By Todd Johnson
To date, the draft profile series has looked at seven prep players and one junior college pitcher. We looked at some shortstops, a couple of outfielders, two pitchers, and a pitcher/catcher. With two picks in the top 31, over the next two months, eight more players will get their baseball resumes examined to see if they are deemed worthy of being selected by the Chicago Cubs.
This Week’s Profile
Colton Hock – Stanford University
6’5” and 220 pounds
“He checks all the right boxes.”
I know it sounds like a silly phrase, but it is really not. For Colton Hock, he pretty much fits the mold of a Jason McLeod type pitcher. He’s a closer who is now transforming into a starter which means his arm has low mileage. He has a big frame at 6’5” and 220 pounds. He exceeded expectations in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2016 as a starter. And, he is coming into his junior season with high expectations in his new role. The only thing missing from his profile that McLeod likes is USA Baseball experience
There is still a lot of volatility in the top of the draft. Hock could be one of those fast risers or fallers depending upon his spring season. If Hock has a good season at Stanford, his own stock moves sharply up into the first round. I think the Cubs have an eye on him already just based upon his work in the Cape Cod League.
Areas of Concern:
Experience as a starter
Going deep into games
In the video, you get a nice look at how athletic he is but he does require effort in his delivery. This results in some inconsistencies with his command. You can also see the snap and potential on the curve. He looks pretty good with his over the top delivery. There’s a lot there to work with.
What Others Say
Teddy Cahill – Baseball America
Hock excited scouts this summer with his combination of velocity, stuff, and size. His fastball typically sat in the low 90s and he ran it up to 95 mph. He paired his fastball with a hard curveball that generated swings-and-misses when he located them, although he allowed 41 hits in 37 innings during a 1-4, 3.44 summer. His changeup made strides over the summer and gives him a third promising offering. Hock is listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and largely pitched around the zone, though his command will need further refinement.
What I like most about him is that he is still coming into his own as a pitcher, or, in new terminology, he’s “ASCENDING.” He has all the prerequisites needed to do well at the major-league level. His size, his inexperience at starting, and his experience in pressure situations make him a valuable commodity because his arm doesn’t have the wear and tear yet his body is used to the pressure. That makes him an asset with a much higher ceiling than floor. That’s something of a gamble.
Here’s the thing…
Even if he has a mediocre or poor season this spring, the talent is still there. So, the value to develop his talent is still the big draw. Whether it happens at Stanford or in the minors doesn’t matter. Only his talent does.
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