For the past two MLB Drafts, the San Jacinto College-North Gators had 13 of their players go to the draft. In the 2019 draft, Jackson Rutledge was chosen 17th overall in the first round. For the 2020 Draft, junior Brandon Birdsell will be declaring for it again.
Brandon Birdsell MLB Draft Profile
A native of Willis, Texas, Birdsell is a right-handed pitcher that recently graduated from San Jacinto College-North in Pasadena, TX. He is listed at 6’2″ and weighs 210 pounds.
Prior to San Jacinto, Birdsell began his collegiate career as a freshman at Texas A&M University. He went 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and eight strikeouts with the Aggies before transferring to San Jacinto.
Birdsell finished his sophomore campaign with the Gators going 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA and 45 strikeouts in six appearances (all starts). He helped the Gators to a 21-6 overall record with a 12-0 record in conference.
According to MLB.com, Birdsell is currently ranked at 97 of the MLB Top 200 Prospects.
Birdsell was chosen in the 39th round (1,182 pick) of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros while he was with Texas A&M. Yet Birdsell decided to forgo joining the Astros and decided to continue playing college ball by transferring to San Jacinto. This will be his second time in the draft.
Birdsell’s style of pitching is from a three-quarters arm slot release, and consist of six pitches. His fastball is his biggest strength reaching the low 90s before reaching 94-95. It did peak at 97 in his final start of the season with San Jacinto.
He also throws a changeup, curveball, cutter, slider, and a slurve. His slider and cutter can reach the mid 80s, while his power slurve goes in the low 80s.
Physically, Birdsell has a strong frame and low-effort delivery to provide plenty of strikes.
During his time in high school, Birdsell’s fastball reached the low 90s but blew out his elbow in his sophomore year. He received Tommy John surgery and did not play his junior year. This could be played as a negative for him.
Birdsell could have been chosen in the top 10 rounds in the 2018 MLB Draft. The push to go to Texas A&M dropped his chances.
Birdsell’s changeup is average with some fade yet is not used often due to the lack of confidence and consistency. It can improve with more strength.
In high school, his breaking balls were loopy, but they do not show much spin at Texas A&M.
Based on his pitch release, Brandon Birdsell can be compared to Greg Maddux. Maddux‘s velocity in his pitching diminished after leaving the Atlanta Braves, but his pitch accuracy was effective. Birdsell has more consistency with his release of the pitch, yet that will likely lean him towards being in relief with an occasional start.
Birdsell will still commit to continue playing collegiate baseball at Texas Tech University this fall if he is not selected in this year’s draft. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Texas Tech finished last season 16-3 with their season cut short. Although they have made it to the College World Series four times (’14, ’16, ’18 and ’19), the Red Raiders have not won one yet.
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