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MLB Draft Prospect Preview - Tanner Witt

by J.T. Toth

Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics.

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.

Name-Tanner Witt

Pos- SP

Team- Texas

HT/WT- 6’5” 225lbs.

Bats/Throws- R/R

Born- 7/11/2002

Home – Houston, TX

Tanner Witt was a star pitcher at Episcopal High School in Bellaire and a 2-time all-state performer. He was considered a late first round pick in the MLB Draft in 2020 before he made it clear he was going to attend Texas, so teams stayed away from drafting him. Witt’s dad, Kevin Witt was selected in the first round in 1994 by the Toronto Blue Jays.

In his freshman season at Texas, Witt made 28 relief appearances and went 5-0 with a 3.16 ERA while striking out 73 hitters in 57 innings. He was named a Freshman All-American for his work and pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless ball during the College World Series for the Longhorns.

Witt’s sophomore season started off great, starting 2 games, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA. Before Witt could make his 3rd start, he felt discomfort in his elbow, which resulted in season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Witt would not take to the mound again until May of his junior year and had trouble finding the zone. He went 2-1 with a 10.97 ERA in 6 starts and only threw 10.2 innings during the season.

Witt has a plus fastball that sits between 92-94 consistently and tops out at 97 mph. Has a solid curveball with good drop, and before injury, was starting to find a consistent changeup. At 6’5”, he’s athletic and has a maintainable pitching delivery.

Witt is going to have to show scouts that he can regain the form that had teams clamoring for him in 2020. He’s had bouts with control issues, even before the injury. Coming off of a Tommy John surgery and only throwing a little over 20 innings these past two seasons, scouts will want to see more, causing him to fall into round two.

Starting pitcher, Ian Anderson of the Atlanta Braves, has undergone Tommy John surgery, and Draft 412 sees some comparables with the pair. Anderson has bounced back from Tommy John and has been solid for the Braves.

Final Analysis

Tanner Witt’s future is bright despite the setbacks he has had. A team will either take a chance on Witt late in the first round or have him fall in their lap in round 2.

Round 2- #25 on the Draft 412 list.

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