2014 MLB Draft profile: RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs Christian HS

toussaint_touki_screencapThis is the fourth in my series of 2014 MLB Draft profiles. This time, I look at a guy with the draft’s best name in Touki Toussaint from Coral Springs, Fla.

Previous entries
Derek Hill
Jacob Gatewood
Spencer Adams

Vitals
6’2, 185 pounds
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: June 20, 1996

Location
Coral Springs, Fla.
Coral Springs Christian High School

Rankings

Baseball America: 13
ESPN: 13
MLB.com: 16
MLB Draft Insider: 10
Perfect Game: 19
Scouting Baseball: 20

Slot recommended bonus (No. 22): $1,980,500

Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.

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I mean, do I even need to tell you why I’m so enamored with Touki Toussaint? Yes, the name is awesome. But, he also has a ton of talent on the mound.

Toussaint has one of the best fastballs of any prep hurler (hi, Tyler Kolek), as it reportedly sits anywhere from 91-96 MPH, and can dial it up to 97 MPH. However, he has found he can control the pitch better when he’s in the low-90s. It features some good arm-side movement, but sometimes he gets under it and his front shoulder flies open, causing it to run up-and-in to righties and up-and-away to lefties.

His curveball is a mid-to-upper-70s offering that flashes plus-potential. It’s an 11-5 pitch that has a ton of downward movement, making it a true swing-and-miss pitch. It’s one of the best curveballs in the class and a true weapon against righties and lefties. When he stays on top of it, it’s almost unhittable.

He also has a “show me” mid-80s changeup that flashes solid-average potential. If he wants to remain in the starting rotation, he’ll have to improve the pitch or add another pitch to his arsenal. The good thing is, he’s at least willing to throw it and not totally give up on it. This is especially encouraging, as many young pitchers who are simply more talented than the competition could fall in love with one or two pitches and completely ditch the third one.

Toussaint is praised for his quick arm, but his delivery can use some work. He has trouble repeating it at times, as he’ll lose his good release point. It starts off smooth and he brings his front leg straight up to his chest. He comes back down with it before going forward and his arm sometimes looks like it’s lagging a bit behind. He whips the ball toward the plate, which causes inconsistent command. But with some professional instruction, he could clean it up. He won’t ever have a picturesque delivery, but he could still remain in a rotation with it being less-than-stellar. Toussaint throws from a high three-quarters arm slot that helps him get movement and more downward plane than expected. But he also runs the risk of rushing his delivery, which leads to being wild.

He checks many of the boxes Logan White looks for in a first-round pitcher: athletic, projectable body, fastball-curveball combination, arm talent — but he’s not as polished. Chris Withrow (2007) and Ethan Martin (2008) weren’t particularly polished, either.

Video

Toussaint was born in Haiti and lived there for about six years. After a great high school career, he committed to Vanderbilt University. However, a first-round draft slot would likely keep him from that commitment. It’s highly unlikely he’ll make it to No. 22, and I’ve seen him discussed in mock drafts as high as the Top 7-8. If he’s there at 22, he’d be a great pick. He’s No. 2 on my big board, and I’m fully expecting him to be drafted long before then.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.