The 6-foot-5, 220 pound Longhorn starter is a favorite of many people. He's part of a great rotation on the No. 3 team in the nation. He has a very projectable frame, has a good fastball (though it's not a great pitch) and has three average to above-average offspeed pitches. He seems like he'd be a perfect pick for the pitching-needy Astros, as he'd be ready in a hurry and provides a great chance to fitting into the big league rotation.
I wouldn't draft him with a ten-foot pole, because I think he's a pretty big injury risk.
Don't believe me? Look at Workman's pitch counts in his last 13 games: 130, 50 (in relief), 82, 81 (in 3.2 innings), 71, 97, 114, 102, 106, 101, 114, 110, 93. Those are in order of most recent to earliest, so Workman threw 130 pitches in his most recent game against Rider. He also had that string of six games over 100 pitches earlier this season and that 81-pitch, 4 inning stint a couple weeks ago, which had to be a max-effort, injury-intensive situation. For those of you wondering, Workman won't turn 22 until August 13th.
Fact is Texas head coach Augie Garrido doesn't care about your stupid pitch counts. If he needs Austin Wood to throw 160 pitches to win an extra-inning game, he'll do it. That's how they did it in his day and he's not changing because of any newfangled "data" that may be out there. I should mention this is the same guy who kept his team in the locker room for the trophy presentation after they lost the College World Series championship game a few years ago. His classiness notwithstanding, I don't see how any team can justify taking a Texas pitcher high in the draft. Even if they're not abused now, Augie might throw them out there for 200 pitches in the Super Regional or in Omaha. You never know.
Kenny Baugh. Wade Townsend. Phillip Humber. All three were pitchers for Rice University, when it was winning a national championship and making annual appearances in Omaha. All three have had major injury issues in the minors and never threw more than 140 innings in a season as a professional. That's the fear I have about Workman. Can he stay healthy enough to be a productive player? Coming from a successful college program, he's going to be overused more than a guy from The Citadel. It's a risk teams play all the time, since there is so little control over how many pitches a guy throws in college or in high school. For their coaches at those levels, winning a championship means more than keeping a guy healthy for the draft. I don't think Workman has a significantly higher injury risk than Deck McGuire, for instance, but I am worried about him.
Most people are projecting that Workman can be a No. 2 starter. He's got four pitches, has improved his command since high school and has a good strikeout rate in college. He's a big guy, which suggests that as he fills out, he might be able to really be a innings-eater. Best case scenario is that he turns out like Brett Myers, with a little more life on his fastball.
Will the Astros pick him? If so, where?
I think there's a good chance that they do pick him. I'm not completely sold on the idea, because I have a feeling they go high school/high school with their first rounders. But, Workman and 2009 7th round pick Dallas Keuchel have some similarities which make me think he could get picked by Houston. If they do take him, it'll probably have to be at No. 19. That's right around where Workman is projected to go, as he doesn't look to be there in the supplemental round.
Where is he projected to go right now?
Keith Law has him at No. 22 to the Rangers.
Andy Seiler has him at No. 13 to the White Sox.
Deep Leagues has him at No. 20 to the Red Sox.
Jonathan Mayo has him at No. 15 to the Rangers.
Perfect Game USA has him at No. 27 to the Phillies.
Baseball America has him at No. 21 to the Twins.
Frankie Piliere has him at No. 21 to the Twins.
John Sickels has him at No. 15 to the Rangers.
Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)
Below the jump.
Workman Throws 21st No-hitter in Longhorn History (via myfoxaustin)
Brandon Workman (03-06-2010) Houston College Classic (via CamdenDepot)
UT sweeps A&M (via kxan)
Talented but somewhat inconsistant, durable four-pitch starter, plus fastball, possible No. 2 upside
Workman's been on the radar since high school; the Phillies drafted him in the 3th round (107th overall) in 2007, but he chose school over pro ball and is likely to go in the first round this time.
Workman will sit at 92-94 and has excellent movement on the pitch, usually good tailing life but occasionally hard run to his glove side. He throws a spike curveball at 76-79 mph with sharp downward break and some two-plane action; spikes are very tough to command and Workman's, like most, is often out of the zone, so it's likely that at some point he'll have to switch to a traditional curve.
He's a drop-and-drive guy who cuts himself off slightly when he lands on his front leg. His arm action starts out long in the back, but he pronates his elbow early and is shorter around his body. He gets great life on the fastball from a 3/4 slot, so unlike a lot of lower-slot pitchers he shouldn't have a big platoon issue. He has a pretty good chance to be a #2 starter.
Workman came to campus as one of the more well-known freshmen in America in 2008, the result of being a 3rd round pick of the Phillies out of a Texas high school. However, it has taken him some time to mature from a thrower into a pitcher, and it wasn't until last summer that some teams saw him as a legitimate first round option on the Cape. He's helped his case with a solid junior year as the Sunday starter on one of the top two pitching rotations in America. In terms of raw stuff, Workman could be a top 15 pick, but command is the thing that holds him back. His fastball is a plus pitch that sits 91-94, and he can touch 96 at times. He struggles to command it in the upper range of that velocity range, and scouts would prefer him to use a heavier 91-93 pitch down in the zone. His curveball is one of the best breakers in the draft, but it doesn't rate as the best in Texas due to Taillon's plus-plus bender. Workman's is a power curve with plus late break, and that pair of plus pitches makes him a potential #2/3 starter in the long run. He has the frame to start 30+ games every year, and a number of teams envision him eating up innings with a few all-star level season in his prime. His stock is held back a little by not using his changeup much, but with a pair of plus pitches, he hasn't needed it to succeed against a relatively weak conference this year. He should be off the board easily in the first half of the first day of the draft. Projected Draft Range: Mid 1st-Early 2nd Round