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Potential Top 10 pick Bitsko to be Draft eligible in '20

@JonathanMayo
January 7, 2020

The 2020 Draft class just got a little deeper. Nick Bitsko was thought to be one of the most talented high school arms for 2021. But the Bucks County East High School (Doylestown, Pa.) product will graduate early. That will make the 17-year-old eligible for the 2020 Draft.

The 2020 Draft class just got a little deeper.

Nick Bitsko was thought to be one of the most talented high school arms for 2021. But the Bucks County East High School (Doylestown, Pa.) product will graduate early. That will make the 17-year-old eligible for the 2020 Draft.

The University of Virginia recruit immediately becomes one of the best arms in the class and will land in the top 10 of MLB Pipeline’s Draft Top 100 list that was released in December. He has the chance to be in the conversation, along with Jared Kelley (Refugio HS, Texas) and Mick Abel (Jesuit HS, Ore.), to be the top prep pitcher taken in June.

Bitsko stands big, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, with plenty of projection and now stuff. He stood out particularly at the East Coast Pro Showcase over the summer, but has shown consistent ability at every stop. The right-hander was up to 96-97 mph at East Coast Pro, with all fastballs in the 92- to 96-mph range. He combines it with a hard breaking ball that shows plus shape, thrown in the 78- to 82-mph range, getting a lot of swings and misses. While he doesn’t throw it as much, he does have solid feel for a changeup. Bitsko isn’t pure power, either, showing the ability to throw all three pitches for strikes with a chance for future plus command.

Bitsko is athletic and a solid high school hitter as well, though his future is most certainly on the mound, where at least one scout sees Justin Verlander-type potential if he can reach his very high ceiling.

“In this crop of high school pitching, it adds a big name to the mix that could likely go in the top 10 picks,” a national scout said. “There were basically two names driving the train; now you have three guys.

“Teams that put more focus on underclassmen will be a little ahead on this one. They’ll have the advantage. On top of that, he’s a Northeastern arm, so the competition he’ll have this spring, it’s going to be tough to see him against elite high school hitting. A lot of the reports will go off of what you saw over the summer, so the teams that work two or three years ahead of time will have an edge.”

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.