Draft Preview Cooper Hjerpe
In the previous article I covered on possible first overall pick Elijah Green. Today, we will be covering a possibility for the Orioles Competitive Balance Round pick A at 33rd overall in the draft. The competitive balance round that covers teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools receive an additional pick at the end of the first or second round.
This article will cover left handed pitcher Cooper Hjerpe out of Oregon State. He stands in at 6’3 200lbs and 21 years old. Cooper isn’t the typical lights out velocity that’s normally seen this high on the draft board with his average fastball around 91-94 mph. He also has a change-up, a sweeping curve, and a slider. The reason for Cooper’s success despite his “low” velocity is his delivery, a sling shot like arm action out of a low 3/4 arm slot which makes his fastball look faster than it actually is.
Last year for Cooper at Oregon State he finished the season with a record of 11-2 with 161 strikeouts in 103.1 innings pitched. He also had a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of .871, 14 K/9, and 7 K/BB. His scouting report grades from MLB.com is a 50 fastball, a 55 curveball, a 50 change-up, 55 control, and 50 overall grade currently listing him as the 32nd overall draft prospect. The only changes I would make is raising his control to a 70 due to the K/BB rate and low WHIP and raise his curveball to a 60. The chances of Hjerpe still being on the board at the 33rd pick is unlikely because of his upside, but if he is still there at the 33rd pick he would be a steal.