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MLB Draft Profiles: Asa Lacy and Reid Detmers

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Mississippi State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Winding down the profiles of players likely to go in or around the top 10 picks, and thus conceivably options for the Blue Jays at 5th overall are two players who are less likely to be realistic options for opposite reasons.

Asa Lacy

Lacy has emerged as likely to be the first college pitcher selected, and he seems pretty strongly linked to Miami with the 3rd pick so he’s probably not falling to the Blue Jays and thus like Torkelson and Martin not worth spending a whole lot of time on.

But in short, like Hancock he was well known coming out of high school in 2017 as a hard throwing Texas lefty, but inconsistent and with some questions about his delivery and projection for command. So he ended up at Texas A&M, which worked out incredibly well. He was a solid performer as a freshman working out of the bullpen, but then exploded in 2019 in the weekend rotation. Lacy posted a 2.13 ERA with 130 strikeouts against 56 free passes in 88.2 innings.

He proceeded to be even more dominant to start 2020, with a 0.75 ERA and 46 strikeouts against 12 free passes in 24 innings against a mixed bag of non-conference competition. There’s still concerns about his delivery and effort level, and thus future command, but the mid-90s fastball and breaking ball are essentially some of the best stuff in the draft. In that sense, the profile is somewhat reminiscent of Chris Sale back in 2010, although there aren’t the same degree of question marks about his future role.

Reid Detmers

Detmers by contrast was more under the radar out of high school in 2017, though not completely unknown as he was drafted by Atlanta in the 32nd round. Louisville has a long track record of developing players from cold weather states, and Detmers is the latest in a long line.

After a decent freshman year (4.85 ERA in 55.2 innings, 69 K), as is often the case his sophomore year was his big coming out party. Detmers emerged as the staff ace, leading Louisvilleto the College World Series in posting a 2.78 ERAin 113.1 innings driven by 167 strikeouts against 40 free passes. He was off to an even more spectacular start this year, with a 1.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 22 innings, against reasonably strong non-conference competition to boot.

He’s obviously a very polished college pitcher, but the question is one of projection. It’s a decent low-90s fastball, with his best secondary being a slow low-70s curve that won’t necessarily be a big swing and miss offering against professional hitters. The problem is there’s nothing really plus, that is a carrying tool. He’s considered the “safe, mid-rotation starter” — famous last words.

For me, it’s a profile that I wouldn’t have a major problem taking in the bottom half of the first round, but I’d be unsatisfied to disappointed with 10th overall, and not like at all overall. But he doesn’t seem to really be on the radar in the top half dozen picks or so (rightfully, in my view).