Know A (Potential) Future Royal: Phil Bickford



I don't think the Royals take him or that he is really even Top 10 talent, but Keith Law has us grabbing him in his most current draft for what I'm assuming is solely underslotting reasons so I'll write him up to keep up with appearances.

The Info:

Position: RHP
Height: 6-4
Weight: 185
Bats/Throws: R-R
Birthdate: July 10, 1995
High School: Oaks Christian HS, CA

The Tools:


Velocity: 60-70

Movement: 55-55

Very good velocity. Could get it all the way up to 100 one day. Is very skinny and should pick up some velocity as his body develops. Has the mechanics to repeat the delivery. Movement is okay. Doesn't stay completely flat, but the speed of it is the only real factor. Most swing and misses on it will be late swings rather than late movement.

Curveball: 35-40

A very below average pitch and doesn't project to be very good. Easily falls behind his fastball, and is the worse of his 4 pitches.

Changeup: 45-50

A little better than his curveball, but not much to rely upon. Could compliment the fastball if he can develop the pitch and with his good deception it will make a great offering behind the fastball... if it develops. Sit Mid-80's which is very good for a changeup, but lacks the movement.

Slider: 45-50

Probably the best of all his secondary offerings at the moment, but it's not a pitch he can rely on right now in the pros. Works very well against high school talent, but lacks command of it right now. He has been known to leave the sliders hanging as well.

Command: 45-55

Control: 50-55

Good command and control of the fastball. When he was younger he had to paint all 4 corners of the strike zone (each zone at a time) 10 times consecutively before he would finish for the day. Could always be better, but works very well right now.

The offspeed pitches need help more so with command than control. He'll throw some pitches around every once and a while, but generally can control his pitches. The slider needs better control. The changeup has good control and command but just needs to be more developed movement wise.

The Ranking:

Overall: Would be a Top 10 prospect for the Royals.

Pitcher: Would be a Top 5 pitching prospect for the Royals. I'd rank Zimmer and Ventura over him no doubt. Kyle Smith would probably be right in front him right now and you could make a toss up between him and Sam Selman.

The Comp:

There's been some comparison to Astros 1st rounder Michael Foltynewicz while I've also seen a Burch Smith comp. Of course I've seen a floor comparison as Kyle Farnsworth.

The Draft: Would be a project arm for a team willing to take the gamble. Upside is tremendous and if he can develop a 2nd solid pitch then you're looking at an ace level flamethrower with good mechanics and command. That's Top 5 talent. But he's also a high schooler so he'd be years away and the guarantee to develop that pitch isn't there. Some team will take the chance on him in the Top 20 I'd imagine, which would throw signability problems out the window, but I think the Top 10 go for a more safer bet. If for some reason he is still there at #34, the Royals CBL pick, then you'd be hard pressed to find a better reward at that number, but at #8 I think I'd pass.

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