2013 MLB Draft Profile: Mitchell Sanderson, RHP, Nederland HS (TX)

An unlikely-to-be-drafted prospect is up next, simply because I'm familiar with him and can reliably scout his stuff.

Summary

In trying to find another player to profile here, I went through many options. I thought about Texas A&M junior catcher Troy Stein, but since I didn't have many good scouting reports on him, I didn't feel comfortable writing up a profile on him. Ditto with UH pitcher Austin Pruitt, who's from The Woodlands College Park. Just didn't know enough about what he threw or have enough video of his mechanics to weigh in.

So, I'm going with someone who I saw a bunch this year because of my day job. Sanderson probably doesn't have much of a better chance of being drafted as those other two, but I can accurately tell you about him for this profile.

And, to be fair, there's a lot to like with Sanderson, a 6-foot, 180 pound right-hander. Nederland has a history of churning out pitchers, some of whom have made it to the majors. That's both a product of good coaching and an excellent youth program, both of which Sanderson had the benefits of. His father led one of the Babe Ruth teams in the area for many years and coached a lot of the best talent in the area.

Sanderson's raw stuff won't overwhelm. In that respect, he reminds me a little of Josh Pettitte, who we discussed earlier today. His fastball sits about 88 mph, occasionally working up to 90. He's got a decent breaking pitch, kind of a slider/curve that he likes to throw inside on right-handers for strikes.

His best asset is his command, as he can spot that fastball all around a strike zone and knows he can live down in the zone effectively. That led to over 120 strikeouts this season as Sanderson formed the front end of an impressive rotation.

Still, his high school competition meant that Sanderson rarely had to rely on his changeup, so I'm not sure how his third pitch profiles. I know he's got plenty of mound presence and he's already along the path of being a pitcher, not just a thrower.

All that said, Sanderson doesn't even have a college offer right now, according to his head coach. He probably doesn't have a good shot to be drafted, but I could definitely see Sanderson going to a junior college and popping up for a bigger program in three years as a decent mid-round prospect. He's got the intangibles and control to do just that.

He's also got a repeatable, easy delivery and works fast on the mound. He wasn't overused in the past few years, as the depth in Nederland's program meant he just ascended to the starting rotation this year.

Floor

I mean, we covered this with Josh Pettitte. Right-handers who don't throw especially hard don't have the highest floors. If Sanderson doesn't make it into a college program, how likely is he to succeed in the minors? That's why his floor here is very low.

Ceiling

Still, there's a lot to like here. His command/control of the fastball means he shouldn't walk a ton of batters. If he can add some velocity as he gets older (which his frame definitely supports), Sanderson could make an intriguing option as a developmental guy who could be a starter or a reliever.

Projected Draft Round

Like I said above, I doubt Sanderson is even drafted this year.

Will He Sign?

Considering he's not even got a college offer, I bet he jumps at the chance to play pro ball.

Bibliography

Yeah, nothing here. Except for what I've written about him in the past year, which was basically the article I linked to above.

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