Lucas Sims is the next prospect in our pre-2012 draft coverage of 12 Blue Jays draft targets in 12 days. Like we did last year, we’ll also be hosting a live chat throughout the entire first round again starting at 7 p.m. ET, so make sure to pop by.
The players on our list are not who are considered to be the “best” players in the draft, but rather who could realistically be around when the Jays take the podium and who we would like to see the Blue Jays go after, with an emphasis on the latter.
Other articles in the series:
No. 1 – Lucas Giolito
No. 2 – Max Fried
No. 3 – Lance McCullers
No. 4 – Zach Eflin
No. 5 – Corey Seager
No. 6 – Courtney Hawkins
No. 7 – Chris Stratton
No. 8 – Richie Shaffer
No. 9 – Nick Travieso
No. 11 – Andrew Heaney
No. 12 – Joey Gallo
2012 MLB Draft Preview
No. 10: Lucas Sims
RHP | 18 years old / 6’2″ 195 lbs
Born: May 10, 1994 in Lawrenceville, Georgia
High School: Brookwood (Snellville, GA)
College Commitment: Clemson
Baseball America Rank: 29 (13th among pitchers)
ESPN/Keith Law Rank: 32 (17th among pitchers)
- Ranked as having the best breaking stuff in the state of Georgia according to Perfect Game
- Earned All-Region Second Team honors in his junior year
- Won a gold medal playing for Team USA
- Enjoys volunteering in church groups and youth leagues when not playing baseball
A great warmup video during Sims’ 2012 high school season with Brookwood, courtesy of MaxPreps:
A 6-foot-2, projectable right-hander out of Georgia, Lucas Sims has been linked to the 2012 draft for almost two years now. The recently-turned 18-year-old played shortstop for his Brookwood High School club, but was also the ace of their pitching staff and will certainly be drafted as a pitcher.
He was considered a prospect last year, but his progress as a senior this year has vaulted him into one of the top prep arms in the country projected to be drafted late in the first round.
Valuable mental changes to his game, like learning to make adjustments, setting up his pitches better and going after hitters more, helped Sims be the most consistent high school pitcher in the state of Georgia, and one of the most consistent prep arms at the national level.
Sims’ stuff, however, has always been good. He features a plus fastball that has touched 97 but sits comfortably between 91 and 93 mph, a mid-70’s curveball with 12-6 action and tight spin that’s considered to be his best pitch with plus-plus potential, and a developing low-80’s changeup (slider according to Baseball America) that could turn into a plus offering down the road. Due to his dominance while using his fastball and curve, Sims seldom used his third pitch in game situations, though, so it has been hard for scouts to get a read on his feel for it, but none seem to be too worried.
Sims also introduced a sinker and made some minor mechanical changes this spring, two main reasons why he went 4-0 with a 0.89 ERA in 39 1/3 innings. He throws from a three-quarter slot with great arm speed and clean, smooth action without any glaring mechanical flaws. His pitches move more than they did a year ago, and with room to grow on his 195-pound frame, he should definitely add velocity to his already impressive fastball.
Sims is also touted for being a good athlete and for having a great makeup, as he was raised to never take the easy way out and take pride in his work ethic.
Why the Blue Jays could be interested:
Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays love young, projectable power pitchers with great makeups (don’t we all?), and the underrated Sims fits right into that category. There might be more well known prep pitchers available when the Jays come around to pick, but a consistent hurler like Sims that drastically boosted his stock this spring will likely be considered.
The draft coverage here at Jays Journal is only just getting started — stay tuned here and on Twitter as Kyle (@KyleMatte) and I (@Jared_Macdonald) continue our top 12 draft target series leading up to the first round on the Monday, June 4th.