It took until the sixth round, but the Padres have finally drafted a collegiate player, Aaron Leasher, in this year’s draft. The southpaw was a two year starter at Moorehead State University, where he put up disappointing overall numbers. His ERA was well over four each of the last two seasons, but he did sport a decent 3.21 K:BB ratio in the latter of those two seasons.
Pitching in the New England League last year, Leasher did perform significantly better, holding opposing lineups to a 2.34 ERA in five starts and flashing the potential to entice several major league teams. Mike McGuire, the Moorehead State Universtity Head Coach, attributed Leasher’s rise to his willingness to put in the hard work required to develop a more complete arsenal, saying,
It’s the command of the fastball, but, also, he developed a good slider, and the slider was his go-to pitch last year. And I think you’ve seen this year that the changeup’s become a very good pitch. He worked really hard this fall to make that a plus pitch…So now he’s a true three-pitch mix guy and can get outs with all three pitches, and can throw all three pitches in different counts. I think that’s a credit to him. It didn’t happen overnight but he’s put the work in and we’ve seen the development.”
Leasher’s fastball works in the low-90’s, but as a left-hander, he can work effectively at that velocity if he can refine his command and cut down on the long ball.
Here is some footage if you want to catch your first glimpse of his mechanics: