The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Ryan Eades | RHP
A Louisiana kid from the New Orleans suburb of Slidell, Eades’ late father Ned spend two years as a catcher in the Reds organization during the late-1960s. Ryan missed his junior year at Northshore High School and was limited to first base duties as a senior after having surgery to repair a partially torn labrum, leading him to pass on signing with the Rockies — they took him as a pitcher in the 19th round of the 2010 draft — and instead follow through on his commitment to LSU. He has a 3.55 ERA in three years on campus, but did put up a 2.69 ERA with a 75/27 K/BB in 93.2 innings this spring.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 198 lbs., Eades earns much higher grades for his skills than his college performance. He runs his four-seam fastball anywhere from 91-95 mph and will sit a touch below that with the two-seamer. On any given day his upper-70s downer curveball or low-80s changeup will look like his top secondary offering. The changeup is more refined and Eades seems to trust it more, throwing it in any count and to both righties and lefties. His delivery features a high leg kick and very good extension, meaning he releases the ball well out in front of his body like a taller pitcher. Eades throws strikes and draws rave reviews for his work ethic, which helped him come back from the labrum surgery. He’s been perfectly healthy since then, but did get fatigued and fade down the stretch in each of the last two seasons. There are some more videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Eades as the 30th and 37th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. For what it’s worth, Law recently said said he gets the sense the Yankees are hoping a top college arm falls into their laps with one of their three first round picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd). Damon Oppenheimer & Co. love players who have had success in the Cape Cod League — Eades won the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year award in the summer of 2011 — and have preferred polish over raw stuff when it comes to college pitchers in recently years, basically since Andrew Brackman busted. Eades could be on their radar as a “safer” play if they shoot for the moon with the other two first rounders.