With the Seattle Mariners’ sixth round pick, Scott Hunter’s team selected RHP Brody Hopkins out of Winthrop University. The second pitcher of the day, Hopkins presents yet another player that is a super interesting ball of clay for the Seattle pitching lab. There’s a lot to dream on.
Hopkins has a premium frame at 6’4 and couples it with off-the-charts athleticism. He has been a two-way player throughout his college player, manning centerfield and rightfield when he’s not pitching. Take a look at some of his athleticism on display in one of the craziest plays you’ll see.
Brody Hopkins scoring from second on a sacrifice bunt in incredible fashion pic.twitter.com/BZMXVvfX8l— Stephen Schoch (@bigdonkey47) March 6, 2023
As a hitter, he showed very good power/hit tools but he’s absolutely a pitcher at the next level. First rule: Don’t look at his pitching stats. Just don’t. They don’t reflect just how good he could be on the mound.
On the mound, he’s low-to-mid 90’s with good sinking action. He’s hit higher, touching 98 with life. He’s got a really nice slider as well with a lot of two-plane movement. There’s both significant sweep and downward movement to it and should be his best out pitch. He doesn’t always land it consistently, but when he does it’s a plus pitch for him. Additionally, he throws a changeup that has serious downward drop. With three pitches that have flashed above average or better, grabbing him in the sixth round provides a fantastic opportunity to find value.
If you care about college ERA when it pertains to prospects, scroll. The Griff McGarry of the ‘23 draft: Brody Hopkins. Legit sinker at 94-97 with low release. Power-slurve at 85-90 with depth/sweep, and a CH w/ feel + vert in the negatives at times. And he’s a great athlete. pic.twitter.com/4QQq3XfXy5— (@mason_mcrae) March 13, 2023
Hopkins is the perfect type of player to target later in the draft. When you’re looking to maximize value, look for upside college arms. Seattle has been excellent at developing good athletes on the mound (Hello, Bryan Woo) and Hopkins is about as good as they get. There’s definitely reliever risk and he has yet to put it all together, but should everything come into place for him, he will have a shot at being a legitimate pitching prospect. You’re betting on the pitch traits and the athlete here, and at this point in the draft, he’s about as good of a bet as it gets. Another fun pick.