"He's really deceptive," a national crosschecker said. "He throws from a high slot, and that fastball has got really good angle on it. I think that's where a lot of the sneakiness of his fastball comes from. His 90 looks like 94 and he's got a lot of life on it as well. He misses a lot of bats with 90."
Batters have trouble picking up pitches out of the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder's hand. Imhof's fastball life and his curveball are effective, if not outstanding. He displays some feel for a changeup with some fade, though he rarely uses it during games.
Imhof foreshadowed his breakout junior season with a strong summer with Team USA, during which he allowed just one run and fanned 18 in 17 innings. He improved his record to 8-2, 1.87 by two-hitting slumping Cal State Fullerton over 6 2/3 shutout innings on Thursday. Though he matched his season-high with four walks, he struck out nine and allowed only two runners to reach second base -- one of whom he picked off.
"He's a guy you have to put the radar guy away on," the crosschecker said. "He's tricky. Carlos Rodon, Kyle Freeland and Brandon Finnegan are the top college left-handers, and Imhof doesn't have the big fastball velocity of those guys or the secondary pitches they have. But I see him in the next group and he could go in the second round, maybe a tick higher.
"If there's one kind of Draft pick that seems to overachieve, it has been college left-handers. A lot of guys who we say are No. 5 starters seem to overachieve. He's similar to Drew Smyly and he could be the next in that group."
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.