In just one month, the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft will take place. It will be on July 11, 2021, and will coincide with the All-Star Game on July 13th in Denver Colorado. One player to keep an eye on is pitcher Ben Kudrna. He is a tall righty out of Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas. Even though he has a verbal commitment to LSU, teams are still interested in the 41st-best draft prospect, according to MLB.com. Here is a draft profile of right-handed pitcher Ben Kudrna.
One of the things that makes Kudrna stand out is his clean delivery to the plate. The six foot, three inch, 189 pound right-hander has a good build to him. His fastball tops out at 93 miles per hour, with a good changeup to go along with it. Another pitch that he has in his arsenal is his slider, which he is still working on. It has a short break, but Ben Kudrna is the type of pitcher that is always improving whether he needs to or not. The ball really comes out of his hand easily. He also gets out front well. He looks to be well beyond his years as he is already showing that he can work in and out with his fastball. Even seasoned major league veterans have trouble with that at times.
Ben Kudrna’s main weakness is his velocity. As of now, he is in the 93-94 mph range. That might get higher with age, work, and experience. After all, not many enter college or the draft throwing 98 mph. It just doesn’t happen. Everyone needs work, whether they want to admit it or not. Another improvement that he needs to make is with his slider. As of now, it just does not have very much break to it. Hitters are going to adjust to it very quickly. The best way to keep them on their toes is to make this pitch as unpredictable as possible. Whether he goes to college or to the pros, he will still need to work on these things. It would also help if he put on a little bit more muscle as well. That could help with his velocity.
As far as a major league baseball comparison, you could compare Ben Kudrna to right-hander Dane Dunning of the Texas Rangers. Dunning stands tall as well at six feet, four inches. Unlike Kudrna however, Dunning features a cut fastball and a curveball to round out his arsenal of fastball, slider, and changeup. The comparison is quite visible in both of their fastballs. They both throw 92 to 94 mph, and their deliveries are very smooth as well. Much like Kudrna, Dunning’s slider doesn’t have very much break on it, but it will improve with time and work. They both do a very nice job of mixing up their pitches also. It looks like Ben Kudrna has a bright future ahead of him. July 11th will be here before we know it.
Players Mentioned: Dane Dunning
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