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School: Santa Barbara High School
Position: Right-Handed Pitcher
Weight: 175 lbs.
Kevin Gowdy 2016 MLB Draft Profile
Don’t let the 18-year-old’s age fool you; this is a front-line starter in the making. Despite his tender years, Kevin Gowdy is already a top-forty prospect on most draft boards, and some have him higher. It doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at his career to see why.
Three years of varsity baseball at Santa Barbara High School have left Gowdy with some head-turning stats. He’s made seventeen appearances on the mound for the Dons, and is 7-2 with a 0.99 ERA, and is 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his senior year. But that’s not even the impressive part.
146 and 19. That second figure is the number of walks he’s issued over his career. The first? His strikeouts. Those totals include his absolutely insane 84 strikeouts to just five walks as a senior. His slider is his punchout pitch and it is already well developed (as is his control), but he needs to add more velocity to his fastball and develop his change-up. The good news is he has the frame and delivery to allow for both.
Gowdy is also already a Wold Champion. He was a member of the USA Baseball 18-Under National Team that took home the gold against Japan in the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup. During the United States’ run though the tournament, Gowdy earned a win over Mexico and turned in an important relief appearance in a comeback over Cuba to get the US to the gold medal game.
- Plus command gives him ability to locate in the strikezone with ease
- Slider is his out pitch; has good drop-off action
- Frame and delivery make it likely that fastball velocity and change-up development will come
- Fastball is fairly flat
- Commitment to UCLA could make him hard to sign
- Fewer than 100 innings pitched in his career means he’s very raw
MLB Comparison: Chis Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays; Corey Kluber, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Projected Pick Range: 24-30 overall
Most Likely Landing Spots: San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers
Gowdy is young and raw. He needs time to grow into his frame and add velocity to his fastball, but those things will come. Once they do, Gowdy is a potential ace, as his slider and command are already well developed. His UCLA commitment may make it hard to sign him, but if he’s drafted high enough he might not be able to pass up the opportunity. Look for him to go in the second half of the first round to a team that needs to develop more pitching talent, such as the Orioles. The Padres should also be in the mix for his services.