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2018 MLB Draft: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn University

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The top pitcher in 2018 college baseball

Earlier today we looked at Brady Singer of the Florida Gators. Part of the reason Singer has slipped a bit on 2018 MLB draft boards is the emergence of Auburn University right-hander Casey Mize. Let’s take a look.

Casey Mize was known to scouts as a high school pitcher from Springville, Alabama, but was considered too raw to draft and sign away from Auburn when he was eligible in 2015.

Used as both a starter and reliever during his freshman year in 2016, Mize posted a solid 3.52 ERA in 69 innings with a 59/18 K/BB. He took a large step forward as a sophomore, starting 12 games with a 2.04 ERA and a spectacular 109/9 K/BB in 84 innings. However, he missed a few weeks with “arm fatigue” and a strained flexor, leading to questions about durability.

Still, his ’17 performance was enough to get him into first round consideration for ’18 when the college season began.

He’s been excellent this spring, going 6-0 in seven starts, with a 2.11 ERA and an unworldly 70/3 K/BB in 47 innings, allowing just 25 hits. So far there have been no signs of new health problems. Mize’s reputation has grown so quickly over the last six weeks that he’s passed Florida’s Brady Singer as the top college right-hander on many boards.

Mize is listed at 6-3, 220, born May 1st, 1997. He has the stuff to back up his statistical dominance. His fastball has been 93-95 with peaks at 96 all spring. The pitch has above-average movement yet he commands it well, which is almost unfair considering how good his secondary stuff is.

Mize features a plus-quality cutter, a plus-quality splitter used in change-up counts, and a solid-average breaking ball (described as a slider, a slurve, or a curve depending on the source) distinct from the faster/harder cutter. The splitter is particularly nasty, described by Perfect Game as “devastating.” With four quality offerings his arsenal is unusually deep, even for a college pitcher from a major program.

He throws all four pitches for strikes, maintains his mechanics, and presents a mature and confident mound presence. Mize’s delivery is more conventional than Brady Singer’s and his stuff has been more consistent this spring, factors which have pushed Casey’s stock to the top of the draft.

Mize looks like a top five pick at this point with a shot at going number one assuming that scouts remain confident in his durability.

Here’s some really good video from 2080Baseball:

Burke Granger’s 2080 report on Mize is a must-read.