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2019 MLB Draft Profile: JJ Goss, RHP, Cy-Ranch HS

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An aggressive, power-oriented righty with a funky but repeatable delivery, Goss brings a nuclear fastball-slider combo and feel for pitching that could make him a first-round pick.

Measureables

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 185 lbs.

Age on draft day: 18 yrs, 5 mos.

FB max: 96 mph

Player summary

Part of a nasty Cy-Ranch staff, Goss has continued to grow as a pitcher throughout his prep career and has solidified his prospects as a potential starting pitcher. A lithe 6’3” with projectability, Goss makes his money with a low-90s fastball that can touch higher and a wipeout slider, one of the best in the prep class. He typically works 90-93 right now, but should add a good amount of velocity as a pro as his frame fills out.

His delivery is often referred to as funky- he brings the ball very high early in his windup and gets massive extension towards the hitter at release, but he repeats it very well and I don’t see it as a concern as it relates to injury or command. His mechanics also create a very high release point which gives his pitches a downward plane and allows his hard slider to play off of his heater better.

The aforementioned slider is Goss’s mealticket. The low 80s pitch has two-plane movement and a hard bite, with consistent shape. His feel for spin is outstanding and hitters will seldom be comfortable stepping in against him. It’s an easy plus pitch and will be central to Goss’s gameplan at every level, and he appears cognizant of that, using it liberally and showing an advanced ability to locate the pitch.

Goss is more advanced on the whole than you might expect on first look. While his mechanics have a good bit of effort and his command is far from pinpoint at this juncture, he has mature feel for pitching and should be the type of prep arm who can dive in and miss a lot of bats quickly in the low minors. He’ll need to find himself a third offering of some sort, which could end up being a change, cutter or second breaking ball, and he has physical development to get out of the way, but there is a range of very strong outcomes for Goss’s pro career.

Depending on how Goss responds to pro workloads and how strong his fastball command becomes, there is #2/3 starter potential here, but he’d also be very appealing as some sort of bullpen weapon, whether it be in a closer-type capacity or multi-inning fireman, throwing max-effort and focusing on his FB/SL combo. That shouldn’t be a concern for some time, if at all, though, as he shows enough promise as a starting pitcher to get plenty of leash in that role.

While he’s a bit unorthodox, I like Goss’s chances at success. His delivery isn’t conventional, but that’s not a concern for me when a pitcher repeats as well as Goss does, and looks comfortable doing it. Additionally, Goss is a very athletic hurler with natural strength, which bodes well for his future command and durability. Much can happen in a prep pitcher’s journey to the bigs, but I think strikeout-oriented #3 starter is a very attainable projection here, and that is what the team that drafts him will be hoping for.

Projected Draft Round

Goss typically ranks as a top-40 prospect in the class, on the round 1/sandwich rounds borderline. Assuming he wants to sign, he should be a lock for day one.

Does he fit with Houston?

Oh hell yes. The Astros love Trackman darlings and Goss is sure to check a lot of boxes for them. Taking into account his profile and stock at present, I currently see him as one of the best bets to be the Astros’ first selection in June.

Will he sign?

It’s probably too early to comment in this case. Goss has a commitment to Texas A&M, which represents a very strong fallback option, so at the least teams will have to be aggressive in negotiations with the young righty.

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