Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #12 of the UCLA Bruins prepares himself before pitching against the South Carolina Gamecocks during Game 1 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 28, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
2011 Draft: College Pitchers: Anderson through Jungmann.
Here is my take on college pitchers expected to be early picks in 2011. This list is alphabetical, A-J; letters beyond will follow in another report. This is not a ranking or a mock draft; I will do those starting in late April. This is intended as a starting point or primer. You can read a lot more about the draft at MLBBonusBaby.
Tyler Anderson, LHP, University of Oregon: 6-4, 215 pound lefty, 4-0, 1.02 ERA so far with a 59/15 K/BB in 44 innings, 26 hits allowed. Fastball ranges between 88 and 92 MPH, averaging right at 91 by report, with sinking action. Also mixes in a decent slider, but his best pitch is a terrific changeup. Stats this year are obviously outstanding and he has a great feel for pitching. Probably won't need much minor league time. A virtually certain-first round pick in most drafts, but given the rich stock of college pitching this year he might end up in the supplemental round, and could be a bargain there. Or someone might pop him earlier than expected, like Mike Minor in 2009.
Matt Barnes, RHP, University of Connecticut: 6-4, 205 pound right-hander, ideal pitcher size. 4-2, 0.99 ERA with 42/11 K/BB in 45 innings, 24 hits allowed. Another guy with excellent stats to go with a first round arm, and is coming off a terrific summer season in 2010. Scouts rate his fastball as second-best in the draft behind Gerrit Cole's, and he mixes in a good curve and changeup. Would be a Top Five pick in some draft classes but could fall to the middle of the round depending on other factors this year. VIDEO.
Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA: 6-2, 185 pound right-hander. So far, 4-1, 1.13 ERA, 72/18 K/BB in 48 innings, 21 hits. Some concerns have been raised about excessive pitch counts but Bauer seems like the type who has a better chance to stay healthy than most. Fastball ranges between 92 and 96, both curveball and slider are strong, good changeup, outstanding makeup and physical conditioning, a complete package basically. I doubt he lasts pasts the middle of the round, and he is a personal favorite.
Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech: 6-4, 220 pound lefty. So far, 3-0, 1.67 ERA, 51/13 K/BB in 38 innings, 23 hits. Low-90s fastball with movement, plus pitch for a lefty. Slider and changeup both rate as above average, giving him a full arsenal. Athletic, throws strikes, makeup draws positive comments. Like Tyler Anderson, he's got the combination of stuff and command to get to the majors rather quickly. He could go anywhere after Pick Five in my opinion. VIDEO:
Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA: 6-4, 220 pound right-hander. So far, 2-2, 2.31 ERA, with a 47/8 K/BB in 39 innings, 23 hits. Showing excellent command of excellent stuff this year. Up to 99 MPH with his fastball, plus curveball, plus changeup, great delivery. Now being talked about as the possible number one pick instead of Anthony Rendon and is drawing Strasburg comparisons. I see no reason to buck the consensus on Cole; the hype looks legitimate to me.
Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt: 5-11, 180 pound (listed height varies between 5-11 and 6-0 depending on source) right-hander. Stats so far: 5-1, 1.51 ERA with 58/17 K/BB in 42 innings, 22 hits. Statistical performance is obviously excellent, and scouts love him even though he is "short" for a right-hander, which tells you everything you need to know about his stuff (mid-90s fastball, great slider) and mound presence. Should go in the Top Ten. If he was taller he'd go in the Top Five, and he might anyway. VIDEO:
Danny Hultzen, LHP, University of Virginia: 6-3, 200 pound lefty. So far, 5-0, 1.12 ERA, 71/7 K/BB in 40 innings 23 hits. His stock has been rising all spring and it was pretty high to begin with. Another lefty with a low-90s sinking fastball, mixing in a strong changeup and slider and a great feel for pitching. His statistical performance this year, particularly the K/IP ratio, separates him from Bradley and Anderson. Does that mean he'll go higher in the draft? Way too early to say that, but I can't see him not going in the first round.
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, University of Texas: 6-6, 220 pounder, workhorse-type right-hander. So far, 5-0 in six starts, 0.52 ERA, 42/5 K/BB in 52 innings, 27 hits. Low-to-mid-90s fastball. Both slider and changeup have been rated as plus, and his command has taken a step forward this year. Mechanics have been troublesome in the past but are reportedly more consistent this year, helping his control. Has cut his BB/9 from 3.1 last year to 0.88 this year. Virtually certain first rounder but could go anywhere past Pick Five. VIDEO (year old)