Don’s Thoughts: Velazquez was a higher profile prospect than his draft slot will indicate; he roughly ranked 150-250 on most team boards and dropped because he has a massive amount of leverage with some big hitting colleges (ASU, USC, Oregon State). These schools are still fighting over trying to take the first year junior college pitcher.
Velazquez throws a hard 90-91 mph sinker, and can reach back and hit up to 95 mph (mainly sitting 92-93). He has a real nice foundation for a curve ball that shows depth and should become an effective out pitch down the road. He shows good command for pedigree and can keep the ball down in the zone.
He may have signed in the middle stage of yesterday’s draft, but he will be a tougher sign unless the Orioles can find some wiggle room. He is an explosive arm with projection. If they can bring his arm into the fold, it adds an intriguing power arm into the system.
A two-way player in junior college, Velazquez has seriously raised his profile as a pitching prospect with his first season at Merced. Athletic and projectable, he has the makings of a good three-pitch mix, with his fastball, curve and changeup. With room to add strength, he has the chance to add velocity as he matures, and he already commands his pitches fairly well. His combination of now stuff and projectability should have many teams interested in the Draft’s early stages.