The Kansas City Royals followed GM Dayton Moore’s mantra that “pitching is the currency of baseball” by selecting 21-year-old lefty Brandon Finnegan at no. 17 in the first round of Thursdays amateur draft.
The 5-11 Brandon Finnegan is hardly the prototype for a pitcher, but his fastball does touch 97 mph to 98 mph, while sitting in the mid-90’s. Finnegan also throws a major-league average slider along with a change-up.
If you’d like to take a peek at Finnegan in action, click on the embedded video below:
Today is not Brandon Finnegan’s first go around with the draft. He was selected 45th overall by the Texas Rangers in 2011, but instead decided to accept a scholarship at TCU. Finnegan, apparently, made the right decision since he has developed into a first-round pick.
Finnegan has an 8-3 record with a 2.07 ERA and 122 K’s in 91.0 innings pitched for the Horned Frogs this season. He is scheduled to start for TCU in Saturday’s Super Regional against Pepperdine.
Matt Garrioch at Minor League Ball.com projects him a #2 or #3 pitcher in the major-leagues, with an outside chance of leading a staff someday. Garrioch is disappointed in the lack of swing-and-miss on Finnegan’s slurve/slider, but considers his arm one of the best in this year’s draft class.
He’s short, has an electric arm and good secondaries. His command needs to improve and his delivery is a bit more complex than I like to see but it adds to his deception. He’s kind of a bulldog on the mound and that always makes me like the player a little bit more. There is a good chance he’s a starter but he could be a reliever if his command doesn’t improve.
In short, Royals GM Dayton Moore continued his recent trend of picking well-developed college players in the early rounds. Let’s hope Finnegan can more quickly and help the big club relatively soon.