The Royals are staying in the college ranks, making that eight college selections in eight picks. With the 152nd overall pick (fifth round), they selected Austin Cox, LHP out of Mercer University.
Weight: 205 lbs
FanGraphs: #39 college pitcher
Baseball America: #212 overall
Minor League Ball: #202 overall
After going with back-to-back position players, the Royals continued their run of college pitching, picking up their second left-hander of the day in Austin Cox. He has an intriguing arsenal, working a downhill mid-90s fastball to pair with his above-average breaking slider. He finishes off a deep arsenal with a curveball and changeup, both pitches he needs to work on if he wants to have developmental success.
Just by looking at the numbers, you can quickly tell that Cox has swing-and-miss stuff. IN 87.2 innings pitched this junior season for him, he struck out a high 124 batters while walking 43. He was hit around a bit against some weaker competition, allowing an also high 10.2 hits per nine.
Cox is an imposing figure on the mound that uses a quick delivery with decent arm speed to fire the ball to home plate. I find the leg kick a bit interesting.
With the Royals going with what you would call “safe” picks early on, Cox seems like the high-variance pick to me. I’ll be very interested to see how his stuff translates to pro ball, as it was hit around a bit in college.