With the MLB Draft a little more than two months away, we will take a look at the ace down at IMG Academy. Jackson Ferris has dominated going back to last season in Florida. He is arguably the best left-handed pitcher in the draft and could go in the middle of the first round if a team feels that will keep him away from his commitment to Mississippi. Let’s jump right in and see what the 18-year-old brings to the field.
Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.
Jackson Ferris, Pitcher, IMG Academy (FL)
Weight: 190 lbs.
2021 Stats: 8-0, 0.55 ERA, 50.2 IP, 17 H, 13 BB, 86 K
2022 Stats: 8-0 1.03 ERA, 54.1 IP, 28 H, 15 BB, 103 K
As you can see from the stats above, Ferris has been pretty good at the High School level. He has faced 392 batters over his two years at IMG and has allowed exactly one extra-base hit.
Ferris is armed with a plus fastball that has great ride up in the zone. He throws it 92-95 and disguises it well with his funky delivery. His curve is solid and is of the 12-to-6 variety, but he drops it in the mid-70s which plays off his fastball. His third pitch, and maybe his best off-speed offering, is a low-80s changeup which has excellent tumble away from right-handed hitters.
Ferris’s frame is solid at 6-foot-4, and he should add some strength as he matures. Despite the delivery, he has been able to command his pitches fairly well and stay within himself. The lefty has shown that he can hold his velocity late in games, so he projects as a starter. At just 190 pounds now, Ferris should get stronger. If he does, it could add a couple of ticks to his velocity.
Even though Ferris can get his fastball up there in the mid-90s, it takes max effort. He should get bigger and stronger and maybe have a little more zip to his heater. However, if Ferris still comes with more effort than needed, he could suffer as far as his command goes as he moves up the chain. His changeup is impressive, and his curveball is solid, but his strength and refining his delivery will be a key to his progress.
Pro Comparison: Robbie Ray
Ferris is a work in progress having just turned 18 in January. There will be some refining. Ray just got to his true talent level last season although he always had the stuff. I can see the lefty from IMG taking a while to fall into his groove of pitching. His arm talent is exceptional, but his mechanics need an overhaul. Ray was a tall lanky kid when he was drafted in the 12th round out of High School by the Nationals back in 2010. Ferris is a little taller but shows the same raw pitchability that Ray did back then. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ferris struggled with command but turned it around more quickly than Ray did.
Draft Prediction: Detroit Tigers, Round 1, Pick 12
I don’t necessarily think Ferris deserves to go this high, but with the Tigers taking Jackson Jobe last year, it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to grab another prep arm in 2022. Only three of their top 11 prospects are pitchers, and the Tigers could use another gun in the minors, even if he is a project. While Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and others learn on the job, Jobe and Ferris can refine their craft in the minors.
Check us out on our socials:
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk
Follow Johnnie Black on Twitter @jball0202
Main Image Credit: https://www.maxpreps.com/news/O8Og0wCtT0qsy0xOV4x7Mw/high-school-baseball-jesuit%2c-img-academy%2c-buford-among-florida%2c-georgia-squads-dominating-maxpreps-top-25.htm