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2018 MLB Draft: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss

Shaun Kernahan’s take on Mississippi lefty

Ryan Rolison is a guy that has been up and down this season, but when he is on he is one of the best pitchers in the 2018 MLB draft. He has put up an ERA of 3.87 through the regular season and SEC tournament, but had 104 strikeouts and just 41 walks over 88.1 innings. He did not have quite as good a year as 2017 when his ERA was 3.06 and he walked just 24 over 61.2 innings, but his pure stuff could have him going in the top 10 of this year’s draft.

When he is at his best, he pounds the corners of the zone but his command is average at best. When he misses he tends to be well outside the zone rather than catching too much plate. His front foot lands just before his hips really fire which likely contributes to his inconsistent command. He does show a heavy cross body arm action from the 3/4 slot that provides good deception and can make the ball hard to pick up by the batter.

The deception is important as Rolison’s fastball is not elite, sitting 89-93 but touching 95 at times. He has a really good curve that rolls through the zone at 78-81 which is definitely his best pitch. He will show a slurvy slider that lacks real sharpness and sits about 80-83 and is overthrown into the dirt too often. His change is his second best off speed offering that comes in about 84 with some drop to it.

He is very fundamentally sound showing excellent balance in his delivery with an easy and repeatable motion. His good leg drive will allow him to work deep into games and he profiles as a long term starter at the next level. He also shows very good athleticism and can field his position very well.

Overall, Rolison is not the flashy, radar gun darling that make so many fans sit up and take notice, but whoever selects him will get a very good pitcher that will make a long term impact at the big league level. His command will prevent him from being a quick moving player, but he can eventually become a third starter with a likely floor of a spot starter or number five man in a rotation.