Behind the backstop of the Lee's Summit West baseball field in 2014, MLB scouts would unpack their radar guns and clock right-handed pitcher Alex Lange in the low to mid-90s. It made him an enticing pro prospect, but he insisted on trying the college route and headed to LSU.
A good decision.
The Chicago Cubs drafted Lange with the 30th overall pick in Monday's MLB Draft, the final selection of the first round.
Lange, 21, possesses a plus fastball that hovers in the low-90s and occasionally reaches the mid-90s and a power curveball recognized as one of the best in the nation. He has also developed a slider and change-up to broaden his options. At 6-4, 200 pounds, he stands as the prototypical power right-handed pitcher.
He is 9-5 with a 2.92 earned run average in his junior season with LSU. He has struck out 134 batters in 111 innings to lead the Southeastern Conference.
That season is ongoing. LSU qualified over the weekend for the College World Series.
MLB.com ranked Lange as the 23rd best prospect in the draft.
As a senior at Lee's Summit West in 2014, Lange threw three no-hitters and was named the Missouri Gatorade player of the year. He finished that year 9-0 with a 0.96 ERA.
Lange has often credited his mom, Renee, for his development. Renee adopted Alex when he was one day old.
Lange previously appeared in the College World Series in 2015, a season in which he posted a 12-0 record with a 1.97 ERA.
According to Baseball America, the 30th overall pick has a slot value of $2.18 million.