- Full name Dallas Keuchel
- Born 01/01/1988 in Tulsa, OK
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Arkansas
- Debut 06/17/2012
Drafted in the 7th round (221st overall) by the Houston Astros in 2009 (signed for $150,000).
View Draft ReportKeuchel has been a solid contributor for Arkansas since his freshman season and has stood out in the Cape Cod League, leading the summer circuit in innings pitched in 2007 and earning all-star recognition in 2008. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has picked up a little velocity on his fastball in the last year, now working in the high 80s and touching 91, but he remains a finesse pitcher. He gets good sink on his fastball and locates it well, enabling him to set up a changeup that grades as his best offering. His curveball is fringy, though that's less of an issue for a southpaw who will face righty-dominated lineups. He doesn't have as much stuff and size as former Razorbacks lefty Nick Schmidt, a Padres first-round pick in 2007, but Keuchel has the same competitive edge and workhorse mentality. His pitchability and determination could make him a No. 4 starter in the big leagues, and he could get drafted as early as the fourth or fifth round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Keuchel won 19 games in three seasons at Arkansas, leading the Razorbacks to the 2009 College World Series, and he's continued to win in pro ball, even in an Astros system all too accustomed to losing. He was the only Houston farmhand to reach 10 victories in 2011. He's a rare lefthanded sinkerballer who pitches inside even though his fastball sits at only 84-87 mph. He has touched 90-91 in the past but generally relies on movement and location. Keuchel mixes up his tempo, at times adding a hitch to his delivery, and also employs a slow curveball to keep hitters off balance. His best pitch is a sinking changeup that has better action than his fastball and grades as solid or better. Righthanders batted .255 against him last year, while lefties hit .305. His overall package compares best to finesse southpaws such as Zane Smith or Doug Davis. Keuchel is extremely durable, working 174 innings in 2010 and 189 last year (including his time in the Arizona Fall League). A potential back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever, he'll have to keep proving himself one level at a time. He'll start 2012 back in Triple-A, where he was rocked in four of his seven late-season starts.
Keuchel's pedigree suggests he would rank much higher on this list. He was a Friday starter in the Southeastern Conference at Arkansas, and enough of an athlete to be recruited as a quarterback by his hometown college, Tulsa. But he doesn't have the pure stuff to rate as a premium prospect. Keuchel had a successful 2010 season, leading the organization with 174 innings and reaching Double-A. He generates impressive sink on his fastball and changeup, and he gave up just 10 home runs in the hitter-friendly California League--with eight in 58 innings at Lancaster's unforgiving park. His 1.9 walks per nine innings ratio adds to his appeal. The problem is that his fastball has lost velocity since college. He sat at 86-91 mph and touched 93 for the Razorbacks, but his delivery has become stiffer and more mechanical since signing, and he worked at 83-86 in 2010. Keuchel's curveball has been a swing-and-miss pitch at lower levels because he locates it well, but scouts consider it fringy because it breaks early. If he regains velocity and arm speed by improving his tempo and delivery, he should fit at the back of a big league rotation. It's hard to see him continuing to have success otherwise, so the Astros hope his velo bounces back when he returns to Corpus Christi to start 2011.
The Astros believe Kuechel could be one of the steals of the 2009 draft, a seventh-rounder signed for $150,000. He succeeded throughout his college career at Arkansas and in the Cape Cod League, and he earned both of the Razorbacks' victories at last year's College World Series. His polish was evident in his pro debut, as he cruised through the short-season New York-Penn League. Keuchel is a finesse lefthander who relies on his control, mixing locations and pitch sequences to keep hitters off balance. He pitched in the high 80s and touched 91 mph at Arkansas, though after a long college season he worked more at 85-88 in pro ball. His fastball has sink and he commands it well. His changeup is his bread and butter, a plus offering that keeps hitters off his fastball. His curveball is a fringe-average pitch, and he also toys around with a slider that he can add and subtract from. Keuchel's stuff gives him little margin for error, but his command, feel and poise could make him a backof- the-rotation starter. He could reach high Class A at some point in 2010 and could be the first 2009 Astros draftee to reach the majors.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Texas League in 2011
- Rated Best Changeup in the California League in 2010