Brendon Little grew up in Malvern, Pennsylvania. He was known to scouts in high school but was considered raw and was committed to the University of North Carolina. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 36th round in 2015 but turned them down and went to college.
He threw just four innings for the Tar Heels as a freshman but broke out last summer in the Cape Cod League, posting a 3.68 ERA in 22 innings with a 29/7 K/BB. Seeking greater exposure and a quicker path to pro ball, he transferred to the State Junior College of Florida for 2017.
Little maintained the progress he made at Cape Cod, posting a 2.53 ERA in 85 innings this spring with a 133/33 K/BB and 67 hits allowed this spring.
Listed at 6-2, 215 pounds, Little is a left-handed hitter and thrower born August 11, 1996. He throws quite hard for a southpaw, 92-95 with frequent peaks at 96-97. He matches the heat with an impressive curveball that earns 60-grades. When his mechanics are in gear he shows very good command as well, and the high strikeout rate is not lying about his stuff. His makeup is another positive and he showed what he can do against wooden bats last summer.
He will lose the touch with his delivery at times, hampering his command, particularly of the breaking ball. His change-up is a distinct third pitch, well behind the fastball and curve in both quality and consistency. He needs more experience to improve the change-up but has yet to top 85 innings in a season. His durability is unproven and opinions differ on his long-term role, some observers viewing him as a bullpen force while others believe the change will improve enough for him to start.
Lefties who can hit 97 and have good performance records against wooden bats are prized commodities. Although Little isn’t as polished as some of the other college pitchers and comes with some questions, his upside will certainly get him drafted early. He won’t get past the second round and could go as high as the middle of the first round to a team that believes he can start.