Standing at 6’3″ weighing 205 pounds, Kent State lefty Eric Lauer is smooth and collective on the bump with an effortless delivery. Pitching in the opening round of the Mid American Conference tournament, Lauer dominated Eastern Michigan hurling a complete game shutout giving up 4 hits and striking out 9 in front of roughly 25 big league scouts.
It’s been a remarkable year for Lauer who currently holds a microscopic ERA of 0.69 which if it holds or gets any lower would be the lowest ERA of any eligible starting college pitcher this century. A 17th round pick out of high school, Lauer declined to sign and elected to attend a relatively successful Midwest baseball program at Kent State University. The attention of major league teams hasn’t worn off has Lauer has been linked in several draft pundits rankings and mock drafts to be the second college lefty to come off the board. This is no surprise of course, as Lauer’s season has been nothing short of dominant. He didn’t give up more than 6 hits in any of his 15 starts this year, also tossing a no hitter against Bowling Green on May 13th while striking out 13.
This shouldn’t be surprising that Kent State University will churn out another draft prospect. Since the turning of the century the Golden Flashes have had at least one player drafted 15 of the last 16 years. Lauer has a chance to be the highest picked player from Kent State since Andrew Chafin was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 draft with the 43rd overall pick. With a staggering 10.8 K/9 and a playable 1.9 BB/9 the stuff is certainly there for Lauer who throws 4 pitches for strikes. While he may have no plus plus “out pitch” Lauer throws a low 90s fastball with an off speed mix of a curveball, slider and changeup. The ceiling may not be has high as some other players throughout the draft but as far as major league “readiness” there are few other players that can compete with Lauer. While don’t expect a meteoric rise or a Clayton Kershaw comparison, southpaw Eric Lauer still can hold his own and is one of the most polished college arms in this years MLB Draft.