baseball-d1 flag staff | November 18, 2022

5 college baseball left-handers rising in 2023 MLB draft status

Nastiest pitches from the 2022 Men's College World Series

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Here’s a quick look at some left handed pitchers who returned to campus this fall and greatly improved their draft stock in short order.

Sebastian Gongora, Wright State– Last spring the 6-foot-5 lefty sat 88-92 while showing average feel for his secondaries and the strike zone (31 BB in 83 IP). This fall, Gongora has upped his velocity consistently into the low-90s, while touching 95. His changeup is more advanced than his breaking ball, but both can slow bats down and keep hitters off balance. He does lack a put away pitch at this time, but overall it’s his plus pitchability that produces outs. Currently, it’s a top five round profile for next summer’s draft.

Grayson Hitt, Alabama– Far and away the leader of the Lefty Risers, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound athletic southpaw was a big name out of high school during the covid summer. However, at that point it was a stuff over pitch ability type of arm. It remained that way his freshman season in Tuscaloosa before earning a rotation spot last spring as the Sunday starter. Throughout his sophomore season, he was mostly a two pitch guy with a fastball and slider and he pitched through a lot of traffic, finishing with a 5.34 ERA in 14 starts over 60.2 innings. After 21 more innings this past summer in the Cape, he shut it down before returning to Bama this fall. The power-armed lefthander has opened eyes throughout the scouting industry with first round stuff; 93-97 mph fastball, a plus 88-89 cutter, a useful downer breaking ball that he’s always been able to land for strikes, and a solid changeup. He still hasn’t gone to the change of pace much during game action, but the pitch shows well in the pen. Currently, Hitt has shown scouts enough to project to the back half of the first round.

Jamie Hitt, Oklahoma– No relation to Grayson, Jamie transferred from Texas Tech this summer and appears poised to take advantage of his change in scenery and seize a weekend starter job, after making just three starts in two years for the Red Raiders. A lean, athletic lefthander with a clean high three-quarters arm action, Hitt looked better than any other pitcher in the Rangers scrimmage, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts in his lone frame. He spotted up very well to both sides at 90-92, locating particularly well to his arm side, and he showed a very good 83-85 mph slider with late, hard bite and tight spin when he threw his best ones. Hitt has cleaned up his delivery since he arrived in Norman, and that has helped him repeat his mechanics and hone his command. He looks like a big-time pick to click. (Aaron Fitt)

Hunter Hollan, Arkansas– Hollan’s velocity has already jumped since he arrived in Fayetteville, and he looked dominant against the Rangers Instructional team this fall, striking out four in two hitless innings. Long and lean at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds with a loose, whippy high three-quarters arm action that produces 93-95 mph heat and a little crossfire action in his delivery that adds some deception. He showed the feel to spin a slider around 80 mph with good tilt that he threw effectively in on righties, and also a curveball with more depth and downer action at 75-77, which he showcased more against lefties. And he landed his 85-87 changeup for strikes. Hollan looks to have the ability to either start or relieve for the Razorbacks. Last spring the left-hander was on the radar of top JUCO prospects, ranking No. 26 overall by Prep Baseball Report. (Aaron Fitt)

Jaden Woods, Georgia– More of an industry riser than one in our rankings (already the No. 29 college prospect in the August PBR Draft HQ college rankings), Woods was electric in his start against Florida in Jacksonville, pitching two scoreless innings with five strikeouts. He pitched with a 93-95 mph heater and his trademark 81-84 mph swing/miss, high-spin curveball. He worked quickly, filled the zone and overmatched the Gators’ lineup throughout his short stint. The arrow continues to point up after a successful summer with the CNT, followed by an even better fall for the Bulldogs where he has struck out nine in four and one-third innings.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 14 - 24, 2024
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