The Rockies have agreed to phrases with right-hander Chase Dollander, the No. 9 total decide on this yr’s draft, Jim Callis of MLB.com reviews. The College of Tennessee right-hander will obtain his full slot worth of $5,716,900.
A breakout season in 2022 positioned Dollander as one of many high arms on this yr’s draft class. Dollander’s sophomore season with the Vols was sensational, because the 6’2″ righty pitched 79 innings of two.39 ERA ball with a 35.3% strikeout price towards a 4.2% stroll price. Nevertheless, Dollander’s junior season in 2023 was shakier. In 89 frames, he posted a 4.75 ERA with a diminished (although nonetheless robust) 31.3% strikeout price and a 7.8% stroll price that almost doubled his price from the prior season. Dollander additionally plunked eight hitters after hitting simply two the yr prior.
Regardless of the uneven efficiency, Dollander nonetheless rated as one of many high arms on this yr’s class. Baseball America rated him because the draft’s No. 6 total prospect — the No. 2 pitching prospect behind LSU ace and eventual No. 1 total decide Paul Skenes. FanGraphs ranked him eighth within the class, whereas MLB.com ranked Dollander as the category’ No. 9 total prospect and Keith Legislation positioned him No. 15 at The Athletic.
Scouting reviews on Dollander will universally reward a mid-90s fastball that topped out round 99 mph at his most dominant in 2022, however Legislation and others notice when breaking down his 2023 season that the form of the right-hander’s slider modified for the more severe in ’23. Dollander’s command additionally wasn’t practically as sharp, and he’ll want additional develop his curveball and/or changeup in professional ball to offer him a 3rd constant providing.
Dollander provides some substantial upside to a Rockies system that’s typically devoid of top-end pitching prospects. He’s not as polished or MLB-ready as Skenes, who went with the highest decide, however he entered the 2023 season broadly thought to be the highest school arm on this yr’s class and will instantly grow to be the system’s high pitching prospect.