2012 MLB Draft Profile: Marcus Stroman, Pitcher, Duke University

Summary

When you think of power arms, you generally think big guys in the mold of Stephen Strasburg, Justin Verlander, and Josh Johnson. In the case of Duke's RHP Marcus Stroman; size doesn't matter.

At 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, Marcus Stroman struck out 17 batters on March 2nd and followed up that performance by striking out 25 batters over his next two starts (13/12). In 14 starts Stroman had a 2.34 ERA, 136 strikouts in 98 innings pitched, and had a K/9 rate of 12.49. Marcus Stroman has a similar delivery to that of Wilton Lopez of the Astros keeping his glove belt high and driving from his back leg. His delivery is smooth and repeatable, but he will need to learn to use his bottom half a little more efficiently and work on his secondary pitches if he is to stay in the rotation.

Most analysts believe that Stroman could fly through the minor league system as a closer, but he is likely to get a chance to start before moving to the bullpen.

Floor

The floor for Stroman to reach his ceiling is high as a closer, but a bit lower as a starter. If Stroman is unable to make it as a closer or a starter then he is likely to end up in the bullpen as 7th or 8th inning guy or the occasional spot starter.

Ceiling

Stroman has the chance to be a very good starter in the Major leagues. If he can continue to develop his secondary pitches, he will likely stay in a clubs rotation and could be dominant. Stroman's ceiling would compare to that of Roy Oswalt or possibly Tim Lincecum simply from the fact that both pitchers are under sized, but extremely effective. On the other hand, as a closer Stroman could have a high ceiling as well and fly through the farm system similar to the development path of Drew Storen or Chris Sale.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Stroman is likely to go anywhere from pick number 10 to pick number 25. Stroman won't get consideration for the top pick and is unlikely to be off the board once the Astros pick again at pick number 41.

Scouting Videos



What Scouts say about him...

Baseball America:

An 18th-round pick out of a New York high school in 2009, Stroman's commitment to Duke and his size scared teams off. He was a two-way player in high school, but scouts always preferred him on the mound because of his low-90s fastball and compared him to Tom Gordon. After three years at Duke, Stroman has become one of the most electric arms in the country despite being 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds. He was 5-4, 2.36 with 119 strikeouts and 22 walks in 84 innings this spring for a bad Duke team. He is athletic and now sits at 92-94 mph as a starter and can touch 95-96. His best secondary offering is a nasty slider with depth. He has also mixed in a good changeup and a cutter that sits 88-90 mph. He can hold his velocity deep into games, but most scouts say he could be the first 2012 draftee to reach the big leagues if he goes to the bullpen. He worked as the closer for Team USA last summer and was 93-96 mph consistently, pitching 8 1/3 innings without giving up a hit while striking out 17 and walking one.

Jonathan Mayo:

College relievers always get looks in the early stages of the Draft if they are believed to be able to move quickly to the big leagues. Stroman has the chance to be the first of those closer types to go off the board.

Because of his size and electric arm, he gets Tom Gordon comparisons all the time. He throws his fastball consistently in the mid-90s with some pretty good tail when it's down in the zone. He complements it with a power curve that has a nasty late break to it. His command isn't fine, but he's generally around the strike zone with both offerings.

As a short reliever, that might be all he needs at the next level. Stroman is coming off a dominant summer with USA Baseball, so scouts will be very curious to see how his junior season unfolds.

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