Brad Keller has been one of the best Rule 5 picks in recent memory. People love to get caught up in how many strikeouts Keller doesn’t record on a daily basis, but they often forget how good Brad Keller really is, ESPECIALLY for a Rule 5 pick:
Prospect Watch: Malcolm Van Buren: This also includes an interview with Van Buren.
It’s easy to see what the Royals liked in Van Buren when they drafted him. He hasn’t stopped growing since joining the org (he’s now 6′ 5″ and weighs 210 lbs.), and his fastball hasn’t stopped becoming a better offering. He currently throws 93-94 mph with the ability to touch 96 and spins the ball about 2,500 RPM. His curveball can be downright filthy at times, and helped him strikeout five batters in one inning earlier this summer; a feat that has never been accomplished at the big league level.
When Vallot advanced to Wilmington for 2017, he continued to follow his familiar pattern at the plate: lots of strikeouts (127), but an .818 OPS made that a bit easier to set aside. He still swung and missed, frequently, but the power continued to hint that there was at least a chance for greater things to come.