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2015 MLB Draft Board: College right-handers to watch

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Dillon Tate
Dillon Tate
Wilson Karaman

2015 MLB Draft: College right-handed pitchers

Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara: Junior, 2.26 ERA with 111/28 K/BB in 103 innings, 66 hits. Former closer turned to starting and performed well, upper-90s fastball with hard slider, change-up, stuff down a little towards the end but should still be first or second pitcher drafted. Target Territory: Early first round.

Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt: Junior, 1.92 ERA with 147/41 K/BB in 108 innings, 71 hits, mid-90s heat with strong breaking stuff, outstanding makeup. High-effort delivery causes some observers to project him in pen, but an increasing number see him as a starter. Target Territory: Early first round.

James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA: Junior, 2.02 ERA with 114/33 K/BB in 106 innings, 86 hits, velocity kicked up well into 90s this spring and he already knew how to pitch with full arsenal, excellent instincts. Won’t need long in the minors, mid-rotation projection. Target Territory: First round.

Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt: Junior, 2.97 ERA with 81/25 K/BB in 79 innings, 78 hits. Some nagging injuries but throws four quality pitches for strikes; like Fulmer and Kaprielian, he won’t need long in the minors. Mid-rotation projection. TT: First round.

Phil Bickford, RHP, JC of Southern Nevada: Sophomore, insane stats (1.45 ERA, 166/21 K/BB in 87 innings, 45 hits) on the strength of nasty sinking fastball overmatching wooden bat JC hitters. Slider and change draw mixed reviews, could go anywhere from Top Ten to the late 20s. TT: First round.

Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State: Junior, 2.45 ERA with 116/36 K/BB in 103 innings, 75 hits, low/mid-90s, quality curve, slider, change-up, durable and can be dominant at times. Another mid-rotation potential who could come quickly. TT: First round.

Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville: Junior, 3.20 ERA with 104/45 K/BB in 112 innings, 97 hits, stock slipped with some rough outings down the stretch. Power sinker, good slider, curve and change could use more polish as could overall command. Still has mid-rotation projection. TT: First round.

Michael Matuella, RHP, Duke: Junior, posted 1.08 ERA in 25 innings (24/11 K/BB) before Tommy John surgery, outstanding arm when healthy, draft status will depend on medical reports, also has a back issue. Number two starter stuff. TT: Late first round/comp round.

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Cal State Fullerton: Junior, opposite of Funkhouser: average stuff and below average velocity combined with amazingly good command, his career K/BB ratio is 312/18. Posted 1.59 ERA with 130/7 K/BB this year. Durable, stock has been rising recently. TT: Late first round/comp round.

Cody Ponce, RHP, Cal Poly Pomona: Junior, 1.44 ERA with 67/14 K/BB in 62 innings, 54 hits, Division II pitcher with high-class stuff including low/mid-90s fastball., slider, curve, change. History of minor shoulder issues could hurt stock a little. TT: Comp round.

Jacob Nix, RHP, IMG Academy: Age-equivalent of a college freshman so we will include him here, 71/10 K/BB in 47 innings with 2.11 ERA, stock has improved since last year’s debacle with the Astros, low-90s with sharper secondary pitches, another mid-rotation possibility. TT: Comp round/second round.

Riley Ferrell, RHP, Texas Christian: Junior, TCU closer saved 14 with 2.22 ERA, 45/18 K/BB in 28 innings, just 10 hits, mid-90s mixed with hard slider, could move quickly in relief if command holds up. TT: Second round.

Ryan Burr, RHP, Arizona State: Junior, closer, 14 saves with 2.91 ERA, 74/25 K/BB in 46 innings, 44 hits. Like Ferrell he throws hard and is overpowering, but secondary pitches aren’t as solid and he could need more refinement. TT: Second round.

David Hill, RHP, San Diego: Junior, 2.33 ERA with 115/35 K/BB in 100 innings, 66 hits. Continues theme of future number three starters, effective with low-90s fastball, impressive change-up and decent-enough breaking ball. TT: Second round.

Kyle Cody, RHP, Kentucky: Junior, huge at 6-7, 240 and has the arm strength, had designs on first round but stock slipped with command and consistency issues, 4.91 ERA, 63/17 K/BB in 66 innings, 63 hits. Was much better in Cape Cod League, good reclamation project for the right team. TT: Third round.

Josh Staumont, RHP, Azusa Pacific: Junior, another impressive power arm, mid/upper-90s and has a power breaking ball. Also has command issues and results don’t always match stuff, 3.67 ERA with 109/54 K/BB in 69 innings, 36 hits. TT: Third round, but could go higher; coaches would have to love getting a hold of this arm.

Mariano Rivera JR, RHP, Iona: Senior, not a nepotism prospect, took step forward with improved velocity this year, 2.65 ERA with 113/27 K/BB in 85 innings, good pitchability as well. TT: Fourth round.

Andrew Moore, RHP, Oregon State:
Junior, 1.87 ERA with 90/19 K/BB in 106 innings, 75 hits. Pitchability type with three mediocre-to-average pitches but stellar command, control, feel for the craft, could interest sabermetrically-inclined teams in middle rounds. TT: Fifth round.

Taylor Clarke, RHP, College of Charleston: Junior, poor-man’s Eshelman, 1.46 ERA with 126/14 K/BB in 99 innings, 65 hits, excellent command of fastball and slider. TT; FIfth round.

OTHER ARMS OF INTEREST:

Blake Hickman, RHP, Iowa: Junior, from Chicago area, still learning to pitch after beginning career as catcher, high ceiling but will need time.

Brandon Koch, RHP, Dallas Baptist: Junior, another closer type with fiery fastball/slider combo and some command issues.

Tanner Rainey, RHP, West Alabama:
Junior, another possible fast-moving reliever with hot fastball, slider and closing experience.

Benton Moss, RHP, North Carolina:
Senior arm saw stuff improve this spring, has started but more likely a fast-moving reliever in pro ball.

This hardly scratches the surface. There are probably two hundred other college right-handers worthy of mention. Feel free to discuss your favorites.