2014 MLB Draft Profile: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd, TX

Matt Garrioch, Vox Media

Tyler Kolek is the next in the line of fireballing Texans. His velocity is as good as anyone. How much better can he get?

Tyler Kolek is the top power arm in the 2014 prep class. He's 6'5" or better, weighing in around 250. He's country strong. Literally. I'm not just saying that because he's a big guy, he lives and works on a cattle ranch. Looking at him, I don't know that he has spent a lot of time in the weight room. He's not a toned individual but he isn't fat. He could really take off with professional weight training and conditioning. He's a very good athlete that has even drawn interest from Texas A & M as a defensive end but he dropped football and basketball to concentrate on baseball.

In a draft class filled with power arms, Kolek leads the pack. His fastball has hit triple digits in the past, occasionally touched 99 but sits in the 91-96 range. His 75-77 MPH curve ball isn't the most consistent pitch but it flashes plus. He throws a slider that is in the 80-83 range that has a sharper break. He has a low 80's change but hasn't had to use it at any point to dominate prep competition. Mechanically, he isn't perfect. He's big so there are a lot of moving parts but he maintains it well. He should be able to work out any minor issues he has easily in pro ball. His throws from a ¾ slot that gives him good downhill plane and makes his fastball heavy.

Looking at him, it's easy to think of Jonathan Gray or Stephen Strasburg. Pitchers who have went to college and blossomed into arms that can throw 100 after being less polished in high school and adding velocity in college. Well, Kolek already has the elite velocity. He has very good command and solid pitchability. He can hit 100 and he can improve conditioning that may add more. The sky truly is the limit with Kolek. His velocity is new and it may regress in spring. I don't know but it will be fun to watch him progress and if I were a scouting director of one of the top 5 teams, I would watch him multiple times this spring.

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