Recently, I have noticed a trend of young pitchers with command/sequencing profiles over raw stuff; coming up to the MLB and absolutely dominating. Not just dominating, but dominating almost immediately! Guys like Chris Paddack, Shane Bieber and Zac Gallen are great examples.
The Atlanta Braves initially drafted Dennis Lewallyn out of high school in 1971 in the 3rd round. He chose instead to attend Chipola College, which has since become a junior college powerhouse, and was the 8th overall choice in the 1972 January secondary draft to the Dodgers. After 11 years on the mound and 37 years as a coach or coordinator, Lewallyn comes full circle, retiring as a pitching coach within the Atlanta Braves minor league system.
While the top high school prospects from that year’s draft typically head to rookie ball, it’s not uncommon to see college prospects assigned straight to short-season. More exciting are the teenage international signees or high school prospects who make it up to this level and perform above expectations.