MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA

Summary

The UCLA rotation this season was just brutal. Gerritt Cole, Trevor Bauer and 2010 Astros draftee Adam Plutko just dominated hitters all season. All three would probably be first round picks, and it looks like both Cole and Bauer will go in the top 10, if not the top 5 of this draft.

With Bauer, though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. He's quirky, he has his own routine and his delivery is a bit unorthodox. You can't argue with his results, though, even as you cringe at all the times he threw over 120 pitches this season.

It seems, though, that Bauer focuses a bit too much on strikeouts. Someone needs to tell him that strikeouts are fascist; ground balls are more democratic. A team will need to be okay with the quirks, much like the Giants did with Bauer's baseball model, Tim Lincecum. Will that be the Nationals or the Diamondbacks? Or, will Bauer free fall out of the top 10 because of them?

Some team will look very smart for taking him, even if he doesn't end up being the best pitcher in this class.

Floor

With his funky stuff and overloaded workload, Bauer's injury risk is through the roof, which lowers his floor. Still, his stuff is consistent and he's proven he can pitch through a heavy workload, which means he can be expected to stick in a rotation at some point. At worst, he's Gil Meche, a late bloomer who puts up a couple good seasons and keeps getting chances because of his stuff.

Ceiling

Well, the obvious ceiling here is Tiny Tim Lincecum. With their ability to miss bats and their quirkiness, the two are a pair made in heaven. Bauer has the stuff to be a Cy Young winner, if he's able to stay away from injury.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

Nope. I can imagine a scenario where Bauer falls to No. 11, but it strains at the bonds of credulity. Even if he fell past the Cubs at No. 9, I have no doubt that the Padres would snap him up in a heartbeat, being that he brings some hometown cred from his UCLA days. So, yeah, the Astros probably don't have a shot here.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law had him at No. 6 to the Nationals.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 11 to the Astros.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 6 to the Nationals.

Perfect Game USA had him at No. 7 to the Diamondbacks.

Baseball America had him at No. 6 to the Nationals.

John Sickels had him at No. 6 to the Nationals.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump




Baseball America

Bauer is as unconventional as he is dominant. He takes an intellectual approach to his craft, studying advanced concepts like biomechanics, effective velocity and pitch tunneling. He is a long-toss devotee who works with rubber tubes before and during his starts. He idolizes and patterns himself after another slight righthander with electric stuff: Tim Lincecum.

Keith Law:

Bauer can show two plus pitches and has a tremendous track record of missing bats in one of the nation's best conferences, as well as a peculiar pregame routine that seems to stem from an outstanding work ethic.

Bauer has been up to 97 in most outings although he was strictly 92-93 when I saw him, holding that velocity all game. He throws hard and soft curveballs and a changeup; the slow curve has excellent depth and he commands the pitch better than the hard curve or the fastball.

Baseball Beginnings

Most complete college starting pitcher I’ve seen in 10 years. Fearless, unorthodox, strong, electric stuff, and room to develop. Thinks he’s got 97-100 in his mechanics and who am I to tell him no. A durable and competitive workhorse, who wants the ball, and has the makeup to be a staff anchor for years to come. A premium pick for me. Guy you bet your career on.

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