Player: Trey Supak
Drafted by: Pittsburgh Pirates
DOB: 5/31/1996 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'5", 210 lbs
School: La Grange (Texas) HS
College Commitment: Houston
Family ties always play a role in any player's decision to attend college or join the professional ranks, especially if the player isn't a first-round talent.
Trey Supak will have a big decision to make after his name gets called on draft day because the University of Houston is a school he knows very well. In addition to growing up in the area, his uncle, Jody Supak, pitched for the school and was a 12th-round pick for the Tigers in 1987.
Supak is the prototypical Texas pitcher in a draft that has many of those guys: tall, hard throwing and projectable. It's a package many teams are going to be coveting on Day 2 of the draft.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
At just 18 years old, Supak is already 6'5", and his frame suggests that more bulk is coming to his 210-pound frame; good news since it likely means more velocity along the way; delivery is full of deception because his arms and legs are so long; works with an overhand release that creates tremendous angle on the ball; straight line to the plate gives him a clean release, and there's minimal stress on the elbow and shoulder.
Supak's fastball already sits in the 89-91 mph range and will get better as his frame fills out; over-the-top release creates excellent downhill plane on the pitch, though it can be offset because the fastball is so straight; has to live down in the zone to succeed because the ball won't miss many barrels without movement.
Despite having good confidence and feel for the curveball, Supak's hook is something of a mess right now; slow, big, loopy pitch that even mediocre minor leaguers will be able to track; must get better arm speed on it, which will give it much better shape to possibly miss a bat or two.
Supak's feel for the changeup is below average, and his inability to throw it with the same arm speed as the fastball makes it easy to pick up; some fading action to it, and he can keep it low in the zone thanks to that arm angle, but a lot will depend on how well the arm action works as he moves up the ladder.
Unlike a lot of pitchers with long limbs, Supak doesn't have problems maintaining a consistent release point on all his pitches; two of those pitches still need a lot of work, but at least there's something to work with; good at throwing the fastball for strikes anywhere on the plate in any count; curveball and changeup knock the control profile down a notch since they aren't quality offerings to throw for strikes.
Despite Supak's ability to throw strikes with the fastball, he does a mediocre job of locating it. That requires him to be extra fine with the pitch, since it lacks any natural run in the zone; curveball and changeup are limited factors in control, so they are nonentities in command; can spin the breaking ball in for strikes but doesn't have the feel to do it consistently.
MLB Player Comparison: Phil Hughes
If there's a definition for a big, tall right-handed pitcher with a straight fastball and loopy curveball, Phil Hughes is the picture right underneath it. He's had some success in recent years by adopting a cutter, but coming up he was primarily a fastball-curveball pitcher who got by with average command. That's the ceiling for Supak in the big leagues, especially if he adds velocity as expected.
Projection: No. 4 starter in first-division rotation
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 60%
Given Supak's large frame and potent fastball, it wouldn't be a surprise in the least to see a team come along with an offer that the right-hander couldn't refuse. But considering how far away he is, not to mention the University of Houston connection, it could take an offer too rich for teams to get him to bypass the college experience.