Player: Riley Pint

Position: RHP

DOB: Nov. 6, 1997 (18 years old)

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 210 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Kan.)

College Commitment: LSU



High school pitchers always come with a certain level of risk, and no high school right-hander has ever gone No. 1 overall.

That being said, it’s not everyday an 18-year-old is clocked at 102 miles per hour.

No one among this year’s crop of high school arms, and perhaps no one in general in the 2016 classsave for Louisville right-hander Zack Burdi—throws harder than Riley Pint.

The fact that he comes from a Kansas high school only makes him that much more rare, as there has not been a Kansas high school player selected in the first round since Brian Holman was taken No. 16 overall by the Montreal Expos in 1983.

It’s not just velocity with Pint, though.

He also possesses one of the best changeups in the draft among a four-pitch repertoire that also includes a potentially plus curveball and a slider.

Pint led St. Thomas Aquinas High School to a Kansas Class 5A state title this year. He didn’t pitch in the championship game but delivered the go-ahead, two-run double in the fifth inning for a 10-9 lead that would hold up as the final.

I’m ready to go now,” Pint told Ashley Scoby of the Kansas City Star. “One chapter ends, another one begins. And I’m really, really happy about this one.”

Pint is committed to LSU, but it’s hard to see him passing on the paycheck that comes with being taken so high in the draft.


Pick Analysis

Velocity is what has put Pint on the national map, but it’s his impressive overall repertoire and projectable frame that should immediately make him one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

Here’s the scouting report that Baseball America provided while ranking him as the No. 2 prospect in this year’s class:

Pint sits at 97-98 mph, regularly bumps 100 and has touched 102 with a fastball that has sink and tailing action. He also throws an 89-91 mph potentially plus changeup with deception and fade. He even has two separate breaking balls—a curve and a slider that both flash above average.

Pint is athletic—he was an excellent basketball player before focusing on baseball and he’s thrown less than many top high school arms. His delivery causes some concerns as he lands into a stiff front side, has a head whack at release and has some recoil which has at times caused his control to waver.

There may be issues to iron out, but you can’t teach velocity, and the fact that he backs his fastball with three potentially plus off-speed pitches makes Pint one of the highest-ceiling prep pitchers to come along in years.


Pro Comparison: Justin Verlander

Reading further on in the scouting report referenced above, a comparison is drawn to Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander.

“In a best-case scenario, he becomes a Justin Verlander-esque front-line ace,” Baseball America wrote. “Like Pint, Verlander had problems with a stiff front side and control issues as an amateur, but the Tigers were able to clean it up.”

Verlander also has a similar build at 6’5″ and 225 pounds, and in his prime, he could routinely dial it up into the high 90s and even touch triple digits late into games.

The 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP winner utilizes the same four-pitch repertoire, and while velocity has always been his calling card, there was a time when his changeup was among the best in baseball.

Verlander came to the Tigers as the No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft after a standout career at Old Dominion, and his ascent to the majors was a rapid one, as he was a full-time member of the Detroit rotation by 2006.

Pint will no doubt take a bit longer to arrive on the scene given his age and need for further polish, but the upside is there for him to be every bit as good as Verlander was in his prime.


Projection: No. 1 starter, perennial All-Star


Major League ETA: 2021


Chances of Signing: 95 percent

Pint has a strong commitment to LSU, but his stock will never be higher, and it’s hard to pass on the bonus money at his draft slot.

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