With the 33rd overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Kansas City selected Florida RHP Jackson Kowar. Kowar, in recent mock drafts, was projected to go 21st by Keith Law of ESPN and 20th by Baseball America.
Kowar and fellow first round talent Brady Singer helped form one of the more formidable rotations in college baseball at the University of Florida. During the 2018 season, or at least up to the time of this post, Kowar has posted a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts with 91 strikeouts and 37 walks in 92.2 innings.
Kowar’s best pitch is his fastball which lives in the mid-90’s and he can touch the upper 90’s at times. With his 6’5 frame, he gets good plane on the pitch although sometimes he can leave it flat which leads to more contact than one would expect from him. He also possesses a good changeup which plays well off of his fastball. His curveball is okay, but with refinement and more focus on it, it could a consistently above average pitch. He has clean mechanics and should be able to throw more strikes as he adds more to his frame and is able to physically to control his body a bit better.
The lack of a good breaking ball and some issues with walks prevent Kowar from increasing his stock much further than when he started the season, but he has a strong track record of performance in a tough conference. Moreover, he has more projectability than most college starters as he could easily had a tick to his stuff, in particular his fastball, as he refines his mechanics and potentially bulks up a little bit.