Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Draft Day Rundown: Day 1 - Tanner Bushue

With their 2nd round pick, the Astros selected pitcher Tanner Bushue from Farina, IL:

He can throw ball consistently in the mid 90s and above. Tanner Bushue is a 180-pounder, 6-foot-4-inch, and he can pitch 88 to 90 MPH with a fastball that reportedly sits at 93 MPH. Tanner Bushue sees minor top-level competition because his high school is very small, so it is hard to judge his potential.

Perfect Game: Bushue was to have played last summer with the Southern Illinois Bullets, which would have cured those exposure ills. But a knee injury ended his summer before it could start.

Prior to that injury, Bushue had jumped into the top 150 of PG's Class of 2009 rankings on the recommendation of San Francisco Giants associate scout Paige Kirkpatrick. He is now ranked No. 300 nationally. There is now a distinct buzz around Bushue, who at 6-foot-4 has a projectable frame. Scouts also like his signability as he is committed to perennial JUCO power John A. Logan. And of course, there's his arm strength, which helps his fastball regularly stay between 88-90 mph.

ESPN: Bushue is a late bloomer because of the cold weather in the Midwest that always seems to obscure some high school kid up there until early May. Bushue is only 86-88 mph right now, but he can rev it up to 90-91 if he needs it. He's long, loose-limbed and projectable, with a future-plus curveball that will push him up a few rounds; the pitch is 74-76 mph with a hard downward break, and the deception in his delivery makes it very hard for hitters to pick up. He throws like he's playing catch, with recoil at the end of his delivery and some potential for shoulder issues if he starts trying to throw harder. Bushue is considered very signable, as he's committed only to a junior college, and should go in the second or third round.

NESN's Live Draft Blog compared him to Kris Benson.

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