Continuing with our reviews of the results of the 2015 MLB Draft, we turn to pitchers drafted in the second round. Hitters will follow later today. The original comment written back on draft day in June is in italics.
43) Arizona Diamondbacks: Alex Young, LHP, Texas Christian: Junior, took well to starting after two seasons in bullpen, 2.39 ERA with 81/19 K/BB in 83 innings, 66 hits. Hits 90, nasty breaking knucklecurve, and improved changeup combined with sharp command. Mid-rotation upside. RESULT: Tiny workload, seven innings between rookie ball and Northwest League, allowing one run, one walks, five hits, six strikeouts. Nothing here to over-ride the college reports for either good or ill. B-/C+ area.
44) Colorado Rockies: Peter Lambert, RHP, San Dimas HS, California: UCLA commit, has drawn a few breathless Zack Greinke comps due to athleticism and excellent pitchability though his stuff isn’t at that level yet, fastball in low-90s but has good curve and change. I like him a lot. RESULT: Threw 31 innings for Grand Junction in the Pioneer League, resulting in 3.45 ERA, 26/11 K/BB, 29 hits allowed. In line with high school reports, showed some pitchability with secondaries but needs to get stronger. B-/C+ area.
46) Houston Astros 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. Have to like this pick for Houston if only because he'll be a heck of a lot of fun to follow. RESULT: Light workload after long college spring, 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings, 8/5 K/BB, 11 hits between GCL and Midwest Leagues. Much higher walk rate than in college, but sample too small to mean anything. B-/C+ area.
49) Cincinnati Reds: Antonio Santillan, RHP, Seguin HS, Arlington, Texas: Texas Tech commit but should sign here, throws very hard but also very raw, long term development prospect. RESULT: 5.03 ERA in 20 innings in Arizona Rookie League, 19/11 K/BB, 15 hits. No change in status based on this: live arm, needs polish and time. High-ceiling C+.
50) Miami Marlins: Brett Lilek, LHP, Arizona State: Junior, 3.20 ERA with 66/41 K/BB in 79 innings, 58 hits. Results spotty but the stuff isn’t, can hit 92-95 with a plus breaking ball, ideal 6-4, 195 pound athletic body, but erratic command holds him back. Could take a leap forward in pro ball. RESULT: Good start to his career, 3.34 ERA in 35 innings in the New York-Penn League with 43/7 K/BB, 30 hits. Need to see at higher levels of course, but it is notable that his command was better than anticipated. If that remains true the Marlins have a really nice pick here. B-.
51) San Diego Padres: Austin Smith, RHP, Park Visa Community HS, Boynton Beach, Florida: Florida Atlantic commit, well-known on showcase and international circuit, can hit mid-90s with little effort, curveball and change-up have promise but need more work, though command solid overall. I like him better than some of the high school guys who went earlier. RESULT: 7.94 ERA in 17 innings in rookie ball, 11/9 K/BB, 27 hits. I liked him a lot pre-draft so this is disappointing. Small sample yes, but much more hittable than expected and secondaries definitely need work. C+.
55) Milwaukee Brewers 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 hurt stock a little but a solid small college choice if he is healthy, could be solid starter or more dominant reliever. RESULT: Strong debut, 2.29 ERA in 51 innings between Pioneer and Midwest Leagues, 40/9 K/BB, 47 hits, 1.73 GO/AO. No issues with health despite pre-draft worries and a non-cautious pro workload. Looks solid. B-.
56) Toronto Blue Jays Brady Singer, RHP, Eustis HS, Florida: University of Florida commit, another rising stock pitcher as fastball improved into 90s, good command and breaking stuff, change-up also improving along with the heater. Also projectable at 6-5, 180. Might have snuck into first round under different circumstances. RESULT: Did not sign with Blue Jays, heading to college with the Florida Gators.
57) New York Yankees Jeff Degano, LHP, Indiana State: Senior, Canadian lefty missed most of two years with Tommy John but was outstanding this year, 2.36 ERA, 126/28 K/BB in 99 innings, 78 hits, low-90s fastball and effective breaking ball combined with sharp command for success. Stock rising. RESULT: 3.80 ERA in 21 innings between GCL and NY-P, cautious workload due to long college season, 22/9 K/BB, 24 hits. Nothing here to over-ride draft reports. B-.
