Monday, February 16, 2009

Top 15 Pitchers: #12 Kyle Lobstein

Kyle Lobstein
6'2" 200 lbs. DOB: 8/12/89
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
2008: DNP(Signed late)
Acquired: 2008 Draft, 2nd Round, 47th Overall

Lobstein entered the 2008 spring baseball season with a chance to move into the middle of the 1st round, but a late start due to his basketball season and cold weather hampered him early. After touching 92 MPH in the past, Lobstein sat in the upper-80's and touched 90 his senior season, failing to turn the corner like scouts had hoped.

Signing just minutes before the August 15th midnight deadline, Lobstein's velocity was reportedly back in the 90-91 MPH range in instructionals. Even when he didn't have the fastball popping in high school, he showed plus command and pitchability. He moves the ball around the well and hits his spots more often than not.

Lobstein has a great body for a pitcher. His height and athleticism lend well to his projectability, and it's easy to see him working in the 93-94 MPH range in the future. His best off-speed pitch is his curveball, but like his fastball, wasn't quite as good as scouts as hoped. He also flashed a change-up, but like virtually every high school draftee, it needs a lot of work as a pro. He has a clean delivery and his mechanics shouldn't need much tinkering.

2009 will be only be Lobstein's age-18 season, and the Rays will take it slow with him. There's no question he'll spend the year with Princeton.

The Rays have a potential steal in Lobstein. He should be able to get his fastball back to where it was and then add to it, but he can really emerge as a prospect if his curveball regains its bite. Lobstein won't be a flamethrowing lefty in the mold of Jake McGee or Matt Moore, but his control coming out of high school is more advanced than theirs was.

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