Max Debiec is one of the top baseball prospects out of the Northwest in the 2021 prep class. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound right-handed pitcher has intriguing upside and is a potential first-round pick in July’s MLB draft.
Debiec attends O’Dea High School in Seattle. He isn’t the only elite athlete at his high school, however. Six-foot-10, 230-pound center Paolo Banchero, who is a five-star Duke commit, also attends O’Dea High.
Playing alongside Banchero on the basketball court and watching his recruiting process play out has helped prepare Debiec for the pro attention that he’s started to receive, Debiec said.
Debiec is eager for his senior basketball and baseball seasons. He is especially looking forward to the baseball season after his junior year didn’t occur due to the CVOID-19 pandemic. He also knows pro scouts will likely be in attendance for every one of his starts in preparation for the draft.
“It has been exciting, but I just think I am used to it because of basketball,” said Debiec on the draft attention. “We would always have crowds, and the atmosphere is intense. I was a little nervous at first with all the crowds and scouts, but I think I’ve gotten used to it as time has gone on. It was exciting to see scouts there this summer. It was an awesome time. I had fun.”
Debiec throws a four-seam fastball, two-seamer, knuckle curveball, slider, and changeup from an extended three-quarters arm slot.
His four-seam fastball sits 92 to 94 mph and touched 97 mph this summer. The only pitch Debiec uses more than his four-seam fastball is his two-seamer. Debiec’s two-seamer has hard, sinking life to his arm side. His two-seamer serves as a quality pitch that he can use in all counts and to generate ground balls.
Debiec’s curveball is his top off-speed pitch, as he has confidence in it and can throw it for strikes. He also throws a tight-breaking slider and a hard changeup.
“I think just my frame right now with being 6-7 is one big strength,” Debiec said. “I am really projectable. My fastball velo has been up there. I think just being projectable is a big strength of mine.”
The right-handed pitcher plans on working on his changeup in preparation for his senior season. He estimates that he threw his changeup about 15 times this summer, as he struggled at times with the grip, he said.
“I am throwing every day with it to get a feel for it, and I am just going to keep getting those repetitions so I can get consistent with it,” Debiec said. “I want to use my ringer finger to where it pulls off and gets that late movement.”
Besides being a top draft prospect, Debiec also is a University of Washington commit. He committed to Washington since it’s located in his home city and has strong academics.
Debiec knows he will have to decide between embarking on a pro career out of high school or attending Washington next fall. He is trying not to think about that decision and instead hopes to show growth on the mound throughout his senior year.
“The one goal would be to hit 100 mph next year,” Debiec said. “That is the big one. I would also like to win a state championship in basketball and baseball. Another goal would be to be a first-round pick. That would be awesome. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I think those are three good ones.”
Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com 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.