Baseball Prospect Journal

Bryce McGowan has improved his skills

Bryce McGowan Charlotte Athletics

Bryce McGowan threw his fastball 86-89 mph as a senior at Cary (N.C.) High in 2018. The right-handed pitcher thrived against high school competition with that velocity. But it wasn’t enough to draw interest from a plethora of college programs.

McGowan received offers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and North Carolina Central University. He committed to Charlotte, and the decision has paid off over the last three years.

McGowan has enhanced his skills on the mound, including his fastball velocity, which now sits in the mid-90s. His development has led to him garnering professional interest. Scouts project the Charlotte pitcher as a potential top-five-round pick in July’s MLB draft.

“It is awesome to go through this draft process,” McGowan said. “It is something you work for. You know you want to play professional baseball, so you just use that as motivation to be consistent and work every day. It has been really cool to have teams interested in you and meet with them.”

After posting an ERA over 5.50 in each of his first two years, McGowan showed improvement throughout his junior season this spring at Charlotte. He recorded a 4.84 ERA with 99 strikeouts and 55 walks allowed in 80 innings in 16 appearances (15 starts).

McGowan is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball, slider, changeup and curveball from a three-quarters arm slot and delivery that has some effort.

His fastball is his top offering. Over the last year, McGowan has increased the pitch’s velocity, as it was topping out at 92 mph last year. This spring, it hit 97 mph. His fastball features riding action, and he locates it well.

The slider is McGowan’s go-to outpitch. It is an above-average pitch that sits in the mid-80s and has notable horizontal action.

His changeup and curveball are more average pitches. The changeup features sinking action while his knuckle curveball has depth and works well off his fastball.

“I am really confident in that fastball, slider combination, so I can kind of lean on that,” McGowan said. “I have faith in the changeup and curveball as well. So, I don’t really see myself as a two-pitch guy. I can attack guys with all my pitches, so it makes it harder for guys.”

McGowan has refined his secondary pitches and command in preparation for the MLB Draft Combine, which is in his hometown of Cary, North Carolina, and pro ball this summer. The MLB Draft Combine is June 20-28, while the draft begins July 11.

“Right now, I am just working on the slider and curveball and refining them,” McGowan said. “With the slider, I want to create as much horizontal movement as I can while keeping it at 82 to 84 mph. Then the curveball, I want it to come out similar to my fastball and just have it then go straight down. That’s the main focus for me right now leading up to the draft.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Bryce McGowan

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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