Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available during the next few weeks.
At 6-foot-5, 231 lbs., it's hard not to notice Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss on a baseball field, even when he's not standing on a mound. The lefthander was the Rangers' 12th round pick (380th overall) out of a Tennessee high school back in 2007, though they were unable to sign him and he's now draft eligible again as a college junior.
Baseball America recently ranked Pomeranz as the third best talent available this year, while ESPN's Keith Law had him fourth (subs. req'd for both). MLB.com's Draft Report notes that he "sits comfortably in the 91-92 mph range" while touching 94 with his fastball, and he also features a power breaking ball, a greatly improved change, and command that is "solid-average to a tick above average." The MLB.com link also includes video.
Overall, Pomeranz heads into tonight's start against Alabama with a 2.17 ERA, a .183 batting average against, and a 112/36 K/BB ratio in 74.2 innings. However he's been dealing with a strained pectoral that's kept him from being his best down the stretch. Three weeks ago he walked nine in just three innings of work against fifth ranked Louisiana State in a nationally televised game. Against Southeastern Conference competition (college baseball's toughest conference), Pomeranz has a 2.45 ERA, .176 average against, and a 72/29 K/BB ratio in 51.1 innings.
College lefthanders with command of three pitches and that kind of size don't last very long in the draft, so Pomeranz should expect to hear his name called within the first five picks this year. Jim Callis of Baseball America has him going to the Pirates with the second overall pick in his mock draft.