Round 17, Pick 517
Name: AJ Labas
Age: 18 (12/8/98)
HT/WT: 6’3″ 220 lbs
Labas, who is committed to North Florida, transferred to Trinity Christian Academy following his freshman campaign at Eagle’s View Academy and helped the team win its first Florida state championship in 2015, capturing the Class 4A title. As a senior, he reached 92-93 mph and pitched well at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational. He has a decent feel for pitching, but he has a funky delivery and not everyone is convinced he can start. Labas attended the MLB Prospect Development Pipeline event in Bradenton, Fla., in February.
Baseball America #226/500
Labas has been scouted often in his amateur career, playing on the same high school team as 2016 draft picks J.C. Flowers (Florida State) and Todd Lott (Louisiana Lafayette) as well as current teammate Austin Martin. Labas could end up being the best of the group. He has a durable 6-foot-3, 220-pound pitcher’s body and a strong three-pitch mix. His fastball works mostly at 88-91 mph and touches 92 and 93 on occasion. His best offspeed pitch is his changeup; it’s a low 80s weapon that disappears late, and Labas isn’t afraid to double up on it as he locates it down and to both sides of the plate. He shows flashes with a slurvy upper 70s curveball, a potential near-average offering to play off his average fastball and above-average changeup. Labas’s delivery isn’t always in sync; he has a tendency to swing his hips open early and he loses deception as a result. He is, however, a quality athlete and could develop more strength and consistency as he matures and improves his conditioning. Labas is committed to North Florida.
2016 National Showcase Jun 15, 2016
PG Grade: 10
AJ Labas is a 2017 RHP/1B with a 6-3 220 lb. frame from Middleburg, FL who attends Trinity Christian Academy. Extra big and strong build, looks like a college linebacker. High energy delivery that he repeats very well, high elbow in back, arm is fast and clean coming through from a high 3/4’s slot. Steady 89-91 mph fastball, gets a bit of late life to get off barrels and has good downhill angle. Slurve type breaking ball has very tight spin at times with sharp biting action, showed feel and command of the pitch and was plus at times. Did not show a change up this outing but will be very interesting if he can develop one with his present fastball/curveball combination. Good student, verbal commitment to North Florida.
Probably an overslot buyout, Interesting Arm.
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