This pick is bending my mind into a pretzel. I’ll just let Bryan Smith do the talking for me while I mull this pick.
The Robert Stock story continues, as he goes 67 to the Cardinals. Stock left high school a year earlier to get a jump start on USC. People are going to really question if it was in his best interest, as he probably would have been a first rounder after his senior high school season. I like Stock a lot better as a pitcher than a catcher, as he has really not progressed with the bat in 3 years. But the Cardinals announced him as a catcher, so they’re going down that road first.
I suppose they can always fall back on pitching. Leave it to the Cardinals to draft a converted catcher turned pitcher.
For USC, Stock hit .226/.345/.453. Not good, but at least the isolated discipline and power numbers are pretty decent. As a pitcher, Stock was the ace of the staff. He posted a 2.90 ERA with 86 K’s to 39 walks over 77.2 innings pitched. The bonus is he’s only 19 years old, and there is still some reason to believe there is some upside with this pick.
Here’s some video of him at the plate
Stock is one of the draft’s most intriguing players due to his background. He was Baseball America’s Youth Player of the Year in 2005 when he was 15, and a year later, Stock skipped his senior year in high school to enroll at Southern California. He’s a 19-year-old draft-eligible junior, and his college career has been one of valleys and recent peaks. He was the Trojans’ starting catcher and sometime closer his first two seasons, showing modest power, a good fastball and good catch-and-throw skills. He showed raw power and catch-and-throw tools in his first two seasons, particularly arm strength. However, his draft stock suffered; after ranking No. 5 in our Cape Cod League Top 30 following his freshman season, he didn’t even make the top 30 last summer, and scouts were stunned by his poor performance on scout day in fall 2008, when his bat looked slow and his pop times sluggish. When Stock got off to a slow start offensively in 2009, attention shifted to his performance on the mound. The Trojans turned to Stock as a starter this year, and he has delivered. He made his first start March 29 and beat Arizona State, striking out 10 in five innings, and hasn’t looked back, registering a complete-game win at Arizona and showing surprising polish. His delivery is fairly easy, giving him good control of an 88-92 mph fastball that can hit 95 and a surprisingly good changeup that some scouts consider a plus pitch. His low-80s breaking ball also grades out as average, and Stock now figures to go out in the first three rounds as a pitcher—if he proves signable.
I like that he’s just 19 and has some pretty good stuff on the mound. Interesting.