When I originally signed up to write this Dustin Driver profile, he was considered one of the top high school pitchers in the country and a first-round prospect. Since then, his stock has gradually fallen, due to the lack of development in his secondary pitchers and inconsistent command/control.
The right-hander's frame leaves very little projection left, as he's already maxed out his 6'2" frame. His best pitch is his fastball, which sits high-80s to low-90s, with reports of it reaching as high as 95. Besides the heater, he carries three below-average pitches, with the potential to be average down the road. His delivery looks clean and athletic to my untrained eye, but I always heed to Brooks' expertise, in that regard.
Apparently his makeup and mound presence earn rave reviews from scouts, which is great, but I prefer a projectable high school arm, with at least one pitch that can morph into a plus pitch. Driver is committed to UCLA, and I think he's a solid bet to go to college, depending on when he's taken in June.
Major League Floor
Either an average middle-reliever, or a a swing-guy out of the bullpen.
Major League Ceiling
A fourth starter.
Projected Draft Round
Keith Law (ESPN) and Jonathan Mayo (MLB.com) both have him ranked in their top 60, which would put him in the second round. Baseball America has a more appropriate – in my opinion– ranking of him at 105. He could go anywhere from the second, to the fifth round.
Will He Sign?
If he goes in the second round, definitely. If he goes in the fifth or beyond he's probably going to UCLA.
It's always interesting to see what talent comes out of the Pacific Northwest, and Driver has the chance to be one of the best from the region this year.
Driver has some good stuff, with a fastball that's already touching 93-94 mph and a power breaking ball to go along with it. He threw very well at the Area Code Games, showing a good feel for mixing his fastball, breaking stuff and even a changeup. And while some feel he may be a reliever when all is said and done, there's plenty to like about this young right arm.
As good as his raw stuff is, he gets equally strong, if not better, marks for his mound presence, instincts and competitiveness, all of which add up to a very bright future.