Jonathan Childress is one of the top prep left-handed pitchers in the 2018 MLB Draft class. He’s increased his draft stock this spring, posting a 1.02 ERA with 139 strikeouts and 20 walks in 75 1/3 innings.
A Forney, Texas native, Childress will likely be an early-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft, which begins June 4. MLB.com ranks Childress as the 115th-best prospect.
“I’m really, really excited. For whatever comes next, I’m excited to take the next step,” said Childress, a Texas A&M commit. “Whether that’s being an Aggie or being part of a big league club. It’s going to be a blast and a dream come true.”
A 6-foot-4, 215-pound hurler, Childress has a five-pitch mix, consisting of a four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, curveball and cutter. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot.
Childress’ fastball sat in the mid-90s last summer, but has been down a couple ticks this spring, consistently touching 92 mph. His curveball is one of the best in this year’s prep class and features 1-to-7 break.
He started throwing a cutter last summer. He has used it regularly against right-handed hitters and has become “more comfortable throwing” it this spring, he said.
“The cutter is working really well,” he said. “I can get in on righties a lot easier. When go inside on righties, I always had the natural cut, but now I have a little extra sharpness to it, which has helped. I’ve gotten a lot of ground balls out of it.”
Childress has also refined his changeup this spring, as it’s turned into a quality offering. His goal entering this season was to improve his changeup command, which he said he’s accomplished.
“I’ve thrown it a lot. It’s been a good third pitch for me,” he said. “It’s come a very long way for me since last year.”
Childress’ high school team is in the midst of a playoff run. Childress’ teammate and friend, Mason Englert, is also a Texas A&M commit and a well-regarded 2018 MLB Draft prospect.
Having a friend who’s a talented baseball player and going through the same process has made the draft process easier, Childress said.
“It helps quite a bit to have someone that’s going through the same thing as you,” Childress said.
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