MLB Draft Profile: Robby Snellingby Alex Kielar July 8, 2022 0 comments
A two-sport star (football and baseball), Robby Snelling is a big, physical southpaw who saw his stock skyrocket after a strong senior season on the mound. After Jay Johnson was hired as LSU’s new head coach, Snelling switched his commitment from Arizona to LSU and agreed to give up football. Even with this commitment, the left-hander is likely to be selected early enough in the MLB Draft beginning on July 17 to go pro.
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Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS (NV)
Weight: 210 lbs.
2022: 62.1 IP, 8-0, 0.56 ERA, 246 K, 6 BB
Snelling was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Nevada Baseball Player of the Year. His 146 strikeouts set a state single-season record and set a state single-game record with 20 strikeouts in a seven-inning win. The left-hander was also a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award, which was awarded to Brock Porter of St. Mary’s Preparatory School in Orchard Lake, Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound pitcher has a physical presence on the mound as he brings his experience on the football field to the rubber. Snelling carries a solid fastball to his mix, that frequently sits around 94 mph and touched 97 mph at times, with some run and fade. The southpaw’s best pitch is his curveball which sits in the upper-70s with big break. He also features a changeup that projects as average, but he doesn’t use it frequently. Snelling also consistently pounds the strike zone, as seen in his strikeout-to-walk numbers. His linebacker frame is an indication he will be able to handle a starter’s workload in the pros.
The signability concerns are certainly there with Snelling, with his commitment to LSU. That is especially notable with his long-running relationship with Johnson. If he is set on playing under the former Arizona head coach, it won’t matter where he is drafted or what kind of bonus a team is willing to give him. If he does go high enough, Snelling may forgo his commitment. That is usually a factor for prep prospects unless they are slated to go within the top ten picks or so. Someone like Druw Jones, who is the top-rated overall prospect, is all but certain to sign.
Pro Comparison: Blake Snell
Sporting similar deliveries, Snell and Snelling are also very close in frame. The two southpaws work with similar repertoires, with Snell featuring all the same pitches, adding in a slider as his top secondary pitch. They both work well in the zone and around the same speed on their pitches. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Snell 52nd overall in the 2011 MLB Draft out of high school. The now San Diego Padres lefty spent five years in the minors before making his debut at age 23 in 2016. Snelling could be headed in that direction as he could develop quickly.
Draft Projection: Chicago White Sox, Round 1, Pick 26
The White Sox have gone into the prep field for pitching in recent years while paying big cash. They have taken Jared Kelley in 2020, whose profile is close to Snelling, Matthew Thompson in 2019, and Andrew Dalquist in 2019. They also took southpaw flamethrower, Garrett Crochet, in the 2020 first round out of Tennessee. Chicago likes their big, physical arms and Snelling should entice them.
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Main Image Credit: From Nevada Sports Net