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College Pitchers to Watch, Part I

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Mike Pelfrey of Wichita State University

College Pitchers of Interest
Here are college pitchers of interest for the '05 draft. I am going to list these guys alphabetically, since there is still uncertainty about where these guys are going to slot in the draft (due to bonus issues, Scott Boras, etc.).
The focus here is on my opinion on the player. Note I have not seen most of these guys in person, so I'm going to be looking mostly at statistical analysis of what they have done thus far.
There are a lot of interesting college pitchers in the draft this year. We will cover more of them tomorrow.

Brian Bogusevic, LHP, Tulane
2.60 ERA, 10-1 record, with a 98/31 K/BB in 97 innings. 85 hits allowed, 3 home runs allowed. Solid numbers for Bogusevic on the mound. . .he's also hit .351 this year and would be draftable on his hitting skills alone, but it looks like his better chance as a pro will be as a pitcher. The only major question for him entering this season was his command, but his K/BB is pretty solid. He throws in the 88-92 range, topping out at 94 MPH at times. He also uses a slider and changeup. Projection: mid to late first round. 6-3, 210 pounds.

Cesar Carillo, RHP, University of Miami
12-1 with 2.27 ERA, with a 106/17 K/BB ratio in 103 innings. K/BB is outstanding, high strikeout rate combined with very few walks. He doesn't have quite the physical ceiling of some of these other guys, but he is an extremely polished college pitcher who changes speeds well, throws strikes, and will move through the minor leagues very quickly. Although he's not a huge guy, he generates plus velocity with very fast arm action, combining that with superb location. Projection: mid first round. 6-3, 177 pounds. I like him a lot.

Craig Hansen, RHP, St. John's
1.09 ERA with 13 saves, 66/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings, 27 hits allowed. Dominant college closer has gained command of his mid-90s fastball and nasty slider. Many believe he will be ready for the Majors within a year, similar perhaps to what Ryan Wagner did. Hansen has been projected all over the first round at various points. He could go in the top five picks on talent alone, but may drop because he is a Boras guy. Stat-wise, everything looks great, and I think he will be a fine Major League closer. Projection: mid-first round at the latest, probably sooner if someone thinks he is signable. 6-5, 190 pounds.

Luke Hochevar, RHP, University of Tennessee
12-2 with a 1.81 ERA, 117/35 K/BB in 105 innings, 71 hits allowed. A complete pitcher with above-average attributes in all categories, including a low 90s fastball and a power slider. One thing I really like about him is his athletic background: his dad was a pro basketball player, his sister plays pro volleyball, and his mom played basketball in college. Athleticism is a very important attribute for pitchers, as it helps them repeat their mechanics and stay healthy. Talent-wise, he could go in the first five picks, but his bonus demands may scare some teams off. Unlikely to last past the mid-first round in any event. 6-5, 205 pounds.

Mark McCormick, RHP, Baylor
6-2, 3.48 ERA, with a 75/41 K/BB in 75 innings. McCormick may have the best fastball in the draft, timed as high as 100 MPH and consistently in the mid 90s. He also has command problems, and his K/BB ratio is unimpressive due to an excessive walk rate. McCormick could turn out to be an outstanding pitcher, but he has to be more consistent about throwing strikes, and I am less confident in him than guys like Hochevar or Pelfrey. Projection: mid-to-late first round. 6-2, 195 pounds.

Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Wichita State University
1.47 ERA, 11-2 record, 121/24 K/BB in 117 innings, 75 hits. All numbers excellent. Like Hochevar, Pelfrey is a complete pitcher with an above-average fastball, good breaking pitches, and the ability to throws strikes and change speeds. Like Hochevar, the only thing that might keep him out of the top ten is bonus demands. Pelfrey throws slightly harder than Hochevar, is taller and more physically projectable. He could go anywhere from top five to top 20, depending on other factors. 6-7, 210 pounds.

Cesar Ramos, LHP, Long Beach State University
10-5, 2.02 ERA, with an 89/13 K/BB ratio in 116 innings, 91 hits allowed. Doesn't throw as hard as Ricky Romero (see below), but his command is even better. Note his extremely low walk rate. However, his K/IP isn't as good as the other elite pitchers, and he will have to show he can adjust to higher level competition. Possible comparison: Abe Alvarez in the Red Sox system. Projection: supplemental round, or late first round if someone is looking for a cheaper pick who could advance fast. 6-2, 190.

Ricky Romero, LHP, Cal State Fullerton
10-4, 2.60, with 116/29 K/BB ratio in 104 innings, 81 hits allowed. Doesn't get quite as much press as some of the other elite college pitchers, but he works in the low 90s, has an excellent curve, and very sharp command. There are no holes in his statistics; everything comes out above average. He also has a good changeup. Since he is NOT linked with Scott Boras, bonus demands aren't as serious a concern. Projection: somewhere in the first ten picks. 6-2, 170.