59) Cleveland Indians Juan Hillman, LHP, Olympia HS, Orlando, Florida: Central Florida commit, godson of Tom Gordon and has grown up with Gordon family, outstanding pitchability is his hallmark but his velocity has picked up, too, changes speeds well, athletic, very polished, outstanding choice for Cleveland in this spot. RESULT: 4.13 ERA in Arizona Rookie League, 20/5 K/BB, 26 hits in 24 innings. Very much as expected: threw strikes with decent stuff, good instincts, polished for his age. B-.
60) Seattle Mariners Nick Neidert, RHP, Peachtree Ridge HS, Suwanee, Georgia: South Carolina commit, typical low-90s fastball although bothered by some elbow soreness, slider and change-up need work. Good upside here. RESULT: Impressive debut, 1.53 ERA in 35 innings in AZL, 23/9 K/BB, 25 hits, 2.55 GO/AO. No signs of arm trouble after some concerns this spring, secondaries somewhat better than expected and keeps the ball down. B-.
61) San Francisco Giants Andrew Suarez, LHP, Miami-FL: Senior, 2.96 ERA with 74/19 K/BB in 79 innings, 76 hits, throws a little harder than standard finesse guy in low-90s, good assortment of secondaries and strong pitchability. Main problem is long injury history and durability questions. RESULT: Rapid advancement, threw 39 innings between AZL, Northwest League, and California League, posted 1.60 ERA with 37/5 K/BB in 39 innings, 32 hits. Met or exceeded all expectations as a very polished college strike-throwing machine. Will not need long in minors. B-.
64) Kansas City Royals 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. Coaches would have to love getting a hold of this arm. High ceiling, low floor.
RESULT: 40 innings between Arizona Rookie League and Pioneer League, 2.48 ERA with 58/32 K/BB, 21 hits, 2.87 ERA. Another arm that met expectations both good (tons of strikeouts, grounders, plus stuff) and bad (control problems). B-.
65) Detroit Tigers: Tyler Alexander, LHP, Texas Christian: Draft-eligible sophomore with exceptional command, 2.86 ERA with 69/8 K/BB in 91 innings, upper 80s fastball with OK slider and change, throws strikes, back-end starter or relief projection. RESULT: Outstanding debut, 0.97 ERA in NY-P with 33/5 K/BB in 37 innings and a mere 17 hits allowed. Doesn't have the stuff you would normally associate with such H/IP dominance but he excels at changing speeds and making hitters look bad. Should zip through lower levels. B-.
68) Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Flowery Branch, Georgia HS: Low-90s fastball, curve, slider, change, committed to Georgia Tech, sort of lost in the shuffle among Georgia preps this year. RESULT: Did not sign with Orioles, heading to college at Georgia Tech.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND B
71) Cincinnati Reds: Tanner Rainey, RHP, West Alabama: Junior, another possible fast-moving reliever with hot fastball, slider and closing experience, 50/14 K/BB in 28 innings, 1.59 ERA. He also hit 19 homers but his future is on the mound, if control improves. RESULT: 4.27 ERA in 59 innings in Pioneer League, 57/28 K/BB, 58 hits. Was a closer in college so point now is to build up workload/stamina and refine off-speed pitches and command. C+/B-.
72) Seattle Mariners: 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 stand out as big positives. RESULT: 39 innings in Northwest League, 2.08 ERA with 43/2 K/BB, 37 hits. Two walks is not a typo. As expected command and general mound feel are his best attributes. He should dominate A-ball but we will have to see t higher levels. C+/B-.
73) Minnesota Twins: 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, which could be the Twins. RESULT: Did not sign, going back to college and try for the first round again.
74) Los Angeles Dodgers: Josh Sborz, RHP, Virginia: Hard thrower, junior, can hit 93-95, command erratic but 13 saves, 1.95 ERA, 52/21 K/BB in 60 innings, just 34 hits. Could move rapidly in relief. RESULT: 22 innings between Pioneer, Midwest, and California Leagues resulting in combined 2.42 ERA, 25/9 K/BB, 19 hits. Command glitches early but walked just two in final 12 innings. Fast bullpen riser if that remains the case.
75) Atlanta Braves: A.J. Minter, LHP, Texas A&M: Junior, limited to 21 innings by injury, 0.43 ERA with 29/8 K/BB then went down with Tommy John surgery. When healthy is very polished three pitch lefty with excellent pitchability. RESULT: Tommy John rehab work.