Last week, I took a look at some of the hitters taken in the early portion of the first round of last year’s amateur draft. Today, I’m going to repeat this exercise for pitchers, and examine the first eight arms taken in last year’s first round. I’m going to skip over last year’s first-overall pick, Brady Aiken, who wound up not signing with the Houston Astros due to a dispute centered around an issue with his elbow.
At this point, most of these players have something close to a year’s worth of games under their belts. Obviously, all these players are very early on in their respective careers, and still have plenty of developing left to do. Their futures are far from set in stone. Still, their stats from the last calendar year should be able to give us a general sense of how good they are now and, by extension, how good they might ultimately become.
Tyler Kolek, RHP (Profile)
Team: Miami Marlins Age: 19
Stats: 4.65 ERA, 4.28 FIP between R, A
Kolek came with a lot of hype when the Marlins selected him seconf overall. He was tall, athletic, his fastball touched 100 and he had an impressive curveball, as well. Yet, despite his blazing stuff, he’s endured a rough transition to pro ball. Kolek held his own in Rookie-ball last year, where he pitched to a 3.92 FIP with an 18% strikeout rate. However, he’s really scuffled this year following a promotion to Low-A.
The most disappointing part of Kolek’s 2015 has been his lack of strikeouts. His strikeout rate currently sits at 16% — well below the South Atlantic League average of 20%. His 12% walk rate is also worse than his league’s average. At 19, there’s still plenty of time for Kolek’s performance to catch up with his stuff, but the early returns haven’t been what many had hoped for.
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