The 2013 amateur draft is less than one week away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Kyle Serrano | RHP
Serrano attends Farragut High School in the Knoxville suburbs. His father Dave is a long-time college head and pitching coach who currently calls the shots at Tennessee after stints at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Kyle missed most of his junior year with a cracked rib and is committed to (you guessed it) Tennessee.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 lbs., Serrano broke out in a huge way this spring. He generates easy 90-94 mph velocity with a clean and compact delivery that he repeats very well. An upper-70s/low-80s power curveball is a true out pitch for him, with a sharp bite and hard finish at the bottom of the zone. It’s one of the best breaking balls in the entire draft, college or high school. Serrano also throws a very advanced changeup, especially compared to other high schoolers. That isn’t much of a surprise given his father’s reputation for teaching the pitch. He throws strikes and has now stuff, so the only real knock on Serrano is his size. That frame doesn’t lend itself to much projection.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Serrano at the 21st and 35th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. For what it’s worth, Law said Serrano is one of several prep pitchers the Yankees are monitoring in his latest mock draft. They have three first round picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd) and plenty of draft pool money to throw around. Serrano was considered unsignable coming into the year, but his stuff now lines up with his asking price and he seems likely to turn pro if drafted high enough. There’s an awful lot to like here — growing up around the game at a reasonably high level should make adjusting to pro ball less of a concern — even though 6-foot-1 righties usually aren’t a popular demographic.