Thursday, June 9, 2016

Day 1 MLB Draft Links

1-17: Forrest Whitley

The Astros selected 18-year old 6'7" RHP Forrest Whitley out of Alamo Heights HS in San Antonio. His fastball can hit 97mph with three other plus pitches and a commandable changeup.

Scouting Director Mike Elias:
Forrest is a power pitcher. He's anywhere from 92-97 with his fastball. We feel it's an explosive fastball and one that gets by hitters' bats easily, and he's exhibited outstanding command given how hard he throws in his career.

More Elias:
To get a pitcher of his size and stuff with not only the fastball velocity but also three other plus pitches...we think it's a terrific pick at this spot in the draft or really any part of the draft.

*He was pitching in the state semifinal game for Alamo Heights (which they won). This season he was 9-1 with a 0.34 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 68IP. That is unfair and he should be reprimanded for bullying hitters.

Nolan Ryan went and watched him pitch, with every other talent evaluator in the organization, and the consensus is that he's like Josh Johnson, or Mike Scott.

*Whitley struck out 15 of the top-ranked Calallen Wildcats, who had won 23 games in a row, in the opening game of the Region IV-5A semifinals.

*Whitley, before the draft:
It's in the back of my mind, obviously. Right now, it's baseball, and I'm focused on winning a state championship...I think (getting drafted) is going to happen, but it is what it is. I'm just going to have to deal with it. I've got to go out there and get my team a win.

*His head coach, Jason Thompson, wasn't concerned about sending Whitley out to pitch on the night he might get drafted:
I have zero concerns about that. That kid has managed everything that's been thrown his way. He is going to get drafted. He knows that. His focus is going to be on us winning the game on Thursday.

*In tonight's semifinal Whitley struck out 11 batters in 6.2IP on 123 pitches.
*Whitley doesn't know yet whether he's going to honor his commitment to Florida State or sign with the Astros.


With their 2nd pick (#61 overall) the Astros selected lefty 21-year old 6'2" 225lb OF Ronnie Dawson, a junior out of Ohio State. This season he was a first-team All-Big Ten player, and the #8 Big Ten player to watch according to D1 Baseball. He was in the top ten in the Big Ten in eleven different offensive categories.

*He hit .577 in the Big Ten tournament, and was the first Buckeye in history to hit 40 doubles, 20 homers, and 40 stolen bases in his career, and hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning against Michigan State, and was the Big Ten Tournament MVP.

*Dawson hit .331/.419/.611 for the Buckeyes with 43K:37BB in 257 PAs, with 25 doubles and 13 homers. He also stole 21 bases in 25 attempts.

*Dawson was a Louisville Slugger 3rd-Team All-American.

*In his assessment, John Sickels wrote of Dawson:
His best tool is above-average raw power. He also has a strong throwing arm that would fit well in right field, though he's been mainly in left field in college. His running speed is average but he is intelligently aggressive on the bases and is an adept stealer. 

*Dawson was going to be a football player before he tore his ACL and became a bat-boy for the Columbus Clippers. Ohio State coach Greg Beals:
The bat is awfully gifted. There's a lot of 'natural' to his bat. Ronnie takes a lot of swings and works very hard on his game...the majority of his work has been done defensively. He has made himself into a very good defensive outfielder. (He has) an average arm, but he goes and gets the ball off the bat very, very well.

In his collegiate debut, Dawson went 4x4 with a homer and a double.