- Full name John Edward Lannan
- Born 09/27/1984 in Long Beach, NY
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Siena
- Debut 07/26/2007
Drafted in the 11th round (324th overall) by the Washington Nationals in 2005.
View Draft ReportSix-foot-5 LHP John Lannan enjoyed a strong 2005 season, going 10-2, 2.29 while striking out 83 in 83 innings. But his fastball topped out at only 88 mph and scouts question whether his delivery will allow him to add velocity. He commands his changeup to both sides of the plate, but has no real breaking pitch as he struggles to spin a curveball.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Nationals hoped Lannan would be a late-blooming Northern arm who would take off in pro ball, and he developed even quicker than they could imagine, going a combined 12-3, 2.31 over three minor league stops in 2007 en route to the organization's minor league pitcher of the year award. He even broke into Washington's rotation, settling down after hitting Chase Utley and Ryan Howard with pitches in his first big league outing, resulting in a broken hand for Utley and an ejection for Lannan. The Nationals shut him down in September as a precaution because his 160 innings were 22 more than his previous season high. Lannan, who has spent the last three offseasons working with former big leaguer Paul Gibson (the father of former Nats lefty Glenn Gibson, who was traded to the Rays), has trained hard to add strength to his wiry frame. As a result his high-80s fastball can touch 90-91 at times. Last year, he added a sinking two-seamer that's very effective against righthanders, and he commands both fastballs well to both sides of the plate. He throws his changeup for strikes, and it projects as an average pitch. His curveball remains below average, but it's not as loopy as it used to be. He still needs to develop both of his secondary pitches, but his feel for pitching and competitiveness give him a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter in Washington out of spring training in 2008.
A native of Long Beach, N.Y., Lannan is a classic late-blooming Northern pitcher. He dominated as a starter his junior year at Siena, going 10-2, 2.29 with 83 strikeouts in 83 innings, but he fell to the 11th round of the 2005 draft because his fastball topped out at 88 mph. He added strength to his wiry frame in the offseason, and his velocity increased as a result. Lannan pitched at 89-91 mph for low Class A Savannah in 2006, touching 93. He also improved his mid-70s curveball, which was rather loopy in 2005 but showed good break and depth in 2006. Lannan's best pitch is a plus changeup in the low 80s that he commands to both sides of the plate. After posting a 1.61 ERA in April, he struggled with his command in the middle of the season before regrouping over the final two months, and he'll have to learn to avoid the big inning. He needs to sharpen his curveball and add strength, but projectable lefthanders capable of throwing three average or better pitches are hard to find. Lannan has a chance to be a No. 3 or 4 starter in the big leagues, and he'll open 2007 at high Class A.