Even with his issues throwing over the middle of the field, Deshaun Watson of Clemson has been my favorite player at the position. If one of the top quarterbacks helped himself, it was Watson.
Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina isn’t far behind, and the feeling I got from teams is that he’s ahead of Watson.
Van Mil has been successful in the Netherlands, a part of the juggernaut Dutch team Cura?ao Neptunus, with whom he struck out 29 batters in 21 innings and issued just four walks. He will embarrass hitters in the WBC, throwing a 95-mph fastball downhill from about 50 feet away, which almost seems like cheating.
He wants to come back to the United States and prove himself at the highest level of competition. From Scott Miller at Bleacher Report:
Among the reasons some players elect to participate in the WBC is that the tournament partly functions as a showcase for those seeking another chance. Maybe, if everything comes together for Van Mil, a major league team will be waiting with another invitation.
If the early returns are any indication — his velocity, his success in the Dutch Major League, his success in the WBC — there’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t get that shot. Pitchers can discover their command after they turn 30. It’s why Randy Johnson is in the Hall of Fame instead of the Hall of Remember That Really Tall Pitcher?
Pitchers can learn to refine their pitches, even as they get older and older. It’s why Bartolo Colon can still make millions with his bag of moving fastballs in his 40s, which isn’t what made him successful in his 20s.