Texas A&M Baseball

Texas A&M pitcher Asa Lacy selected 4th overall by Kansas City Royals

June 10, 2020

Texas A&M junior pitcher Asa Lacy lived in College Station for most of his childhood before his family moved to Kerrville during his teenage years. The left-hander had two dreams growing up under the shadows of Olsen Field: pitch for the Aggies and play pro baseball.

On Wednesday evening, Lacy became the highest-drafted baseball player in school history when he was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the fourth overall pick. Previously, that mark was held by fellow ace left-hander Jeff Granger, who went fifth overall in 1993.

“We sweated during Asa’s senior year of high school when the Cleveland Indians took him [in the 31st round in 2017],” A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “We were happy to get the strong-armed lefty to campus and he needed to be refined. He never had a breaking ball and still threw 40+ innings for us as a freshman. He found his way into the rotation the next year. Every day, when his feet hit the floor, he wants to be the best at whatever he does.”

Lacy was enjoying an All-American junior campaign when the college baseball season was cut short in mid-March due to COVID-19. He ranked among the nation’s leaders with a 0.75 ERA, a .111 opponent’s batting average and a ridiculous 17.25 strikeouts per nine innings through four starts. All of this after coming off of a sophomore season in which he fanned 130 batters in 88.2 frames and boasted a 2.13 ERA in a year that landed him on Team USA that summer.

Childress certainly believes that Lacy has “ace” level talent and ability at the big league level.

Jackie Ysaquirre, TexAgs
In three years as an Aggie, Lacy totaled an impressive 224 strikeouts over 152 innings pitched. 

“You're going to get a front-end of the rotation guy,” Childress said. “I talked to Asa before the season started about the difference between the first and the 15th pick. I told him it's about $2-3 million. I pointed out that [scouts] were trying to figure out if he'd be a starter or a reliever at the next level. He was incredibly efficient this year. I'm disappointed I didn't get to have a front-row seat to see him for the entire season. He leads from the front and always wants to help the young guys. One of the joys of coaching this kid is watching how he leads.”

D1Baseball.com co-managing editor Kendall Rogers believes Lacy was as good of a pitcher as there was in college baseball in 2020 and did everything he could in his short stint as a junior to prove worthy of the No. 4 pick.

“The most impressive pitcher [in the country in 2020] was Asa Lacy,” Rogers said. “In the few games we saw, he was easily the best pitcher in college baseball. He lights up the radar gun and will strike out hitters by the dozen. He was untouchable in [his last start] against New Mexico State. Lacy just reinforced for me the belief that he is the best pitcher in this draft.”

Rogers believes Lacy will fly through the minor leagues and has the ability to be a frontline starter in the Big Leagues.

“Lacy has the ability to be a true ace,” Rogers said. “He has electric stuff. I'm not saying he's going to be Gerrit Cole, but Cole was a number two in college and turned into the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. When you look at Lacy, he's never too high or too low. His fastball is Major League ready and on the same wavelength as Justin Verlander. His slider and changeup are still coming on, but there is no doubt he could turn into a true number one in a starting rotation at the next level.”

Lacy turned down big money out of Kerrville Tivy High School to realize his childhood dream of pitching at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park and wearing the maroon and white. And that decision has now paid off in green. A whole lot of green.

D1Baseball.com scouting report on Asa Lacy:

“As a slender 6-foot-2, 180-pound high school senior throwing in the upper 80s, Lacy was selected in the 31st round of the 2017 draft by Cleveland. Now standing strong and durable at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and armed with a fastball up to 97 mph, he is the top college pitching prospect in this year’s draft. Last summer, during an appearance for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, Lacy sat 92-95 mph with his fastball and good down plane from a high three-quarter slot. He landed soft with good balance and direction to the plate. There are some effort and head dunk to his delivery, but nothing that detracts from his starter profile at this point, as his upper and lower halves stay in sync and his arm works. This spring, his fastball touched 97 with a 2150-2350 rpm spin rate and his secondary offerings continued to improve. Last summer he showed an 80-83 mph breaking ball and an 87 mph changeup, but now his breaker is a cutter that he stays behind, sitting 88-90 mph with a spin rate approaching the 2400s. His changeup sits 85-87 mph with a 1550-1600 spin rate, but overall Lacy is a lefty power pitcher who excels at getting the punchout. He can still use a further refinement of his command, but it, too, is improving. He will likely be selected as one of the top three overall picks.”

MLB.com scouting report on Asa Lacy:

“Though Lacy exuded projection and top-five-rounds talent as a Texas high schooler in 2017, his $1 million price tag to give up his commitment to Texas A&M caused him to slide to the Indians in the 31st round. He has improved as hoped and will command a much higher bonus in the 2020 Draft, where he could surpass Jeff Granger (fifth overall, 1993) as the highest selection in Aggies history. After ranking third in NCAA Division I in opponent average (.162) and eighth in strikeouts per nine innings (13.2) as a sophomore, he pitched well with the U.S. collegiate national team in the summer.

Lacy has boosted his fastball from 87-91 mph in high school to 92-97 these days, using his 6-foot-4 frame to create downhill plane, and hitters just don't seem to get good swings against it. He employs two distinct breaking balls, a downer curveball and a harder slider in the low 80s, with the slider surpassing his curve this spring and becoming a plus pitch. His changeup fades and sinks and grades as a well above-average pitch at its best, and it should become more consistently plus as he uses it more often.

Lacy's biggest need is to improve his command and control. There's some effort in his three-quarters delivery and he's still learning to harness his overpowering stuff, so he can't always locate his pitches where he wants. Even without precise placement, he's a left-hander who can get swings and misses with four different offerings.”

Discussion from...

Texas A&M pitcher Asa Lacy selected 4th overall by Kansas City Royals

5,276 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 29 days ago by HowdyTAMU
Gabe Bock
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Asa Lacy is the first Aggie left-handed pitcher taken as a true first rounder since Jeff Granger went No. 5 and Kelly Wunsch No. 26 in 1993 (Zach Jackson was a sandwich pick at No. 32 in 2004). I'm so happy for the kid. He's as good as it gets off the field and incredible on it.
Hey Nav
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Another Kerrville Tivy Antler makes it big.

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My cousin played for the Kansas City Royals.at SS (Fred Patek) and loved it so much that he still lives there.
Congrats ! Ive Still got my KC Royals Shirt that he gave me with his name on it
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Arguably our best player ever in his final season and our season gets cancelled.
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