The 6-foot-6, 240 pound righthander is in his first season at Texas Tech, after pitching at Seward County Community College in Kansas. He has a good fastball that has some sink to it, partly because he gets on top of the pitch with his over the top delivery. He also has to average breaking pitches, a curve and a changeup.
The thing that I see in Doran is that he doesn't use his lower half very much in his delivery. He's sitting at 90-92 with his fastball, but I wonder if the Astros can tighten up his delivery some and get more velocity out of it. it's not a violent delivery and he seems to repeat it well. He also gets quite a few ground balls with it, but I imagine a sinker at 94 would be a much tougher pitch for batters to handle. With his size, it's also probably hard for righthanded batters to pick up the ball coming out of his hand, adding some deception to his delivery.
Doran led the Red Raiders in starts with 13. He threw 89 innings, striking out 81 and walking 23. I'm not as concerned about the 109 hits he gave up, since wind plays a huge factor in Tech's home ballpark. There are some games that it's just like Wrigley Field, and hitters can turn bloops into doubles. Plus, his sinker will lead to more ground balls and Tech's infield defense may just not have been up to the task of corralling all of them.
Even with his giant frame, his floor is probably as a reliever. He actually compares pretty favorably to Chad Qualls, though I'd have reservations about plugging Doran into a closer's role. Even if his fastball is the only pitch that sticks, he'd be able to work in the bullpen as a ground ball guy. Of course, he can also end up like Brad James, not striking out enough batters to make it at the upper levels (thanks, titansfan for reminding me about him).
The best case scenario for Doran is that he ends up like Derek Lowe. A great sinker-baller who can eat up innings in the middle of a rotation. He doesn't have the swing-and-miss stuff to be a front-line starter, but he's plenty good to fill in the middle of a rotation. With good infield defense (DDJ and Jio) behind him, he could be a good pickup.
Will the Astros Sign Him?
No signability concerns here. He has a chance to go back to Tech, but this was around the spot he was projected to go, so I don't see him big-timing the Astros.