The draft is just three days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some players individually rather than lump a few together in one post.
Joe Ross | RHP
The brother of Oakland A’s right-hander Tyson Ross, Joe attends Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland just like his brother did a few years ago. He’s a very good student with a strong commitment to UCLA.
Unlike Tyson, Joe is much more conventional. His delivery and arm action are clean, and he gets good downhill plane from his 6-foot-2, 180 lb. frame. Ross’ fastball typically sits 90-94 mph with some armside run, but he ran it up as high as 96 this spring and there’s reason to believe there’s even more velocity coming with that frame. His breaking ball is more of a curveball but occasionally it morphs into a slider. When right, the pitch is delivered in the high-70’s with some horizontal break to go along with the downward action. Ross also throws a low-80’s changeup. He’s a very good athlete and it’s easy to project three better than average pitches down the line given what he has right now.
Ross doesn’t project as a true ace, but instead a notch below that and there’s ain’t nothing wrong with that at all. The commitment to UCLA and presumably high price tag would have to work in the Yankees favor if they want to have a chance at him with the 51st overall pick. Keith Law and Baseball America considered Ross the 25th and 36th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, so he’s a legit first round talent.