Previously drafted: 2015, Round 2 by the Toronto Blue Jays
Background and Scouting Reports (non-cited background items from here)
Brady Singer’s prospect status was established early in his high school career. Baseball America ranked him its 54th best national prospect and 11th in the state of Florida ahead of the 2015 MLB draft. Perfect Game ranked him 10th in Florida and the third best right-hander in its class of 2015. The Orlando Sentinel named him to its All-State team and to the All-Area team, and he earned Lake County Player of the Year honors as well. His stat line was deserving of the accolades. He went 8-3 with a 1.25 ERA as senior throwing six complete games while striking out a whopping 110 in 67 innings. He also won the Florida League High School Invitational Challenge’s Cy Young award. Singer declined to join the Blue Jays, despite being drafted in the 2nd round in 2015, and honored his commitment to the Gators.
Singer was a reliever his freshman season, making 23 appearances and one start. He touted a 4.95 ERA, giving up 26 runs and 43 hits, while walking 17 and striking out 38 in 43.2 innings. He did lead all freshman Gators in workload. His first career start came in an elimination game against Alabama. He pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 runs but was bailed out by his offense, securing him the win.
His sophomore season was undoubtedly his coming out party. Highlighted by a move to the Gators’ rotation, he hurled 126 innings in 20 appearances and 19 starts. He had a 3.21 ERA. Singer earned All-SEC second team honors, was named to the 2017 College World Series All-Tournament Team and the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll. He made two starts in the 2017 College World Series throwing 14 innings and striking out 21. In his last start of the 2017 season, Singer struck out 12 in game 1 of the College World Series finals. The 12 strikeouts were the most ever in a CWS Final game and the most ever by a UF pitcher in the CWS. Of his 19 sophomore starts, Singer had 12 of the quality variety. He did not walk more than three batters in a game the entire season, and had three double-digit strikeout games. He was also named to the 2017 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team but did not participate to pitch for Florida.
To date, Singer’s 2018 season started off slow, but improved drastically as it continued. Through 88 innings, he has allowed 59 hits and 29 runs. He struck out 92 while only walking 18 for an ERA of 2.25.
See for yourself
A video by 2080 Baseball documenting Singer’s March 23rd start against the University of Arkansas.
A video from Perfect Game highlighting his repertoire.
A video from his 2017 season showcasing his repertoire.
MLBPipeline ranked Singer 5th overall, but believes he’s in play to the Giants at 3 or the Reds at 5. Although Jim Callis believes the White Sox’ could pick one of eight players, Singer is one of only two pitchers, the other being South Florida’s LHP Shane McClanahan, the Sox are potentially considering. Coming into the season with 1-1 potential, Singer’s draft stock plunged because of a slow start. MLBPipeline believes Singer has a terrific pitcher’s body, that’s been durable to date. His fastball is in the 95-96 mph range, and is complimented by his second pitch, his slider. The change-up is a work in progress, but could very likely be above-average. Singer has good command. MLBPipeline believes Singer story is one similar to former Florida teammates A.J. Puk and Alex Faedo. Coming into their draft seasons, they touted 1-1 potential but fell after weak seasons. The one factor that could save Singer’s stock? His bounce-back towards the end of the season.
On their top 500, Baseball America has Singer at 4. Citing his statistical improvement over all three of his collegiate seasons and his high school rankings, BA believes Singer’s past results and his two plus pitches will propel him into the top 10. BA’s evaluators aren’t as high on his change-up, believing it’ll be just an average pitch. They also highlighted Singer’s inconsistent, low-slot delivery as something talent evaluators view worrisomely. That said, BA believes teams will either view him poorly as a two-pitch starter with a low-arm slot or as a potential middle of the rotation arm, with impressive command and an even more impressive track record.
Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel aren’t as high on Singer, listing him as their 15th overall prospect (out of 55), citing his decreased velocity to start the season, his unconventional three-quarter delivery and his age relative to the class. However, he earned a spot in the top 100 for his health and his above-average stuff. Fangraphs believes he’ll be backup option for the Reds at No. 5 or somewhere in the No. 9 to 15 range.
Note: These scouting grades are based on the projections at mlbpipeline.com
Prospect Overview and Future Outlook:
Several elements at play for Florida’s ace. Entering the season the favorite to go 1-1 in the draft, Singer has been outshined by SEC conference mate, Auburn’s P Casey Mize (despite Singer out dueling him in late April).
Multiple talent evaluators point to his statistical track record and relative health as reasons for excitement. However, others see his low-arm slot delivery and only two plus pitches as a major cause for concern. One of the more experienced pitchers among the higher ends arms in the 2018 class, Singer has improved with each collegiate season, posting good control and impressive strikeout numbers consistently.
He’s been tied to the Sox in multiple reports and could provide more depth to a farm that’ll likely graduate Michael Kopech before years end. His SEC experience, superb command and ability to rack up K's would make him a worthy addition to the White Sox’s farm.
That said, Singer’s stock has taken a hit and it doesn’t seem to be recovering as much as it should be, despite his improving performance. It’s seems Singer’s reputation has gone from exciting to safe, as teams view him more of a fallback than a headliner. He could also be appealing to go slightly under slot for a team making a play to pay higher down the draft, though he may be too much of a prospect for that.
Yet, in a world where there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect, playing it safe and drafting an incredibly promising talent shouldn’t be scoffed at. The tarnish on Singer seems uncalled for. His potential three plus-pitches, and command makes him safer than most. His past results prove he earned his top 5 ranking.
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