With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Tanner Witt?
5 months ago
From one (possible) future University of Texas pitcher, to a current one!
Today, we’re looking at the last pitcher on my list, Tanner Witt.
Tanner Witt’s bio:
Tanner Witt is a 6’5”, 225 lb right-handed pitcher who is 20 years old, and has spent three seasons at the University of Texas.
There’s a big Blue Jays connection here, as his father Kevin Witt was selected 28th overall in the 1994 draft by the Blue Jays. Unlike his son, Witt played first base, and slashed .233/.267/.376 with 15 homers in 424 major league plate appearances.
Unfortunately, the older Witt only had seven plate appearances with the Jays in 1998. His best season came in 2003 with the Detroit Tigers, where he slashed .263/.301/.407 with 10 homers in 289 plate appearances.
If Tanner Witt is selected in the first round, it’ll only be the ninth time a father/son duo has both been selected in the first round. Witt ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 41st best draft prospect, while he ranks as Baseball America’s 57th best draft prospect.
The last time the Blue Jays selected a player out of the University of Texas was back in 2018, when they selected pitcher Andy McGuire in the 28th round. They also selected first baseman Kacy Clemens in the eighth round of the 2017 draft. Those two picks were the only time the current front office has selected a player from the University of Texas.
Tanner Witt’s statistics:
Witt pitched in relief in his first season of college ball, owning a 3.16 ERA with a 30.8 K% and a 10.6 BB in 57 innings pitched. He played a key role in the Texas’ run in the College World Series, but unfortunately this was the most innings he pitched in a collegiate season.
After just two starts in 2022 (1.64 ERA and a 31.1 K%) before needing Tommy John surgery.
He returned to the mound in May and posted a 10.97 ERA and an equal 14.6 BB% in 10.2 innings (six starts). MLB Pipeline notes that he is still looking for his pre-injury stuff, but still has obvious upside. Speaking of stuff…
Tanner Witt’s stuff:
Prior to the injury, Witt was throwing 92-95 mph and touched 97 mph with the fastball. On top of good velocity for a strater, both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America notes that it has impressive run and carry on it. It’s worth mentioning that post-Tommy John surgery, his velocity is down to about 90-94 mph.
He also features an impressive curveball that drops like a rock in the ocean. In the future, the mid-70 mph secondary could be a plus pitch. He also throws a changeup which isn’t as good as the other two pitches, but could be an average pitch in the future. MLB Pipeline notes he throws a slider, but there’s no mention of that in his Baseball America bio.
Prior to the injury, Witt had excellent control of all three pitches, but struggled with command and control in his brief time on the mound in 2023.
Tanner Witt’s grades:
Here are his grades according to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.
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Will the Blue Jays select Tanner Witt?:
If you look at just MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, Witt could be expected to go somewhere in the second round. Of course, teams have their own ways of identifying talent, but it seems unlikely that the Jays select him with the 20th overall pick.
Now, there may be an outside chance that he falls to the Jays when they pick 89th overall, and to me that seems more likely. However, there could be cause for concern due to Tommy John. They’ve certainly never shied away from drafting pitchers with past injures though.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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