Peter Heubeck was a primary catcher until his high school coaches approached him about pitching during his freshman season at Gilman High in Baltimore.
Playing catcher taught Heubeck about the nuances of attacking hitters, he said. He also quickly realized that his future was on the mound once he started pitching. Over the last 3½ years, Heubeck has evolved into one of the top prep pitchers in the country.
In the offseason, Heubeck worked on his pitches and added 20 pounds to his frame in preparation for his senior season. The offseason work has paid off this spring, as he has experienced an uptick in velocity while also maintaining that improved velocity later into his starts.
This spring will play a role in determining Heubeck’s next step in his baseball career. He is receiving plenty of interest in preparation for July’s MLB draft. Scouts consider Heubeck as a potential top-four-round pick in this year’s draft.
“It is amazing, really,” Heubeck said. “A lot of hard work just paying off. It’s just a great feeling. But I just feel like I have to control what I can control and go out there and pitch how I know I can.”
Heubeck is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, spike curveball and changeup from a high three-quarters arm slot. His repertoire grades out well when it comes to spin rate measurements. He has a quick and short windup and uses a low-effort delivery.
He relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, which he tends to use more than his two-seamer. His fastball has sat 93-95 mph this spring and has a spin rate around 2,500 rpm.
Heubeck’s curveball is his second-best pitch. It features 12-to-6 breaking action, sits in the high-70s and has a spin rate of about 2,300 rpm. He also tunnels it well off of his fastball.
His fastball and curveball flash above-average potential, while his changeup also shows promise. It has some movement and sits in the high-70s.
“My biggest strength would probably be my ability to attack hitters,” Heubeck said. “I think I am pretty mentally strong. I also have really become more of a pitcher these last couple of years with focusing on it. Personally, I believe I have a high ceiling, and I just really believe in myself.”
Heubeck has plenty of room to mature physically and hopes to continue to refine his pitches. His potential is what makes him an intriguing prospect for this year’s draft.
This spring, Heubeck wants to show improvement with his command after working on that area in the offseason.
“First, I want the team to win,” Heubeck said. “That is my main goal for the season. The team always comes first. But I want my velocity to stay where it is or go up a little bit. My control has been good this year. I am trying not to walk anyone. I feel like I have done a lot better with that this season.”
Besides his status as a top draft prospect, Heubeck also is a Wake Forest commit. Wake Forest’s commitment to developing pitchers for the professional ranks through coaching and its state-of-the-art pitching lab stood out to Heubeck.
“It happened so fast,” said Heubeck on the recruiting process. “A couple of months after I started pitching, I started getting recruited by a bunch of schools. I just really fell in love with Wake’s campus. They are doing great with their pitching lab. It’s just super exciting. They really develop pitchers.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has 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 has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.