Right-handed pitchers with four quality pitches are hard to find. One lucky team will be blessed on draft day with the lanky Griffin Canning out of the University of California at Los Angeles.
Griffin Canning 2017 Draft Profile
Standing 6’3″ and weighing a waif-like 175, Canning is an undersized pitcher. He played his high school ball in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. The Colorado Rockies drafted Canning in the 38th round of the 2014 draft. He opted to head to college where he has developed into the Ace of the UCLA Bruins squad. In his senior season, Canning has a record of 6-3 in 15 starts with an ERA of 2.55. His season WHIP is a minuscule 1.08, and he has punished hitters having 124 strikeouts compared to 28 walks.
Canning’s velocity sits in the low 90s with the ability to touch 95 MPH on occasion. His change-up and his curveball are rated as plus pitches and have the potential to develop nicely. He also possesses an average to above-average slider. He may develop an extra mile or two on his fastball. The fastball does play faster because of his ability to deliver a change-up with the same movement as the fastball. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has improved during his last year in college. Opponents hit five home runs off him this season giving him a home run per nine innings ratio of 0.44. BaseballCube rates his durability as 100, and he also owns a rating of 97 in walks allowed and k/walk percentage.
Canning’s one issue appears to be his control. He has thrown seven wild pitches in 15 games this year with 16 wild pitches over the course of his career at UCLA. With a fastball that currently maxes out at 95, he does not have the overpowering stuff to deal with elite hitters if his control and placement issues do not improve.
Griffin has the potential to play similar to a soft throwing Kyle Hendricks.