Three years ago in the 2016 MLB Draft, the Astros targeted a tall Texan flamethrower with their #15 overall pick and walked out with their man in Forrest Whitley. Three years later, there are a few prep arms that the Astros are sure to have their eye on at #32, and one of them is another Texan with a fastball in the mid-90s. We continue our series of draft profiles with RHP JJ Goss.
JJ Goss is an 18 year old, 6’3” 185 lbs RHP from Cypress Ranch High School in Cypress, Texas. In 2018, Goss was a part of a Cy Ranch team that possessed three pitchers with Top-5 Round draft potential. Those three pitchers were committed to stay and play their college ball in the state of Texas. Ty Madden, Class of 2018, would sign to play for Texas while Goss and Matthew Thompson, both projected early draft picks, are currently committed to Texas A&M.
As a tall righty, Goss possesses a mid-90s fastball that sits 92-94 mph but can run up to 96 mph at times. He should be able to gain more consistent velocity as he continues to fill out his frame and focuses full time on baseball, whether in college or in the pros.
He comes equipped with a low 80s slider some consider to be one of the best in the class, a 60 grade out of 80, as well as a changeup that shows fade and can ring up similar reasons as his slider. Goss repeats his delivery well and can control the zone. As he continues to develop and get stronger, many project him as a middle of the rotation starter.
Signability / Projected Round
Anytime you’re dealing with a player committed to a Top-25 team, signability could become a problem. However, signability is not expected to be a concern with Goss. Most have Goss pegged in the second half of the first round, anywhere from picks 20 through the compensatory round. There’s a realistic chance Goss could be on the board when the Astros’ pick, the last of the 1st Round, is on the clock. As with any player though, there’s also a chance a team decides to take him much higher than mock drafts will indicate so there is no telling. Should he still be on the board though, chances are he’ll be one the Astros are strongly considering.
MLB Comparison: Kohl Stewart
Goss resembles the former #4 overall selection from 2013 in height and weight, both standing 6’3” at around 190 lbs. Both pitchers will be taken out of high school, asking to forego commitments to Texas A&M. Though Stewart has never tapped into his Top-5 pick potential, Goss’s ceiling looks to be similar what Stewart’s was coming out of high school, just maybe not drafted as high.
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