2020 Pitchers Who Stood Out At The Future Stars Series
BOSTON—Several pitchers in the 2020 class boosted their draft stock this past weekend at the Future Stars Series International Week, with games at Pawtucket and Fenway Park from Sept. 21-22.
After going over some of the top hitters at the series yesterday, here's a look at some of the standout pitchers from the event.
Nick Griffin | LHP | Monticello (Ark.) HS
Griffin faced 14 batters and struck out five, walking one and hitting another. He's a 17-year-old (and will still be 17 on draft day next year) with a tall, projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 175-pounds and a fastball that ranged from 89-93 mph, up a tick from where we have seen him before. Between his body type and arm speed, he looks like he should be able to reach the mid-90s or possibly higher once he packs on more weight. With a fairly easy, balanced delivery, Griffin threw a lot of strikes with both his fastball and his average slider, an effective weapon at 81-84 mph that he used as an out pitch. He's an Arkansas commit.
Markevian Hence | RHP | Watson Chapel HS, Pine Bluff, Ark.
Hence made a good impression in his two innings at Fenway Park, striking out three of the nine batters he faced without issuing a walk. Hence turned 17 last month, so he will still be 17 on draft day next year. He's listed at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds, which isn't typically associated with projectable pitchers, but with his youth, long limbs and fast arm speed, there looks like there could be more velocity coming. Hence already has a big fastball now, pitching at 91-94 mph and reaching 94 multiple times. He paired it with feel for spinning a sharp, biting curveball at 76-78 mph that had good depth, missed bats and has plus potential. The breaking ball was one of the best at the Future Stars Series. Hence is another Arkansas commit.
Hayden Durke | RHP | North Vermilion HS, Parish, Louisiana
Durke came out firing heat in his first inning at Fenway Park, sitting at 93-96 mph and touching 97 on some guns, the biggest velocity at the event and up from where he had been previously. In his next two innings, he pitched more in the low-90s, striking out four with two walks. Durke, 17, has a relatively filled out, sturdy frame—6-foot-1, 205-pounds—and his peak velocity is at the upper end of the arms in the 2020 class, though his control was erratic, missing a lot to his arm side and up. He threw a breaking ball and showed a little bit of feel for a changeup with good separation off his fastball, but he mostly stood out for his big fastball for his age. He's a Louisiana-Lafayette commit.
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Justin Lange | RHP/OF | Llano (Texas) HS
Lange is a two-way player who boosted his stock after his performance on the mound, showing an appealing combination of size, athleticism and arm strength. Lange pitched two innings, striking out the first four hitters he faced, then got a pop out to the catcher and walked the next batter before erasing him with a pickoff to end his outing. Lange, who turned 18 just before the event, is 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and showed increased velocity here, working at 90-95 mph and throwing almost exclusively fastballs. Given his physical projection, there should be more velocity gains in his future. His athleticism also stood out, as he ran a 6.51 in the 60-yard dash. While it looked like there's still some rawness to his game, an athletic pitcher reaching the mid-90s with a chance for more is intriguing. At the plate, Lange showed over-the-fence power and a short swing for a big man in BP. In the games, he hit a double, though his swing got longer against live pitching and he struck out in his other three at-bats. Lange is a Dallas Baptist commit.
Wyatt Tucker | RHP | Douglass (Texas) HS
Tucker, 17, faced seven batters, striking out three with one walk. He has a strong build, listed at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, reached 92 mph with his fastball and threw a high percentage of sliders to generate empty swings. His slider was an effective pitch at this event, showing long, deep break across the zone and away from righthanded hitters. If he can add more power to his slider, that pitch should be a quality weapon for him against hitters at the next level. Tucker is a Texas A&M commit.