With just about 50 days left until the 2013 MLB draft, I thought it would be a good time to put together positional rankings. We start with the 25 best southpaws in the draft:
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1. Sean Manaea, Indiana State
The 6’-5” lefty has put together quite an impressive season despite reports about his velocity being down a tick and his breaking stuff not being as sharp as it was when he dominated the Cape Cod League, posting a 1.20 ERA and 87 K/7 BB over 52.2 innings. Over eight starts this year, he is 5-2 with a 1.21 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 63 K/17 BB over 52 innings. He has held opponents to a .184 batting average, as well. His fastball sits in the low/mid 90s and his slider is one of the best in the 2013 MLB draft when it is on. When everything is working, he is unhittable. Even when his stuff isn’t as sharp, however, he is still one of the best pitchers in the 2013 MLB draft.
2. Trey Ball, New Castle Chrysler HS (IN)
Still raw in some areas, Ball is a 6’-6” power arm with a lot of projectability as both a pitcher and hitter. A great athlete, he can run his fastball up to 94 mph on the mound with an easy delivery. He also adds a slider and change-up, both sitting in the low 80s, but he is still inconsistent with both. His season is just getting underway.
3. Rob Kaminsky, St. Joseph HS (NJ)
Kaminsky hasn’t had a lot of opportunities this season to show off what he can do — such is the life of a baseball player in the northeast. He has, however, made the best of his three starts, including tossing a no-hitter on April 2, the seventh of his career. He now has 38 strikeouts and has allowed just five hits over 19 innings. He features a low/mid-90s fastball and a plus curveball that some have called the best they have ever seen at the prep level. He also adds an upper-70s change-up that has plus potential. He has a lot of deception in his delivery, which is a testament to his seven no-hitters.
4. Ian Clarkin, Madison HS (CA)
At 6’-2” and 195 pounds, Clarkin has a low-90s fastball, a plus curveball and has a lot of deception in his delivery. Over seven starts this year, he has a 1.66 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 62 K/14 BB over 32.2 innings, allowing just 16 hits. He has great mound presence and was a member of U18 Team USA over the summer.
5. Jacob Brentz, Parkway South HS (MO)
At 6’-2” and 195 pounds, Brentz has touched 97 mph with his fastball and sits in the 91-94 mph range. His curveball is still developing but has potential as an out pitch. There are reports that he has touched triple-digits with his fastball a couple of times. Obviously, he has a ton of upside with that kind of velocity.
6. Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt
Over his first five starts, Ziomek had a 0.92 ERA, 0.66 WHIP and 51 K/9 BB over 39.1 IP, allowing just 17 hits. He has struggled a bit over his last four starts, posting a 4.11 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 20 K/13 BB over 26.1 innings. At 6’-5”, he has a plus change-up and his fastball sits in the low 90s with movement. He needs to get back to the pitcher he was to start the season to remain a possible first-round pick in the 2013 MLB draft.
7. Tom Windle, Minnesota
Windle has been one of the best pitchers in college this season, posting a 1.35 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over nine starts, including a no-hitter against Western Illinois on March 8. He has added 57 K/14 BB over 60 innings, holding opponents to a .179 batting average. His fastball touches 94 mph, and he also adds solid offerings in a slider, curveball and change-up.
8. Cody Reed, Northwest Mississippi CC
At 6’-4” and 220 pounds, Reed is a power pitcher whose fastball sits in the 92-95 mph range and he adds a plus curveball. Over eight starts this season, he has a 2.81 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 75 K/26 BB over 47.1 innings for a 14.3 K/9 ratio. The command needs some refining, however.
9. Jonah Wesely, Tracy HS (CA)
The 6’-2” bulldog generates a ton of power from his strong legs and owns one of the best curveballs in the draft; a mid-70s looper that compliments his low/mid-90s fastball. He has used those two pitches to simply overpower prep bats during his career. In his last start on April 17, he tossed a seven inning no-hitter, striking out a career-high 18 batters. On the season, he now has a 1.02 ERA and 80 K/16 BB over 44 innings, allowing just 23 hits. Committed to UCLA.
10. Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga
Gonzales is a great athlete who leads the Bulldogs in hitting with a .349 average. On the mound, he has a filthy change-up and a low-90s fastball. He has had somewhat of an up-and-down season, posting a 2.71 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 60 K/14 BB over 63 innings, holding opponents to a .243 average.
11. Garrett Williams, Cavalry Baptist Academy (LA)
Williams features a low-90s fastball to go along with a plus curveball. Over 38 innings this season, he has 61 K/20 BB and has allowed just 18 hits. Needs to work on his command a bit but he is a polished pitcher who has pitched for Team USA, as well as starring in the Little League World Series.
