With their second round (37th overall) pick, the Minnesota Twins have selected right-handed pitcher Landon Leach.
Hometown: Pickering, Ont.
Height/Weight: 6’, 4”, 205 pounds
College Commitment: University of Texas
Teams: Toronto Mets, Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team, Canadian Junior National Team
Coaches: Chris Kemlo
Twitter Handle: @l_leach
Scout: Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC)
Leach has been frequently compared to Braves' 2015 first-round pick Mike Soroka, who has already advanced to AA, but that comparison isn’t the tightest as Soroka was very advanced out of high school regardless of where he grew up, whereas Leach is more a prototypical northern tier pitcher with a very good arm and solid but still developing skills.
Leach’s delivery is pretty low effort and he can sit in the low 90’s with his fastball with occasional life and top out at 94 mph. Both his upper 70’s curveball and similar velocity changeup are also consistently around the zone and should continue to be fine tuned with more use. He looks like a very safe bet to be picked around the third round, with the potential to go a bit above that to the right team.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Canada has produced some very good Draft talent on the mound, with first-rounders Adam Loewen and Jeff Francis in 2002 and, more recently, Mike Soroka in 2015. As a big right-hander like Soroka, Leach gets compared to him frequently and while he’s not quite as advanced as his predecessor, there is still a lot to like about him.
The 6-foot-4 hurler with a commitment to Texas has the chance to have a very solid three-pitch mix. He’ll touch 94 mph with his fastball and sits comfortably around 92 mph, throwing it with good sink and without a ton of effort. His 78-80 mph curveball is an average breaking ball now and he has a good feel for his 79-81 mph changeup. He’s around the zone with all three offerings and he’s a decent athlete, so he should continue to repeat his delivery well. There is some drop and drive in his mechanics at times, but nothing that can’t be corrected. He did throw well during Team Canada’s annual trip to Florida this spring.
Leach’s room to add strength combined with coming from a colder climate add up to a good amount of projection. He’s not likely to join his brethren in the first round, but he has opened up enough eyes to potentially be taken in the top three.