The third prospect in our draft profile series is on yet another prep player. This time, we look at right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone.
6’3, 203 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
DOB: Sept. 8, 2000
Commitment: North Carolina
Baseball America: 17
Perfect Game: 18
Slot recommended bonus (No. 25): $2,740,300
Slot recommended bonus (No. 31): $2,312,000
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and video.
When it comes to polished pitching prospects, one doesn’t usually look in the high school ranks. But Malone boasts a nice mix of stuff, ceiling and polish. The big, projectable righty is ranked higher than the Dodgers pick, but prep pitchers tend to fall a bit come draft day.
Malone is armed with a straight but hard mid-90s fastball that has touched the high-90s. He’s good at working low in the strike zone with it, inducing weak contact — a hallmark for Dodger starting pitchers. He pairs the fastball with one of the best sliders in class. It’s a low-80s pitch that features good tilt and late biting action to get swinging strikes. It could tick up a few MPH in the pros and remain effective, but if it sticks as a low-80s pitch, expect that to be his go-to offering. Malone also has a mid-70s, 11-5 curveball that’s a work in progress and a potentially solid-average changeup in the mid-80s. My guess is he’ll develop both of those pitches with whichever organization lands him next month.
Where Malone earns high marks is with his poise and polish. He’s rarely rattled on the hill and has matured in a short time as a pitcher, displaying more advanced command for someone his age. He’s athletic and has natural arm action (unlike Espino) that makes it easier to project him as a future starting pitcher.
Videos courtesy of Prospect Pipeline and Prospects Live.
Like with the Espino vitals, some sites say Malone is 6’5/6’6, some say he’s 6’3. I’m sticking with the MLB Pipeline info for consistency’s sake. Either way, he has a prototypical starting pitcher’s build.
With a commitment to North Carolina, Malone should be plenty signable at either of the Dodgers’ 1st-round selections. If Dodgers are patient, they could a top-half-of-the-rotation starter, which they don’t have a ton of in the minors at present.