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Stratton pushes into first-round?

Updated: May 16, 2012, 3:22 PM ET
By Kiley McDaniel

Mississippi State right-hander Chris Stratton put all the pieces together this spring and has emerged as a likely first-round pick. Scores of high-level scouts flocked to his start last Friday against Florida to see him face the Gators' lineup, arguably the best in the nation.

At 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds, Stratton has a near ideal pitcher's frame with long limbs and projectability. He sat in the 94-95 mph range, touching 96 in the first inning and then settled in at 91-94 mph. He lost a tick around 85 pitches in, then lost another at around 100 pitches. He threw mostly four-seam heaters that lacked life, but he located the pitch well, effectively getting under hitter's hands on both sides of the plate.

Stratton had lots of trouble getting consistent action on his slider, which flashed above-average potential with three-quarter tilt and late bite at 82-85 mph. Late in the outing, he opted for a more effective 77-78 mph curveball with similar action, 11-to-5 tilt and above-average potential.

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