Pitchers in the first round are the ones that get all of the hype. But, true success of a draft is dependent on the rounds that follow. I enjoy searching out high school pitching prospects that are likely to be drafted after the first round. That search has lead me to a personal favorite and one who will see his draft stock rise this year. Casey Shane
Shane has pretty good projection and is a good athlete. I've seen him listed at 6'2" and 6'4" so it's hard to know exactly how tall he is. A baseball America article and his Perfect Game profile list him at 6'4". Either way, he is a little more developed than guys like Jordan Lyles and Mike Foltynewicz were they were drafted. He weighs between 200 and 215 pounds which is a pretty big range, but shows he has a little room to grow.
Shane is pretty clean with his mechanics and repeats it pretty well. He generates some pretty good leg drive which is definitely a way to catch my eye. Good stride length and very good arm speed. He turns his back to the plate on his delivery which helps his rotational velocity but could be contributing to occasional control problems. The other contibuting factor is that he stabs the ball down out of his glove instead of a complete arm circle. He also tends to finish his pitches in varying places. All in all, he generates velocity with his legs and uses his arm as a lever instead of the primary force provider. His action is pretty clean for a high schooler. There are things to get cleaned up, but they are pretty minor.
I've already mentioned that he has occasional lapses in his control, but when it's all running together, it's better than most. The highlight when it comes to his stuff is his fastball. He sat 89-94 in summer ball last year but primarily is 91-93. The good news is that he'll probably gain a tick or two as he develops a little more. The velocity is not the highlight though, it's the movement. He has what has been called "nasty" tailing action and late sink. The fastball moves a lot. He throws a change-up as well and used it a lot more last summer than his breaking ball and has a very nice reviews since it also has good tailing action that mimics his fastball movement. He is still working on finding the right breaking ball. I've seen reports of a hard splitter, curveball, slider, and a slurve. I think he is sticking with the curve right now.
Minor league depth or middle reliever. The fact he is still searching for a breaking ball is a concern. The fact he already trusts a change-up is encouraging. Unfortunately, to be a late inning reliever, you need to have a good strikeout rate and a breaking ball is more appropriate to do that. Sure, there are examples of fastball/change-up combos in late inning roles, but we are talking about the guy's floor.
Mid rotation starter. There are a couple of guys in the organization that work primarily off of a fastball with a good change-up, Lyles was touted as such and Nick Tropeano fits that profile. He'll need to figure out the breaking ball situation, but a good cutter/slider or curve could put him into #2/3 range as his ceiling.
Projected Draft Round
It's hard to tack a round on him right now. Most top 50's and 100's don't have him listed, but he is listed on Minor League Ball's top 50. He's also been written about as having scouts flocking to see him. I have him rated higher than this, but I think he's likely to be selected in rounds 3-10. If he gets selected earlier, his lack of hype may aggravate a few fans, but inside baseball circles, less frustration would be felt. Baseball's best kept secret?
College Commitment: Texas A&M
Will he sign?
This likely to be a tougher sign as A&M has recently been pretty successful in getting their baseball commits on campus, Gandy Stubblefield is a decent example. However, he is a perfect candidate to reallocate slot savings to, if he'll sign. The development of a good breaking ball could really shoot him up boards during his college career.
Casey Shane is a 2013 RHP/ with a 6-4 200 lb. frame from Burleson, TX who attends Centennial HS. Big strong physical build. Full back turn delivery, loose easy arm action, low effort release, extended 3/4's arm slot, stays on line and balanced. Fastball topped at 92 mph, has been seen up to 94 mph recently, outstanding sinking life at times, plus movement. Change up best off speed, very good arm speed and good life, still identifying breaking ball, 78 mph slurve shows some spin. Works quickly, throws strikes and has pitchablity.
Casey Shane, fastball 91-93 with a sweeping tail on it, split looked like second weapon, hard with late life, had it at 87. Good pitcher's body, controlled the fastball in this short look, fairly clean arm action, still growing. Good follow.
Shane is a big-bodied righthander from Centennial High (Burleson, Texas) that stands at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. His fastball is a nasty pitch that sits 89-93 mph with heavy sink and run. He also mixed in a low-80s breaking ball and mid-80s changeup that featured good sink and fade. The breaking ball flashed tight break, but he only threw it a a couple times and has a slider as well.