MLB

MLB Draft Preview: Brennan Malone

Joey Ricotta  | June 3rd, 2019

Brennan Malone, RHP (IMG Academy)

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 203 pounds

Age: 18

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Commitment: North Carolina

MLB Pipeline Grades – Fastball: 65 Slider: 60 Curveball: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50

Malone was born on Sept. 8, 2000. He started playing high school ball at Indian Trail Porter Ridge. After putting together a 1.36 ERA and striking out 76 batters in 51.1 innings pitched, Malone transferred to IMG Academy for his Senior year in Bradenton, Florida for more exposure. In 2018, Malone went 8.1 innings, collecting nine strikeouts, a 1.08 ERA, and a 2-0 record for the 2018 18U National Team. He helped lead team USA to clinch a spot in the gold medal game.

Strengths

Simply put, he throws gas. Malone has a ton of upside. He gets a lot of swinging strikes on his fastball and slider. His three-quarter delivery is deceptive and creates natural run and tilt to his pitches. Malone throws a plus fastball and slider that are both considered above-average. The fastball is of the four-seam variety that sits comfortably between 93-96 miles per hour, topping out at 98. He also throws more of a sinking fastball that he grips like a two-seamer. It maintains velocity and has a more downward tilt to it. The slider sits in the low 80’s and is used as a knockout pitch, complimenting his overpowering fastball nicely. His curveball runs 74-76 MPH on the gun and is considered slightly above average as of now. The changeup he has been throwing is considered average but could be developed into a solid change of pace pitch in the future. It runs arm side with a little drop at 83-85 MPH. MLB Pipeline has Malone graded at 50 for overall command which is about average.

Weaknesses

He’s a prep arm that still needs a substantial amount of grooming. Because of his three-quarter delivery, he has a tendency to let go of the ball early and late, missing at times inside and outside. The changeup needs more development and he needs to learn how to keep the same arm motion that he has when throwing the fastball. Overall, Malone has good mechanics. He gets his foot down in a good position while keeping the rest of his body balanced. He throws hard, but could potentially throw even harder if he wasn’t late with his hips. The hips sometimes are late trying to catch up in his delivery, making it difficult for him to get any back leg push. Scouts believe with due time he could throw 100+ MPH.

Overview

Brennan Malone is and should be, on a lot of teams’ radar. Between his fastball and slider, he has some of the most explosive stuff out of anyone in the draft. The curveball is good and the changeup has potential. We’ll see if he can improve upon his already superb velocity, as it seems he has the potential to do so given that he adds strength and tweaks his lower half mechanics some. Malone’s command is already okay, but we will see if he can improve on that front as well. He definitely has the makings and tools to be a major league rotational power arm.

Draft Prediction: Round 1 Pick 25, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are no strangers to taking prep arms in the first round of the draft. They drafted a pretty notable one back in 2006, Clayton Kershaw. You might’ve heard of him before. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers president of baseball operations wasn’t in charge back then, but he did select J.T. Ginn, another prep arm last year. After failing to sign him, the Dodgers received the number 31 selection for this year’s draft as compensation. The fact that he wasn’t scared off from selecting a high school pitcher, makes me think he will do it again this year. He’s already been on record saying they will pick the best player available. As they should. Brennan Malone could possibly be the best player available when pick number 25 rolls around. They would have the chance to select one of the better arms in the draft here and take a good position player with their next pick.

Check out our other draft profiles: Andrew Vaughn | Will Wilson | Jackson Rutledge | Hunter Bishop | JJ Bleday | Kameron Misner | Logan DavidsonSeth Johnson | Bobby Witt Jr. | Josh Jung|Adley Rutschman |Daniel Espino|Nick Lodolo|Kody Hoese| Matthew Allan|C.J. Abrams| Riley Greene|Corbin Carroll|Bryson Stott| Shea Langeliers|Brett Baty| Alek Manoah|Braden Shewmake

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Main Image Credit:  Embed from Getty Images

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