While Matthew Liberatore is generally regarded as the top high school lefty in the 2018 MLB Draft, fellow southpaw Ryan Weathers cannot be overlooked. Weathers was viewed as a probable first-day choice before the spring season began but his stock has risen to the point that he looks like a lock for the first round and perhaps in the top half. Let’s take a look.
Ryan Weathers attends high school in Loretto, Tennessee. The son of former major league pitcher David Weathers, Ryan has inherited his father’s pitching ability although he’s a southpaw rather than a right-hander like Dad.
Listed at 6-2, 210, Weathers was born November 6th, 1999. He is well-built with strong legs and a mature look. Although he looks visually like he may pick up bad weight eventually, he’s actually an excellent athlete who is also a top basketball player, though baseball is clearly his sport. He may not have much additional velocity projection left but that’s OK considering what he has.
What he has is a lot. He features a quality fastball at 90-95 MPH, with good heater command for his age. He has an above-average curveball and a better change-up than most high school pitchers. He knows how to sequence pitches for maximum effect. He keeps his mechanics in gear, throws strikes with everything, and looks strong under pressure. Makeup is another positive and he has a Vanderbilt commitment to fall back on.
So what we have here is an athletic guy with three pitches who knows how to use them, with guts and big league bloodlines. High school pitchers are an inherently risky demographic but Weathers looks safer than most. He’ll certainly be a first-rounder.
And as an aside, he’s my favorite high school pitcher in the draft.