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School: Texas; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 218 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: As far as superficial statistics go, French has been among the most consistent performers in college baseball. The Australian-born right-hander is on pace to post his third consecutive sub-3.00 ERA (2.83, 2.63, and 2.27). The critical statistics, however, have either been trending in the wrong direction (walk rate) or have been improving, but remaining woefully sorry (strikeout rate).
Projection: A solid collegiate hurler – after all, he owns a career 2.59 ERA – but French’s professional stock isn’t all that high. He’s never missed a whole lot of bats – this season’s rate, 5.97, is the highest of his career – and his control has been slowly regressing, going from 2.56 BB/9 to 2.79 BB/9 to 3.35 BB/9 He does limit homeruns – he’s surrender just four in his career – so there’s some hope that he could be a groundball pitcher because he isn’t overly dominating.
In the end, French has, maybe, the ceiling of a fringe #5 starting pitcher, but he’s likely to get to get pushed in the bullpen at some point to extract as much big league value, if any, out of his right arm or flame out as a minor leaguer.
Ceiling: 0.5- to 1.0-win player
Floor: Replacement Level
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low
Draft Projection: Fifth/Sixth Round
Photo Courtesy of UT via austinchronicle.com.