Class: HS Senior
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Born: October 10, 1993
By age 16, Lance McCullers was already throwing 97 mph fastballs, all but assuring him a spot in the first round in 2012. His heater also generated some conversation about whether or not he would be the first high-school right-hander ever drafted with the first overall pick.
More than two years later, McCullers is no longer being considered with the first pick, but he’s still a safe bet to go inside the top-ten.
A diminutive pitcher in the mold of Trevor Bauer, McCullers features arguably the best fastball of any high-schooler not named Lucas Giolito. While Giolito’s fastball has gained velocity since his freshman season of high school, McCullers’ has stayed relatively the same, due to his size and restricted growth. That doesn’t mean he isn’t using that fastball better than most, however.
In addition to his sensational fastball, McCullers also features a hammer curve that should be an above-average offering at the pro level. He also throws a changeup that has good promise.
And of course, McCullers has the lineage working in his favor. His dad was a seven-year MLB veteran who pitched for the Padres, Yankees, Tigers and Rangers.
McCullers was the final act at the Perfect Game National Showcase last summer and he didn’t disappoint, wowing scouts with fastballs that sat 94-97 mph. Both of his secondary pitches, a curveball and a slider looked great.
McCullers has also quoted as saying he’s been working out with Orlando Chinea, the same guy who helped 2011 first-round pick Jose Fernandez improve his athleticism and control on the mound.
This season, McCullers has shown improved command, and he’s also added an extra inch and a few pounds, both of which should make him more appealing come draft day.
The results have been there as well. As of March 29th, he had yet to surrender an earned run in six starts, the last of which came in the form of a 12-strikeout no-hitter.
Fastball: 91-97 mph
Curveball: 80-85 mph
Slider: 83-87 mph
Changeup: 82-86 mph