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Interesting College Pitchers for the 2010 Draft, Part One

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Brett Eibner, RHP, University of Arkansas

Interesting College Pitchers for the 2010 Draft

Here is my take on some interesting college pitchers for the 2010 draft. These are the first four guys on my alphabetical list; much more to follow tomorrow and Wednesday.

For extensive draft coverage, check out SB Nation's newest baseball blog, MLB Bonus Baby, run by frequent Minor League Ball poster Andy Seiler. It's terrific.

Chad Bettis, RHP, Texas Tech University
     A 6-1, 210 pounder, Bettis has a 3.82 ERA with a 72/27 K/BB in 64 innings. He's picked up six saves but has also started six games; in the pros he most likely projects  as a closer. Keep in mind that his statistics are quite good for context: Texas Tech plays in a high-offense environment, and the combined team ERA in Tech games is 6.75. Bettis throws 91-95 as a starter but can get up to 97-98 in relief. He has an effective breaking ball but will need a changeup to start at higher levels. I see him as a supplemental or early second round pick, possibly interesting the Blue Jays at 41, the Tigers at  44, or the Cardinals at 46.

Brett Eibner, RHP-OF, University of Arkansas
     I like guys who are two-way players in college: it speaks well of their athleticism, and that's an underrated attribute in a pitcher. Eibner is 6-4, 210 pounds, and pulls dual status for the Razorbacks, posting a  3.38 ERA with a 42/8 K/BB in 45 innings and 51 hits on the mound, but also hitting .320 with 11 homers as an outfielder. I prefer him on the mound, where I suspect his current 90-95 MPH velocity could pick up into the higher end of that range more consistently with regular work. His breaking ball and changeup need polish, but he already throws strikes. Eibner was part of Houston's disastrous '07 draft class, drafted in the third round but eschewing his hometown team and a slot bonus for college ball. It looks like he made the right decision. Although ticketed for the bottom part of the first round in most mocks, I could see him going earlier than that under the right circumstances. The Astros pick at 19th....

Justin Grimm, RHP, University of Georgia
     Grimm's college numbers for the Bulldogs don't look good: he's got a 5.10 ERA with a 45/22 K/BB in 48 innings, with 49 hits allowed. However, that's not bad for the context: the team ERA is 8.67, and the combined ERA in Georgia games is 6.82.  His component ratios are actually above average for his environment. Grimm is 6-4, 195 pounds, an ideal build for a right-handed pitcher, not too big and not too small. Clocked as high as 95 MPH in the Cape Cod League, he's been more erratic this spring and has command issues with his breaking stuff, but his raw potential is clear. He is a good candidate for late in the first round or  in the supplemental round.

Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech
     The 6-5, 190 pound Hahn has performed well statistically this spring, posting a 2.81 ERA with 64/14 K/BB in 58 innings, 50 hits allowed, all above average for context. Another guy who looked great in the Cape Cod League (hitting 97-98 MPH), Hahn got off to a great start this spring but has slumped lately, though he's maintained good component ratios. He has a strong curveball to go with his heater, but needs to refine his changeup to be a starter. He has first class stuff, and barring a May collapse is a good bet to go in the Top 20. Possible targets include the White Sox at 13, the Rangers at 15, and the Cubs at 16, though there is a slight chance he could get into the Top Ten.

Tomorrow: Matt Harvey, Dan Klein, Barret Loux, and Deck McGuire, possibly more if I have time.