Joey Ricotta | June 8th, 2020
The MLB Amateur Draft will be on June 10th. Continuing our MLB Draft coverage, let’s take a look at one of the most highly touted arms, who is projected to be a top-five pick. Asa Lacy, the Texas A&M Aggies’ big southpaw hurler, could be the number one pitcher taken in the draft, and all signs point to him being the first lefty off the board. Let’s see what he brings to the table.
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Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
Weight: 215 LBS
Age: 21 (Junior)
MLB.com Scouting Grades
FB: 60 SL: 60 CU: 55 CH 60 Control: 50 Overall 60
|Stats by year||G/GS/IP||W-L||ERA||SO||BB||BAA|
Asa Lacy was born on June 2, 1999, in Bryan, Texas. Attending Kerrville Tivy High School, Lacy was a three-year letter winner and dominated his competition. He set a school record in 2017 with 13 wins, finishing with a 13-1 record, 0.93 ERA, and 128 strikeouts in 97.1 innings pitched. Following his stellar high school career, he was drafted in 2017 by the Cleveland Indians. Instead of signing, Lacy lifted his draft stock, after opting to attend Texas A&M.
After a good showing, mainly working out of the bullpen his freshman year at Texas A&M, he earned a starting job for the 2019 season. That season, Lacy tossed 88.2 innings, with 130 strikeouts, two complete games, and a 2.13 ERA. He held opponents to a .162 batting average against, which was the second-lowest average of any pitcher in the nation. Picking up where he left off last year, in only four appearances and 24 innings of work this spring, Lacy struck out 46 batters and had a 0.75 ERA.
Check out some of Lacy’s highlights here:
The powerful lefty demonstrates great strikeout stuff with an array of different weapons in his arsenal. Lacy displays an excellent combination of raw stuff and power. He throws a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s that tops out at 97-98 MPH with good late-action movement. His slider is disgusting, and some believe it’s the best pitch in college baseball. Lacy also keeps hitters off-balance with a plus changeup, which was barely exhibited this spring due to the shortened season. His fourth pitch is a curveball, which isn’t as terrific as his slider, but still an above-average pitch with the potential to be coached up to become more. The biggest positive is, he generates whiffs from all four of his offerings.
Work ethic and leadership – “Every day he wakes up and his feet hit the floor, his whole focus is, what can I do today to be the best pitcher or best player in the country? And that guy works incredibly hard, he’s as prepared as any pitcher in America,” said Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress. Teammates respect the hell out of his work ethic. Not only does he work hard, but he shares with his team his thought process behind it and gets the most out of his teammates. He respects and loves the process, and when your best player does that, the rest of the team jumps on board. Whichever organization drafts him, they will love that aspect of him.
As is the case with most young pitchers, Lacy struggles with control. For his college career, Lacy averaged four walks per nine innings. Being as tall as Lacy is, it can be tough for pitchers of his size to harness their mechanics.
He’s a little rough mechanically, everything looks max-effort and he tends to open up too early and drag the arm behind. It doesn’t seem to have much effect on his velocity, but certainly could be part of his control issues. It’s almost as if he’s throwing as hard as he can with every pitch. While that might not be an issue, the pitchers that look more free, fluent, and easy throwing, generally have an easier time fixing their control issues. He’ll need to work out some kinks in the minors for better control, but his three-quarters delivery and release point are difficult to pick up and he does a nice job of tunneling all of his pitches.
I see a lot of similarities in Lacy’s game to Blake Snell. Both have undeniable and unteachable big tall frames. Both pitchers throw mid-to-upper 90s and use their fastballs effectively to set up their nasty wipeout breaking balls.
Draft Prediction: Round 1, Pick 3, Miami Marlins
Not jumping out on a limb here, much smarter baseball minded folks than myself, have him mocked to the Marlins. I’ll follow suit. The fish drafted outfielder JJ Bleday last year and would love to add a powerful lefty hurler to their system. They’ve shown a willingness to draft big lefties, taking one with each of their 2016 and 2017 first-round picks being Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers. Some people believe Emerson Hancock, the pitcher out of Georgia, is the best arm available to be drafted. But I believe Lacy is. He also could be the best overall player available when the Marlins go to select.
Despite not having the most finely tuned command, Lacy has the intangibles and stuff to get to the majors and do damage. His work ethic and preparation will come in handy and should allow him to sharpen his craft at the minor league level. I see big top of the rotation type of potential from Lacy. Although he is constantly improving, there is some risk here.
If he doesn’t improve his command, he could wind up being a bust. A move to the bullpen could be okay, however, the command of the fastball is also a concern. If he doesn’t improve that, the bullpen won’t be much better. He has solid experience against good competition, having faced a lot of tough teams in the SEC. Lacy has the pitch mix and work ethic to live up to his nickname “Ace” and whichever team winds up drafting him, they should be very excited.
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Main Image Credit: https://12thman.com/sports/baseball/roster/asa-lacy/7404