The New Year brings us another day closer to baseball season and another day closer to the draft. Every few weeks I will be doing a small breakdown and analysis on some of the top prospects that will be available in this upcoming draft.
The first prospect that I will be talking about is Daniel Espino. Espino is a right handed pitcher from Georgia Premier Academy.
He is one of, if not arguably the best high school pitcher in this draft. When I first watched Espino at the 2018 Under Armour All American game to say I was impressed is an understatement. At just 17 years of age Espino is sitting in the high 90s consistently and can dial it up to 99mph.
After watching more film on Espino you see that in addition to his electric fastball he possesses three other quality pitches. He has a plus slider that sits between 82-85 MPH and he can throw it for strikes. His 12/6 curve is a thing of beauty. His change-up is the pitch he doesn’t use that much but his coaches say that this is something they will work on this year. His change, when thrown, it’s got good run at 87-89 MPH and has a nice fall off.
I had the opportunity to speak with some of Daniel’s coaches and they say that Espino reminds them of Jordan Hicks. “[We] Definitely think he will improve in velocity as he has every 6 months with our program,” they said. He is another Jordan Hicks. He is built like him and he has made
Daniel has also proven himself against some of the top competition this past summer. He faced 23 ranked hitters in the top 300 and of those 23 they had a total of 26 at-bats and went 1-25 with 1 BB and 17 Ks. If I am not mistaken that one walk came against Bobby Witt Jr. whom many project to be the 1st overall pick come June. That is pretty impressive, which is why Espino has been one of the highest risers in many books.
There is an argument that could be made to put Espino in the conversation at number 1 as he is the highest rated high school pitcher and a top 10 player in this class at the moment. I currently see Espino going in the 3-7 range with his absolute floor being pick 8 or 9. A strong spring could boost him even higher that he currently is. I look forward to following Daniel Espino for the next few months up to the draft and for a long baseball career afterwards.
-Special thank you to Daniel Espino’s coaches at the Georgia Premier Academy-