Here’s a quick run down on the top pitchers in the draft and how I would rank them right now. I went through the top 20 which would definitely cover the Cardinals’ first round pick, and I think has a pretty good chance of covering the sandwich picks as well. Of course these things are really fluid especially at this time of the year, but this gives you an idea of what is out there and maybe you can find some favorites to follow going forward.
1. Jameson Taillon-Best stuff by far in the draft to go along with a 6’7″ frame
2. Drew Pomeranz-I don’t like his delivery, but he has stuff, is lefty, and has the best track record of any pitcher in this draft
3. Karsten Whitson-Great stuff, decent command, and a nice frame. I have thought i am higher on him than most, but there is a new draft blog on baseball america that polled scouting directors and cross checkers and they ranked him as the 2nd best HS arm
4. Anthony Ranauado-I think he is solid, but unspectacular. Hhas decent stuff and good command. Could move fast, but i don’t see him as more than a #2 starter and most likely a 3. Easily the guy I could drop the most.
5. Chris Sale-Has a weird arm angle, but he is a lefty with stuff that throws strikes
6. Dylan Covey-Doesn’t have the projectable frame of the other top HS hurlers, but he has plenty of stuff right now and a good idea of what to do with it
7. AJ Cole-I think he is more of a gamble than whitson and covey. He has the stuff and a ton of projection, but he has further to go to reach his ceiling
8. Deck McGuire-Another blah college righty. He has decent stuff, a track record, and throws strikes. That will get you drafted early, but I want top of the rotation potential in an early first round pick
9. Jesse Hahn-He is the opposite of Ranaudo and McGuire in that he has never had success before this year, but you can dream on the staff. he has the potential to dominate with his fastball alone, but he has also shown a decent curve at times. He is throwing strikes and getting outs this year
10. Brandon Workman-Doesn’t have the track record of Raunado or McGuire, but he has better stuff. Fastball reaches 96 with a nice curve as well as a cutter and change. He also looks like he could get a ton of ground balls as his fastball has some movement.
11. Alex Wimmers-Another college starter that isn’t long on stuff, but throws strikes and knows how to pitch. He has 3 average or better pitches and the command to move fast
11. Kevin Gausman-Wiry HS righty with a fastball that already scrapes 96.
12. Matt Harvey-Former high school phenom still has the 97 mph fastball and has scrapped his once great curve for a hard slider. Has some of the best stuff in the class and is finally getting some results
13. Kaleb Cowart-Also highly regarded as a 3rd baseman, I like his power arm and athletic delivery on the hill
14. Cam Bedrosian-Smallish righty but he holds his mid-90′s velocity deep into games and also has a nice breaker
15. Stetson Allie-May have the best fastball in the draft, but he is extremely raw and doesn’t have much of an idea on the mound. Could be a future closer
16. Brett Eibner-Super athletic with a projectable frame. He already has a 94 mph fastball and a plus slider
17. Barret Loux-Can run the fastball up to 94 with good command. His secondary stuff needs some work, but he has had no trouble dominating in the big 12
18. Asher Wojciechowski-Good frame, mid 90′s heat, and a good slider. Is having a great season, but may need to add some command
19. James Paxton-The big unknown. He is a lefty with a 97 mph fastball that throws strikes. He has never gotten results and is now a major wildcard in indy ball, but someone will go after that rare lefty heat
20. Chad Bettis-Has worked as a starter in the past, but is likely the top college reliever in the draft. Has flashed 98 mph heat in the past but usually sits 94-96 with a good slider