Having played with and against a number of high 1st round MLB picks, I’m baffled that a player of Lance McCullers ability slipped down to the 46th pick. I will admit to being biased, having a relationship with the Tampa Jesuit program. But here’s what is undeniable- McCullers has an elite arm that produces a fastball that has solid movement and can touch 100mph. He sits 93-97, often hitting 97mph late in games.
Not only does McCullers possess a Plus fastball, but he has two breaking balls. One that is a slider that is currently Plus, and a curveball that is Solid-Average. Having the opportunity to watch him more than 99% of the pundits this past season, I had the opportunity to watch bullpens, intrasquad games, as well as seven starts in the regular season. McCullers shows advanced “feel” for a changeup that at a minimum is Average, and has a strong possibility to become Plus.
At 6’2 200 pounds, he isn’t undersized. He may not be the ideal frame, but he has an athletic build. He has flaws in his mechanics that can be ironed out in the minors that will allow him to have a more consistent release point. He will go through spurts of wildness because of these flaws, but like many young pitchers, he needs to refine his delivery that has too many moving parts.
In totality, you have an 18 year old kid that presently has two Plus pitches and the makings of a third. While there were numerous factors relating to him falling to the 46th pick, I’ve got to believe the “Boras Effect” and signabilityconcerns with the new slotting system played a major roll. But I still don’t understand how a kid with that kind of “stuff” isn’t taken in the Top 15.