Thinking about Rick Porcello
Considered the top high school pitcher available in the draft, Porcello is the current favorite to go Number Two overall to Kansas City. . .the other candidate, Matt Wieters, we'll look at tomorrow.
If you could design a "perfect" high school pitching prospect, it would be hard to beat Porcello. He's tall and lanky...6-5, 190...with some projection left in his body. He's athletic. He already throws 93-94 MPH, hitting 96-98 at times. His curveball and slider are both very good pitches. His changeup wasn't very good last year according to my sources, but has really improved this season, giving him four pitches that should be above-average, or better, at the major league level. Control, an issue in the past, has also taken a major step forward this year. He's very intelligent, with a 3.94 GPA for Seton Hall Prep.
So, let's see....good size, athletic, throws hard, throws strikes, has a diverse arsenal, still has projectability, knows how to pitch, intelligent, has improved his previous weaknesses. Hard to beat all that.
What about injury risk? His mechanics are clean and his athleticism helps. Also, coming from a cold-weather high school state, he has a bit less wear and tear on his arm than high school pitchers from warmer climes. He's been active on the showcase circuit so he doesn't lack high-level experience.
He's got just about everything going for him, and his risk of injury or failure is no higher than for any other high school pitcher, and perhaps a bit lower.