Kyle Wright entered the 2017 season as one of the top pitching prospects in the entire draft, perhaps as high as #2 on the board. Then games began and the right hander had some struggles early on. In his first eight starts, through April 7th, he had thrown 43.0 innings with 19 walks and 42 strikeouts to go along with a very uninspiring 4.81 ERA. Things were just not looking good for the Vanderbilt right hander.

From that point forward though, everything began to change. Whatever it was that flipped the switch, worked. In the five starts since he’s thrown 39.2 innings where he’s allowed just 12 hits, walked seven batters and struck out 51 hitters. That’s a WHIP of 0.48 and he’s posted an ERA of 1.14 in that span. He hasn’t been doing that against cupcakes, either. Vanderbilt is in the middle of conference play in the SEC.

While the overall season numbers are merely good, it’s been the run over the last five weeks that has been what scouts were expecting to see, but even better. On the year he’s now posting a 3.06 ERA in 13 starts over 82.1 innings. Kyle Wright has walked 26 batters and struck out 93 batters, allowing just two homers along the way.

Kyle Wright Scouting Report

Fastball | The pitch works in the 93-95 MPH range, though at times he’ll sit 94-96 with the pitch.

Slider | The pitch worked in the low-to-mid 80’s. It’s got a bit of a cutter type of action to it and could be a plus offering in the future.

Curveball | His go-to secondary pitch is a 12-6 offering that is a plus offering that works in the 78-82 MPH range.

Change Up | The pitch doesn’t have a large velocity difference from the fastball, working in the upper 80’s most nights. It does show good movement and late sink to it. Depending on where you look, you can see it referred to as an average offering or as a potential plus offering.

Overall Thoughts

Physically, Kyle Wright has everything you want from a starting pitcher. He’s 6′ 4″ and 220 lbs. His mechanics are clean. He’s shown the ability to absolutely dominate high level college baseball. There haven’t been any health concerns during his time in college. The stuff is unquestionable, with four potential plus offerings depending on where you look, but it seems everywhere gives him a chance for at least three above-average pitches and a fourth average one.

When you are drafting at the top of the draft, Kyle Wright is exactly the kind of player you want to look for. There’s superstar potential there. He’s going to be relatively close to the Major Leagues as a college pitcher coming out of the SEC. The concern, if there is any, is what happened to start the 2017 season and the inconsistency he showed at time time. With that said, the run he’s been on over the last five weeks shows he’s capable of rebounding and self-correcting (I’m sure with the help of his coaches, too). While I’m not entirely through all of my draft research, as things sit right now, Kyle Wright would be at the top of my draft board if I had to make one.

For other 2017 Draft Scouting Report profiles, click here.

33 Responses

  1. Mac624

    He’s my choice for #2. I want a polished guy. Everyone has a rough patch now and again, but he worked his way out of it and that shows some mental toughness that Greene hasn’t showed.

  2. The Duke

    There has been some buzz online about how Wright might be working his way into the 1-1 slot. The same kind of buzz says the Reds are as high on Hunter Greene as anyone, so I’d be interested to see who the Reds would choose if both McKay and Greene are on the board. I do think the Reds are definitely taking one of those 3 pitchers though, and they’ll have a choice between two of them. I just don’t see them taking one of the hitters at #2. I see the logic behind any of them, but I hope they go for the upside in either Greene or Wright.

    • Wes

      I agree on a pitcher for reds and I think wright is a good fit for twins. Good to see that they are trending toward a college arm. Love to see bothGreene and McCay there at 2! Then u know reds will get there guy!

      • Doug Gray

        The idea of drafting McKay at #2 just sits poorly with me.

      • wes

        Yeah I’m not a baseball america subscriber but could read the profile on Greene without paying and that read is phenomenal. I got Greene 1 for now on my list.

        Try not to go off my list though. If Reds take McCay over Greene I’ll support that. I really like the management strategy of identify a guy and go get him. That’s why I think we are favorites on Robert.

        predicting of top 3 + robert after draft for prospect rating-
        I think McCay and Greene fall between 15-20
        Robert 20-25
        Wright 45-50

    • Kap

      Pretty certain as well. They can still get a solid college or high school hitter at picks 32 or 38 (or both). Have to go best available for sure

      • wes

        I’d like to see one or two of those top college arms fall to us. Like guy from Missouri or guy who got kicked off team for a day. Especially if we get Greene. Like to see a couple Arms that will come through before he’s ready.

  3. Kap

    I’ve been back and forth on this but Wright is my guy. If he goes to the Twins, then I would rather have Greene over McKay. My gut feeling is that he’s the safest pick out of the three while having considerable upside.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s hard to ever call a high school pitcher the safest pick in the draft.

