Moving forward with our coverage of the 2016 MLB Draft, we take a look at yet another high school arm: right-hander Reggie Lawson from Victorville, California.
Lawson made a name for himself last summer with brilliant pitching for Team USA and entered 2016 with designs on the middle part of the first round. Alas, the spring has not gone as expected: he was shut down in April with a strained oblique and he wasn't at his best before the injury, leaving teams with question-marks on his draft status.
Listed at 6-4, 185, Lawson is very athletic and has remaining projectability. Since he already has a 90-94 MPH fastball, it isn't hard to imagine him working consistently in the mid-90s at maturity. His fastball was just fine this spring but the doubts revolve around his secondary pitches. He showed a very good curveball and a promising change-up last summer, but the off-speed stuff stagnated this spring, particularly the curveball which took a significant step backwards.
Such oscillations are not unusual for a young pitcher, of course, but he needs innings to iron them out and the oblique prevented him from getting those innings. The good news is that Lawson still threw quality strikes with his fastball and continues to impress teams with his easy heat and athleticism. He still projects as a mid-rotation starter, perhaps more, if the secondaries come around.
Signability is the main issue now. He has an Arizona State commitment and could very well honor it if he falls too far in the draft. He was seen as a first-round talent in February but looks more like a second-round choice at present. Will that be enough to keep him from college?