MLB Draft Primer: The 2016 College Pitchers

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB Draft: Georgia Bulldogs
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Robert Tyler is the ace of the Georgia Bulldogs. He is six-foot-four and 215 pounds. With that he is projected by as the number 29 rated player in the draft.  If you look at mock drafts you will see him going around 25.  Tyler was considered the top pitcher in the state of Georgia in 2013.  He could have joined Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier as top prospects to come out of the state.  However, he had no intention on signing with an MLB and wanted to honor his commitment to the University of Georgia.  This may have helped him.

At Georgia he has blossomed into a potential first round pick.  What makes him so intriguing to teams?  He may have the best fastball out of all starting college pitchers who will be in the draft. On MLB Pipeline’s 80 scout his fastball ranks as a 70. The thing about Tyler’s fastball is he has good command of it as well.  He can place it by taking a little off, but he can also ramp it up when he feels the need to. He normally sits about 93-95 miles per hour, but while pitching for Team USA he hit 99 miles per hour.

The Bulldog also throws three other pitches. Like Quantrill, his change-up seems to be advanced.  Scouting reports suggest that it has good speed and good movement.  The biggest thing with his change-up will be his ability to consistently command it.  Tyler also throws a plus curve-ball that he throws relatively hard and has a sharp break to it.  His worst pitch is his slider, he does not have good command or movement on it.  He will not need that pitch to succeed.

The biggest issue with Tyler is he may project better as a bullpen arm.  He does not do a great job of repeating his mechanics.  However, that would be far down the line.  With his power arm and front end of the rotation build teams will give him every opportunity to start.  As stated above, worst case he ends up throwing 99 miles per hour of the bullpen which would be okay too.

The Bulldogs only got six starts out of their top pitcher in 2015.  Tyler had forearm tightness and so the staff at Georgia decided to shut him down rather than risk anything further.  So far this year he has not had any trouble with health.  He has made all eleven of his schedules starts thus far and has posted good results with a strong 3.34 ERA and raking up 76 strikeouts in 59 innings.

In Tylers’ career he has always been a strikeout guy, which makes sense with his fastball.  Over 32 games (29 starts) he has a 10-9 record with a 3.29 ERA.  His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 169/67 or 2.52.  He also has done a fantastic job of limiting base runners boasting a WHIP of 1.15.

As I said above, Tyler could end up in the bullpen in the major leagues.  However, if there is one major league organization that will successfully work with him as a starter and on learning to repeat his mechanics it would be the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Pirates try to stick with talented arms as starters as long as possible.  Tony Watson and Justin Wilson both were starters for most of their minor league careers.  If the Pirates like the repertoire that Robert Tyler brings as a pitcher they may feel it will be worth the staff’s to grab him at number 22.

Next: Safe Pick from Vandy? Maybe Not!