Commentary

Statistical red flags in MLB draft

Even the top college prospects have some holes in their games

Updated: June 1, 2011, 3:38 PM ET
By Jeff Sackmann | College Splits
Trevor BauerUCLA AthleticsTrevor Bauer's heavy workload will force teams to think twice about drafting him.

By the time a player has logged two or three college seasons and a summer or two in the Cape Cod League, scouts have had plenty of opportunity to evaluate him. Come draft day, teams have a good idea of what they're getting, but not all of it is good. Even the best amateurs in the nation have gaps in their game -- dimensions that haven't developed, inexplicable lapses in performance or fundamental flaws that could limit a player's potential later on. This year's college crop is a great one, especially on the mound. Still, no one in the first-round crop is perfect. Here is a glimpse at some red flags that could hold back some of this year's top picks.

Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA
Bauer's statistical profile is bulletproof -- he has a 1.27 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings. The downside: He finishes what he starts, no matter how many pitches it takes. He hasn't yet shown any signs of wear, shutting out Arizona State with 133 pitches on Saturday, but his workload is alarming, as he has thrown nine complete games. There are precedents: Justin Verlander and Tim Lincecum both withstood plenty of 120-plus pitch outings in college and went on to professional success. But even those two didn't go as long, as frequently, as Bauer has. Maybe he is one of the rare hurlers who can hold up to the workload of 130 pitches every time out. But for a pitcher from a major program in the 21st century, we're operating in uncharted territory.


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