When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
University of Florida
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Baseball America 13
The last three years have seen a total of five Florida Gators pitchers drafted in the first round: A.J. Puk (2016), Dane Dunning (2016), Alex Faedo (2017), Brady Singer (2018) and Jackson Kowar (2018). Is Tyler Dyson going to be the next one on that list? A lot will depend on how Dyson performs this year, as his results were mediocre due to control issues last year. These are his results in his first two seasons at the University of Florida:
2017 24 G, 2 GS, 3.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 39 IP, 30 H (.225 OBA), 10 BB, 47 K
2018 14 G, 11 GS, 4.47 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 50 IP, 50 H (.254 OBA), 28 BB, 51 K
Dyson opened last spring as Florida’s Sunday starter, pitching behind Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar in the rotation. A nagging shoulder injury limited Dyson in the second half of the season, but he was able to get back on the mound, and pitched well in the Cape Cod League (2.37 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 10.9 K/9) last summer.
At his best, Dyson can be as electric as his former Gators teammates. He can run his fastball into the mid-90s (peaking at 97 mph, per MLB) and mixes in a sharp slider and an effective but inconsistent changeup. MLB grades his pitches at 65, 55 and 45 respectively.
Listed at 6´3´´, 225 pounds, Dyson has the size, stuff and control to start. He threw too few strikes during the regular college season in 2018 and didn’t have great command within the zone, as evidenced by his 28 walks in 50 innings last year; his control is graded at 45 as a result.
Dyson still needs to improve his consistency (he loses his crispness for an inning at times and things go sideways) and prove his durability in the rotation for a full spring. But if he can put it all together, Dyson can front the Gators rotation and follow the well-worn path from Gainesville to the first round. If not, Dyson may fall to the second or third round instead. A reasonable White Sox comp may be Dane Dunning — especially if Dyson can refine his control.