Ah, the siren song of the workout circuit. Last summer, Mitchell Traver blew people away with his summer workouts, showing 92-95 with his fastball with a good change a hard breaking slider and a giant frame. Traver is 6-foot-7 and 238 pounds.
Unfortunately, he hasn't lived up to what he showed in the offseason, with his fastball falling from 88-92 in most of his starts this season. He's still been good and has been working out more than he did in the past, which helped him drop his body fat quite a bit.
Traver is a pretty classic tall-and-fall guy, with an easy delivery that speeds up towards the end. He's got a high leg kick out of the windup and comes across his body with his leg but not his arm. There are some concerns about his arm motion, but I didn't see anything glaring in the videos below.
There are also questions about his control. Though his high school numbers don't quite bear it out, he's got problems locating the fastball at times and that leads to him being a bit inconsistent. The question then becomes, where does his velocity sit? He's a big kid and not likely to "fill out" much more. He might grow some, but is a thick-bodied type right now, so there's not as much room for projection as with other players at the top of this draft.
He's still likely to be the first Texas high school pitcher drafted, but it may not come early enough to get him out of a commitment to TCU.
His size and repertoire make him a great candidate for the bullpen down the road if he can't stick in the rotation. That fastball has flashed 96 at times, and may stay there more consistently if he's working out of the 'pen. However, as with most high school pitchers, his floor is lower due to the greater chance for injury.
I like the potential of a guy like this to be an innings eater down the road. He may not be able to be a top-of-the-rotation starter without better stuff than he's flashed to this point, but there's always a chance for those to develop more in the minors. In that, he reminds me more of guys like Jordan Lyles and Ross Seaton than anything.
Projected Draft Round
Third or fourth round seems to be the consensus
Will he sign?
Not unless he goes higher than that. With the new money rules, a team would have to dramatically overspend on him to get him away from a TCU scholarship. I could see him really raising his stock if he goes and pitches for the Horned Frogs for a couple of seasons.
Bibliography after the jump
Traver has hit 95 mph on the radar gun and pitches at 92-93 with a curveball and developing changeup. His size -- 6-foot-7, 250 pounds -- may concern some clubs, but he's far from soft and the velocity is easy. His arm action is another concern, and his control and command need significant improvement, but the upside outweighs those worries and Traver projects as a first-round pick. He's also considered a potential tough sign, however, as he's committed to TCU. Traver fanned 61 batters in 42.1 innings last season and posted an ERA of 2.31.
Houston Christian High righthander Mitchell Traver pitched in relief and sat 89-92 with his fastball. His changeup was in the mid-80s, but is a work in progress. He threw a low 80s slider with sharp downward bite. His stuff is good, but he struggled to locate his pitches