Our series looking at potential first round selections for the Milwaukee Brewers in the MLB Draft continues with a look at another college pitcher.
Recently we took some looks at other college pitchers such as Garrett Crochet, Cole Wilcox, Carmen Mlodzinski, and Cade Cavalli as potential selections for the Brewers, who own the 20th pick in this year draft.
Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
Bryce Jarvis has played three seasons at Duke, with his third season being cut well short due to the coronavirus. As a draft-eligible sophomore in 2019, Jarvis was selected in the 37th round by the New York Yankees.
Jarvis decided to turn down the Yankees and return to Duke. He turned some heads when he returned to Duke in the fall of 2019 with an added 20 lbs of body strength and increased fastball velocity.
A previous knock to Jarvis’s game was that in 2019 his fastball velocity typically sat in the 88-93 MPH range that faded to 86-91 MPH towards the end of 2019. In the spring of 2020 he was throwing consistently in the 92-96 MPH range, but his season was again cut short, so it’s unknown if he would have been able to maintain that velocity.
For secondary pitches, Jarvis’ changeup is graded well above average and is by far his best pitch behind his fastball. He also possesses a curveball that sits in the mid-to-high 70s and a slider in the mid 80s.
Jarvis did draw quite a bit of attention in February 2020 when he threw a perfect game vs Cornell. Of the 27 outs, 15 came via the strikeout. He was extremely efficient and only threw 94 pitches during this outstanding performance. In his last start before baseball was shut down, he went seven innings against Florida State, allowed just one hit, and struck out 12 batters.
In a short 2020 season Jarvis threw 27 innings, struck out 40 batters, and posted a 40:2 strikeout to walk ratio. Between the perfect game, increased velocity, and raised level of play, Jarvis finally put himself in the 1st round category. If selected in the first round, Jarvis would join Marcus Stroman as the only other Duke player to be selected in the first round.
To date, the biggest concerns surrounding Jarvis is maintainability and lack of consistency playing at a 1st round draft pick level. The maintainability specifically relates to how his fastball velocity decreased over time during the 2019 season in which he logged 75 innings.
In 2017 and 2018 Jarvis showed flashes of good play, but none of which compared to what he accomplished in 2020. If he would have been able to sustain that level of play is a big question mark heading into the draft.
To me, it sounds like Bryce Jarvis may be a risky first round selection, especially for a college pitcher. He is projected to be drafted a few spots after the Brewers, but if the scouting department feels as if he can build on 2020 season and maintain his velocity over an entire season, then the selection makes sense.
There’s a variety of college right handers that should be available around the 20th pick. Perhaps the Brewers will have him the highest rated on their board and believe in his 2020 breakout.