Kyle Wright - 2017 MLB Draft
Posted by Hrbowski , 18 May 2017 · 1,841 views
Image courtesy of Peter Aiken
Kyle Wright is a right-handed pitcher for the Vanderbilt Commodores who is one of the top players available in the draft. Wright is 6’4” and weighs 220 pounds, with the prototypical build that scouts love in pitchers.
Due to his strong commitment to Vanderbilt, he went undrafted as an Alabama high schooler and has since physically matured and added five miles per hour to his velocity. He got off to a slow start this spring, but he has turned that around in the last few weeks. Wright may have more momentum than any other college player and will be one of the first picks come June.
Wright uses a four-pitch mix: fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range, with occasional flashes into the upper nineties. His curveball should be above average, but early in the season he left it up in the zone too much, which got him into trouble. His slider is an above average pitch, yet there is some debate about whether it is a true slider or if it is more of a cutter. His fourth pitch is a changeup, and although it is behind his other pitches, it should develop into a usable big league offering.
Wright uses a long stride in his delivery, but he may lose too much of the momentum he gets into the ground. His upper half also gets slightly behind his lower half during his pitching motion, which sometimes causes him to have inconsistent release points. Even though there are some concerns about his mechanics, he makes it look rather pretty, and his issues should be smoothed out in the development process quickly. Control is not a big issue for Wright, and it should be at least average in the majors.
As the draft gets closer, Wright’s name has come up increasingly more often in talk involving the Twins. Teams selecting first in the draft tend to favor players with similar profiles to the Vandy right-hander, and the Twins have been watching him closely. If the Twins draft Wright, he should be in their rotation within the next two years, making him more appealing to a new front office than a player who is further away. College pitchers are not always a safe pick, with their careers often being derailed by injuries, but that is a risk you are taking with anyone. Regardless, when the Twins pick first next month, there is a good chance they will take Wright.
Wright was a favorite of scouts entering the season, and he maintained that status through a rough stretch. If he can continue his recent turnaround, he will be a top five draft pick. He has one of the highest ceilings among players in this class, with top of the rotation potential, and he could also move quickly through a system, giving the team that drafts him someone who could pay big dividends soon. Regardless of where he goes in the draft, Wright has a bright future ahead of him.
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