What? You have problems with aggies?
Daniel Mengden came into the season with aspirations of a first round draft pick. That was something that was probably going to happen. However, due to some injuries, the 2014 season just didn't quite play out the way he planned.
A two-player for his first two years in College Station, Mengden had a lot of wear and tear on his body. To emphasize it a little more, his secondary position was a catcher. On top of that, he played for the Team USA in the off-season which means his body just hasn't gotten much rest over the last year. That is one possibility for his down year this year. Notice a theme in these guys? Carlos Rodon, Luke Weaver, and now Mengden all showed a lower velocity this year.
He can crank his fastball up to the mid-90's but sat low 90's this year and even dipped into the high-80's at times while he dealt with fatigue and injuries. He's a four-pitch pitcher with the slider being the top off-speed pitch. He also throws a curveball that is inconsistent and a change up with good fade. The off-speed pitches apparently didn't hurt his back as bad so he leaned on them heavily this year. Less fastball usage can make off-speed pitches less effective.
There's a good bit of funk in his delivery. It's mostly in his leg lift phase of the delivery and early in his windup. It adds to his deception a bit and appears to not affect his control as he consistently keeps the walks down. He could do a little to protect his elbow better, but he's not bad mechanically. The funk is actually something that he's added during his time at A&M and wasn't there as a freshman.
This season he posted an ERA at 4.08 and a strikeout rate of 8.25 K/9 and a walk rate of 2.52 BB/9 across 103 2/3 innings.
Mid-rotation starter. He has a very strong mix and once he's able to use his fastball more, his overall stuff will play up. He needs to get healthy, but he has a very good floor and ceiling when he is. The command profile will really help him.
Will he sign?
Rumors were that as his stock fell, he would be returning to A&M. That remains to be seen. But, I think he'll end up signing.
Smaller compact frame with sloped shoulders, wide hips, development in lower rear, sits about 210 pounds, may have some projection left. Upright delivery, high release, does not get weight over well, 93-96 mph on 4S with just okay movement. He has some shape on the split change with a touch of hand side run to the solid dip in the offering. Daniel has a projectable slider with bite and tilt. Erratic release point and timing leaves command an item to monitor down the road. He does showcase a compact delivery and leverage should allow it to improve down the road. Daniel has very potent arm speed and another year under the belt could iron out the wrinkles. High track and follow at this stage.
Mengden was a two-way player in his first two seasons at Texas A&M, serving as a reliever and bat off the bench in 2012 and as a starter and a regular at DH in 2013. He focused exclusively on pitching with Team USA last summer and again this spring with the Aggies. Mengden has a lot going on in his delivery, but his mechanics add some deception and don't prevent him from throwing strikes with four pitches. His best offering is a fastball that usually ranges from 88-94 mph, though it can get straight at times. His slider is a close second, arriving at 82-85 mph and featuring some sharp bite when he stays on top of it. He also throws a downer curveball that isn't quite as consistent as his slider, and he has the confidence to use his fading changeup in any count. Mengden may not have a true plus pitch, but he could have four average offerings. Scouts love his makeup and believe he can remain a starter in pro ball.