Sam Carlson: A MLB Draft Prospect From Minnesota
Carlson’s pitching repertoire consists of three above average pitches that he can throw for strikes. He throws his fastball in the 92-94 mph range, which he commands down in the zone very well. His slider is good enough to be an out pitch, sitting in the low 80s with some bite to it. His changeup has good deception, and is one of the best among this year’s draft class. His understanding of pitching elevates him over most high school pitchers across the country, and there are no concerns about him being just a thrower.
Carlson has above average control, which can be attributed to clean pitching mechanics. There is not a whole lot of effort in his delivery, and he has nice arm action. The team that drafts him will likely have him use his lower half more, but that is a natural part of the development process and is not something he needs to worry about in high school. As he matures, his velocity will get better, which paired with his secondary offerings makes him a likely middle of the rotation pitcher down the road with a ceiling of a number two starter. Pitching in a cold-weather state has caused him to fly under the radar, but when he reaches the professional level he could surprise many.
The Florida commit is also a good hitter, so if he chooses college, he will be a two-way player. Since he will be chosen in the first round, his chance to hit at a higher level will likely be in a National League ballpark, but that is a ways down the road.
Overall, Carlson should be in the conversation as the best prep pitcher in the class. Hunter Greene and Shane Baz receive more hype, but Carlson has better pitchability than either of them. Many teams have Carlson near the top of their board, including the Mariners, Giants, and Blue Jays. Teams that pick in the top ten that have interest are the Braves and Brewers, who both have histories of taking high school players. The Pirates have been keeping a close eye on him, and since people are having a tough time pegging their potential pick we could see a surprise there.
As the draft approaches, more information will come out about which teams like him the most. You could speculate all day on who will draft Carlson, but I think that he will go higher than what most publications are predicting. When Carlson hears his name called on June 12th, he will be one of the top picks from Minnesota in draft history.
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