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Scouting Report: Top Junior College Pitching Prospects to watch heading into the 2024 season

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Nick Prasad
2 months ago
With Major League Baseball free agency, the off-season trade block, and arbitration cases still going on, spring training is suddenly right around the corner. The scouting season is hitting the snooze alarm and slowly getting up and ready to evaluate the talents of the amateur world. 
Amongst professional baseball are high school, college, and travel programs heading down south to warmer climates to shake off the rust and bounce into game form. As the 2024 MLB draft prospect list starts to populate, it’s time to shed some light on some of the talents who maybe won’t see their name on the rankings, but have strong draft potential, specifically in the junior college industry. With a hot and populated transfer portal, some of these prospects may consider the draft as well as an NCAA commitment.

LHP Brandon Arvidson, San Jac Baseball (Texas Commit)

This Texas southpaw graduated in 2022 with a Perfect Game state rank of eight in his position of left-handed pitcher and ranked 56th overall. In the nation, he ranked 75th overall for LHP.  This earned him a spot with Texas A & M where he redshirted in 2023 and took his talents to San Jacinto College, a junior college local. 
Arvidson shows a ton of potential to play professional baseball. His growth from senior high school year to sophomore is noticeable and his arm is very projectable. He holds a tall 6’5”, slim build with good use of his body and height. He has a repeated delivery and his release point is consistent. 
The ball releases from his hand deceptively at a ¾ release point and works well against lefty batters. He gets on top of the baseball creating good spin and maintaining good command. His fastball maxes at 95mph and is consistent at 91-92mph. He works the odd changeup, works a slider that had decent horizontal action to lefties, and his out pitch is an early 80s curveball which he gets on top of and generates a mixed 12-6 curveball with good vertical movement. Arvidson has committed to Texas and will begin his campaign for the draft, showing good traits and projection. 

RHP Mack Estrada, Northwest Florida College

A familiar name to the Blue Jays but not quite a “Marco” Estrada yet… is a right-handed JUCO arm, Mack Estrada. This kid as a high school player was projectable, now he’s major league projectable, and he hasn’t secured or announced a four-year school commitment. He posted a 2.08 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched with 12 strikeouts’, displaying very workable tools. 
He shows a fastball spin rate between 2540-2620 rpm with a good run, good vertical sinking action and max’s at 94mph, consistent between 91-93mph. He throws a good curveball with a 2580 rpm, producing 1-7 sweeping action in the low late 70s velocity range, and a sweeping slider mid-80s that works low and away. Estrada has great offerings and a healthy addition to his tool belt and velocity could land his name in the 2024 draft talks. 

RHP Landon O’Donnell, Florida Southwestern (Florida State Commit)

This fiery right-hander is a sleeper, and he’s already committed to competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he should earn his stripes if he doesn’t earn a major league opportunity first. Currently at Southwestern Florida, O’Donnell hasn’t got much of a chance to show out more than three innings, but thankfully we already know what he’s about. 
Landon is a strike-thrower, which already makes him attractive. What makes him more attractive is his 6’4”, 220 lbs athletic frame that pumps a topping 96mph fastball, working the zone and painting corners, he sits 93-94 consistently. He also works a slider and a changeup. His slide-piece is his out pitch, which has good movement and mid-80s velocity.  From a delivery standpoint, he’s consistent, works at a good pace, and delivers quickly with runners on base to control the running game. If O’Donnell adds another option to his repertoire and polishes the slider and changeup, he will flourish in Division 1 baseball and will have a lot of affiliated eyes on him. 
The Toronto Blue Jays scouting season will commence and these are key arms Toronto should chart as options to watch for the 2024 draft. These three pitchers have what it takes to make it in the draft as they do to get their four-year school transfer. These pitchers would be great additions now and or later to the Blue Jays farm system. 

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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