Scouts tend to knock pitchers of shorter stature down a peg due to concerns about fastball plane and durability, but when they have stuff like Robert Kaminsky's they can learn to overlook them. Though he goes just 6'0", Kaminsky's fastball sits in the low 90s, touching 94, and he commands it well. He throws a hard curveball at around 80 MPH, with hard two-plane break. He has not had to use a third pitch much in high school, but he shows the ability to toss an occasional changeup.
Kaminsky has long arms and uses a high 3/4 arm slot to produce better downward plane than most 6'0" pitchers can generate. He has broad shoulders and a thick build and his good mechanics are generally consistent. Kaminsky is a lithe pitcher with good athleticism, which could forecast good command. Despite his stature, most seem to agree that he has a very good chance of remaining a starter for the long term. He has been praised for his work ethic, and it shows given the strength he already has as an 18 year old.
Kaminsky, like virtually all high school pitchers, comes with a few concerns. His fastball velocity has been somewhat inconsistent in high school- on some days he sits around 92 touching 94, and on other days he's closer to 88-90, but that's not uncommon for pitchers in cold weather climates. Some have criticized his heater for being flat, which makes him more susceptible to hard contact than most pitchers with his velocity. Also, though Kaminsky's curveball is a true plus offering, he'll have trouble sticking in a rotation without the development of a good changeup.
Though not without his flaws, Kaminsky has all the makings of a first round pitching prospect. His athleticism, velocity and plus breaking ball give him considerable upside and his status as a lefty will only boost his stock. Though he's short by pitcher standards, Kaminsky has the makings of an MLB starting pitcher and should be a coveted commodity come draft day.
Update: Kaminsky continues to show a well-developed three pitch mix, and there have been promising reports about his command and changeup, which are very positive signs for his future. He's done nothing to lower his stock whatsoever since the season began, and he should be one of the first prep arms off the board.
If Kaminsky doesn't develop a changeup or struggles with his fastball, he could settle into a bullpen role as a setup man, where his stuff could play up.
If Kaminsky gains velocity and hones a third pitch as a pro, he carries the upside of a #2 to #3 starter with the potential for two true plus pitches.
Projected Draft Round
Depending on how things pan out, Kaminsky could go as high as the top 20 picks, but bonus demands could affect his draft position significantly, perhaps making him available later than expected a la Lance McCullers, Jr. last year.
Update: Kaminsky is more or less universally projected as a top 25 selection at this point, and could go as high as the top 15 if a team falls in love with him. He's polished as far as high school arms go, and his upside remains sky high.
Video and Quotes
Robert Kaminsky Prospect Video, St Joseph Regional High School (via Steve Fiorindo)
Rob Kaminsky (07-02-2012) Prospect Classic (Cary, N.C.) (via DiamondScapeBaseball)
Big League Futures
Kaminsky’s Curveball maybe the best amateur Curveball I have seen. It sits around 81 to 83 and has a sharp 11 to 5 break. His arm action and speed are great giving it even more deception.
Baseball Prospect Report
Robert Kaminsky was 91-93 with some fastball life and 80-83 with two different breaking balls. He’s got an average frame.