Moving forward with our 2016 MLB Draft coverage, we turn out attention to Braxton Garrett, a high school left-hander from Florence, Alabama, and a likely first round selection.
Garrett has been in the limelight for some time, pitching for Team USA last summer, at various showcase events, and with the East Cobb. In other words, scouts have had a good look at him and he is rated second only to New Jersey's Jason Groome among prep lefties in this draft class.
Committed to Vanderbilt, Garrett is a 6-3, 190, with a classic pitcher's build and some remaining projectability. His fastball was around 89-91 last summer but has been at 90-93 this spring; another tick upward is possible as he matures physically. Even at the present velocity the fastball plays up because he commands it well, and because of the contrast with his excellent curveball.
The curve may be the best breaking pitch in this year's high school class. It has been too much for high school hitters to handle most of the time and is already polished enough to work in pro ball. He has a change-up, too, not as developed as the curveball but workable. It should be a solid-average major league pitch in time.
Good fastball and change-up, excellent curve, sharp control, easy delivery, good makeup, and a track record of success against top competition: it is easy to see why Garrett rates so highly. Barring a late injury or ridiculous bonus demands, he is a certain first round pick, likely in the top 20.
Here's some Baseball America video