Baseball Prospect Journal

2020 MLB Draft: 5 College Pitchers to Watch

MLB Draft Max Meyer UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA ATHLETICS

This year’s MLB draft class features plenty of depth on the pitching side, especially among the college ranks. After two weeks of the Division I college baseball season, here are five draft-eligible college pitchers to watch this weekend:

Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota

Meyer is an intriguing right-handed pitcher, who is Minnesota’s ace this spring. Entering his junior season, Meyer’s fastball sat in the mid-90s. It has experienced a slight uptick, hitting 100 mph on occasion. He also has maybe the best slider in this year’s draft.

After serving as Minnesota’s closer as a freshman in 2018, Meyer has pitched in the rotation these past two years. He excelled in his first start of the year, going five innings and allowing one earned run with seven strikeouts and three walks allowed against Oregon. He didn’t nearly have that same success last week, surrendering four runs with 10 strikeouts and three walks allowed in 5 2/3 innings.

The 6-foot, 185-pound hurler is working on solidifying his third pitch, which is a changeup. His draft stock will be impacted if scouts believe he can start long term. He will start against North Carolina on Friday.

Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville

Miller entered this spring as a potential second-round pick. He’s always had an impressive mix of pitches but the results always haven’t been there for him throughout his first two years at Louisville. 

Through two starts, Miller appears to be taking the next step in his development. He flies slightly under the radar as Louisville’s No. 2 starter with ace Reid Detmers, a potential top-10 pick, in front of him.

The 6-5, 220-pound right-hander had a mediocre start opening weekend at Ole Miss but rebounded nicely against Valparaiso last Saturday. He pitched six innings, allowing one earned run and two walks while striking out 12 batters. 

He has a big-time fastball, which reaches the high-90s, and a strong strikeout pitch in his slider. He showed above-average control against Valparaiso, which hasn’t always been the case. If he can continue to throw a high percentage of strikes and experience results similar to his start against Valparaiso, Miller will move up draft boards. He will start against Western Michigan on Saturday.

Christian Roa, RHP, Texas A&M

Roa is another college pitcher who has been overshadowed by the team’s top starter. With lefty Asa Lacy, a potential No. 1 overall pick, starting on Fridays, Roa has pitched on Saturdays for Texas A&M. 

Roa has been just as impressive as Lacy through two starts this season.He has posted a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings. He also boasts an extremely impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio with 22 strikeouts and one walk allowed.

The 6-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher has the size pro scouts seek. He also throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball and has a respectable group of off-speed pitches. This week is a big week for Roa, who has vaulted himself into top-five-round consideration. After pitching well against Miami and Army, Roa will face UCLA, one of the top teams in the country, on Saturday.

Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke

Jarvis pitched a perfect game against Cornell last Friday, which instantly puts him on this list as someone to watch. In that game, he recorded a career-high 15 strikeouts and had 10 ground ball outs and two fly outs. He also threw just 94 pitches.

Jarvis, a 6-2, 195-pound righty, entered this spring as a potential early-round selection. He’s had success over his first two years at Duke between the starting rotation and bullpen. 

He’s experienced an uptick in velocity in his first two starts this spring, as his fastball has sat in the mid-90s. He also has a proven track record of throwing strikes and generating strikeouts. 

Jarvis likely won’t throw another perfect game this season. But if he can maintain his mid-90s fastball velocity and show improvement from his first two years, he will enhance his draft stock. He will toe the rubber against Purdue on Friday.

Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina 

Mlodzinski is someone pro scouts had high expectations for entering this spring. He was considered a potential top-10 pick before the year began and hasn’t disappointed in the first two weeks.

The biggest thing scouts are looking for from the 6-2, 232-pound righty is durability. He exited his third start last year with a stress fracture in his left foot and missed the rest of the season.

This spring, Mlodzinski looks healthy and has excelled on the mound. He’s pitched 14 innings and allowed just one earned run on nine hits. He has nine strikeouts and two walks allowed over those two starts. 

He has an overpowering fastball that sits in the mid-90s and pushes triple digits. He also throws a sinker, cutter, slider and changeup from a three-quarters arm slot.

He is someone to watch the rest of the season. Although the college pitching crop is deep, Mlodzinski could slide into top-five-pick consideration if he dominates opposing hitters this spring. He will start against Clemson on Friday. 

Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *