The Draft: Andrew Heaney-LHP-Oklahoma State.

Andrew Heaney isn’t a flame thrower, but he’s second in the nation in strikeouts because he misses bats. The Oklahoma State left-hander is a player Cincinnati might consider when it selects 14th in the MLB Draft June 4-6. Heaney has been dominating in his first season as a full-time starter, going 8-1 with a 1.59 earned run average. In 102 innings, Heaney has allowed a meager 65 hits, struck out 120 and walked 19.

Opponents are hitting just .182 and have a mere three home runs. Since allowing only an unearned run in a season opening loss to Cal Poly when he struck out 10, Heaney has been even more impressive, beating sound teams such as TCU, Missouri, Oklahoma and Houston. Heaney has thrown an astounding five shutouts for an unusually weak Cowboys team.

Coached by noted pitching guru Frank Anderson (Brett’s dad), Heaney (6-foot-2, 175 pounds), features a quick arm and smooth, effortless delivery. His stuff improved this season, including a fastball that sits 90 to 92 but touches 95. Heaney isn’t afraid to pitch inside and has pinpoint control and command that allows him to effectively work both sides of the plate. His curve and change are solid pitches made better by his plus command.

Heaney throws strikes and induces lots of swings and misses. Considered by many the best college LHP available, he’s second in the nation in strikeouts. A 24th-round pick of Tampa Bay out of high school, Heaney would have gone much higher had he not been dead set on signing with the Cowboys. He outdueled Marlins first-rounder Chad James as a high school senior. A physical education major from Oklahoma City, Heaney is the Big 12 pitcher of the year, topping Texas A&M’s Michael Wacha. Despite his slight frame, Heaney is considered durable. He struck out 46 in 45 innings in the Cape Cod League last summer.

Heaney led Oklahoma State in wins each of his first two seasons, despite starting just nine of 20 games as a sophomore and 10 of 16 as a freshman. While his stuff isn’t overwhelming, his command is among the best of any pitcher in recent years, leading to Jamie Moyer comparisons. Pittsburgh and Minnesota reportedly have interest in Heaney, who figured to go at the back end of the first round before he began climbing draft boards of late toward the middle of the first.

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