Nathan Kirby | LHP
Kirby, 21, was considered unsignable out of high school in 2012. In fact, he was so strongly committed to Virginia that he didn’t even bother to take the mandatory drug test administered to the MLB Scouting Bureau’s top 200 draft prospects. (Declining to take the drug test made him ineligible for the draft.) Kirby has a 2.28 ERA with a 75/30 K/BB in 59.1 innings as a starter this year after pitching to a 2.96 ERA with a 149/46 K/BB in 146 innings split between the rotation and bullpen as a freshman and sophomore.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 lbs., Kirby consistently sits 89-92 mph with his fastball and will run it up to 94 mph on occasion. Depending on the day, either his low-80s slider or low-80s changeup will be his best secondary pitch, and Kirby has run in trouble because he can get too slider happy and predictable. His arm action is a little long in the back and can lead to occasionally spotty control and command. Kirby came into the spring as a potential top ten pick but some inconsistency has dropped his stock a bit.
Baseball America, Keith Law (subs. req’d), and MLB.com ranked Kirby as the 7th, 19th, and 20th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. He’s the kind of prospect who tends to come off the board sooner than expected — college lefty with great stats, firm stuff, and a long track record of success — and will be dubbed a “quick mover.” The Yankees seem to emphasize polish and Kirby fits the mold. New York picks 16th overall this year but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirby is already off the board by that point.