Player: Tyler Kolek
Drafted by: Miami Marlins
DOB: 12/15/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 250 lbs
School: Shepherd (Texas) High School
College Commitment: Texas Christian
At 6’5”, 250 pounds and hailing from a small farming town in Texas, Tyler Kolek is epitome of “country strong.”
The Shepherd High School right-hander was starting to make a name for himself as a junior when he suffered a broken left arm during a game while playing first base. Despite missing most of his high school season, Kolek returned to action in June and shot up the draft boards after showcasing a consistent mid-to upper-90s fastball at several scouting events.
Fast forward a year and Kolek’s fastball now sits in the high 90s and routinely eclipses triple digits. The elite velocity proved to be too much for high school hitters this past spring, as the right-hander finished his senior campaign with a 0.35 ERA and 126/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60.1 innings.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Best size in draft class at 6’5”, 250 pounds; workhorse build with surprising athleticism; huge core and lower-half strength; body will require some maintenance and conditioning; powerful delivery with good timing; consistently finishes over his front side and creates enormous extension toward the plate; creates some deception with slight crossfire by working from first-base side of rubber; works on consistent downhill plane; can rush delivery and pull open with front side, especially from the stretch; limited mileage on his arm compared to most prep prospects.
Generates easy elite velocity; doesn’t have to reach back to light up radar gun; consistently 95-97 mph and has bumped triple digits on multiple occasions; two-seamer has good run when he doesn’t overthrow, and it eats up right-handed batters; pitch has natural weight and hard to lift when located down in zone.
Thrown with power in the low 80s; more of a slurve than slider, with big sweeping break; legit swing-and-miss offering when thrown with tight spin and good bite; decent command; he’ll struggle at times to get on top of the pitch, causing it to linger up the zone at a hittable pace; drafting organization should considering teaching him a true curveball—one with a good up-and-down shape to keep opposing hitters off his fastball/slider.
Understandably his most raw offering; seldom used against high school competition; will be vital in his development as a professional; no reason to think it can’t be a serviceable pitch at maturity.
Crossfire in delivery will at times prevent him from repeating his release point; command should improve naturally with a better and more consistent tempo on the mound; tends to rush from the stretch; surprising feel for pitching considering his size and stuff; development of average command could make him a front-of-the-rotation force.
MLB Player Comparison: Josh Beckett
Kolek is best compared to right-hander Josh Beckett at the same age, as he's a country-strong, durable right-hander from Texas with tremendous arm strength and the chance to one day lead a starting rotation.
Projection: No. 1 starter
Major Leagues ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 99 percent
Kolek is going to receive big money as a top-five pick.