Top 2021 Prospect Nick Bitsko Now Eligible For 2020 Draft
The impressive depth of pitching in the 2020 class just got better.
The top prospect in our 2021 high school draft rankings, righthander Nick Bitsko, will graduate early from Central Bucks East High in Doylestown, Pa., making him eligible for the 2020 draft class. First reported by MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo, and confirmed by Baseball America, Bitsko's addition to the 2020 class makes an already impressive group of players that much better.
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander committed to Virginia, Bitsko showed the powerful repertoire and strikethrowing ability that would have made him fit right at home along with the elite prep pitchers of his elders in the 2020 class. Now, like corner infielder Blaze Jordan and righthander Alejandro Rosario (who were also originally members of the 2021 class before jumping into the 2020 class) Bitsko will be see exactly where his talent puts him a year sooner than expected.
Back in September of 2019, when we first released our top 100 high school list for the 2021 class, one scout said that if Bitsko were draft-eligible in 2020 he would be a first-round sort of talent.
"“(Bitsko is) a prototype high school righthander with a plus fastball-curveball combo, body and strikes,” said the evaluator. “He’d be a top of the first-round pick if he were eligible this year.”
This June, we'll be able to see if that assessment rings true.
At the 2019 East Coast Pro—one of the premier annual showcases for high school prospects—Bitsko threw three innings and struck out four batters while matching up against lefthander Timmy Manning, and looked like one of the best pitchers at the event, regardless of draft year.
Here is Baseball America's report on Bitsko's outing at the time, to get a sense of his repertoire and talent:
"Bitsko has a great pitcher’s frame, standing at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds and has a smooth and easy operation on the bump, with an overhead windup and clean three-quarter slot. Bitsko opened up in the first with a 94-96 mph fastball, and while that velocity ticked down in the second and third innings it wasn’t much, dipping down to 92-94.
"He located the pitch well and used it to rack up three whiffs, but it was a power curveball that the Virginia commit used to finish off each of his strikeouts. A 76-83 mph curve that ranged in shape from 11-to-5 to a slurvey three-quarter break, Bitsko threw the offering with power and depth and got four swings and misses on the offering, which looks like it could become at least a 55-grade (on the 20-80 scout scale) offering.
"Bitsko also threw an 86-87 mph firm changeup infrequently, and while the pitch was behind his fastball and breaking ball in this outing, he showed solid feel to keep the pitch down in the strike zone. Already physically impressive with a pair of above-average offerings, scouts don’t have to do much projecting to get excited about Bitsko and he is solidly in the top tier of players in a 2021 draft class that’s making some noise at this event."