First up in our 2021 MLB Draft profile series is one of the bigger arms in the entire class, even if he isn’t the biggest in stature. Let’s learn about Sam Bachman.
6’1, 235 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
DOB: Sept. 30, 1999
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
The Dodgers have not been shy about drafting college pitchers recently — especially those who don’t fit the prototype of an MLB starting pitcher. Bachman fits that mold to a tee. In 12 starts so far this season for the RedHawks, he has a 1.81 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 33.5 K-BB% in the Mid-American Conference.
Make no mistake: the stuff is legit. Bachman operates with a consistently mid-90s fastball that has been clocked as high as 102 MPH. Not only that, it has some significant arm-side run and sinking action. It may be the best overall fastball in the draft class. He pairs it with a mid-to-high-80s slider that touches the low-90s, Jacob deGrom-style in terms of velo and spin rate. He also has a legitimate, fading mid-80s changeup with the ability to miss bats. The changeup is lacking when compared to the fastball and slider, but it has the makings of at least an average pitch.
The biggest question mark for Bachman is how will his high-effort delivery hold up as an MLB starter. He releases from a low-three-quarters arm slot that helps him get a lot of movement on his pitches. However, it also contributes to present fringe-to-fringe-average command that has gotten better in 2021. The arm action is a bit long and drags a bit as his front foot hits the ground. But he has an incredibly quick arm that helps make up for that and generates plus-plus velocity. He’s athletic enough to repeat his delivery, but the extra effort means it’s going to be that much harder to be consistent with his delivery and release point.
Good morning 🌞 @d1baseball— David Seifert (@DSeifertD1PBR) April 24, 2021
Sam Bachman is already busy throwing 🔥, touched 101, sitting 98 99. Haven't seen the advertised ++ SL, but don't doubt it's in there. CH is a good pitch too. @aaronfitt you gotta see this guy! @PBR_DraftHQ pic.twitter.com/x5RC0XPOF2
Sam Bachman, high efficiency turbo sinker at 101 mph and low release. pic.twitter.com/Nvp9IE844R— 📊 (@mason_mcrae) March 30, 2021
If Bachman were 6-foot-4, he’d probably be a Top 5 selection. Instead, his evaluations are a somewhat mixed bag. He wouldn’t be the first shorter, smaller-school, collegiate pitcher to fall on draft day (Shane McClanahan), but I don’t think he makes it to the Dodgers’ pick at 29. If he does, they should sprint to the podium to turn in the pick. He’d be plenty signable if the Dodgers were to take him at the end of the first round.