We’ll start by learning a little about a left-handed pitcher who could be taken with the first overall pick in the draft, Brady Aiken. Of course, as we have seen in previous years, the top of the draft doesn’t always go as expected, so let’s get to know Aiken today.
Who is this guy?
Brady Aiken is a 6-4, 205 pound left-hander from San Diego, California. A year ago, he teamed with 2013 Minnesota Twins fourth-round pick Stephen Gonsalves atop a very formidable rotation at Cathedral Catholic High School.
Gonsalves had a lot of great things to say about Aiken when he was a guest on the Twins Hangouts two weeks ago. “I knew the talent was there. I told him he was going to be a first-rounder. Definitely did not see him humping up five miles per hour over the winter since I’ve seen him. But that kid works hard. Hardest working kid I’ve ever seen. He’s only 17 years old, bigger than me. He’s been like a little brother to me. I hang out with him every day during the offseason.”
Aiken has already committed to pitching for the Bruins of UCLA, but a multi-million dollar signing bonus would give him the incentive to sign.
Gonsalves continued, “I tell him to get ready for the draft. He was always telling me, ‘Nah, I’m going to UCLA, man!’ (in a) totally joking manner. He’s going to be the top guy, top five definitely.”
Why the Twins will pick him
Most likely the Twins would love to be able to pick Aiken. First, he has put up some impressive numbers in his high school career. As a sophomore, he went 6-1 with a 1.32 ERA. He struck out 89 and walked just 18 in 47.2 innings. As a junior, he was 5-3 with a 0.92 ERA. He struck out 80 and walked 25 in 53.1 innings. This year, he was 6-0 with a 0.86 ERA in 48.2 innings. He walked just 11 and struck out 86.
Aiken has very good control and command of three pitches that have the potential to be above average big league pitches. His fastball sits between 92 and 94 mph and occasionally has hit 97. He gets a lot of movement with the pitch. He also has a very good curveball and a very good changeup.
Why the Twins will not pick him
The only reason not to take Brady Aiken with the fifth overall pick is because he will likely have been taken with one of the top three picks, and maybe even the first overall pick. Simply, the Twins won’t be able to pick Aiken because he won’t be available by the time the fifth pick comes around.
I wish I had another reason. I don’t, other than the inherent risk in projecting where every single player will be drafted.
A quick reminder that tomorrow, Jeremy Nygaard will be posting his MLB Mock Draft First Round Version 2.0. You’ll definitely want to see how it has changed from last week.