by J.T. Toth
Photo of Chase Dollander courtesy of Rocky Top Insider.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM- Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender.
In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
HT/WT- 6’3” 200 lbs.
Home – Evans,GA
Chase Dollander was an overlooked high school pitcher at Greenbrier High School in Georgia. After not receiving many offers Dollander decided to stay home to attend Georgia Southern.
At Georgia Southern, Dollander's fastball would hit 97 after topping out at 93 in his senior year of high school. Dollander would have a successful freshman year at Georgia Southern and finished 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA. In 49 innings, Dollander struck out 64 but did have control issues with 28 walks. During the season, Dollander showed he had above average stuff to the schools who overlooked him just a season ago. Dollander would enter the transfer portal at the end of his freshman year. With several schools interested in Dollander including Arkansas and Texas Tech, he would decide to attend Tennessee whom he pitched against in his freshman year.
Dollander would explode onto the scene during his sophomore year going 10-0 with a 2.39 ERA and struck out 108 in only 79 innings. As nice as the strikeout totals were, the most important stat was he only walked 13 and had overpowering accuracy. Dollander was named first team All-American to go along with the SEC Pitcher of the Year Award.
Coming into 2023, Dollander was considered by most the best pitcher in the nation. But 2023 has been a step back in many ways for Dollander as he has put up a rather mediocre stat line of 6-5, 4.35 ERA, and he has given up 63 hits in 68 innings. In 2022, he only gave up 50 hits in 79 innings. With Paul Skenes being lights out at LSU, Dollander has slid a tad down draft boards.
The scouting on Dollander is simple. He has the arm action and growth to eventually hit 100 mph. Topping out at 98 this season Dollander has a nice 4 pitch mix of fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. His slider and fastball are his go to pitches but at times he tends to overthrow and can get behind hitters and eventually walk them.
At times during his sophomore season, he was being compared to Stephen Strasburg and was said to be the best college pitcher since A.J. Puk came out of Florida in 2016.
Chase Dollander a year ago probably would have went #1 or #2. A little bit of a setback this year shouldn’t deter a team from taking him in the top 10.
Round 1- #6 on the Draft 412 list.