The 2012 MLB Draft will begin tonight at 7 p.m. with Duke’s Marcus Stroman widely expected to be a first-round selection. Stroman finished this season with a 6-5 record and 2.39 ERA, recording 136 strikeouts in 98.0 innings.
In his final mock draft for ESPN Insider, Keith Law predicts Stroman will be selected with the 23rd by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Law also conducted a chat on ESPN today about the draft in which he was asked a few questions about Stroman.
On why height matters for starting pitchers like Marcus Stroman, who despite throwing very hard is only 5-foot-9:
Because short pitchers have trouble getting downhill plane on their fastballs. A flat fastball at 96 is still pretty easy for a major league to put in the air, especially if he sees the pitcher three at bats a game.
On if Stroman is likely going to be the first player in this year’s draft to make it to the big leagues:
On how quick he might reach the majors:
I think you could put him in the majors tomorrow and he’d be fine. Realistically, I’d say by August 1st, because I can’t imagine any team having the stones to do this.
No Duke player has ever been selected in the first round of the MLB Draft.