The 125th overall pick in the MLB draft ended with the Milwaukee Brewers adding left handed pitcher Aaron Ashby.
Aaron Ashby is a product of Crowder College in Missouri with commitment to Tennessee next year. While that could cause some signability issues, the 20 year old southpaw dominated the JUCO ranks last season. MLB Pipeline ranks the recent Milwaukee Brewers selection as the 112 best prospect in this year’s class.
Some of Ashby’s stats really jump off the page, whether it be against JUCO competition or not. He accumulated an astounding 18.8 K/9 on his way to throwing three no hitters during the last season.
His dominance boils down a plus curveball. Ashby hits low 90’s with the fastball, and can flash a changeup. The curve is a 60 grade pitch, followed by the fastball at 55 and the changeup at 50. There is a chance he projects into a bullpen.
There are a couple points of concern with the lefty. The first being that he does not create a ton of swings and misses in the strike zone. That may not translate well into the professional ranks. The other point of concern is his funky delivery that occasionally hinders his strike throwing ability.
Ashby And The Future
Because of his three pitch mix, he will likely get a chance to start early on, should he sign with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, the funky delivery and reliance on only two pitches suggests he might succeed in more of a bullpen role. There is no question that his breaking ball will play at the next level, but he will need to reign in his changeup as well.
This means a big decision coming up for Ashby. He could honor his college commitment to college and try to get taken higher next year. But that is a double edged sword. It is likely that the choice will raise the cost to sign him to be above slot value. That is not the end of the world, but it is not ideal by any means.
Projecting JUCO pitchers is a little difficult, but Ashby certainly has a future in the MLB. It is a good pick for the Milwaukee Brewers. His future looks brightest in the bullpen, but as he starts his career he might be a dominate starter. That is the beauty of the draft.