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The Bard’s Take: 2017 MLB Draft - Alex Faedo

Profiling one of the two best pitchers with a strong chance of falling to Arizona.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida vs Texas Tech Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Alex Faedo

Age: 21 (November 12, 1995)

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 225 lbs.

Position: RHP

Affiliation: Florida

At this point last season, many felt Alex Faedo would be the best college pitcher available in the draft. Then a pair of knee surgeries and a rough start to this season created some haziness with regard to his draft future. Then he got things going against Miami, and didn’t look back until the final game of the regular season, where he once again received some ugly results. He has since followed that up with another strong outing in postseason tournament play though.

Grades: (Present/Future)

Fastball: 60/70 | Slider: 60/70 | Changeup: 50/60 | Control: 50/55 | Overall: 60

The Scouting Report:

Faedo finds his biggest success when he is able to consistently pound the zone. After showing an exceptional ability to avoid walking batters as a sophomore, Faedo has taken a small step back in this regard. What scouts feel the reason for that is will go a long way towards determining where he is eventually drafted. Faedo’s trademark is his command. He loves to fill the zone and challenge hitters, often pitching in reverse – starting the hitters off with his slider, or even his change, to keep them off balance. This has helped him to limit walks, but has also resulted in him occasionally having bouts with giving up hits in bunches. If or when he fatigues late in games, he tends to lose some of his command to his glove side as he begins to fall off the mound to that side a bit heavier. Faedo’s best pitch is a low 90s fastball that sits 91-94 (mostly around 93) with both good arm-side movement and sink. When he reaches back, he is able to hit 96. His slider (arguably the best in the draft) is, putting it mildly, a downright filthy offering that he generates a ton of swing and miss with. Throwing it in the mid-80s, his success with this pitch has incentivized him to use it substantially more than many scouts would like to see, and it has come at the expense of his change. His change remains a decent pitch, but he will need to refine the use of it some and get more consistent with his velocity. At worst, his change should be reliably average. As for Faedo’s mechanics, he delivers all three of his pitches from a similar release point, helping him to disguise his offerings and make all three play up. His delivery is almost effortless. He pitches from a three-quarters arm slot and has a low leg kick. This approach of almost pitching from the stretch has helped his delivery times, and allowed him to show great control over his sizeable frame.

The Take:

That Faedo is considered by many now to be the fourth best college pitcher in the draft says more about the other arms ahead of him than it does about Faedo falling off from his best-in-class pre-season perch. The range of outcomes for Faedo is pretty narrow. He will develop into something between a back-end starter and a #2, with most scouts projecting him as a reliable #3 starter with rapid advancement. With little, if any, physical development left, Faedo should reach the majors in short order. A cerebral pitcher with great physical tools, he could be a big league mainstay as soon as 2019, though Florida’s continued success in this year’s college posteseason could limit the amount of innings he has left in him for 2017. Even if for some reason Faedo fails to refine his pitches enough to stick as a starter, he has the current offerings to be an effective reliever with a strong ability to miss bats. Of course, this all assumes that no one wants to tinker much with what is already working.

For many, Faedo rates as the best pitching prospect the Diamondbacks have a strong chance of drafting. I still rate him behind J.B. Bukauskas, but it is difficult to see a scenario in which both of them are still available at number seven, meaning that if Faedo is available, he’s a pretty easy choice if Arizona is in the market for medium-high upside, low risk pitching.

Chances of Alex Faedo falling to number seven: Good

Chances Alex Faedo signs if selected by Arizona: Excellent