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School: Texas A&M; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-1; Weight: 210 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: The anti-A.J. Reed – and one of my favorite collegiate arms in the class – Mengden’s value on the hill clearly outweighed his production in the batter’s box, which is why A&M converted the former catcher into a fulltime pitcher for the first time in his collegiate career.
Mengden, by the way, is no slouch with the bat. He posted a park and schedule adjusted wOBA of .339 while batting .271/.344/.393 with four doubles, a pair of triples, three homeruns, and three stolen bases last season.
And after posting an tidy 2.11 ERA while averaging 7.64 K/9 and 1.95 BB/9 in 110.2 innings with the Aggies last season, the 6-foot-1 right-hander tossed another 13.1 innings of near-perfect baseball. He fanned 11, walked one, and allowed just two earned runs.
This season Mengden’s posted the highest strikeout rate of his career, 8.89 BB/9, while seeing a modest uptick in his walk rate (2.44 BB/9).
Projection: I have a thing for position-players-turned-pitchers. Their arms have less wear-and-tear, they’re still learning to hone the craft and, subsequently, there’s still quite a bit of projection left, more so than the average collegiate player. My all-time favorite, of course, is Royals top prospect Kyle Zimmer.
And Mengden’s no different.
He’s already shown above-average control/command and an impressive ability to miss bats in the tough SEC, which should only improve as he gains more experience. Mengden’s not an elite pitching prospect, but he does have a pretty high ceiling, something along the lines of a steady #3.
Ceiling: 3.5-win player
Floor: 1.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate
Draft Projection: First/Second Round
Photo Courtesy of Sue Ogrocki via bigstory.ap.org.