With the 2018 MLB Draft quickly approaching, many teams are gearing up to select the player they hope can prosper and turn into a star while leading the team to a World Series title. Teams can find anything from rare gems in the later rounds to busts in the first round. In this Last Word On Baseball Draft Profile, we take an in-depth look at pitcher Griffin Roberts.
Griffin Roberts 2018 MLB Draft Profile
Roberts, a right-handed pitcher, comes into the draft after his junior year out of Wake Forest University. He was previously drafted last year by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round with the 856th overall pick but decided to go back to school to sharpen his game. Now after his junior year, he will likely hear his name called much earlier than when he did last year. He took his talents to the starting rotation for the Demon Deacons in the 2018 season after being previously used as a backend reliever with very good results.
According to the scouting report by MLB Pipeline done on Roberts, he has the best slider of all the college pitchers in this draft class. With that pitch, it can hit the mid-80s and has so much break that many scouts have labeled this as a power curveball. His fastball also has the ability to top out at 97 miles per hour and normally will hit the mid-90s with it. His changeup isn’t one of his most flashy pitches, but it definitely is one of the strongest pitches in his arsenal
The biggest concern with Roberts is his command. There have been worries about whether or not he can maintain his quality pitching over the much longer MLB season. This is especially concerning because of Roberts’ reliance on his best pitch, his slider. With his changeup, it may be average but if a team decides to keep him in the starting rotation, he will need to rely on it quite a bit more.
While Griffin Roberts had a great junior season and took his draft prospects to the next level, he still comes with a slight bit of risk. Teams will have to decide if his command can continue to be as great as it was in college. But his junior year was the year that really put his prospects to light. His record may not have been the greatest at 5-4, but throwing a 3.82 ERA with 130 strikeouts definitely made scouts give him a second glance. And he can still be a reliable reliever if teams want him for that need. In his sophomore year, the year before he made the transition, Roberts struck out 80 batters with a 2.19 ERA.
Look for him to go early in the second round, potentially to the Seattle Mariners with the 54th overall pick. If the Mariners pick him here, there is a very good chance that he continues to be a starting pitcher as that rotation needs some younger pitchers who will be ready to make the jump.
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