MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

Summary

Of all the pitchers I've looked at so far, I think Bradley has the best probability of reaching the major leagues. Certainly, there are guys who have better stuff than him or have a better ceiling. More and more, though, the things I read about him scream "value."

Bradley is polished, having dominated both on the Cape and at Georgia Tech. He doesn't have great fastball velocity, but can touch 97 at times and sits around 92-94*. That's good enough for me. His change is his second-best pitch, and he feels comfortable throwing it to both right-handers and lefties because of the sink he gets on the pitch. He also has a slider that's improving.

*Edit: I missed out on the point I wanted to make about his fastball. He "usually" sits around 92-94, but the actual range is a bit longer, down to 88 in some starts. Will he maintain that in a big league throwing program? Probably not. His fastball probably drops back to 90-92 consistently with a little more giddyup when he needs it a la David Price.

In short, he's got three good pitches right now and is a smart enough pitcher to tailor his game plan to any lineup. Also, look at the videos below of his delivery. Smooth, clean, repeatable and, most importantly, balanced. He lands in a great position to field and looks athletic when he's doing it. A lefty with velocity like this should be going higher than he's projected, but that's this draft class. There are so many talents with higher ceilings, a relatively safe college arm like Bradley is getting pushed down further than he deserves.

Floor

I really think his floor is that of a fifth starter. Of course, with any lefty, you think of the floor being a situational reliever. But, with this guy, given his growth since coming out of high school and his repertoire, it really feels like his floor is at the back of some rotation. Which is an excellent thing for a first-round pick.

Ceiling

Here's why he may not be picked as highly as he should. Because of Bradley's polish, he'll be picked in the first round, but he's got a little of Taylor Jungmann in him, where he's not as projectable. You get a lefty who can throw pretty hard with three potentially above-average pitches. That's got third starter written all over him. If his fastball maintains that late velocity, he could be a staff anchor, but a middle rotation guy is probably all the upside you're looking at here.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

It's somewhat likely. Only Keith Law has Bradley falling down out of the top 15 or so, while most people expect him to go in the Top 10. If he is there for Houston, which is looking more likely, it'll be a tough decision between him and more "power" arms like Archie Bradley (no relation), Taylor Guerrieri and college guys like Matt Barnes.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law had him at No. 21 to the Blue Jays.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 9 to the Cubs.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 8 to the Indians.

Perfect Game USA had him at No. 4 to the Orioles.

Baseball America  had him at No. 8 to the Indians.

John Sickels had him at No. 5 to the Royals.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump




Baseball America: 

While he's not generally thought of as overpowering, Bradley knows how to miss bats. Scouts love his pitcher's frame, and he has a clean, loose arm. Bradley's fastball sits anywhere from 88-94 mph. In better starts, he's at the higher end of that range, touching 95. His low 80s slider gives him a second plus pitch, and his changeup sits around 80 mph with fade.

Keith Law:

Bradley has the size, arm strength, and left-handedness that scouts love to see, making him a clear first-rounder this year, while the lack of an average breaking ball is raising questions about his long-term ceiling.

Baseball Beginnings: 

Potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter and chance to be a top shelf ML LH talent. Good stuff, durability, stamina, pitchability, aggressiveness and athleticism.

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