2017 MLB Draft Update 1.0
Posted by Hrbowski , 24 February 2017 · 1,883 views
2017 mlb draft
Alex Faedo (All rights to Andrew Woolley)
Today I begin my coverage of the 2017 MLB Draft, which starts on June 12. I am going to provide some updates on the overall performance of the top players, prospect profiles, prospect rankings, and mock drafts, so have fun!
Jeren Kendall is a player that scouts have been watching for some time, and now that he is draft eligible he will be getting even more attention this spring. Kendall’s first week has been interesting, with Jeren maintaining a high batting average, but also striking out as often as he gets a hit. When Kendall hits the ball it becomes must watch baseball, with his blazing speed making routine groundballs difficult plays for the infielders. When Kendall is on his game he can drive the ball into the gaps, but to become a consistent player he will need to make some adjustments. There have been no concerns about the Vanderbilt centerfielder’s fielding and base running skills.
We move along to another Vanderbilt player, but this time a pitcher. Righty Kyle Wright’s first two games have been what you would expect from him, with decent starts in both outings. Wright will not miss a ton of bats, but he does have good control for a young pitcher. Wright is a natural athlete and will be a player to watch in the months leading up to the draft.
The next player to look at is another big righty pitching in the SEC, but with even more dominating stuff. Alex Faedo is one of the leading candidates to be taken with the first pick of the draft, and if he shows he is healthy he could become a lock to be taken with the first pick, and although I have objections to that I will leave that to be explained in an upcoming blog post. Faedo has been missing bats this season, but he was also hit well for his standard on opening day. The Gator’s Friday night starter has been in the spotlight for his whole college career, and he will continue to be down the road.
One player who has been utterly dominant over his first two starts is J.B. Bukauskas, with 21 strikeouts in 13 scoreless innings. Bukauskas is a small guy, but if you were reading the radar gun you would never guess that, with his dazzling fastball reaching the high nineties. Some scouts say that he uses too violent of a delivery to stick in the rotation, but some of the most successful small pitchers in the majors used a violent delivery. If Bukauskas continues to dominate his critics will get quiet.
Brendan McKay is the top two-way player in the nation, and has dominated the competition at the college level. McKay’s ceiling is a middle of the rotation starter, but if he gets drafted as a hitter he will be limited to first base. Because of the Louisville Cardinal’s consistent playing he has made a name for himself, but he will have trouble when the competition gets tougher.
We move back to big righties from the SEC, but this time with Mizzou’s Tanner Houck. Houck has been striking out batters this spring, but when he has not been doing that he has been getting hit, with 8 earned runs served up in 10 innings. Houck needs to stop running up his pitch count so quickly, which has limited him in the number of innings he has been able to throw this year. If Houck can lock in this season he will move into the area of the first overall pick.
Alex Lange is the final player who I am covering with this post, and of course he is a big righty from the SEC. Lange has been sharp this spring, showing improvement in his command and keeping his pitch count low. Lange has a good fastball along with the best breaking ball in the draft class, so if he can stay in the zone this spring he should find his name being mentioned as a potential number one pick.
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