Tyler Kolek is a scout’s dream.
The 6’5”, 250-pound right-hander from Shepherd, Texas is a physical specimen as a 18-year-old prep star. Kolek is rated as the top right-handed pitcher for Thursday night’s First-Year Player Draft.
With stud left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in the Chicago White Sox rotation, the Sox are potentially looking for a stellar arm to join the duo in the future.
Although the rest of his repertoire needs some development (like most), Kolek’s fastball is what scouts and organizations all over baseball are salivating over.
Perfect Game USA had Kolek throwing a 99-mph fastball during the PG All-American Classic camp in San Diego last summer and several reports have mentioned Kolek topping out the fastball at 102-mph. It definitely makes sense that Kolek’s summer team is named the Houston Heat.
“Absolutely effortless velocity, sits in the mid-to-upper 90’s, scraped over 100-mph multiple times this spring and is the definition of a durable power pitcher.” -Mike Rosenbaum, BleacherReport.com
Watching Kolek during the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Francisco last season, I whole-heartedly agree with Rosenbaum. I see some Matt Harvey in Tyler Kolek’s mechanics and approach to hitters. Kolek can definitely bring it like Harvey and Beckett can.
As the announcers in the video mentioned, Kolek does have an injury in his past, like N.C. State’s Carlos Rodon. Kolek broke his arm in a non-baseball related situation during his junior year of high school. It’s the non-throwing arm, yes, but knowing what you’re getting fully is something that scouts, general managers and owners don’t take lightly.
Like I stated in my analysis of LSU ace Brady Nola (which you can read here), I still believe that Rodon will be the pick for the Sox at No. 3, but Tyler Kolek is the next big thing (literally). If the big guy can stay healthy with that gifted frame, he’s a future All-Star in the making.