With the draft on the horizon and Dallas Keuchel's recent displays of very-competent pitching, it got me thinking: what were people saying about Keuchel when he was drafted? A while back, I used to collect what people said about Astros prospects in one massive file, and lo and behold, there's a pile of Keuchel material. Here's a blast from the past:
PG Crosschecker (Dave Rawnsley)
...He is a Tom Glavine-style pitcher who does not rely on velocity for his success. Instead, Keuchel has a quality four-pitch mix and is capable of throwing any of his pitches at any point in the count, and can command them to both sides of the plate. He works frequently with a two-seam fastball that gets good running action at 86-87 mph and a four-seamer that he can bump up 90-91. His breaking ball is a slurve-type slider in the upper-70s, and he has a nice changeup. Keuchel has been a consistent performer at Arkansas for three years, but has performed even better in the Cape Cod League the last two summers, leading scouts to believe that his stuff and pitching savvy might work better against wood bats...
...The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has picked up a little velocity on his fastball in the last year, now working in the high 80s and touching 91, but he remains a finesse pitcher. He gets good sink on his fastball and locates it well, enabling him to set up a changeup that grades as his best offering. His curveball is fringy, though that's less of an issue for a southpaw who will face righty-dominated lineups. He doesn't have as much stuff and size as former Razorbacks lefty Nick Schmidt, a Padres first-round pick in 2007, but Keuchel has the same competitive edge and workhorse mentality. His pitchability and determination could make him a No. 4 starter in the big leagues, and he could get drafted as early as the fourth or fifth round.
BA's Draft Report Card for the Astros (Jim Callis)
- Best Secondary Pitch (Changeup)
- Closest to the Majors
Best changeup is possessed by 7th-rounder Dallas Keuchel.
and on who was a "steal" in the draft:
Bobby Heck: Probably Dallas Keuchel was a guy we thought dollar for dollar, although we haven't signed him yet because he's in the College World Series. He is a college lefthander in the SEC who had success, and you usually don't find him in the seventh round.
When the Astros drafted Keuchel, the Arkansas Razorbacks were in the playoffs, and a number of Astros fans got to see Keuchel in action. Here were some of the reactions to Keuchel's pitching over at spikesnstars:
Saw him pitch tonight against Virginia and the 7th rounder looks like a steal! Really nice looking left hander who is tough as nails.
--Noe in Austin
little wild but he worked his way out of a jam the one inning and struck out two the next. The one thing I really noticed is that his delivery looked very clean.
During his start against CSF, everyone kept talking about how much life his fastball had. Bobby Heck said in yesterday's chat that Keuchel has the best changeup of anyone the Astros drafted. Then he pitches these innings in relief and BA comments on the "vicious slider" he showed. Sounds like a pretty good pitcher to me.
If it's a slider, it is really a late breaking slider. I think it's a fastball with lots of late movement because it is hard to square from what I could see. Also, he has a mound presence that is very keen. I liked watching him pitch last night.
--Noe in Austin