Dustin Driver: Prospect Profile for Oakland Athletics' 7th-Round Pick
Player: Dustin Driver
Drafted by: Oakland Athletics (No. 221 overall)
DOB: 10/11/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/210 lbs
School: Wenatchee HS (Washington)
College Commitment: UCLA
Driver has the frame and present stuff to be one of the best high school pitchers in this class. He is aggressive and unafraid to challenge hitters, which is something that most young pitchers have to learn.
After shining on the summer showcase circuit last year, Driver is still learning to pitch and harness his secondary stuff. But he has shown more than enough stuff throughout the last 12 months to warrant a selection in the first five rounds.
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.
Strong frame already; lacks projection with frame, which is already filled out; not likely to add velocity; delivery and mechanics are solid; takes good stride to the plate, solid power through lower half; over-the-top angle; arm can drag behind the rest of his body at times.
Heater is likely to be fringe-average offering at peak; already flashes average velocity, usually between 89-93 right now; not going to add much, if any, speed to it thanks to body being filled out; lacks significant movement, can be straight and very hittable since command is inconsistent.
Worst pitch in arsenal; would be able to succeed with three pitches and ditching the curve altogether; little command of the pitch at present, leading to inconsistent shape and no significant depth; could become fringe offering with experience, though not enough projection to be a weapon in the pros.
Solid slider with some projection; velocity is solid, though not elite; pitch doesn't show consistent tilt and break right now due to control problems; when it is on, will look like an average offering; needs to throw pitch more to get better feel for it.
Has solid feel for the changeup already; still doesn't control it consistently, leading to pitch flattening out and catching a lot more barrels than you would like; given arm speed and fade on the pitch, should be above average at peak.
Doesn't throw any pitch for strikes consistently right now; fastball is best offering, but control tends to fade in and out; given upside of heater, slider and changeup, as well as overall quality of delivery, easy to project average control in the future.
Has strong feel for only two pitches; will need to find release point for breaking ball to improve command; good poise and presence on the mound, as well as aggressive approach, make him strong candidate to improve in the future.
MLB Player Comparison: Mike Leake
Projection: No. 3 starter in first-division rotation, or quality back-end reliever.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 55%
Driver could be an intriguing arm for a team to reach on earlier than anticipated because his fastball and slider are solid offerings, but he lacks the kind of projection you want from a high schooler and his control is so spotty he could be pushed into the fourth- or fifth-round mix.
Given that Driver has a commitment to UCLA, a very good school for developing pitchers, he could forgo the pros this year and come back in three years with a chance to go much higher.
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