12. Hunter Green, Warren East HS (KY)
At 6’-4” and 170 pounds, Green already gets his fastball up to 92 mph and will add more velocity once he matures. He adds a deceptive change-up and a power curveball with nice depth. He locates his pitches well and has a good feel for his pitches. Over 18 innings, he has 38 K/14 BB and has allowed just 6 hits.
13. Stephen Gonsalves, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
At 6’-5”, there is still a lot of projection left in his game. He has tinkered with his delivery this season, opting for a more controlled one as to not rush his delivery to the plate. He has a sinking fastball that can touch 94 mph and also adds a mid-70s curveball that is still developing. Over 32 innings this season, he has 36 K/15 BB and has allowed 18 hits. Very polished pitcher who was a member of Team USA.
14. Blake Taylor, Dana Hills (CA)
At 6’-4” and 220 pounds, Taylor should be able to add more velocity to his low-90s fastball that can already touch 95 mph. He also features an above-average curveball and his offspeed stuff is still developing. Over 33 innings, he has 42 K/21 BB, showing needed work on his command.
15. Matthew Krook, St. Ignatius Prep (CA)
Krook has been inconsistent this season but has a lot of upside thanks to a low-90s fastball and a developing plus curveball. Over 18 innings, he has 30 K/12 BB, allowing 11 hits. The stuff is there, he just needs to harness it.
16. Austin Nicely, Spotswood HS (VA)
Over 12 innings this season, Nicely has 24 K/4 BB and has allowed nine hits. At 6’-2”, there is still some projection left and his fastball sits in the low 90s with movement. He has a great feel for pitching and pinpoint control.
17. Chris Kohler, Los Osos HS (CA)
The 6’-3” Kohler’s fastball can reach 90 mph, but it sits comfortable in the 86-88 range with nice sink. There is a lot of room for added velocity once he works on his mechanics and fills out more. His curveball is his best pitch, a mid-70s looper that he can locate for strikes or use as a chase pitch. His change-up has nice tailing action and sits in the upper 70s. Over 42 innings this season, he has 65 K/22 BB, allowing 29 hits.
18. A.J. Puk, Washington HS (IA)
The 6’-6”, 220 pound southpaw is a two-way player with a strong commitment to Florida. He can touch 95 mph with his fastball and sits in the 90-93 mph range. Still raw as a pitcher, there is a ton of upside due to his size.
19. Kent Emanuel, North Carolina
One of the most consistent pitchers you will ever see, Emanuel finished his freshman season 9-1 with a 2.33 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 89 K/23 BB over 104.1 innings. He finished his sophomore season 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 100 K/23 BB over 110 innings. This season, he is 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 50 K/13 BB over 70.1 innings. Not overpowering, the 6’-4” southpaw relies on pinpoint control and a deceptive delivery.
20. Alex Bostic, Weddington HS (NC)
The 6’-4”, 205 pound Bostic made his first start of the season on April 13 after recovering from an arm injury. Fully healthy now, he tossed three perfect innings, striking out eight. He features a low-90s fastball that figures to add more velocity due to his frame and his delivery is fluid.
21. Zach Farmer, Piketon HS (OH)
The 6’-3” southpaw has a low-90s fastball and also mixes in a curveball, change-up and slider. Over 26 innings this season, he has yet to allow a run and has 50 K/9 BB while allowing just five hits. As a junior, he struck out 163 batters over 80.1 innings. He has very good control of his pitches and projects to more velocity.
22. Dillon Overton, Oklahoma
The 6’-1” southpaw has a low-90s fastball and both his change-up and curve are solid offerings. Over nine starts, he has a 2.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 59 K/15 BB over 65.1 innings. He has very good mechanics and excellent control of his pitches. Not a big guy but has great mound presence and is fearless.
23. Denton Keys, Rye HS (CO)
At 6’-3” and 200 pounds, Keys has been simply untouchable this season. Over 16 innings, he has yet to allow a run and has only given up one hit. He has also struck out 44 batters to just three walks for a 24.8 K/9 ratio. The level of competition is clearly not up to par. His fastball was sitting 87-90 mph in Jupiter back in October, and he also adds a mid-70s curveball and change-up. With his size, the left-hander has projection.
24. Tyler Alexander, Carroll HS (TX)
The 6’-2” Alexander has a lively arm and his fastball can touch 91 mph with potential for much more. He adds an above-average change-up and breaking ball and has a great presence on the mound.
25. Bryce Harman, Lloyd C. Bird HS (VA)
At 6’-6” and 220 pounds, Harman gets his fastball up to 90 mph with much more room for added velocity as he matures. He is also a beast at the plate and projects to a big time power hitting first baseman. Raw on the mound, his size makes him a very intriguing prospect if he commits to the mound.
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