LHP, Western Michigan
6'0, 200 lbs
Selected: 2nd Round Pick (54th Overall)
119th overall MLB Pipeline:
Western Michigan hasn't had a player selected in the first three rounds since Ryan Van De Weg (Padres) and Luke Wilcox (Yankees) in 1995, but Akin should end that drought this June. He matched potential first-rounder Eric Lauer pitch for pitch in an April matchup in front of several scouts and obliterated big leaguer Pat Misch's school strikeout record, fanning 129 in 105 innings heading into the NCAA tournament. He pitched the Broncos to their first Mid-American Conference tournament championship by winning two games in five days (and MVP honors) while permitting just one unearned run in 13 2/3 innings.
One of the hardest-throwing lefty starters in the college ranks, Akin usually pitches at 91-94 mph and peaks at 96 with late life on his fastball. Though he's not a big guy, he maintains his velocity deep into games and generates it without much effort in his delivery. There's some debate as to which is better, his low-80s slider or his tumbling changeup, but both should be at least average offerings.
Akin has three pitches and fills the strike zone, so he'll definitely be a starter going forward. He fared well against quality competition in the Cape Cod League last summer, another point in his favor.