2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Eric Lauer

By: Burke Granger

Eric Lauer – LHP – Kent State. 6’3″ 205.  Class: Junior.  DOB:  June 3, 1995.  Last Drafted:  2013 (Toronto Blue Jays – 17th Round).

Scouted:  Buffalo @ Kent State, May 6, 2016.  Kent, Ohio.

Lauer was a top 5 round talent coming out of Midview HS in Grafton, Ohio.  A good athlete, Lauer was a second team All-Ohio selection as a receiver in football.  Baseball America had him ranked as the top prep player in Ohio and 125th overall in the 2013 draft.  Due in part to his strong college commitment to Kent State, Lauer slid to the 17th round and was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays.  Lauer followed through with his intention to attend college, and the move has paid off as Lauer could find himself being selected in the first round three years later.

Lauer has been entrenched as the Friday starter for the Golden Flashes since his freshman year.  As a result, the lefty ranks among Kent State’s career leaders in many statistical categories.  Following his sophomore season in which he struck out 10.74 per 9 innings, Lauer took his talents to the Northeast and led the Cape Cod league in strikeouts, striking out 50 in 39.2 innings spread over 8 starts.

Now a junior, Lauer has cross checkers and scouting directors traveling to Kent to get a look at a high ceiling lefty with a deep arsenal of pitches and a propencity for filling up scoreboards with zeros.

STATISTICS

Through June 7, 2016.

YEAR

CLASS

W-L

ERA

G

S

IP

H

K

BB

2014

Fr.

8-4

3.26

15

0

80

58

64

36

     2015

So.

5-4

1.98

15

0

86.1

63

103

26

2016

Jr.

   10-2    0.69      15       0    104      49      125      28

REPERTOIRE:

Fastball:  At 90-93 mph with cutting action, Lauer’s fastball is the foundation from which the rest of his arsenal is built.  Lauer locates this pitch well to both sides of the plate and elevates when necessary.  The velocity has ticked up this season since reportedly sitting at 89-91 in the Cape.

Curveball:  Lauer has good feel for his curveball, a pitch he throws often at 75-77 mph with 1-7 break.

Slider:  Late moving at near fastball velo (85-86 mph), Lauer’s slider looks a little like a cutter.  Lauer uses pitch to generate weak contact in on the hands of righties and gets lefties to chase down or out of the strike zone.

Changeup:  Only thrown a handful of times, I didn’t get a good enough look to evaluate this pitch.  The absence of this pitch could be as easily attributed to a lack of feel as it could a simple lack of need in this particular match-up against a weak hitting Buffalo team.

Delivery:  As smooth and effortless as I’ve seen this spring, Lauer’s delivery is as consistent as his results.  Each of Lauer’s pitches come from the same mid 3/4 release point.  I was chatting with an NL cross checker who commented that a class of water could be placed on Lauer’s head and he could complete his delivery without spilling a drop.

Control/Command:  Consistently around the plate, what Lauer lacks in flashiness, he makes up for in his ability to pound the strike zone.  The aforementioned calmness in the delivery allows Lauer to locate to either side of the plate.

FUTURE:  Lauer’s greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses.  While I didn’t see a true plus pitch, the fastball, curveball and slider all could develop into at least average Major League pitches.  There will always be a place in the League for polished lefties with a four pitch mix.  Lauer projects as a back end of a rotation starter with a high floor.

DISCLAIMER:  It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  I do however actually go to see these guys play live, which is more than you’ll get from many online “Scouting Reports”.  I also talk to scouts when I’m there.  While scouts reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

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One thought on “2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Eric Lauer

  1. Pingback: Live Blogging the 2016 MLB Draft | Prospect Junkies

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