With the first of their five picks on Day 1 of the MLB Draft the Royals selected Brady Singer of the University of Florida. Teams won’t find many players with the college pedigree of Singer after dominating college baseball for the last two seasons in helping Florida win a national title last season.
BA – Singer’s fastball sits in the low to mid-90s with impressive natural movement and he also has a sharp slider that has been a weapon for him in the past. Singer’s slider can be inconsistent at times, however, because of his low arm slot, which is a point of concern for some evaluators.
Perfect Game – His slider is a pretty fringy pitch in terms of consistency, showing 55 (on the 20-80 scale) early on when he let a few rip, but more consistently in the 45 range as he was content to flip it in for strikes. He’s got very good command of the pitch and is extremely comfortable with it, throwing it frequently in any count against any hitter. It’s effective right now, as he’s able to get swings-and-misses at times with it, but the projection of the pitch is questionable as well as the future effectiveness of it. It has the potential to be an above average pitch, but there’s not much in the way of a vertical break axis, and it’s also not overly sharp. The command and feel for the pitch are both very good, but the overall potential of the pitch as a bat-misser at the Major League level is concerning.
His changeup, quite frankly, was better than his slider in terms of swing-and-miss, generating very good fade on the pitch with excellent deception in the 84-86 mph range. It has a chance to be a real weapon against lefthanded hitters and it’s easy to see how the ever-so-slightly raised arm slot has aided the development of the pitch.
On the whole, Singer is a first round talent that projects to be taken in the middle of the first round right now, and he could go higher than that given his performance history. There’s at least a small chance for Singer to have success at the Major League level as a starting pitcher, but there aren’t many MLB starters with his delivery and arm action, and flipping in a 78 mph slurve for strikes isn’t going to fool MLB hitters as it does college hitters. While he may profile best currently as a late-inning reliever, he will be given ever opportunity to start and has a very special arm to build off of pitching off of his fastball.
At this point, Singer would land at #4 in my Top 25.