Monday, June 4, 2012

1-41: Lance McCullers

For "losing" Clint Barmes, the Astros got the 41st overall pick, and used it to select Lance McCullers, from Jesuit HS in Tampa, FL.

McCullers has a strong commitment to the University of Florida - and the question is whether or not the Astros will be able to talk him into skipping college (for now):
"My commitment to Florida is solid. This is not one of those things that I'm just kind of using my leverage [to get a better deal from a major league team]."

If the Astros fail to sign McCullers, they will lose $1.26m from their total pool for the first ten rounds (leaving just under $10m to sign the other ten picks). Jon Heyman tweeted that that Astros may not need the entire $7.2m to sign Correa, and can use what's left to lure McCullers.

Jim Callis:
Talk about nice talent value at 41 in McCullers. Terrific stuff, scouts give him better chance to SP now. Top-15 arm for #Astros.

McCullers was named the 2012 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, where in his senior season he went 13-0 with a 0.18 ERA in 77IP, with 140K:30BB. He has already won the Jackie Robinson Award for the nation's most promising senior prospect.

This article has a profile on McCullers, where we find that his agent - Scott Boras - prepared a binder for McCullers similar to what he prepared for A-Rod and Prince Fielder. And if McCullers doesn't like what the Astros offer, then he'll tell them:
“It’s frustrating, the whole draft thing is frustrating. I’ve done nothing than get better since I’ve been ranked No. 1 forever, and no one in the country had a better year than me on the hill. If Major League Baseball wants to undervalue me, then I’ll show them what I’m really about three years from now.”

Jason Churchill:
“He’s had an absolutely huge season. Statistically, it’s one of the best seasons we’ve seen in a long time from a high school pitcher.”

Keith Law:
"He’s seen as having a high price tag and extremely strong commitment to Florida. Guys like that are tough. ...He could easily end up, five six years from now we're talking about him as 'why didn't he go in the top five overall picks?'"

GatorCountry gives it a 50/50 chance that he honors his commitment to Florida.

Here's the Toby David Show on McCullers:
Having the opportunity to watch him more than 99% of the pundits this past season, I had the opportunity to watch bullpens, intrasquad games, as well as seven starts in the regular season. McCullers shows advanced “feel” for a changeup that at a minimum is Average, and has a strong possibility to become Plus.

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