Draft Notables Outside The Top 10: Pitcher Edition
Two weeks ago I brought you a simple breakdown of the top 10 draft prospects per MLB Draft Insider. Last week I mentioned some of the hitters that fell outside the Top 10, but were still worth monitoring. Today I’m going to discuss the pitchers that fell outside the top 10 that you need to know about. The names are in no particular order. I talked about several of these guys in the most recent edition of the Fake Teams Podcast, so if listening is more your speed than reading, check that out!
Trey Ball – LHP/OF – New Castle HS (IN)
A two-way player, Ball was widely seen as an outfielder at the outset. Over the course of the year however, the winds have shifted and the consensus appears to be that Ball’s future burns a bit brighter when he is toeing the slab. At 6’6/180, Ball has plenty of project left and southpaws are always attractive. He currently sits in the low 90s, but most see more velo in the tank due to his lanky build. What separates Ball might be his feel for his secondaries. He has good feel for the curveball and though it might fall short of plus at it’s peak, he knows how to throw it right now. His change is advanced for a high schooler as some don’t even throw the pitch. A good athlete, his mechanics are still sloppy, though that may come in time as taller pitchers can struggle to repeat their mechanics until later on in their careers. As it stands, he’s a mid-rotation guy at his peak, though that can change as he fills out.
Devin Williams – RHP – Hazelwood West HS (MO)
I mentioned Williams on the podcast as my sleeper. There’s something ineffable about him that I really like. He’s 6’3/172 which means he has plenty of room to fill out. He already sits in the low 90s and recent reports have him hitting 96 MPH. He might not hit 96 with regularity, but it’s not rare either. Williams throws a curve but it’s largely inconsistent and has only flashed average. It’s a pitch that could become plus in time, but will require substantial work. Williams has already shown the ability to make adjustments though, as revealed in a conversation I had with Mike Rosenbaum today on Twitter:
@cdgoldstein Watched him throw some last year, just has made monster strides since then. Walker/Archer hybrid.
— Mike Rosenbaum (@GoldenSombrero) June 4, 2013
Walker (Taijuan)/Archer (Chris) hyrbid is music to my ears. I love both players profiles, so it was starting to make sense why I liked Williams’. This paragraph has taken an extra 20 minutes to write because I’ve had to stop 3 times to mop up my drool.
Kyle Serrano – RHP – Farragut HS (TN)
Serrano is an interesting prospect because of his curve. It’s arguably the best curve in the draft, as it is already a plus pitch. It’s a two-plane yakker with good depth and bite. His fastball lags behind, as it gets decent velo (90-93 MPH) but lacks much movement; advanced hitters will be able to take advantage of it. Serrano’s change up might be as good a pitch as his fastball. He sells it well with his armspeed and it’s got some nice sink. Serrano is a pitchability guy who doesn’t lack for stuff. He’s more of a back end first round guy right now, but there’s some sleeper appeal here. Potentially a guy who won’t have a ton of hype that you can sneak in the second (or maybe third) round of a MiLB draft for good value.
Alex Gonzalez – RHP – Oral Roberts
Andrew mentioned Gonzalez on the Fake Teams podcast as a guy who could move quickly, and I agree. I threw Mike Leake out there, which was probably irresponsible as there aren’t that many guys who can jump straight to the majors. That being said, that profile is something near what Gonzalez is projected to be. He’s a likely mid-rotation guy with a solid but not overwhelming fastball, a good breaking pitch in the slider and a solid change. A well rounded pitcher to be sure, but not an impact arm. What helps Gonzalez’s draft stock, and his pitches really, is his excellent command. He’s able to put the ball where he wants it, and that’s not to be overlooked. If you’re someone who prefers security to upside/risk, this might just be the guy for you.
Hunter Harvey – RHP – Bandys HS (NC)
Harvey sits in the low to mid 90s and has reportedly touched 97 MPH with his fastball. At 6’4/245 he’s got a great frame for pitching and the bloodlines to dream on (his father was closer Bryan Harvey). The curveball is impressive, featuring depth and bite and despite lacking control in general, seems to have a feel for the pitch. His change is somewhere between non-existent and a show-me pitch and will need to be developed (perhaps invented) at the next level. Harvey lacks even average control or command, often missing the zone and not hitting his spots when he does get it within the zone.
Braden Shipley – RHP – Nevada
Shipley is the rare draft prospect whose best pitch isn’t his fastball. This is a draw and a drawback of course. Pitchers use their fastball most, so it’s nice when it’s their best pitch, but it’s not a bad thing in Shipley’s case. His fastball is an average pitch right now, maybe a tick above. It sits in the low 90s but he can reach back when he needs to and it has a bit of life. His change is his best pitch. It’s extremely deceptive, with the arm moving at fastball speed. Shipley also has a curveball that flashes above-average but he doesn’t have much confidence in. If he can learn to trust it, it could become a third above-average pitch down the line. He’s got the ceiling of a number two starter but there’s a ways to go to get there. The realistic probability is mid-rotation, but even that will require substantial development.
There are more names than this worth monitoring, but I’m at about 1000 words and I’m going to lose you and myself sometime soon, so I’m going to cut it off there. If there’s anyone you feel you need to know about as we move towards the draft today, drop a line in the comments and I’ll do what I can.