It’s about that time of year when every team around Major League Baseball is looking to restock their farm system and attempt to draft their city’s next star. That’s right, it’s almost time for the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft. With the increasing emphasis on drafting highly touted pitchers, teams in this year’s MLB Draft will be looking to stock up their farms with the best pitching prospects available. One of those pitching prospects expected to go in the middle of the first round is right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone.
Brennan Malone 2019 MLB Draft Profile
Malone comes into the draft as one of the hardest throwing and highest acclaimed pitching prospects in the 2019 class. The young 18-year-old pitcher showed his dominance in multiple events over the past spring, including an impressive complete-game shutout for IMG Academy in early April at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational. The young prospect stands out on top of the mound with a tenacious body, listed at 6’3″ 203 lbs.
Malone has received plenty of attention from scouts and media. As a result, he is listed as the 20th-best prospect, according to MLB.com. He is also projected to be drafted in the first round by the Atlanta Braves as the 21st pick in a recent CBS Sports Mock Draft.
Malone is known for his explosive fastball, receiving a 65 grade per MLB.com, but he isn’t just a one-trick pony. He possesses four stable pitches, including a dynamic slider, considered to be a true out-pitch. Additionally, Malone features a change-up and curveball. He struggles with these two pitches at times, but it’s been said that his change-up has good arm speed and some fading action. Plus, he can throw both pitches for strikes. Considering that Malone is only 18, these pitches should develop and be a useful complement to his fastball.
Malone’s athleticism, coupled with a smooth, quick arm action, results in one of the best fastballs in the 2019 high school class. According to PerfectGame.org, Malone’s fastball topped out at 97 mph — well above the class average of 82 mph. Many, including Baseball America writer Carlos Collazo, believe that Malone’s fastball will touch 100 mph in the near-future. One trait that is intriguing about Malone is his ability to work deep in games and maintain his pitch speed. Despite sitting at 96-97 mph on his fastball, Malone has been able to continue his high velocity late in games.
If there is one fundamental weakness in Malone’s game, it is his lack of command — and it isn’t even that bad, receiving a 50 grade from MLB.com. Struggling with control is frequently the case for young, hard-throwing pitchers. However, once Malone matures, he should start controlling the zone more often than not.
A good comparison for Malone is Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. These two might not be very similar in size, with Stroman listed at 5’7″, 180 lbs., but the two relate to similar approaches on the mound. Both Stroman and Malone pitch with a quick and easy pitching motion accompanied by a devastating wipe-out slider.
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