The Royals selected Texas A&M left-handed pitcher Asa Lacy with the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft on Wednesday night.
Judging by his stature and impressive results, Lacy looks every bit a potential premium power pitcher at the next level. His Texas roots and three-quarters delivery from the left side have drawn comparisons to fellow Lone Star State stud Clayton Kershaw, while others see parts of Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Rodon in his game.
Lacy took a different path to pro ball from Kershaw, though. Lacy's stock tumbled a bit coming out of high school, allowing him to fall to the Indians in the 31st round of the 2017 draft. Instead he decided to hone his craft in the college ranks and joined A&M -- where Kershaw had committed to playing, before signing with the Dodgers out of high school in 2006. Lacy has family ties with the Aggies, as well -- his grandfather was a running back on the football team.
Here's what you need to know about Asa Lacy:
School: Texas A&M
Career stats: 42 appearances, 21 starts, 152 innings, 224 strikeouts, 2.07 ERA, 1.013 WHIP, 14-5 record
Accolades: Golden Spikes Finalist 2019, USA Baseball Collegiate National Team 2019
• Prototype size and power pitching game for ace starter
• Track record of success in college
• Slider is rated among the best for a lefty college pitcher in recent years
• Strong two-pitch mix gives him relatively high floor
• Improved significantly in college after arriving from high school
• Relatively clean, apparently low-stress delivery could limit injuries
• Mild control issues at 3.4 walks per nine innings
• Conflicting scouting reports on viability of repertoire after fastball and slider
• Some reports suggest swing-and-miss stuff compensates for iffy command
Expert scout analysis:
• Even without precise placement, he's a left-hander who can get swings and misses with four different offerings" -- MLB Pipeline
• "The reason he's the top-rated pitcher is his mid-90s heater and upper-80s slider" -- Kiley McDaniel, ESPN
• "If there's a future No. 1 starter in this class, I think it's him" -- Keith Law