Detmers wasn’t a guy I initially thought about the Royals drafting. Not because he isn’t talented, but because he doesn’t have the high-end stuff that a Hancock or Lacy have. Granted his stuff is very good and he is one of the top NCAA arms in the nation. He has been mentioned somewhere starting around sixth overall and usually going to the Rockies in mock drafts.
The Royals have somewhere north of $12.5 million to spend in this draft, especially if they use their extra 5 percent spending capability. The extra 5 percent moves their budget to $13.1 million to select just six players. I’m going to throw some numbers at you at the end of this draft profile. That will be about some options if the Royals want to try to manipulate the draft system.
Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
Reid Detmers should be a top ten pick as one of the safest pitchers available in the 2020 MLB Draft. Detmers has some high reward potential as well as a middle of the rotation type of lefty. At his best, I think he could be an innings-eating Mark Buerhle-like guy or even a Jose Quintana type of arm who could easily strike out a batter per inning. Obviously those guys have had solid MLB careers and I think everyone would take a LHP they can count on in every single start.
Detmers has maybe the best curve in college baseball. The pitch itself will get him to the majors and if that’s all he threw, he’d still have success. His curve is from 73 to 77 and about 15 to 20 mph slower than his fastball. It has an incredible break moving from 1 to 7 from the catcher’s perspective. At times, it can become more horizontal. This is a pitch that is three feet off the plate and eye-high before the break takes it knee-high on the outside corner. Right-handed hitters have already given up on it and left-handed hitters are bailing. Detmer’s curve is a swing and miss pitch that he can throw to any quadrant of the plate or even break into the dirt as a chase pitch.
Detmers fastball is no slouch pitch either. This year he worked mostly 91 to 93 and was up to 95. This pitch is deceptive and he can throw it right by a hitter when that hitter is looking for that big curve. Detmers can work this in any zone and when he gets ahead can elevate for swinging strikes.
Detmers doesn’t just have one breaking ball, he has two. The slider complements the curve exceptionally well. The slider is harder and doesn’t have as much break as the curve. It is more horizontal with not as much drop. This pitch is a low-80’s offering. Detmers didn’t use this much, but it is more of a chase pitch for lefties or a jam pitch for righties.
Detmers change up is an above average offering as well. The Louisville coaches have him use the curve more than either of the other two off speed pitches, but the change can really make Detmers career. This pitch is a lot like the slider in terms of velocity but has a break in the other direction. Detmers is deceptive with this pitch as well and can turn it over creating arm side sink and break.
Detmers put up huge strikeout numbers his sophomore year and was well on his way to doing the same his junior year at Louisville. Detmers had 167 strikeouts against 33 walks in 113.1 innings his sophomore year. This spring, Detmers had 48 strikeouts against 6 walks in 22.0 innings. That is a 19.6 K/9 strikeout rate and 2.5 BB/9 rate. Stop and think about that for a minute. That means Detmers was striking out more than two batters per inning more and almost nine per walk. Those ratios are off the charts on the extraordinary side of awesome.
Detmers pitched for the US Collegiate National Team in the 2019 summer. The USA coaches complimented him as the best pitcher on the staff. They praised his competitiveness, pitchability, and deception. While other guys had better pure stuff, Detmers got better results than all of them.
Scouts also have nothing but good things to say about Detmers presence and competitiveness on the mound. One scout complimented him by saying he could pitch in any situation you could imagine.
Detmers works from the third base side of the rubber. He brings his hands above his head while getting his grip before he starts his windup. He has a smooth windup raising his leg waist high and a smooth release with little effort.
Detmers has a decent move to first although he won’t pick many guys off. But then again, there aren’t very many runners on against him. He uses a solid spin move to second base although he seemed to telegraph it at times.
Detmers will be a very high pick and he deserves it. He will strike guys out, has a tremendous work ethic, is competitive, and will give you a great start every time he takes the mound. He has tremendous value in a pitching staff and will move very quickly to the big leagues where he should stick and have a long and successful career.
Now, let’s manipulate the draft. If the Royals draft someone like Miami RHP Brian Van Belle who was a senior this year, they could offer him something like $100,000 leaving somewhere around $13.0 million for the other five guys. If you under slot the number 4 overall which holds a value of almost $6.7 million with something like $5.0 million, you then have approximately $8.0 million for your other four picks. That’s where you tell one of those high rising high school guys that you can give them $3.5 to $4.0 million at number 32 which holds a value of $2.25 million. Suddenly you have some younger guys who may have gone after 15 overall getting more money than a team may be able/willing to offer because the Royals offer is higher than those team’s slots. Now someone like Pete Crow-Armstrong who is a solid player that has high end speed and elite defense tells teams he wants $3.5 million. He drops like a rock and everyone thinks he is going to school at Vanderbilt. But then the Royals swoop in, take him, sign him for $3.85 million and have two very good and safe players to make their roster in the coming years.
Or if you like pitching better, pick one of the sophomore-eligible college guys like Wilcox, Ginn, or Cecconi and they bump their asking price and you take one of those three guys. That would be an incredible haul in terms of NCAA arms to add to your system. Detmers slots right up there with the group of Singer, Lynch, and Kowar while the next arm slots in with Bubic, Cox, and Bowlan.
With that much money for just six guys, there really are a lot of ways you can play the scenarios. Basically, just decide which two players you like the best and offer them numbers higher than other teams can offer. It will be really interesting to see how this plays out and what the Royals do.
Here is a link to the 2020 Draft Profile Library that we have created. Thanks for taking a look.
Image taken from the Louisville sports website, no name was given for a photo credit.