With the #45 pick in the draft, the Angels selected Ky Bush, a left-handed starting pitcher out of Saint Mary’s college.
I’m very excited about this pick. He was the second-round target in my #3 Dream Draft scenario (“A Balanced Portfolio”), where I selected him after a falling Jackson Jobe. Here’s what I wrote about Ky Bush in that capsule:
But because even Jobe is a very big risk, we balance out the big prep righty with a high-floor college lefty in Ky Bush. Bush may be at the top of my second round board, as he’s a rare southpaw power pitcher, huge at 6’6″ and carrying mid-90s heat along with a plus slider and developing curve and change. Bush himself is a diversified asset, as advancement in his four pitch mix could make him a #3 in a rotation, or his upscale velocity could hit triple digits in the pen. A favorite of mine, to be sure.
Bush is another starter with reliever risk, or power reliever with starter upside, depending on how you want to look at it. With Bachman, he presents a high floor in that the Angels are likely to get either a reliever or starter, and can afford to shoot for the latter with a strong backend bullpen weapon as a fallback. If Bush were to transition to the ‘pen, many believe he could hit triple digits as a power lefty.
So far, the Angels are threading the needle between my “balanced portfolio” and “what a relief” dream scenarios. “Drafting from need” feels pretty good, hehe. 🙂 Excited to see what comes next at pick #80.
Bush is a huge left-hander (6-foot-6, 240 pounds) with a solid power repertoire. He’s been 90-96 mph with his fastball, sitting mostly around 94 mph, with a better feel for commanding it than he had shown early in his college career. It’s heavy and there’s deception, making it tough to pick up. His slider is his best secondary offering, a breaking ball that flashes plus and has more top-to-bottom break than a typical slider. Though that has some curveball action to it, he does have a distinct, slower curve that isn’t as good of a weapon. Bush’s changeup is a work in progress, but he hasn’t needed it in competition. The southpaw had struggled with command at both Washington State and Central Arizona, but he’s been throwing more strikes at Saint Mary’s. There are some who still see a reliever profile, but other scouts feel the delivery can continue to be refined to give him starter upside. The team that takes him early will likely be one that will at least give him the chance to stick in a rotation, with the knowledge he could approach triple digits in shorter stints out of the ‘pen.
Baseball America (Rank: #47):
A big-bodied lefthander at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, he previously struggled with his weight but emerged this season trimmer and with a better delivery, leading to major improvements in both his stuff and control. He went 7-5, 2.99 with 112 strikeouts and 19 walks in 78.1 innings for the Gaels during the regular season. Bush is an intimidating presence on the mound and powers his fastball downhill from the left side. He sat in the low 90s and topped out at 94 early in the season, but his stuff ticked up throughout the year and he sat 93-94 and touched 96 mph by the end of the season. His best secondary offering is an above-average slider in the mid 80s that gets swings and misses, and he complements it with a potentially average changeup in the mid 80s and a usable curveball in the upper 70s he can land in the strike zone as a change-of-pace offering. Bush struggled throwing strikes in the past, but he showed above-average control this season with his improved physique and delivery. His steady improvement over the past year has teams optimistic he’s on an upward trajectory. With his size, stuff from the left side and newfound control, Bush has pushed himself into top-two rounds consideration and won’t get past the third round.