To date, the draft profile series has looked at prep players and one junior college pitcher. Over the next two months, eight more players will have their baseball resumes examined to see if they are deemed worthy of being selected by the Chicago Cubs.
Colton Hock – Stanford University
6-5, 220 pounds
He checks all the right boxes
I know it sounds trite, but it’s really not in this case. Hock fits the mold of a Jason McLeod-type pitcher. He’s a closer who is now transitioning into a starter, which means his arm has low mileage. He exceeded expectations in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2016 as a starter and his big frame — 6-5 and 220 pounds — lends itself to durability. The only thing missing from his profile that McLeod likes is USA Baseball experience.
There is still a lot of volatility in the top of the draft and Hock could really rise or fall depending upon his spring performance. If he has a good season at Stanford, his stock moves sharply, up into the first round. I think the Cubs have an eye on him already just based upon his work in the CCL.
Experience in high-leverage situations
Good Cape Cod League
Areas of Concern
Lack of experience as a starter
Going deep into games
You get a nice look at Hock’s athleticism in the video below. His over the top delivery looks pretty good, though the max effort results in some inconsistency with his command. You can also see the snap on a curve that has potential to be a really nice pitch. There’s a lot there to work with.
What Others Say
Teddy Cahill – Baseball America:
Hock excited scouts this summer with his combination of velocity, stuff, and size. His fastball typically sat in the low 90s and he ran it up to 95 mph. He paired his fastball with a hard curveball that generated swings-and-misses when he located them, although he allowed 41 hits in 37 innings during a 1-4, 3.44 summer. His changeup made strides over the summer and gives him a third promising offering. Hock is listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and largely pitched around the zone, though his command will need further refinement.
What I like most about Hock is that he is still coming into his own as a pitcher. If I were to use the new terminology, I’d say he’s ascending. He has all the prerequisites needed to do well at the major-league level. His size and experience in pressure situations make him a valuable commodity because his arm doesn’t have the wear and tear. And he’s already transitioning into a starter role, all of which makes him an asset with a high ceiling and a floor that’s actually pretty high too.
Here’s the thing…
Even if Hock has a mediocre or poor season this spring, the talent is still there. So the value in terms of developing that talent is still the big draw. Whether it happens at Stanford or in the minors doesn’t matter. Only his potential does.