- Full name Harold Louis Coleman
- Born 04/04/1986 in Greenwood, MS
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Louisiana State
- Debut 04/21/2011
Drafted in the 5th round (152nd overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2009 (signed for $100,000).
View Draft ReportOne of the best college seniors in the 2009 draft, Coleman has starred in three of his four seasons at Louisiana State, though he went from starting on Friday nights as a freshman to scuffling in the bullpen as a sophomore. Things got so bad in 2007 that the Tigers tried to convert him into a sidearmer at the end of the season, but he got back on track when he returned to a low three-quarters slot early in 2008. He has gone 21-3 the last two seasons and was named the Southeastern Conference's 2009 pitcher of the year after taking an 13-2, 2.76 record with 124 strikeouts in 114 innings into the College World Series. His fastball usually sits at 88-92 mph with good run and sink, and he has touched 95 as a reliever. When he stays on top of his slider, it's a solid pitch. Hitters have trouble picking up his pitches because he throws across his body and has a low arm angle. He throws quality strikes and competes. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder has served as both as starter and reliever for LSU. He projects in the latter role as a pro because he works primarily with two pitches and has a resilient arm, and he should move fast as a reliever. Coleman has been drafted twice previously, in the 28th round out of high school by the Braves and in the 14th round last June by the Nationals.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After stocking the system with high-ceiling high school talents, the Royals started filling in gaps in 2009 by signing college players who could move quickly. Coleman, who helped lead Louisiana State to the 2009 College World Series championship, is a prime example. He shot to Triple-A in his first full pro season and has a chance to pitch in Kansas City's bullpen in his second. Coleman's slinging crossfire delivery is both a long-term health concern and a huge part of his success. It helps his 91-93 mph fastball run in on righthanders and makes his average slider harder for them to pick up. He limited righties to a .146 average in 2010 but needs to improve his below-average changeup to better handle lefties, who get a better look at this stuff. Coleman is able to throw strikes from his low three-quarters arm slot and repeat his mechanics. His performance in spring training will determine whether he opens the season in Omaha or in the big leagues. He may not be more than a seventhinning reliever, but he has the resilient arm and competitive nature to be an asset in that role.
After taking three pricy talents with its first three picks in the 2009 draft, Kansas City may have found a bargain in Coleman, a $100,000 senior sign in the fifth-round out of Louisiana State. After turning down the Nationals as a 14th-round pick as a junior, he not only improved his draft stock but also was a cornerstone of the Tigers' run to the national title. Coleman was on the mound for the final out of the College World Series just two days after starting the championship-series opener against Texas. He didn't have his best stuff after signing with the Royals following a long college season, yet still dominated in short stints. Coleman's fastball sat at 88-90 mph and touched 92 after signing, but at his best he works at 92-93 and peaks at 95 from a low-three-quarters arm slot. The combination of his delivery and a solid slider should allow him to move quickly as a reliever. Coleman's biggest hurdle is improving the consistency of his slider. He sometimes struggles to stay on top of it because of his low slot, but when he does it has enough bite and tilt to be a quality second pitch. His control is solid despite a less-than-ideal delivery. He throws across his body, which seems to add to his deception. Coleman is ready for Double-A and could help out the major league bullpen by 2011.
Minor League Top Prospects
With all the high-profile talent emerging in the Royals farm system, it would be easy for Coleman to get lost in the shuffle, but he could fill a valuable role for a major league pitching staff. He was a senior sign after helping Louisiana State to the College World Series title in 2009, and he jumped to Triple-A at the end of June. Coleman has an 89-92 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, and he complements it with a good but inconsistent slider. He has worked on a changeup and it shows potential, but he doesn't have confidence in it and doesn't use it enough. TL observers praised his makeup and versatility, as he both started and closed a game in the first week of the season and mostly worked in two- and three-inning stints. Coleman throws severely across his body, and his crossfire delivery makes it hard for batters to pick up the ball, though it also creates injury concerns. His ball runs away from righthanders, who batted .115 against him, but into the bats of lefthanders, who batted .247 against him.