As the 2021 MLB Draft quickly approaches, Cleveland’s “draft model” has generated many conversations at various sites (Fangraphs, Prospects Live, etc.). This piece attempts to identify pitchers with the following specific traits; cold-weather arm, above-average control or better, young for the class, plus pitches, i.e., slider, advanced pitching-ability, high-level experience & performance that correspond with the club’s recent draft philosophy.
HS denotes high school pitcher; COL denotes college pitcher
HS RHP Andrew Painter – The young for the draft class Floridian has performed well at high-level events displaying five pitches and potential for plus control. Painter is a first-round talent and could demand a signing bonus north of $3 million.
HS RHP Chase Petty – A New Jersey native, the cold-weather arm is young for the draft class. He features athleticism and explosiveness wrapped up in a 100+ mph fastball paired with two other pitches (slider and changeup) that have plus potential. His control lags behind his stuff; coming in at average, he gets reliever projections by some. Still, there’s immense arm talent here with notable comparisons to Walker Buehler, Daniel Espino, and Lance McCullers.
HS LHP Gage Jump – Lacks the size some teams want, but he’s a hardworking, athletic lefty with a low-90’s heater that touches mid-90’s. His curveball is an out pitch pairing well with his fastball. He displays both athleticism and the makeup to remain a starter despite his size.
HS LHP Anthony Solometo – Another New Jersey native, Solometo is the average age for the class. He features an awkward delivery that draws comparisons to Madison Baumgardner. The cold-weather arm displays an above-average slider with similar control.
COL RHP Michael McGreevy – Featuring precision on the mound, McGreevy could fly through the minors thanks to his 70-grade control. His stuff shines less than his control, but he could yield a quick return in his drafting team’s investment.
COL RHP Will Bednar – Seems likely to be gone before the club’s first selection. Bednar is the young brother of David Bednar, the Pirates reliever. The Bulldogs ace shined against SEC competition and led his team to a National Championship in the CWS. Bednar is a young for class arm with a plus slider and changeup and above-average control.
COL RHP Dylan Smith – He’s an average-aged college arm with an above-average slider and similar control. Smith performed well for the Tide against strong SEC competition.
COL RHP Jonathan Cannon – Another SEC performer, the Bulldogs righty features a crossfire delivery that adds deception. He’s a 6’6 right-hander with plus (or better) control. It’s a solid four-pitch mix fronted by a low-90’s fastball that’s touched 97 in the past and an above-average changeup.
HS LHP Frank Mozzicato – The young (18.1) for the draft class cold-weather left-hander went screaming up draft boards with his spring performance- posting four consecutive no hitters. He displays a low-90’s heater and plus top-to-bottom curveball. His changeup is average, but could become more. He is a pleasant mix of projection mixed with present stuff.
COL LHP Robert Gasser – A more undersized framed lefty from Houston, Gasser can touch mid-90’s but sits more comfortably in the low-90’s. The lefty features a four-pitch mix displaying an above-average slider with similar control.
COL LHP Andrew Abbott – Like Gasser, he’s already 22 years as a fourth-year college performer. Abbott moved from a relief role to starting for the Cavaliers, and he excelled. The lefty posted above-average control numbers paired with a low-to-upper 90’s heater and a curveball that could become a plus pitch. He doesn’t have the typical starter frame but could have a safe floor as a reliever if starting doesn’t work out.
COL RHP Landon Marceaux – A strong SEC performer, the Tigers ace can throw four pitches but deviated away from his curveball in college. The right-hander displays plus control with a low-90’s heater that touches 94. The best of his secondaries is an above-average slider that developed from his curve, but his changeup isn’t far behind.
COL RHP Ryan Webb – (TJ)* Another smaller framed 22-year-old left-hander, Webb generated late first-round buzz until an elbow injury required surgery. The Bulldogs lefty displays a four-pitch with a low-to-mid 90’s fastball and an above-average slider. Webb showed above-average control in his lone season as a full-time starter.
COL RHP Chad Dallas – The sub-6 foot right-hander has above-average control and a four-pitch mix. He’s younger for class and performed at a high level against SEC competition as a starter. Dallas displays both an above-average slider and curveball.
COL RHP Chase Silseth – The Arizona product posted above-average control ratios this season. Silseth, just 21, is a power arm with a fastball that hit 98; his top to bottom curveball shows plus potential; with his changeup getting average grades, he could remain a starter as a pro. There is some effort to the delivery leading to some reliever projections.
COL RHP Aaron Davenport – The Hawai’i righty is a young for the draft class arm with low-90’s heat, touching 94. Davenport shows above-average control from his small compact frame (6’0, 185). His curveball flashes plus potential, and his change is an average pitch.
COL RHP Sean Sullivan – One of the youngest college arms in the draft class at 20.8 years, the righty sits low-90’s and touches 94 on occasion. The right-hander displays a solid four-pitch mix with an above-average slider and similar control.
COL RHP Mike Vasil – Once considered a future first-round arm talent, the stuff never materialized. The right-hander is relatively young for the class and displays above-average control. He throws in the low-90’s and touches mid-90’s occasionally. Vasil features a solid four-pitch mix with his above-average changeup the best of the group.
Braden Olthoff- RHSP Tulane, Logan Henderson– RHSP McLennan JC, TX, Ian Villers- RHRP California, Jake Miller- RHSP San Diego, Gordon Graceffo– RHSP Villanova, Will Warren– RHSP Southeast Louisana, Bryan Woo– RHRP Cal Poly, Nick Jones- RHRP Georgia State, Mitch Myers– RHSP Pittsburgh, Tanner Bibbee– RHSP Cal St. Fullerton, Joe Rock– RHSP Ohio, Trenton Denholm– RHSP UC Irvine, Cam Cowan– RHSP Samford (TJ)*, Sam Strickland– LHSP Samford, Franco Aleman– RHRP Florida, Nick Maldonado– RHRP Vanderbilt, Zach Pettway– RHSP UCLA, Tommy Mace- RHSP Florida, Dylan Dodd– LHSP Southeast Missouri State, Pete Hansen- RHSP Texas, Jesse Bergin- RHSP UCLA, Andrew Hoffman– RHRP Illinois, Will Dion– LHSP McNeese State, Shane Connolly– LHRP Virginia Tech, Chris Gerard– LHSP Virginia Tech, Robert Ahlstrom– LHSP Oregon, Nicolas Sinacola– RHSP Maine, Hayes Heinieke– LHRP Wofford, Hayden Juenger– RHRP Missouri State, Dominic Hamel– RHSP Dallas Baptist, Kevin Abel– RHSP Oregon State, Zebby Matthews- RHSP Western Caolina, Micah Dallas– RHSP Texas Tech.
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