The first pitch hit 96 miles per hour on the radar gun. The next pitch recorded the same speed as did the next eight throws. Andre Scrubb was on a roll May 7 in his start against Radford and he was only getting warmed up.
The Hylton High School graduate also threw 97 miles per hour on another pitch to generate additional chatter among the major-league baseball scouts in attendance watching Scrubb fire away with amazing consistency.
He had no idea how hard he was throwing until his advisor Eric Sobocinski and High Point’s coaching staff informed him afterward. Scrubb was shocked at first by the news, but the performance pleased him and served as a reminder why he’s a projected top-10 round pick when the three-day, 40-round draft began Thursday night.
It’s no surprise Scrubb is in this position. With his 6-4, 275-pound frame, his late-season sophomore surge, his time in the Cape Cod League and a pitching arsenal that includes a lethal fastball, curveball and slider, the right-hander entered this season rated the No. 99 college draft prospect by Baseball America and the No. 106 prospect by d1baseball.com.
Even though he did not have as good a junior year as he hoped for, Scrubb’s draft stock remained strong. The Radford game showed why. Scrubb walked five in five innings, but he also struck out seven and showcased a sizzling fastball reaching eye-catching numbers. While stats are a factor, scouts emphasize other measurables like velocity to determine a player’s projectability and what he might develop into down the road.
Scrubb struggled with his command at times and finished with an 8-6 record, a 4.86 ERA and 54 walks and 15 wild pitches, which ranked second in the Big South Conference.
But Scrubb won five straight decisions early in the season and finished fourth in the Big South with eight victories.
He also threw a steady stream of strikes. He was third in the conference in strikeouts (94) and led the conference in strikeouts per game (11.43).
Scrubb, who could be chosen among in the top five rounds, received positive feedback after speaking with representatives from all the major-league teams. He said he is ready to sign and is open to either being a starter or a reliever in pro ball.
Scrubb thought he might be selected out of Hylton in 2013, but went undrafted. He started to doubt his abilities more after a frustrating freshman season at High Point, where he finished up in the bullpen as he dealt with fatigue and adjusting to pitching at a higher level.
“I thought I wasn’t good enough,” Scrubb said.
But he turned his season around in 2015 and continued to develop from there.
[Pro teams] “know my capability,” said Scrubb, who will follow the draft at his Woodbridge home with his family.
2016 MLB Draft
Round 1 through Lottery Round B
Live on MLB Network & MLB.com
Preview show begins at 6 p.m.
Round 1 begins at 7 p.m.
Live on MLB.com
Preview show begins at 12:30 p.m.
Round 3 begins at 1 p.m.
Live on MLB.com
Round 11 begins at noon