Top Prospect: Lance Lynn

Junior/SP/Ole Miss

Say it with me in a Donald Trump impression – “he’s huuuuuge”
To the tune of 6’5 – 260 as listed on the Ole Miss web site. I don’t know that he is 6’5, but 260 does not surprise me.

Lynn is underrated based on where I see him on preseason draft lists: Baseball America did not even project him going in the first round. Mymlbdraft.com does not project him going in the first round. MLBdraftsite.com has him going 44th.

You get the idea.

So, am I crazy for saying he will be a 1st rund pick? I do not think so, and here is why:

  • He has 2 above average pitches: a FB 92-94 with plus downer curve that is a true strike out pitch.
  • He commands his FB well. He controls his curve ball well, but his command is iffy. To me, it is more of a swing and miss out pitch than a pitch he can spot where he wants to.

Here is the game I have seen on which I am basing my opinion:
http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/article.jsp?story=national_schedule
He pitched the July 8 game v. Japan

My impressions:

  • He got alot of swing and misses with his FB against a team that is known for making contact. This indicates to me that he has good late movement on the pitch. His FB is “heavy” meaning is has a nice late sinking action.
  • His curve ball is a strike out pitch – its break a little too early..needs a little more depth to be nasty. He does need to be able to throw it for strikes though, which he did not do a great job of in this outing. He will not be able to rely on pros swinging at that pitch in the dirt consistently.
  • He has very sound mechanics for his size. He plants hard and torque son his left leg, which spins him towards first base. Usually this indicates that he might fly open, lose velocity, and leave pitches up. However, I did not see this in this particular outing.
  • He commands his fastball better than I thought he might. He worked it to both sides of the plate, and kept it low in the zone.
  • Did not rely and overuse curveball, which impressed me. He seemed content to just throw strikes with the FB and get ahead in the count.
  • He is lacking a 3rd pitch. He bounced a changeup and that is the only time I saw him throw it. It drives me crazy that every SP that does not have 3 above average pitches is rumored to be a relief pitcher. Could he be a reliever? Yes, I can see that. But I can also see him being a durable inning eater and a #3 SP on a very good team:

Comparisons:
He reminds me of a cross between Aaron Harang and Sidney Ponson (don’t worry, more towards a less dominating Aaron Harang).

Stats:

He got off to an outstanding start this year, 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA with a 5:1 K to walk ratio.
However, the wins where against Minnesota, Indiana State, and TCU.

Lynn dominated rival Miss. State March 14 to improve to 4-0. Striking out 7 in 6 innings while giving up 4 hits and 0 runs.

After 11 starts, Lynn has a 3.51 ERA and a 77:21 K:B ratio. He has given up 9 HR in in 55 innings. 1 every 6 innings is not very good and indicates less than dominating stuff.

In 25 innings with Team USA this summer- he had 26 Ks and a .136 BAA to go with a 1.80 ERA

Draft:

He is a real wild card to me in the draft, because he could sneak up and be a “slot sign” for a team like the Brewers or Padres in the 1st round. There are probably 20 more guys with higher upsides than him, but when you factor in money, and experience I think he is a better bet than some of the other high school LHP that will be taken at the end of the first round.