Daniel Lynch | LHP
Lynch, 21, grew up in Richmond and was not drafted out of high school. His first two seasons at Virginia were not good (5.19 ERA and 82/44 K/BB in 118 innings), though he’s been better this spring, pitching to a 3.96 ERA with a 105/24 K/BB in 88.2 innings. Lynch was dominant in the Cape Cod League last summer (2.08 ERA and 25/6 K/BB in 30.1 innings), which really put him on the draft map.
At 6-foot-4 and 175 lbs., Lynch is the rare college player with projection remaining. He currently sits 88-92 mph with his fastball and will touch 94 mph, though the frame leads you to believe there is more velocity on the way, and my guess is more than a few teams think they’ll be able to get Lynch to add to his heater with a pro training program. Lynch has three secondary pitches, the best of which is a dead fish changeup. He also throws both a slider and a curveball, neither of which is an out pitch. At times the two will run together and look like a slurve. Lynch is a good athlete with a really simple delivery, and he doesn’t have much trouble throwing strikes.
At the moment MLB.com and Baseball America (subs. req’d) rank Lynch as the 77th and 111th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. Keith Law (subs. req’d) does not have him in his top 50 draft prospects. The Yankees hold the 23rd and 61st overall picks. For what it’s worth, Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen say the Yankees are “among the teams bearing down on Lynch down the stretch,” adding he could go in the back half of the first round. Lynch is exactly the kind of prospect who gets drafted earlier than expected. An athletic 6-foot-4 college southpaw with four pitches? Those dudes don’t last long on draft day. It should be noted Virginia has a brutal track record with pitching. It’s a major college program with tons of high draft picks, and the best pro pitcher the school has produced is former lefty specialist Javier Lopez. So many of their guys have either broken down or stalled out.