Here I will profile three pitchers that were selected out of college in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft:
Mason Melotakis-Minnesota Twins
Mason Melotakis was the first pitcher selected in the 2nd round in the 2012 draft. The Minnesota Twins drafted the lefty out of the Northwestern State University in Louisiana where he had a 3.68 ERA in 127 innings, mainly as a reliever. His strikeout rate improved each year, wasn’t overwhelming, but he counteracted it with a low walk rate.
The Twins have been using him as a reliever and he has been effective, with a 2.87 FIP and 1.96 SIERA over two different levels. He hasn’t been walking hardly anyone (with a BB% just over 6) and has been striking out everyone (34.3 K%).
The lefty has a hip turn and a somewhat funky delivery. He brings his hands and glove above his head and it brings him a real easy looking 93-95 MPH fastball. It has a little bit of tail and he missed some bats. The deception probably helps, but he was missing a lot to glove side. He is very fastball heavy, but Melotakis also has a changeup with quite a bit of movement. It really should be a solid pitch, especially if he learns to command it.
He had some release point and general command issues when I saw him. The delivery could be an issue, but as I was watching James Shields later on, I realized that the two deliveries are somewhat similar (of course they are different hands, but you get the point). Since he was only using two pitches (mainly the fastball), it seems that his future is in the bullpen. I saw him face all righties, and he handled them pretty well, though he was not overpowering.
Sam Selman-Kansas City Royals
The Royals drafted Sam Selman out of Vanderbilt three picks after the Twins drafted Melotakis. Selman is another left-handed pitcher, but he comes somewhat over the top.
Selman also doesn’t have the fastball Melotakis has and sits about 89-91 MPH. He misses a lot to his arm side with it. However, he is a starter which is usually more valuable than a reliever (a good starter is better than a great reliever etc.). In 60.1 innings in the Pioneer League after being drafted, he was dominant, with a 1.56 FIP and 1.91 SIERA. He had the whole package statistically, with a big strikeout rate, an average walk rate, a great ground-ball rate, and very few homers.
In the outing I watched, he was hit pretty hard, but did a pretty solid job of keeping the ball low. I could see him as a ground-ball pitcher, though there is some definite swing and miss material in his off-speed pitches.
Selman does rely a lot on these off-speed pitches, a curveball and a changeup. He has some control issues, especially with the change, but the pitch has some good movement and he really likes to throw it like many lefties with sub-optimal velocity (although his velocity is certainly passable).
His curveball breaks slightly in to right-handed hitters with solid break. He will throw it in 2-0 counts and has confidence that he can get it over for a quality strike (it is not a “get me over” curveball). The 3 solid pitches gives you good reason to believe that he can be a back of the rotation starter in the Majors.
Chris Beck-Chicago White Sox
Chris Beck is a RHP drafted by the White Sox in the 2nd round, 76th overall out of Georgia Southern University.
Beck doesn’t have a great fastball, sitting around 92 MPH as a starter (and I saw him in a short stint, where you will usually see pitchers able to throw a little harder). He likes to throw his fastball outside to lefties and inside to righties. He seems to like it up and in against righties, and this doesn’t seem to be a good idea against righties with good swings and bat speed (meaning one could see him getting away with it in the lower minors, only to have problems with it in the upper minors and the Majors). Beck’s off-speed was a reasonably hard changeup that breaks down and into lefties but it did stay up occasionally.
He seems to have a problem putting hitters away. He was really fastball heavy and didn’t show off a 3rd pitch. Out of the 3, Beck was the pitcher that I found the least impressive. In the 40.1 innings he threw in the Pioneer League this year, he was solid, with a 3.27 FIP and 3.74 SIERA. He did a good job of limiting walks, but was slightly below average at getting grounders and was average at getting strikeouts.