Mechanics and high school kids are not a match made in heaven. We see these high schooler's yearly that have "good" or "clean" mechanics, but it's really just relative. On occasion you have one that is actually pretty good despite that. A guy that has pro level mechanics. This year there is one.
Dakota Chalmers has the mechanics that many coaches wish their pitchers had. This isn't a guy that you dream to develop consistency and arm action. He has it now. He's the best high schooler mechanically and better than many of the top college prospects.
His arm is just very fluid. He has a full arm circle and does a good job of rolling his elbow into his delivery. The only issue is that his elbow will occasionally drift a little high but is consistently able to correct before heel strike.
The thing that really sets Chalmers apart for me is his pronation through the release and forward rotation. He pronates better than the Vandy guys. He forward rotates better than them. That forward rotation (thanks to good deceleration of glove side) gets his release close to the plate and provides a better deceleration path protecting his arm from injury.
You'll see several differing opinions on him though. Some don't like the effort. Some say there's problems with his arm action. I like it.
Physically, he stands 6'3 and 175 pounds but doesn't really look like it. His body has matured a lot since his junior year and looks more lean. He now looks stronger but continues to have a lot of weight to put on.
The reason he's not viewed as a sure fire top prospect is the stuff. He doesn't lack stuff but he's not the guy that has it all. Last year he was in the upper-80's with occasional increases, now he's consistently in the low-90's and topping out at 94. But, he created buzz this spring with a 98 MPH pitch that has helped his stock rise.
The breaking ball has lots of different reviews. There's times where it's a blended curve and slider. At others there's two distinct pitches. The curve can be a strong mid-70's pitch with two plane break. The slider can be a low-80's offering with sharp break. His curve has been tracked by TrackMan at 2700 RPM which is great spin. Draft picks in the first three rounds average 2300 RPM which puts him well above average. The changeup lags behind but is not uncommon for HS pitchers who rarely use it.
I see his ceiling as a probable #3 and maybe a #2 pitcher if the changeup really develops. The spin rate on the curve and velocity uptick could indicate an elite level fastball/breaking ball combination but would need a serviceable changeup to put him that high.
Reliever with a strong fastball/curve combination.
Projected Draft Round:
He has a wide range of rankings but primarily in the 30's range or not ranked. He's likely to be a Comp. A pick or second rounder.
Will he sign
Tough call. He's committed to Georgia so it may a tough pull to lure him away from his home state school. With his current helium, his value may not be higher if college doesn't go as planned. That's the risk every HSer takes.
Dakota Chalmers is a 2015 RHP/SS with a 6-3 170 lb. frame from Gainesville, GA who attends Lakeview Academy. Tall slender young build, very projectable physically. Full arm circle in back, fast arm coming through, tends to get hard on his front side with some energy at release. Fastball topped out at 91 mph with good running life, have seen up to 92 mph this summer. Primary breaking ball pitcher this outing, flashed plus potential on his slider/curveball. Slider is nasty at times with tight spin and sharp bite with surprising depth, took off velocity on slider for slower/bigger curveball with equally hard spin. Rare change up. Mechanics and ability to repeat are still young but has projectable velocity and potential plus breaking balls. Lots to like. Good student, verbal commitment to Georgia.
Chalmers (Lakeview Academy, Gainesville, Ga.) was up to 91 at Perfect Game National in the first event of the summer in July and then up to 93 at East Coast Pro in August. The velocity of many pitchers in Jupiter tends to fall quickly as they rear back for their best stuff early. Yet Chalmers sustained his velocity, which ranged from 90-94 mph, largely sitting 91-93 while primarily sitting 92-93 in his third inning.
I had seen Chalmers at the PG National in June and he was a definite arm to follow that ticked lots of boxes on the projectable prep arm wish list: 88-90 with some feel for a changeup and a curveball that was solid average at times from a lanky 6’3/175 frame. Chalmers was seen in his two outing for a loaded team that won the championship and included numerous prospects from my earlier draft list (RHP Ashe Russell, RHP Beau Burrows, 3B L.T. Tolbert, 1B Desmond Lindsay, RHP Nolan Watson, SS Ryan Karstetter). Chalmers ticked up at Jupiter, sitting 91-94 mph with an 82-84 mph hybrid breaking ball that flashed plus and helped him to dominate his competition in 8 innings over two outings, striking out 14 and walking 3. There’s still some effort to the delivery and the torque and elbow position in his arm action isn’t ideal, but it’s hard to ignore the stuff.