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School: TCU; Class: Junior
Position: LHP; B/T: L/L
Height: 5-11; Weight: 184 pounds
Previously Drafted: Texas Rangers, 45th Round, 2011
Background: Consider the following comparison:
But let’s take it a step further – both pitchers are left-handed, top-of-the-rotation-type arms, played for the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, and potential top picks. Which do you take based on their 2013 numbers?
Player A, right?
OK, let’s take it one more step further: Player A has less wear and tear on his arm, throwing 141.2 innings between the ages of 19 and 20; Player B, however, tossed 100 innings more during the same time (247 IP). Now which player would you take?
Still Player A, right?
Alright, another step: Player B, despite regressing some in 2014, has been among the most talented amateur pitchers on the planet since entering college; Player A, on the other hand, was productive for his two seasons but has ascended up the draft charts this season. Now which player do you take?
Not so certain, right?
Player A is, of course, Brandon Finnegan. Player B is none other than N.C. State ace and potential first pick Carlos Rodon.
Projection: Despite the supposed shortcomings – both those in the future and projected – Finnegan’s stock continues to climb, so much so, that the little lefty out of TCU could go in the top 10 picks. He’s consistently shown an above-average to elite ability to miss bats. His control has improved from slightly below-average to a strong, reliable skill. And he’s given up just five homeruns throughout his career.
Ace potential, assuming the drafting team doesn’t push him into a bullpen role.
Ceiling: 6.0- to 6.5-win player
Floor: 2.5- to 3.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average
Draft Projection: First Round
Photo Courtesy of the Chron.com.