker once he rejoined the rotation in August because he wanted ground balls and quick outs. It worked. He compiled a 3-2 record with a 2.83 ERA in his final seven starts.

    In 2018-2019, Eflin was 21-21 with a 4.23 ERA. This puts him ahead of Vince Velasquez (16-20, 4.88 ERA) and Nick Pivetta (11-20, 4.99 ERA) on the depth chart.

    “I think there’s a fairly clear distinction, and that’s not meant to be a knock on Vinny or on Nick,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “I just think that Eflin has experienced more sustained success. I also think he’s been dominant for longer stretches of time, and the net of the two seasons, the numbers combined look like an established Major League starter’s. There’s probably less to poke holes in. Again, this is much more about Eflin and the success that he’s having. I personally think that Eflin has really established himself as a dependable piece of a Major League rotation.” (T Zolecki - MLB.com - Sept 28, 2019)

  • 2020 Improvements: Eflin came to a crossroads with a seldom-used weapon in his arsenal. He had a curveball, but he rarely threw it, because he didn't often trust it.

    Perhaps, he thought, he should ditch it. But then Eflin started to throw his curveball more aggressively. Phillies manager Joe Girardi liked it. He told Eflin that he should throw it more. Eflin finally unleashed his not-so-secret weapon with remarkable effectiveness in a 4-1 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

    The victory helped the Phillies win five consecutive games for the first time since July 31–Aug. 5, 2018, and moved them to .500 for the first time since Aug. 18. Philadelphia can sweep Atlanta and move within one game of first place in the NL East with a victory in the series finale.

    “For Zach, I’ve been thrilled with what I’ve seen,” Girardi said. “Today, he had it all.”

    Eflin (2-1, 4.10 ERA) threw his curveball 19 times as he dominated the Braves for seven innings before a 37-minute rain delay ended his afternoon. He allowed four hits, one run and struck out eight. It is the first time in his career that he struck out eight or more batters without a walk.

    Eflin struck out six batters with his curveball. He had never previously struck out more than three batters in a game with it.

    He has never struck out more than nine batters in a season with it.

    “I’m not flipping it over for strikes anymore,” Eflin said. “I’m being aggressive with it and trying to create as much spin as possible with it. I think that’s complementing all my other pitches. It’s a confidence pitch. I trust it, just like I do with all of my weapons. We’re going to continue to use it. Now, it’s really kind of grip and rip—think fastball the whole time and accelerate through the pitch. It’s been a huge learning point for me. I’m happy where it’s at, and I’m happy to continue moving forward with it.”  (Todd Zolecki - Aug. 29, 2020)

  • Sept. 18, 2020: Eflin pitched a shutout. It is the third shutout of Eflin’s career, and his first since May 11, 2019, in Kansas City. Since '04, Eflin is just the fourth Phillies pitcher with three or more shutouts. Cliff Lee (eight), Cole Hamels (seven) and Roy Halladay (five) are the others. Since Eflin’s big league debut in 2016, only two pitchers have thrown more than three shutouts: Corey Kluber (six) and Ervin Santana (four).

  • Sept 23, 2020: Eflin preceded this start with a seven-inning shutout against the Blue Jays. He is 3-1 with a 3.65 ERA (15 earned runs in 37 innings) in his last six starts. He has struck out 41 and walked six in that stretch. Eflin has flashed an impressive curveball during that span, striking out three batters with the pitch. Over his last six starts, he has fanned 18 of 41 (43.9 percent) batters on curveballs. In comparison, he struck out just 25 of 347 batters (7.2 percent) on curveballs in the first 82 games (78 starts) of his career.

    “To be completely honest, I just stopped throwing it like a baby,” Eflin said. (T Zolecki - MLB.com - Sept 24, 2020)

  • 2020 Season: It was the best season of Eflin's MLB career. He posted a career-low 3.97 ERA, a career-low 1.271 WHIP, a career-low 3.23 xFIP, and a career-high 10.7 K/9 rate. It was a super promising few months of baseball for the often criticized right-hander, a stretch that left the Philadelphia Phillies feeling pretty good about him being their established “#3” moving forward.

    Eflin’s velocity on his sinker and curveball was a tick higher than we’ve come to expect with him, and it led to a very strong ten starts.

  • As of the start of the 2021, Eflin had a career record of: 29-33 with a 4.63 ERA, having allowed 80 home runs and 508 hits in 478 innings.
Career Injury Report
  • April 2012: Eflin missed about a month of his senior high school season with triceps tendinitis.

  • August 2012: Eflin come down with mono and did not finish the season.

  • Aug 9-Nov 3, 2016: Zach was on the DL with patellar tendinopathy in both knees.

    August 19, 2016: Eflin had season-ending surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee. He will be immobilized for six weeks, which will allow a stress fracture in his right foot to heal. Eflin is expected to have the same surgery on his left knee too. 

    Sept 30, 2016: Eflin had successful surgery to repair his left patella tendon. Eflin is expected to make a full recovery and be ready by Spring Training 2017. Dr. Steve Cohen performed Eflin's surgery.

  • April 1-10, 2017: Zach was on the 10-day DL with his rehabilitation from his two knee surgeries.

  • June 3-July 9, 2017: While in the minors, Eflin was on the DL with a right shoulder strain.

  • August 22, 2017: The Phillies placed Eflin on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain.

    Sept 12-Nov 6, 2017: The Phillies transferred Eflin from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. 

  • July 12-23, 2018: Zach was on the DL with right middle-finger blister.

  • May 28-June 7, 2019: Zach was on the IL with mid-back tightness. Eflin said that the mid-back tightness that placed him on the 10-day injured list is not a long-term concern. 

    “A few days ago, I just woke up with an extremely tight back, the middle of my back on the right side and it was kind of hard for me to get up out of bed and walk around,” Eflin said. “I really never have experienced anything like this before, so it was a little different just waking up and having a decent amount of pain. But I’ve rehabbed in the last couple of days and it has been loosening up on me.”

  • March 15, 2021: Eflin’s back flared up after his bullpen session. Girardi said Eflin was day to day. 

  • July 20, 2021: Zach was on the IL with right knee patella tendinitis. The Phillies right-hander considered the options.

    “Should I kind of push through it the next 13-14 starts?” he said at Yankee Stadium
    . “Or try to nip it in the bud this go-around and just be healthy the rest of the way through? I think that's kind of what we all agreed on. “I’m not overly concerned about it.”