The 6-foot-3, 185 pound righthander from California fits right into Bobby Heck's pitcher profile. Velasquez worked out quite a bit at the Urban Youth Academy in Los Angeles, but played a lot in the field. He has reportedly much more value on the mound than in the field, but Velasquez wants to play every day. The Astros seem confident they can convince him otherwise, as they drafted him as a pitcher.
On the mound, he throws a fastball in the low 90's. He's got a very angular delivery, but it's pretty smooth.One thing I noticed with both Velasquez and Foltynewicz is that they both have that L-shaped finish as their pitching arm is coming forward. Might just be coincidence, though. There's a lot of projection here. He can throw a good change and curve, but he hasn't had a lot of time on the mound.
With any two-way player, the floor is going to be the weaker tool set. In Velasquez's case, it's his hitting as a position player. He probably won't hit enough or field well enough to be a regular at the big league level, which leaves him a little like Edwin Maysonet or Eric Bruntlett.
His frame should fill out some, so he can add velocity to that fastball. With more time on the mound, his breaking pitches should get better. Seiler rates his change as a possible plus pitch, which means he could be a solid No. 3 starter. He's got a ways to go to get there, though, and since injury concerns already left him off the mound once, the Astros will probably monitor his workload carefully.
Will the Astros Sign Him?
This could be a problem. He was slotted to go somewhere in the fourth through 10th rounds, where he'd have to sign for over slot. Here, the Astros may have enough money to get him without going over, but they'll probably have to pay a premium to get him on the mound. May be the toughest sign of the top four picks.
Cal State Fullerton