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Hunter Owen chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th Round

Good luck, Mr. Manager. Remember, there’s always money in the banana stand.

Syndication: The Tennessean Mark Zaleski/ The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last night:


Well, it’s a little lower than we had him pegged, but he’s still likely to command north of a half million signing bonus.

Pasted below was what I wrote on him earlier in the week:

#33 Jr. LHP Hunter “Mr. Manager” Owen

2023 Stats: 4-0, 3.52 ERA, 10.7 K/9.

Here’s his scouting report:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

A product of a South Portland (Maine) HS program that has produced four big league pitchers, most notably Bill Swift, Owen was his state’s top prospect in 2020 but opted to attend Vanderbilt rather than turn pro. After spending his first two college seasons as a reliever, he has made a successful transition to the rotation and may be the best lefty college starter in the Draft. But his status was clouded when he missed four starts in six weeks down the stretch with a tired arm after sitting out the final two months of last season with an unspecified ailment.

Before he was sidelined, Owen displayed a fastball that sat at 92-94 mph and touched 97 with a flat approach angle and good carry. He favors his upper-70s curveball over his mid-80s slider but scouts prefer the latter breaking ball because it has more power and misses significantly more bats. He also shows aptitude for throwing a mid-80s changeup with some sink.

One of the biggest pitchers in the Draft at 6-foot-6 and 261 pounds, Owen is strong and physical. He’s an efficient strike-thrower with all of his offerings and there are no red flags with his delivery, so he should be built for durability. Missing time in consecutive seasons leads to questions about his ability to hold up as a starter, however.

Here’s his ESPN write-up:

93. Hunter Owen (21.3), LHP, Vanderbilt

Looked like a second rounder early in the spring but missed time with arm fatigue. Big 6-foot-6 lefty relies on an above-to-plus slider and low-90s heater.

Range: Rounds 2-5. Top 250 Ranking: 56.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: 93.

Prediction: Unless the concerns over his injuries this year are serious (and I have no reason to believe they will be), Mr. Manager will likely be taken in the top 3 rounds and given money commensurate to that slot. It would be one hell of a surprise for that not to happen. He’s one of the great developmental successes for Brownie’s Pitching Lab (tm), and his jump in velocity, movement, spin-rate, and consistency are a testament to our developmental staff. He jumped from being the 205th overall player in his graduating class according to Perfect Game to being a possible 2nd rounder in just three years in The Pitching Lab (tm). That’s a whale of an advertisement to potential commits. Wish him well in his future endeavors, because if you think the MLB will just ignore a big lefty who can potentially start, you don’t know baseball.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 99.999%.