The Cincinnati Reds selected 22-year old Mike Leake with the 8th pick of last year's draft. He was a polished college pitcher out of Arizona State, and made the Reds right out of spring training, without pitching in the minor leagues (he did throw in the Arizona Fall League last year). His stats from Arizona State (where he was a teammate of Ike Davis) were outstanding, posting a 1.71 ERA, 6 H/9, 1.5 W/9, and 10.3 K/9. His strike out to walk numbers were so good, they are worth mentioning again: 162 strikeouts to 24 walks. He is a ground-ball pitcher, allowing only four home runs in 140+ innings. Was ranked #3 on Baseball America's Prospect list for the Reds and #2 on Baseball Prospectus. First starting pitcher drafted to skip the minor leagues since Jim Abbott.
He throws 5 pitches, with his fastball varying from 88-94 mph, a cutter, a plus change-up, an average slider (79-82 mph), and a show curve-ball. He varies his arm angle to give hitters different looks. He is very athletic and fields his position very well. ASU's coach, Pat Murphy, said he could've been their best defensive shortstop or 3rd baseman. Has a great "feel" for pitching. He is considered close to a finished product (doesn't have much more upside). Most scouts view him having an upside of a #3 starter, but he has an outside chance of being the next Tim Hudson. He is listed as 5'11" and 160 pounds in one publication, but listed as 6'1" 190 on MLB's web site.
He has pitched into the 7th inning in all four of his starts this year. with a 3.25 ERA.