The term “projectability” popped up in the 6th round for the Angels when they selected a right handed pitcher out of Blue Valley Northwest High School, Cole Duensing. Yet another talent of of Kansas(one of the best draft classes ever for the state of Kansas), Duensing has been referred to as projectable by the Angels and will need to grow into his tall 6’4″ frame to become a big league pitcher. The Angels like the low 90’s fastball but believe they have a lot of work to do with the other pitches(change up and curveball). This is your prototypical boom or bust type pick as selecting high school pitchers and developing them is one of the toughest jobs for any team. Nonetheless, Duensing is a very talented kid.
Pros: Tall frame; Firm fastball that sits 90-93 mph with movement; Good feel for a fringe/average change up; Can spin a good breaking ball from time to time; Good mechanics for an 18 year old; Finishes delivery strong; Loads of upside
Cons: Developmental project(high risk); Change up/curveball well behind the fastball; Needs to add weight to withstand workload; Will need plenty of time in minors to develop
Grading the Pick: The Angels went the high school route again for a pitcher as their 2nd pitcher drafted was also a high upside 18 year old. Cole Duensing represented yet another talented kid coming out of Kansas in the draft and it’s easy to see why the Angels like him. You can’t teach size and 20-25 lbs added to Duensing’s frame will give him the look of a legitimate major league pitcher. The fastball is already a plus pitch as he saw an uptick from high 80’s to 90-93 mph as the year went on for him. He has good feel for his change up, which is a plus, but the pitch currently lacks the necessary separation from the fastball and gets too firm at times, making it a fringe/average pitch. Reports say he can spin a good curveball at times but gets around the pitch too often, which hasn’t made it a weapon yet. Duensing does have surprisingly clean mechanics for a high school arm so it seems as if that will help the learning curve a bit going forward. For an 18 year old, these are commonly found in pitchers but the Angels clearly have some work to do on Duensing going forward. This is a project arm that will take some time for develop in the system. My Grade: 7/10
Change up: 40/55