Friday, October 6, 2017

Scouting the 2018 Draft: RHP Ethan Hankins

Ethan Hankins is a prep pitcher from Georgia who is at or near the top of most early draft rankings.  He's on the tall side of ideal pitcher's height at 6'6" and an unfilled out thin youthful frame at 200 lbs. He's gotten lot of attention in scouting mags like BA for dominant showcase performances including one this summer where it pitched 9 perfect frames and struck out the first 6 batters he faced.

His FB tops out at 98 MPH per PG's bio, but sits in the mid-90's.  He relies on the FB, but has enough of a curve to steal and early strike or put away a hitter.  He's also working on a changeup.

On video, he works fast and is already changing tempo in games even flirting with a few quick pitches.  He stays fairly upright throughout his motion without a lot of leg drive.  Arm extension is excellent and the delivery is easy with a mid-3/4 release point which should provide good ball movement as well as downward plane.

This kid has a high ceiling with a ton of room to fill out.  He does need to get stronger and I'm not sure it's a slam dunk he will.  Physical development and avoiding injury are the only major question marks here, the latter being a given for all pitchers.  I could see an argument for him going #1 overall,  but there is significant risk as with all HS pitchers.


  1. I'd draft him. He's my Round 1 crush. I just see a guy who could turn into an elite pitcher. And the thing is he needs to add lower-body strength and hip flexibility and then really improve his mechanics to utilize that strength... There's some potential WOW! there.

  2. There certainly could be an argument for him going #1 but as you point out, there is significant risk with all HS pitchers, along with the pressure and scrutiny of having the first overall pick. This is why I don't think Detroit will pick Hankins, allowing the Giants to choose him. There were some rumblings about Greene going #1 last year, but the last HS pitcher who received serious consideration for going #1 was Giolito before he hurt his arm. Giolito was regarded as a generational talent coming out of HS, more highly regarded than Hankins, so with the strength and depth of this draft I just can't see the Tigers springing for him. While it would have been great to have the #1 pick for the slot money, I was not disappointed to see the Giants end up with #2 since it means a really realistic chance to obtain Hankins. True, Hankins needs to get stronger, but even if he doesn't it seems a reasonable outcome for him could be Adam Wainwright, another similarly tall righty drafted out of a Georgia HS. I would be perfectly happy with that eventual outcome.

    1. Aiken in 2014. Didn't sign because the Astros didn't like his elbow MRI so they reduced his offer. Aiken didn't sign and went to IMG to play and re-enter, pitched one game and boom! Tommy John shortly thereafter. He got drafted 17th, by the Indians, the next year.

    2. Aiken is a lefty. RHP HS don’t go 1-1. It’s a thing.