- Full name Brooks Lee Raley
- Born 06/29/1988 in San Antonio, TX
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Texas A&M
- Debut 08/07/2012
Drafted in the 6th round (200th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 (signed for $750,000).
View Draft ReportRaley was the best two-way player in college baseball in the first half of the season before dropping off down the stretch. The consensus is that he's better on the mound, where he has command of a diverse array of pitches. He works mainly with an 87-90 mph sinker, a slider and a changeup, and he also has a four-seam fastball that peaks at 93 mph and a curveball. Scouts respect his ability to compete and to command all of his offering, but he doesn't have a true out pitch, which will leave him with little margin for error in pro ball. Though Raley has a clean delivery, they also wonder how well he'll hold up at a wiry 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. He also has potential as a lefthanded-hitting outfielder, though a second-half slump has led to some questions about his bat. He does offer plus-plus speed, a good eye and gap power as a hitter, as well as above-average range and arm strength. Raley plays the outfield corners for Texas A&M, in part to reduce the physical burden of playing both ways, but definitely is capable of playing center field as a pro. A sophomore-eligible, he could be a second- or third-round pick. But he's spooking clubs by not giving them any inkling as to his asking price, so he could last much longer in the draft than his talent would dictate.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Raley was one of college baseball's top two-way players in 2009, when he leveraged his sophomore-eligible status into a $750,000 bonus as a sixth-round pick. Though he could have been drafted as a center fielder/leadoff hitter, teams preferred him on the mound. The biggest knock on Raley was his lack of an out pitch, but the Cubs believe he addressed that by improving his curveball during his first full pro season. Focusing solely on pitching for the first time also helped his sinker, which bumped up a tick or two to 88-92 mph last year. His changeup also got better as Chicago forced him to throw it more often. Raley is extremely athletic and repeats his delivery well, so he has no problem filling the strike zone. His command could stand some improvement, however. He loves to compete and challenges hitters on the inside corner, almost to a fault. Raley had no trouble handling high Class A in his first full pro season, and he'll spend 2011 in Double-A. He has a ceiling of a No. 4 starter.
Though he was a sixth-round pick, Raley received the second-highest bonus among Cubs 2009 draftees, using his extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore to wrangle a $750,000 bonus. His talent should have placed him in the second or third round, but clubs couldn't get a handle on his signability before the draft. He was one of college baseball's best two-way players and would have drawn interest as a center fielder/leadoff hitter had it been his lone role. Teams preferred him on the mound because he commands several pitches and competes. Raley's best pitch is his solid slider, and his other primary offerings are his 87-90 mph sinker and his changeup. He can hit 93 mph when he opts for a four-seam fastball, and he also can throw a curveball. He's athletic and repeats his smooth delivery well, so he throws strikes with ease. The question is whether Raley's feel for his craft can overcome his lack of a plus pitch against advanced hitters. Scouts also wonder whether his wiry frame is durable enough. After working just 11 innings in his pro debut, he may start 2010 in low Class A, but he has the polish to move quickly.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Chicago Cubs in 2013
- United States activated LHP Brooks Raley.