  4. Simon Cowell

    There isn’t much room for margins of error with draft prospects so with that McKay is fading while Wright is back at the top

  5. Fromcubawithluv

    I still prefer Greene. But I’m really comfortable with the idea of getting either Wright or Greene at 2. We could do a whole lot worse.

  6. Mike

    I’ve watched Mckay for 3 years at U of L . He is a nice player as a pitcher and/or Hitter . But he is not a 1-2 talent …

  7. The Rage

    Both Greene and Wright have poor mechanics. Stay away from both. I would go with the bat.

    • The Duke

      Literally just about every scouting report I’ve read on both of them disagrees with you.

      • The Rage

        Wright is a body thrower. I want nothing to do with that. Green is a UCL mess if he doesn’t get better coordination between his trunk/legs. To Greene’s credit, he is very young and his parents/coaches have limited his number of pitches which indirectly, makes him more attractive. Get him in the right organization and he could very well blossom. I don’t think the Reds are that organization.

        He is not Kershaw in that he has ready for MLB workloads at 21 with excellent mechanics. It will be a 5-6 year process.

        Give me the bat.

      • Doug Gray

        What bat, though? There are a few I wouldn’t be upset about, but I’m not exactly excited about any of the college bats at all.

      • Wes

        Why Lewis?

        Who do u see as an organization that would develop Greene?

      • The Rage

        He reminds me of a more talented version of Reggie Sanders. If he could have played SS, he would be the number 1 pick hands down. I think people underrate his power.

        It is the plate discipline that impresses me. That Sanders never had to the same level. His type of bat + defense is gold in the modern game where finding hitting is more important than finding pitching to unlock the key to the WS.

    • Kindell

      When I watch Wright pitch I actually think the opposite. I think his mechanics are solid in form with no major red flags. I think why scouts are ok with his mechanics is because you could make the arguement that he uses his arm more than maxing out his lower half.

      I think a pitching coach looks at Wright and sees the possibilties of a few slight changes in his mechanics could keep him consistently 93-94 throughout the whole game.

  8. Todd

    With the increase in Wright’s stock, this only helps us in contract negotiations – which is so important with our 32nd pick as well as our 38th. Best case scenario, we take Wright if Greene goes 1.1 or Greene if Wright goes 1.1 – both are great choices and would be the (potential) impact ace this team desperately needs!!

  9. The Rage

    If Faedo’s knees were healthy, he would be clearly the number 1 overall pick. But he just can’t get much lift off of them, which limits his potential.

  10. DanD

    Doug, we have a good idea of the players that will be in the top 5, are you going to have any post with who we can expect to see at 32 & 38?

    I would love to see a OF, college pitcher and HS pitcher for the first 3 picks.

    Do you know anything about Drew Waters? I could see him being around we pick at 32 or 38.

  11. Will

    Both Wright and McKay played for Team USA last Summer (2016). It would be interesting to know what the Manager of that team thought about each as a Pitcher.

  12. Arnold Ziffle

    Wright has the smoothest delivery of any pitcher in this draft. I was high on him at the beginning before he came out of the gates slow. He is now coming down the homestretch in the lead. Wright would be an excellent pick at #2.
    Many hitter will be available at #32 and #38. There just doesn’t seem to be one that makes complete sense at #2.

  13. John

    Maybe I am crazy in thinking this, but I would like to see a team draft McKay as a legit two way player. It would probably need to be an American league team, but I would like to see a team try to develop him as a DH/high leverage reliever. Let him focus solely on the bat and mound, and forget defense. I could see him being a dominant guy for 60 or so innings a year, while also being a very good hitter.

    • Doug Gray

      I think you’d be wasting him at 60IP. He’s a starter, try to get more from him, even if you’re going to be crazy and use him as a reliever and DH.

      • John

        Like I said, I just think he would be the perfect guy to try to develop as a legit two way player. He may not be a true ace on the hill, and he may not be a true all world bat, but I do believe that he has the skill set to be a legit big league player on either side of the ball. If you think that wasting him at 60IP, then try to let him start every 5 days and DH in between.
        All that being said, I know that there is not a team in baseball willing to roll the dice with a draft pick this high that will command that much money, but I do think it would be fascinating to see.

      • Doug Gray

        I was more talking about let him relieve, but give him 120 innings instead of 60. Don’t make him a 1-inning guy.

  14. John

    I could be on board with that. It is, however, a pipe dream as I do not honestly see anyone trying that.