2016 MLB Draft Profile: Eric Lauer
A recent mock draft has the Orioles drafting pitcher Eric Lauer. Let’s get introduced to the potential future Orioles pitcher.
The Baltimore Orioles minor league system is in desperate need for elite talent. While the Orioles have had a lot of success since 2012, their farm system has paid a very hefty price. To ensure that the Orioles can contend for as long as they can, they will need to have a strong 2016 draft. A recent mock draft by ESPN’s Keith Law (insider article) has the Orioles picking left handed pitcher Eric Lauer from Kent State.
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So who is Lauer? He is a 6’3″ 205 pitcher who is a junior. Lauer was named a 2015 First Team All-MAC player in 2015 and was on the original 2016 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. He was recently named the Louisville Slugger Division I Player of the Year and he’s a Collegiate Baseball 2016 First Team All-American. Lauer had a 0.69 ERA (lowest in the country) and finished second in WHIP.
While Lauer is clearly an extremely talented player, there are some red flags about him.
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"Lauer has battled command issues at times, which is odd considering how graceful his delivery looks. There’s a big hooking stab in the back as he loads his arm but nothing else that’s visually displeasing. If Lauer were a prep arm with this kind of mechanical ease, scouts would feel comfortable projecting his command a full grade-and-a-half above what it is right now, but as Lauer is a college arm, the cement is far drier and projections more conservative. If all the stuff and command max out, he’ll have four average or better pitches with average command. That’s a fourth starter’s profile."
Eric Lauer has some bad habits that teams could be willing to take a chance on if he were in high school. He seems like a guy who could contribute almost immediately, which is something that the Orioles might be looking for considering the questionable future of their rotation.
Will the Orioles draft him? That depends on one question: are the Orioles looking for immediate help or do they want to to take a prep prospect who might have a higher ceiling than Lauer but would take longer to develop? There’s a good argument to be had for both sides. But considering that the Orioles likely want immediate help, Eric Lauer is most likely on their radar.