Player: Bryce Montes de Oca
Drafted by: Chicago White Sox
DOB: 04/23/1996 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’8”, 265 pounds
School: Lawrence HS (Kan.)
College Commitment: Missouri
Bryce Montes de Oca caught the attention of the scouting community in the fall of 2012 at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association World Championship, as the right-hander came out of nowhere to light up the radar guns with his mid-90s fastball. Unfortunately, Montes de Oca went on to blow out his elbow the following spring and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in mid-April.
After a year on the shelf recovering from the surgery, the 6’7” right-hander finally made his return to the mound in April and once again blew up the radar guns with a consistent low- to mid-90s heater. But as expected, Montes de Oca’s workload was limited over the remainder of the season, and he finished his senior season at Lawrence High School with a 1.45 ERA and 30/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19.1 innings.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
6’8”, 265-pound right-hander is a physical monster with a similar presence on the mound; loaded with strength but lacks athleticism; maintaining a healthy weight and body type will be a concern for the duration of his career; delivery involves considerable effort, as he struggles to maintain consistent posture and tends to jerk his head at release; long limbs allow him to generate impressive extension toward the plate; combination of stabbing arm action on the back side and Tommy John surgery in spring of 2013 presents an ongoing concern and will likely factor into his future development.
Throws as hard as his size suggests; fastball registers in the 91-95 mph range with decent sink and arm-side run; topped out at 97 mph this spring; has the potential to add more velocity as he continues to work his way back from surgery.
Inconsistent offering at the present but projects to be above average at maturity; imparts inconsistent spin, as some pitches are tight with good depth and downer action, while others are loose and feature more sweeping action; potential swing-and-miss offering with refinement.
Changeup is present but was rarely used this spring; tends to push the pitch and throw it too firmly; previously showed a decent feel for the pitch with good finish thanks to his extension toward the plate.
Good feel for pitching despite monster frame; mechanics and arm action raise questions about ability to throw strikes as a starter; control profile suggests future bullpen role.
Command will likely always be an issue due to his size, injury history and arm action; projects for decent command of fastball and breaking ball; reliever profile.
MLB Player Comparison: Dellin Betances
Bryce Montes de Oca draws comparisons to Dellin Betances for his physical presence on the mound, fringy command profile and potential to boast two plus pitches at maturity.
Projection: No. 3 or 4 starter/late-inning reliever
Major Leagues ETA: 2018 (starter)/2016 (reliever)
Chances of Signing: 50 percent
Montes de Oca is a draft-day wild card, as the right-hander has already undergone Tommy John surgery and faces legitimate concerns about his durability moving forward. For those same reasons, there’s a realistic chance he honors his commitment to Missouri—which might be best for his overall development anyway—with the hope of improving his stock over the next few years.
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