MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan Cannon

MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan Cannon

by June 12, 2021 0 comments

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Jonathan Cannon, a right-hander with an electric fastball and effective complementary changeup.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Jonathan Cannon, Right-Handed Pitcher, Georgia

Height: 6’6″
Weight: 216 lbs.
Age: 20
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2020: 5G, 3-0, 11.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.53 WHIP
2021: 13G, 12GS, 63.1 IP, 3.98 ERA, 28 ER, 56 H, 13 BB, 57 K, 1.09 WHIP

Scouting Grades

Fastball: 55
Slider: 50
Curveball: 50
Changeup: 55
Control: 55

Cannon’s best pitch is his fastball, which sits mid-90s and is only getting better as he fills out his 6-foot-6 frame. He also has a really nice complementary pitch with an impressive changeup. The right-hander rounds out his repertoire with a solid slider and curveball.

Strengths

Cannon has a great fastball and he has demonstrated that he is able to locate it very well. The pitch maintains its velocity late into games and has been used to dot all parts of the plate. The heater is great early in counts and does a very nice job setting up his complementary pitches.

Speaking of complementary pitches, a changeup is the secondary pitch in Cannon’s arsenal. He throws this with confidence and deceptive arm speed, and the pitch itself checks in around 85 mph. He starts off batters by zipping fastballs by them, setting up his offspeed quiet nicely. Having such an impressive and effective secondary pitch in his repertoire is huge for Cannon’s draft stock.

Cannon also has good control and stamina. He can effectively pitch to all parts of the plate late in games and does a good job locating his fastball and changeup.

Weaknesses

The biggest concern with Cannon is his breaking balls. His curveball and slider are just okay pitches. If one of them were lethal, he would be all set. But without a dominant curve or slider, he’s just a pitcher who throws a mid-90s fastball with the ability to work offspeed. That’s not bad, but mixing in a pitch that moves away from the swing of the bat would allow him to be an even more talented pitcher. Both of the pitches are relatively soft, too.

Cannon’s health cannot be overlooked, either, as he missed time this season while recovering from mononucleosis. The right-hander has still demonstrated his greatness but not enough consistency. This might not be a long-term concern, but it impacted his 2021 campaign, which will in turn leave a mark on his draft stock.

Pro Comparison: Zach Eflin

Eflin, a former first-round pick, is a tall right-handed pitcher with a fastball-heavy approach. He fires his heater more than half the time, and the pitch clocks in around 93 mph. He also has a mid-80s changeup which he employs 10 percent of the time. Further, he owns a 3.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 75 strikeouts through 74 innings this season. All of these numbers mirror those of Cannon.

Of course, this comparison isn’t a perfect science. For example, Eflin employs his slider at a frequent rate of 26 percent. It’s his secondary pitch and he isn’t afraid to throw it. In an ideal world, the same would be true with Cannon. However, he still needs to develop his breaking ball, so this is one area where the two pitchers vary.

Draft Projection: Late Second-Round Pick

Between the post-mono struggles and lack of an established breaking ball, Cannon likely won’t be able to sneak into the first round. All it takes is one team to fall in love with him, but it’s looking more and more likely that he falls to the late second (or even third) round.


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Main Image Credit: Philip Williams/University of Georgia

Andersen is a teenage sports writer and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Sports Illustrated Kids, Prime Time Sports Talk, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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