Whether pitching in Rookie-level ball or the Florida State League, Casey Mize has delivered as advertised.The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft allowed one hit and struck out four over three innings for Class A Advanced Lakeland in his full-season start against Dunedin on Tuesday. He
Whether pitching in Rookie-level ball or the Florida State League, Casey Mize has delivered as advertised.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft allowed one hit and struck out four over three innings for Class A Advanced Lakeland in his full-season start against Dunedin on Tuesday. He struck out four and walked one over two hitless innings in his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League last Thursday.
Gameday box score
Mize came out firing, striking out the first two batters he faced and getting through the first inning in 11 pitches. After allowing a leadoff single to Brock Lundquist in the second, he induced back-to-back groundouts before striking out David Jacob to get out of the frame with a man on second.
Lakeland pitching coach Mark Johnson said the former Auburn University ace had all his pitches working, primarily a mid-90s fastball and a split-finger fastball that MLB Pipeline rates a 70 on the 20-80 scale.
"At this point, he's throwing everything I know of that he has," Johnson said.
Johnson, who was the 19th overall pick by the Astros in the 1996 Draft, said Mize will learn as he climbs the ladder that it gets tougher as you go up.
"I can only talk from experience, [and] you feel that. I know I did when I first signed," he said. "But all you can do is go out there and do your business. It's only nature to think that way, you want to show you were picked there for a reason.
"Just the quality of the competition every level that you go," Johnson said of Mize's transition from college to pro. "He pretty much saw it in the Gulf Coast compared to what he saw tonight. But you just go and compete. It's a game of execution, but it's about the quality of competition."
The 21-year-old right-hander punctuated his start with a strikeout of Joshua Palacios to end the third. He threw 28 of his 44 pitches for strikes before making his anticipated exit -- he was expected to throw three or four innings.
Johnson said the organization has a plan in terms of innings and pitch counts for the remainder of the season. Even in a small sample size, he's encouraged.
"Obviously, he came from a good college in a tough conference," the coach said. "But his focus is good, and from what I saw, he has the ability to execute his pitches."
Eudis Idrogo (1-3) was tagged for six runs on three hits without getting an out in the fourth as the Flying Tigers were blanked by the Blue Jays, 8-0.
Dunedin's Maverik Buffo (3-2) allowed two hits and a walk while fanning five in five frames.
Chris Tripodi is a producer for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi.
Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara.