Major league scouts won’t be able to resist the incredible fastball that Nate Pearson has. Pearson is making a legitimate push to become a first round selection.
Nate Pearson 2017 MLB Draft Profile
Nate is a 6’6″, 240-pound right-handed hurler pitching for Central Florida Junior College. Nate Pearson’s draft stock has risen as quickly as he throws his fastball. Ranked 62nd on Baseball America’s Top-100 MLB Draft Prospects list in March, he has since climbed up 30 spots to number 32. Pearson is an enticing choice for teams in the first round. Never drafted before, Pearson is committed to play for LSU this upcoming season, but it will be interesting to see if he plays one minute for the Tigers.
The most obvious strength that Pearson possesses is his fastball. The 21-year-old is averaging upper 90s with his fastball, and he was clocked recently throwing 101 MPH. Nate utilizes an arsenal of four pitches (fastball, changeup, slider, curveball) to keep hitters off balance at the plate. During his last year with Central Florida JC, in 13 games started Pearson went 5-2 in 81.0 innings pitched with 118 strikeouts versus only 23 walks, and a 1.56 ERA.
Pearson also has an incredibly intimidating body frame. Standing at 6’6″ 240 lbs, he looks like a man amongst boys on the diamond. At 21, he also comes into the draft with a sense of maturity as well as higher level of development than some of the more upper-echelon raw talent that is being scouted.
Combine all of these important factors together, and you’ve got one of the most MLB-ready prospects in the draft.
As with most hard hurlers, Pearson has trouble at times establishing elite command with his off-speed pitches. His slider and curveball begin to blend together at times, and his changeup lacks movement in certain outings. If Pearson is unable to develop some form of consistency with his secondary pitches, starting may not be an option for him, relegating him to the bullpen.
Also, health and durability may be of concern to some scouts and teams, as Pearson had a screw inserted in his throwing elbow during his high school years. At this point, however, there are no signs to indicate that this should be of concern.