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School: Florida State; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 170 pounds
Previously Drafted: Toronto Blue Jays, 19th round, 2011
Background: Offering a picture perfect mixture of strikeouts and control, Florida State ace Luke Weaver finished with the 11th most strikeouts (119) and 13th best strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.26) in the nation during his dominant sophomore campaign. The lanky 6-foot-2 right-hander carried that momentum into the summer, pitching 21 innings of near perfect ball for the USA National Collegiate Team (17 K, 5 BB, 5 ER).
Similarly to a handful of other Team USA members – Carlos Rodon, Mike Papi, Trea Turner – Weaver’s production has stagnated some this season. Through his first 11 starts (77 IP), he’s seen a marked decline in his strikeout rate – 7.36 K/9, which would be the lowest of his three-year career.
Projection: Production-wise, Weaver falls into the same category as LSU right-hander Aaron Nola – extreme control pitchers that have historically exhibited some pretty strong strikeout numbers. The difference being, of course, Nola’s maintained status quo whereas Weaver’s taken a dramatic step backward, which adds some obvious risk associated with his draft selection.
Weaver’s a solid, safe prospect – at least as “safe” as a pitching prospect can be. Another mid-rotation-type arm poised to move quickly through the minor leagues. His K-rate probably won’t be as high as Nola’s in the professional ranks, but it should settle in around 7.0 K/9.
Plus, considering his slight build – he weighs only 170 pounds – there could be some room for velocity growth is he can add the right kind of weight.
Ceiling: 3.5-win player
Floor: 2.0- to 2.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate
Draft Projection: First/Second Round
Photo Courtesy of Thompson20192 via Flickr.com.