Thursday, February 12, 2015

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 17th Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #17 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #17 prospect, Phil Bickford. Bickford is a RHP from the Community College of Southern Nevada. 

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

As a California high school senior in 2013, Bickford took off late in the spring and vaulted not only into the first round, but all the way to the 10th overall pick. He declined to sign with the Blue Jays for reasons that never have been fully explained and made his way to Cal State Fullerton, where his stuff was more pedestrian during his freshman season. It kicked back up again in the Cape Cod League, where scouts voted him the summer circuit's best prospect, prompting him to abruptly transfer to Southern Nevada so he'd be eligible for the 2015 Draft.

After showing an explosive 90-96-mph fastball in 2013, Bickford pitched more at 88-92 last spring. The velocity and life on his heater returned when he pitched in relief in the Cape, as he worked from 93-98 mph and struck out 42 hitters in 27 2/3 innings.

Bickford's slider also improved in the Cape, showing signs of becoming a plus pitch, but he'll have to learn to improve and trust his changeup. He has an athletic delivery and fills the strike zone, so there's no reason not to project him as a starter -- provided he can maintain the stuff he displayed in the Cape when he pitches in a junior college rotation this spring.

17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell 
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)