Updated profile on Casey Meisner who remains a very project but one that has some good intrigue as he has great size and a very good curveball.
Original Draft Profile
There are two things that can make me fall in love with high school pitchers; projection and simple mechanics. Casey Meisner fits the first bill with his 6'7" 185 pound frame. He weighs close to me but stands a half of a foot taller than me! He's about as lanky as they come and will never be a thick guy, but this kid is going to fill out and add a lot of muscle as he gets older.
He's also a local kid so if you have a free night and you want to watch some high school baseball, here's somebody you can catch. He recently played against St. Pius (Kohl Stewart's high school) and struck out thirteen, so he puts on a show. Astros fans tend to get upset when local guys go on and become stars for other teams, so if the Astros don't draft him you can at least say you saw the kid in high school.
Mechanically, Meisner throws out of a high 3/4's slot which allows for his fastball to come in at an even greater downward plane than his height already allows. There's some extra moving parts in his delivery which is normally a very big red flag for a guy his length but surprisingly keeps everything in line and moving straight towards the plate. He also has some effort in his upper body, particularly an exaggerated trunk flexion. I'd be lying if I said they weren't a work in progress but the raw materials are there to work with.
The highlight of his stuff is his curveball that features 11/5 shape and can control it surprisingly well (not common for long lanky high school pitchers). He can induce a lot of groundballs and whiffs with it and projects to be an above-average to plus pitch. The fastball doesn't have great velocity as he topped out at 91 in the showcase circuit last summer but sat primarily in the upper 80's. Early reports for this season are that he's in the low 90's. He also throws a changeup in the low 80's and despite having some fade, doesn't have a lot of separation from his the fastball.
Update: Meisner is still the high-80's to low-90's fastball pitcher after this season, but he did show a few extra ticks on occasion to give enough for scouts to dream on. He touched mid-90's just a handful of times and just shows you what this kid could potentially do as his frame fills out. However, he was 89-91 with a few 92's at the Perfect Game Pre-Draft Showcase with a mid-70's curve and high-70's changeup.
He's raw...very raw. So, the floor is a minor league guy but as a ML floor he's a groundball specialist. I would compare this guy to current Astros minor leaguer Matthew Heidenreich. The downhill plane and curve could limit the big hits and get the big double play.
I feel comfortable projecting him to a mid-rotation starter with an above-average groundball rate and average strikeout rate if the velocity builds up as he fills out. I think his velocity will top out in the 95 area as far as what he can touch but will likely sit 91-93.
Update: His floor and ceiling haven't really changed. The flashes of better velocity are just enough to give scouts a little more confidence that he'll develop.
Projected Draft Round
He's a top 100 high school prospect and I've even seen him rank in top 20 draft eligible pitchers which could put him in the top two rounds. However, he's pretty raw and I think he's more appropriate for the 5-10 rounds depending on how he develops this season and his college commitment go, could drop to the 10-20 range.
Update: He's rated as the 243rd best prospect by Baseball America and would put him in the 5-10 round range but the college commitment could drop him.
Will he sign?
There's the question that will really affect his draft position. He's committed to Texas Tech and the word is that he's pretty firm with it. He wants to go to Tech. He's also pretty raw and is the type of pitcher that could really improve his stock in the next three years so he's considered a risk right now.
College Commitment: Texas Tech
PG Video-For some reason the video wouldn't embed.
Meisner, a Texas Tech recruit, threw his fastball on a firm, downhill plane. It started out in the 88-90 mph range, but he settled in around 85-87. He mixed in a mid-70s curveball, but wasn't getting full extension out front and was getting under the pitch a little bit. His circle changeup is still a work in progress and it sat in the low 80 mph range.
Casey Meisner is a 2013 RHP with a 6-7 185 lb. frame from Cypress, TX who attends Cy-Woods HS. Tall lean build, developing strength. Tall on line multi-piece delivery, high 3/4's arm slot, throws downhill. Upper 80's fastball, topped out at 91 mph, tends to miss up in the strike zone with fastball, loses velocity from the stretch. Good curveball spin, 11/5 shape with good depth, throws curveball for consistent strikes with feel, slowed body on soft change up. Verbal commitment to Texas Tech.