I swear the Dodgers are trolling us. They began yesterday's draft by picking a college pitcher named Buehler. Then moments later, they chose as their compensation first round pick a kid with the name that has pun written all over it - "The Funk is in the House." See what I mean?
As the 35th overall pick for the Dodgers they selected right-handed Louisville Cardinals pitcher Kyle Funkhouser. His slot value is at $1,756,100.00. Per an MLB.com scouting report:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55Baseball America adds more:
Funkhouser ranked as the top prospect on the U.S. collegiate national team last summer, topping the staff with 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. That capped a stellar sophomore season during which he tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 13 victories and helped Louisville reach its second straight College World Series.
Undrafted out of an Illinois high school in 2012 because of his commitment to the Cardinals, Funkhouser has a solid three-pitch mix that begins with a 92-96 mph fastball. Both his slider and changeup show flashes of becoming plus offerings as well.
Funkhouser's 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame is built for durability. There's some effort to his delivery, though not enough to lead scouts to think he'll wind up in the bullpen. His biggest need is to improve the consistency of his control and command.
Funkhouser’s control is well below-average for a first-round college arm. He’s improved his control as a junior, but his 3.7 walks per nine innings is a high number. Part of Funkhouser’s control issues come from the life of his fastball; sometimes it simply leaks out of the zone thanks to its excellent run. Funkhouser’s two-seam fastball is a potentially plus pitch. He pitches at 91-94 mph down in the zone with a two-seamer with plenty of bore and he gets excellent extension. He can elevate with a four-seamer that touches 96-97 mph when he needs it but it’s a truer pitch that’s easier to hit. The rest of Funkhouser’s assortment is solid. His slider shows flashes of developing into a plus pitch as he can throw it for strikes or bury it and he has shown a feel for using it to backdoor righthanded hitters. His curveball is more of a get-over pitch. He uses his changeup infrequently but it has a shown average potential. Funkhouser has a solid chance to be a solid mid-rotation starter who keeps the ball in the park. His stuff would seem to indicate that he has a higher ceiling, but so far he’s yet to show the command to unlock that potential consistently.Ken Gurnick at MLB.com passes along some personal stuff:
According to his bio page on the Louisville website, the finance major lists his favorite athletes as Derek Jeter, Derrick Rose and Brian Urlacher. His favorite cereal is Cocoa Puffs, favorite candy bar is 3 Musketeers, his favorite foods include deep dish pizza, hot dogs and grilled chicken, favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago White Sox and he was a spelling bee winner from third grade through fifth grade. His mother, Laura, played college volleyball at Indiana.Here are a coupe of other links to check out:
- Via Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest,"Dodgers pop Kyle Funkhouser at No. 35, more on Walker Buehler."
- Via David Hood at True Blue LA, "Kyle Funkhouser profile: A closer look at Dodgers' supplemental 1st-round pick."
- Via Steve Jones at The Courier-Journal, "U of L's Funkhouser readies for MLB draft."
- Via Jeff Greer at The Courier-Journal, "U of L's Funkhouser makes program history."
- Via Mike Clark at the Chicago Tribune, "Local Roundup: Morgan Park prevails; Tyler Jay, Kyle Funkhouser drafted."
From a Dodgers press release:
With their second pick, the Dodgers selected University of Louisville right-hander Kyle Funkhouser, who was rated by Baseball America as the fifth-best pitcher in the draft. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior went 8-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts for the Cardinals this year, limiting opponents to a .228 batting average with 104 strikeouts in 112.1 innings. The 21-year-old was also scouted by Lamb.Below is FanGaphs video of him pitching:
As a sophomore in 2014, Funkhouser earned First Team ABCA All-America, Second Team Louisville Slugger All-America and Third Team Baseball America All-America honors, setting a school record with 13 wins (13-3) and posting a 1.94 ERA in 18 starts. Following the season, he was selected to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and went 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA (4 ER/28.1 IP) in six games (five starts) during the club’s summer tour. The Oak Forest, IL native opened his college career by being named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after going 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 22 games (six starts).
“He’s an advanced college pitcher and was the ace on a really good team,” said Gasparino. “He’s big, physical and has got a really good arm action delivery. He throws up to 95 with a quality mix of secondary pitches.”
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