The Cincinnati Reds have selected right-handed pitcher Christian Roa out of Texas A&M in the 2nd round. The 6′ 4″ righty comes in at 220 lbs. He was rated as the #64 prospect by Baseball America, #89 by MLB Pipeline, and #34 by Fangraphs.
Christian Roa Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 220
B/T: R/R | DOB: April 2, 1999
There’s a limited track record of starting for Christian Roa. The righty made 15 starts over his three seasons at Texas A&M. One came as a freshman, while 10 more came as a sophomore – but he also made 7 relief appearances that season and threw just 48.0 total innings. This past season he made 4 starts and threw 20.0 innings with nine walks, 4 home runs allowed, and he racked up 35 strikeouts. In his 82.2 innings with the Aggies in his career he posted a 4.25 ERA.
His fastball works in the 92-93 MPH range and will touch 96. At times the pitch can show two-plane movement, but at other times the pitch can be a bit straight. He throws three secondary pitches, mixing in a change up, slider, and a curveball. The curve and change up both grade out as above-average pitches at times and some scouts have put a plus grade on his change up. The slider is an average offering.
With solid control, Roa flashes real upside with two above-average pitches, a plus pitch, and an average pitch coming from a big-bodied frame. But he’s battled some consistency along the way in college, and he’s got a short track record of starting, too. That leaves open some concern that he may be a bullpen guy because he’s never really shown that he can start for a full season, carry the stuff all the way through, or pitch deep into games. But all of the pieces are there for a starting pitcher, and if the stuff can hold up and keep developing, this could be a steal down the road for Cincinnati.
Christian Roa on being drafted by the Reds
“You know, I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything. I was just kind of watching (the draft) as it went and was very excited when my name was called for Cincinnati, for sure,” said Christian Roa on being selected on Thursday night.
“It’s always disappointing when you can’t finish the season, especially with your teammates and at a school like A&M, you always wish you can finish out a season. Obviously this situation is bigger than baseball, a lot bigger than ourselves, so I was definitely sad that I couldn’t finish the season with A&M but in the end it turned out ok. ”
“I’ve done my research with the Reds and know that they’re good at developing pitchers, they take guys in and are very analytical and very observant in the way that they take guys in and kind of develop them,” said Roa. “It’s very exciting to come into an organization that does such a great job developing pitchers and has such great information on developing pitchers.”
“The pandemic, you have to look at the good and the bad things about it. The good thing about it is we got a lot of time to develop. Spent a lot of time in the weight room, throwing, working on mechanics and things like that,” said Roa. “In that aspect if you’re trying to take a positive out of the pandemic, having all of that extra time to develop, be in the weight room and things like that was something that was beneficial to me. I was able to slow things down and really focus on my body and transitioning into this professional career.”
“I’d describe myself as a combination pitcher of command and stuff. Early in my college career I was more of a command pitcher where I had to really learn to command my different pitches, throw my fastball in-out-up-down in the zone,” Roa said about how he pitched in college. “Later in my college career the stuff came along, I got a little bit stronger and started throwing a little harder and so it’s just a combination of being able to have really good stuff and being able to command it.”
“Early in college I kind of learned that there’s a quote ‘Don’t expect results for the work you didn’t put in’ and so that was something that early on just kind of stuck with me. If you want to be successful at something you really have to put the work in and there’s no shortcuts in life and there’s no excuses you can make if you want to be successful at something. Nothing more than being blessed with extremely great coaches that have cultivated the product I am today with a lot of hard work, sweat and blood.”