Asa Lacy was projected as a top-five-round talent in the 2017 MLB draft coming out of Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas. The left-handed hurler sought a $1 million signing bonus to bypass his commitment to Texas A&M University.
Major League Baseball teams didn’t meet his asking price, however, which caused Lacy to fall in the draft and be selected in the 31st round by the Cleveland Indians.
Lacy remained firm on his asking price and attended Texas A&M. That decision has worked out well for Lacy, who enters his junior season this spring as one of the top prospects in June’s draft. Lacy is a projected top-five pick and could even move into consideration for the top pick held by the Detroit Tigers if he has an extraordinary spring.
Lacy could surpass Jeff Granger as the highest draft pick in Texas A&M history in June. Granger, a left-handed pitcher, was the fifth overall pick in the 1993 draft.
Lacy has no regrets on his decision to attend Texas A&M and believes playing college baseball has helped prepare him for a professional career.
“I wanted to play professional baseball, but in the end, I look back at it and realize I wasn’t ready mentally or physically,” Lacy said. “Here, I’m getting a world-class education, and I’m also very blessed to work with our strength coach, who I believe is the best in the country. I just feel like I’m getting better every single day, and I think that’s translated on the field.”
Lacy has overhauled his delivery since high school. He’s incorporated his lower body more into his delivery and also added about 40 pounds to his frame.
He has excelled in his first two years at Texas A&M. As a freshman in 2018, Lacy appeared mostly out of the bullpen, posting a 2.75 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 17 walks allowed in 39 1/3 innings. Last year, he was Texas A&M’s No. 2 starter and lived up to expectations, recording a 2.13 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 43 walks allowed in 88 2/3 innings (15 starts). He also had success pitching for the U.S. collegiate national team last summer.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefty throws a four-seam fastball, changeup, slider and curveball from a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball is his best offering and sits in the mid-90s and touches 97 mph.
He believes his changeup is his second-best offering, as it’s a pitch he’s thrown since he was 14 years old. He is confident throwing his changeup and tends to use it later in counts after he has established his fastball.
“My biggest strength I’d definitely consider to be my mindset just with the continued mental toughness and motivation,” Lacy said. “Everything I do has a purpose behind it, and I’m trying to get 1 percent better with each and everything I do. I think that just translates onto the mound to attack and really not let my guard get down when things start to go haywire.”
In the offseason, Lacy altered the grips of his fastball, changeup and curveball. He switched the grips to gain more comfort and better spin rates with the offerings. He “completely changed” his changeup grip and has eliminated about 400 rpms off the pitch, he said.
During his junior season this spring, Lacy hopes to refine his command and control and throw his secondary pitches with more consistency, he said.
But the area Lacy is most focused on improving this spring doesn’t deal with a specific skill on the mound. He will serve as Texas A&M’s top starter and hopes to be a team leader.
“I just want to see my development as a leader and teammate on this team,” he said. “We are blessed to have a few guys on this team who are leading, including myself, and I just want to be the best possible teammate and leader I can be, whether that’s holding guys accountable to helping them.”
Texas A&M has high hopes this spring. After failing to advance out of the NCAA Regional in each of Lacy’s first two seasons, Lacy hopes this is the year that Texas A&M can return to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Lacy describes the last two years as “underachieving seasons” and believes if everyone accepts their role on the team, then Texas A&M has the talent to make a deep postseason run.
“I just want to give my team the best possible chance to win every Friday night or whatever night I am pitching on,” Lacy said. “I just want to go out there and be as consistent as possible and really be the rock of this team and give my team the best chance to win.”
Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.