Baseball Prospect Journal

MLB Draft Mailbag: Prep pitchers, 2016 draft

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Every Sunday, I will answer questions about the MLB First-Year Player Draft. You can submit MLB Draft questions for the mailbag on Twitter (@DanZielinski3) or via email (danzielinski@the3rdmanin.com).

Any chance one of the top 10 listed in your mock draft or Austin Beck fall to the Mariners? Blake Rutherford fell to #18 and I am curious to see one of those 11 available at #18.  

–Tom B.

The draft isn’t until June 12 and a lot can change from now until then. There’s definitely a chance at least a couple of guys currently in my first-round mock draft fall to pick No. 18.

Three players I could see falling are Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright, Missouri righty Tanner Houck and Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall. All three of these players are struggling early on this spring and aren’t living up to expectations.

Right now, I don’t see Austin Beck falling to Settle because there’s a lot of hype around him and he’s rising up draft boards.

In my mock draft, I have the Mariners taking second baseman Keston Hiura, who would be a nice pick for them. Hiura is one of the top college bats in this year’s class. You can read my draft profile on Hiura here.

A lot can change from now until draft day, so stay tuned to The3rdManIn.com for more analysis and draft profiles.

Can you please compare D.L. Hall and Jacob Heatherly in terms of pure stuff?

–Francisco

Prep left-handers D.L. Hall and Jacob Heatherly are two of the best prep arms in this year’s draft class.

A 6-foot, 190-pound left, Hall has a three-pitch mix, featuring a mid-90s fastball, a devastating curveball and a changeup. He’s more of a two-pitch pitcher, with his changeup being an average offering.

Hall has average command, mainly due to his inconsistency with his arm slot.

At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Heatherly is similar to prep lefty Braxton Garrett who Miami selected seventh overall last year.

Heatherly possesses a four-pitch mix, featuring a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. All four pitches are at least average offerings, which is unusual for a prep pitcher to have. He throws his fastball in the mid-90s and also has above-average command.

You can read my draft profile on Heatherly here.

Early on this spring teams seems to prefer Hall over Heatherly, but don’t be surprised if Heatherly goes higher than Hall in the first-round come June’s draft.

Who’s one player from last year’s draft teams will regret passing on?

–Chris S.

Despite being regarded as the top prospect in last year’s draft, prep left-handed pitcher Jason Groome fell to the Boston Red Sox with the No. 12 overall pick because of concerns regarding his maturity and signability.

A 6-foot-6, 220-pound left-hander, Groome has the makings of being a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, showing the potential to have three exceptional pitches and outstanding command. Groome possesses a mid-90s fastball, a nasty curveball and a respectable changeup.

Teams selecting towards the top of the draft are sometimes skittish when selecting a high school pitcher, but teams will regret passing on Groome, who already is one of the top prospects in baseball.

Submit MLB Draft questions for next week’s mailbag on Twitter (@DanZielinski3) or via email (danzielinski@the3rdmanin.com).

Find more MLB Draft coverage here

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