Height/Weight: 6’4”/195 lbs
High School: Lakewood (Calif.)
College Commitment: USC
One of the top prep right-handers in the state of California, Shane Watson’s fastball sits 91-94 mph and scrapes 95. Given the right-hander’s frame, I think that he’ll add a few ticks in the future and consistently sit in the mid-90s once he develops.
His curveball is easily his best pitch, a 12-to-6 downer that already receives a plus grade. He also throws a changeup, though he noticeably lacks a feel for it at times and struggles to throw it with consistent speed differential.
Oddly, Watson pitches from the extreme third-base side of the rubber, which gives hitters an unusual look at each of his pitches. The setup especially aids the deceptiveness of his fastball-curveball mix, as he throws everything from basically the same three-quarters arm slot. At the same time, he drills too many right-handed hitters due to the late, tailing action on his fastball.
Like most prep pitchers, Watson will need sufficient time in the minor leagues (or USC) to refine his mechanics and secondary pitches. But once he does, we could see him in the major leagues at some point in late 2015.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!