With their second first round pick at #28, courtesy of losing Ervin Santana in free agency, the Royals took high-school left-hander Foster Griffin in baseball’s June draft.
Griffin is a tall and lanky (6-5, 190lbs) pitcher from The First Academy in Orlando, Florida who zoomed late in the evaluation process. The 18-year-old dominated in a March National High School Invitational start against Milton High School.
If you’d like to take a look at Griffin in action, click the embedded video below:
Adam Wells of the Bleacher report posted a full scouting report on Foster Griffin. Griffin has a decent fastball that sits in the 88-92 mph range. He has a long arm that will shorten the distance to home plate and make it seem faster than it’s timed velocity.
His secondary pitches are a curve and change-up. The curve can flatten out when he doesn’t get enough spin on it, and the change is thrown with good deception and a similar motion to his fastball.
At his size and lanky weight, scouts think there’s some projectable development that could add velocity as he matures. He’s seen as having a no. 3 starter upside in major-league baseball.
Command is his current biggest challenge to develop into a major league player. Adam Wells at the Bleacher report writes:
Griffin suffers from “tall pitcher-itis,” which is a problem a lot of long-arm hurlers have when you break down their mechanics; can find the strike zone, but when it comes to ball placement, there’s a lot to work on; fastball will stay up too often, changeup gets too firm, and curveball lacks definition because of the arm angle; enough potential there to see command coming along, but it won’t be better than average.
He committed to Ole Miss as a sophomore in 2012, but with his selection in the first round, he’s unlikely to ever step foot on the Mississippi campus.
Foster Griffin is the second left-handed pitcher the Royals have taken in a row (after Brandon Finnegan at no. 17). Dayton Moore seems determined to rebuild the Montgomery/Lamb/Dwyer/Duffy stockpile in the minors.