Player: Ryan Eades
Drafted by: Minnesota Twins (No. 43 Overall)
DOB: 12/15/1991 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/198 lbs
Previously Drafted: 2010, 19th round by Colorado Rockies
A three-year starter at LSU, Ryan Eades entered the 2013 draft with a chance to be the first pitcher taken from an SEC school. He exploded onto the scene in Baton Rouge right away, with a respectable 4.81 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 43 innings.
He was named 2011 Cape Cod League Pitcher of the Year with a 0.83 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.
Eades' breakout season came as a sophomore in 2012. The right-hander showed improved stuff across the board, with a good three-pitch mix and control, leading to a career-best 94 innings pitched.
Working behind Aaron Nola this season, Eades had the most strikeouts and highest ERA of his LSU career. His stuff has maxed out, looking more average than plus, but his ability to mix pitches and control everything could make him a quick mover.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Good deception in delivery by bringing the ball behind his body longer than normal; big arm swing leads to some command issues, though it also helps him to hide the ball; some effort and stiffness, though has never battled a serious injury during his time at LSU; stays on line to the plate and has effective control with all his pitches.
Heater has above-average velocity at 91-93, touching 94, but is very true and Eades pitches with it up in the zone a little too often; command is spotty; control is average and deception allows the pitch to miss bats; will have to fool big league hitters with deception in order to succeed by pitching off the fastball.
Breaking ball is his worst pitch right now; doesn't break like it should right now, looking more like a slurve in the 77-80 mph range; will have to find consistent release point and finish in order for the pitch to be big league average.
Easily his most effective weapon right now and in the future; excellent feel for the pitch and good movement in the zone; sits around 79-82 and arm speed gives it great deception; tends to pitch off the changeup, which could make it easier for pro hitters to sit on.
Delivery makes it more difficult to throw strikes, but because Eades hides the ball so well, he can generate swings and misses or weak contact; arm gets a little stiff after planting front leg, leading to the ball sailing on him; control of fastball has to improve in order to reach ultimate ceiling; changeup can be thrown in any situation for strikes.
Unable to spot the ball where he wants to consistently right now; gets college hitters out with deception; professional hitters will not chase the same stuff; could move to the bullpen, add one-two mph to his fastball and ditch the curveball to pitch late in games if command doesn't improve.
MLB Player Comparison: Alex Cobb
Projection: No. 4 starter on a first-division playoff team. No. 3 starter on a second-division team. Low ceiling, good floor.
MLB ETA: 2015
Chances of Signing: 85%
Eades has seen his stock rise thanks in large part to a weak draft class this season. By returning to school for his senior season, he would just be opening himself up to more scrutiny and criticism next year.
Considering Eades' stuff isn't going to improve—at least the velocity—and there are questions about his delivery, he should take advantage of this moment and get into professional baseball with coaches able to work with him to improve a few mechanical flaws he has.