Addison Reed Warms Up
Continuing with interesting college pitchers for the 2010 draft, with Drew Pomeranz, Anthony Ranaudo, Addison Reed, Chris Sale, and Drew Smyly. More to follow.
Drew Pomeranz, LHP, University of Mississippi
First, the good news. Pomeranz is a 6-5, 235 pound lefty with a terrific arm. His performance this year has been excellent, with a 1.38 ERA and a 90/24 K/BB in 59 innings, with just 34 hits allowed. His K/IP and H/IP marks are outstanding, and are statistical confirmation of the stuff that scouts see: a 90-94 MPH fastball with movement and an unusually good breaking ball. His command can wobble on occasion, but his stuff is so good that even patient college hitters have trouble against him. The bad news...um, well, there really isn't any, other than the aforementioned occasional command issue. He could use a better changeup, but again that's a relatively minor concern considering his overall package. I expect he'll go either to the Pirates at Number Two or the Orioles at Number three. You can read Andy Seiler's in-person scouting report here.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Louisiana State University
In January, Ranaudo was expected to be the top college pitcher in the draft class. Alas, he's been limited to just 21 innings so far by a stress reaction in his elbow. In those 21 innings, he's posted a 3.00 ERA with a 20/10 K/BB and 14 hits allowed. When healthy, the 6-7, 230 pounder has a 94-97 MPH fastball, and a strong curveball/changeup combination. He has the stuff to be a number one starter, but the injury issue clouds his status and will have to be monitored closely as we get closer to the draft. He was considered a lock for the first five picks until getting hurt, and he could still go that high if he throws well in May. He could also slip down the draft if teams get concerned about the medical reports, so at this point it is hard to know how to slot him.
Last June, I wrote this about Ranaudo:
Anthony Ranaudo will enter 2010 as LSU's ace, but he'll hurt his shoulder in early March, be sidelined for the rest of the month and in April. He'll come back in May and pitch okay, but his velocity will be down and no one will be sure what to do with him on draft day. He'll end up being drafted in the fourth round early on the second day, will rehab his arm, look good in July '10 workouts, then sign with whoever drafted him right before the August '10 deadline.
He ended up hurting his elbow instead of his shoulder. Right now I will assume that he's healthy and effective in May, and if that's true I expect he will be drafted either by the Orioles at three or the Indians at five. If health issues are bothersome down the stretch, he could fall into the early 20s.
Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State University
The 6-3, 215 pounder is having a fine season for San Diego State, with a 2.68 ERA and a 47/8 K/BB in 40 innings, with 28 hits allowed. He was a closer last year but moved into the rotation this spring and doesn't throw quite as hard now, 90-92 rather than 92-95 as a reliever. However, his secondary pitches (a slider and changeup) have improved with more use, and his control is excellent. He hasn't received quite as much attention as some of the other college guys, but could get into the later part of the first round and certainly the supplemental round.
Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University
Sale attracted the attention of scouts last summer in the Cape Cod League, and has maintained that momentum this spring with a 2.48 ERA and a 78/8 K/BB in 58 innings, with 55 hits allowed. His exceptional K/BB and K/IP ratios reflect the fact that he has excellent command of his 90-95 MPH fastball, terrific changeup, and developing slider. Tall and lean at 6-5, 180, he has an attractive combination of polish and stuff, and could still have some remaining physical projectability. He won't get out of the Top Ten picks, and seems a logical candidate for the Indians at five or the Diamondbacks at six.
Drew Smyly, LHP, University of Arkansas
Teammate of first round candidates Brett Eibner and Zach Cox at Arkansas, Smyly is a fine prospect in his own right and could get into the supplemental round. His performance this spring has been strong: 1.99 ERA with a 52/22 K/BB in 50 innings with 37 hits allowed. The walk rate could stand some reduction, but his K/IP and H/IP marks are strong for context and reflect the quality of his 90-94 MPH sinking fastball, slider, and changeup. He has ideal size for a lefty at 6-3, 190, not too short but not tall enough to cause mechanical issues. Teams in the bottom part of the supplemental round such as the Rockies at 47, the Rangers at 49, and the Cardinals at 50 could be interested.