Kevin Goldstein writes Baseball Prospectus' Future Shock, one of the better columns on the internet…
Padres Select Max Fried seventh overall
School: Harvard-Westlake H.S. (Calif.)
Events Scouted: Perfect Game National Showcase
Fried is the picture of projection. He has an extra long frame and is perhaps generously listed at 165 pounds. There is no doubt that his is a frame that will pack on strength as he matures physically. He has extra long arms and legs and is very thin at the waist. He will likely be able to add at least 25-30 pounds like nothing. When that happens, there's no telling where we could see his velocity go.
While Fried is fairly consistent in his delivery, there are some mild concerns as well. His follow through with his arm is somewhat stiff and simply just looks a little awkward rotating around his shoulder. It's clean up through that point, but the finish is a bit unusual. It could be due to his early weight shift to his front leg. His stride is a good one, but Fried leans way out onto his front leg rather than staying back over the rubber. That makes it very difficult to have a clean finish with the throwing arm. If he can stay back over the rubber longer, it will not only help his long term health but his command as well.
Fried currently works at 90-92 mph with his fastball and there appears to be a lot more on the way. From the stretch he was dipping to 88-90, however. He's going to get significantly stronger, and a clean up of his mechanics are going to help a great deal in this area as well. His fastball has a lot of late life and is missing a lot of bats. In time, we should see him add a couple of ticks as well.
While a little inconsistent at this stage, the curveball is going to be a major weapon from Fried at the professional level. He throws it at 75-78 mph with sharp downward bite. He hangs a few too many at this point, but when he has it going it's a true plus pitch. And, if he can gain some consistency this is a strikeout type pitch at the big league level.
Fried gets his changeup involved quite a bit for a young pitcher that already has an outstanding breaking ball. His changeup sits 77-79 mph with some decent fading action and good arm speed. He's not as comfortable with it yet as he is with his curveball, but it's currently a usable third pitch with potential to be a solid-average big league offering.
Fried has the super projectable frame, the current low-90s velocity and the hammer breaking ball going for him. In time, it's very easy to see him developing front end type stuff. Mechanics and arm action are a mild concern with him, and his overall command needs improvement, but this is your classic projectable lefty that so often goes off the board in the first round.
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