• Full name Darin Burton Downs
  • Born 12/26/1984 in Southfield, MI
  • Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: L
  • School Santaluces
  • Debut 07/03/2012
  • Drafted in the 5th round (133rd overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 2003 (signed for $225,000).
    View Draft Report
    Downs isn't as overpowering as the lefties ahead of him on this list, but they can't match his pitchability. He's the most polished prep pitcher in the nation and compares well to Pirates prospect Sean Burnett, a 2000 first-rounder out of a Florida high school. Downs' stuff isn't quite in Burnett's class, as he has an 85-88 mph fastball, but one scout says Downs has the best command he has seen in 20 years and could handle Double-A right now. There are differing opinions on whether his curveball or his changeup is his top pitch, but the combination allows him to keep hitters off balance with a fastball that lacks velocity and movement. Downs missed a month earlier in the year with shoulder tendinitis, though that's not an issue now. While he may never throw harder than 90 mph, he's able to dominate with his finesse approach.

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