The 2017 MLB Draft begins on June 12 and features a heavy crop of pitchers at the top of the board. Before this year’s draft takes place, here are ten important pitchers to make sure you know:
Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) — A candidate for the first overall pick, Wright has strong command and a four-pitch arsenal. The right-hander’s durability and control make him one of the safer picks on the mound in this year’s draft.
Hunter Greene, RHP (Notre Dame HS, CA) — Greene’s fastball touches triple-digits and has been recorded as high as 102 mph thanks to a powerful yet smooth delivery. Although he also played shortstop in high school, Greene’s upside on the mound makes him a projectable top-five pick as a pitcher.
Brendan McKay, LHP (Louisville) — McKay, a two-way player like Greene, is both one of the best bats and arms in the draft this year. He dominated both sides of the ball in the ACC this season, and should be a high first round selection regardless of position.
MacKenzie Gore, LHP (Whiteville HS, NC) — Considered the top prep lefty in the draft class, Gore has swing-and-miss stuff and has been labeled “freakishly athletic”. Gore will go anywhere in the fourth-tenth overall range.
J.B. Bukauskas, RHP (North Carolina) — Bukauskas is one of the draft’s top strikeout pitchers with a sharp slider and mid-90s fastball. Despite doubts about his longevity as a starter, a strong junior year has the right-hander projected toward the top-ten picks of the first round.
Alex Faedo, RHP (Florida) — Faedo has good control of his arsenal, but his velocity took a dip in 2017 after minor knee surgery in the fall. Listed at 6’5’’, Faedo is another top-ten projectable after rebounding nicely from some spring struggles.
D.L. Hall, LHP (Valdosta HS, GA) — Hall’s curveball/changeup combo compliment his low-90s fastball, and scouts believe his command will improve with physical maturity. With one of the highest ceilings for a pitcher in his class, Hall is a mid-first round selection in most mock drafts.
Shane Baz, RHP (Concordia Lutheran HS, TX) — With two strong breaking pitches and a mid 90s fastball, scouts are not worried about Baz’ command or consistency. Baz dominated high school competition this spring and should be selected toward the middle of the first round on June 12.
David Peterson, LHP (Oregon) — Peterson shot up draft boards with a breakout spring in 2017 and has shown improved fastball speed and command pitching in the Pac-12. Peterson, a groundball pitcher, shows enough potential with his off speed pitches to make him a likely 2017 first round pick.
Seth Romero, LHP (NCAA junior, no team) — Romero was suspended by Houston in 2016, again in April 2017, and removed permanently from the team in May. Although the lefty is one of the draft’s most talented pitchers, off-field issues may jeopardize his chances of a first round selection.