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Dodgers prospect Tommy Bergjans: Division III to the Big Leagues?

There were only 11 players selected out of Division III NCAA schools in the 2015 MLB draft. One of those was Tommy Bergjans, who the Dodgers drafted in the eighth round out of Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Guys who get drafted out of Division III schools are rare, and guys that make to the Major Leagues are even more rare. Can Tommy Bergjans be one of the guys who beat these odds?

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For an NCAA Division III player, Tommy Bergjans has a impressive track record, he absolutely dominated Division III baseball with a 1.69 ERA in 282 2/3 innings over his four seasons for Haverford College, including a stunning 1.07 ERA with a 111/14 K/BB ratio in 87 innings this spring. He also got to spend a summer playing in the Cape Cod League. This exposure to scouts he was given on the Cape was a big reason the Dodgers felt confident selecting him in the eighth round of this years draft.

After he signed with the Dodgers he was immediately assigned to the Ogden Raptors in the Pioneer League. While with Ogden, he posted an impressive 2.63 ERA and a 2.71 FIP in a very small sample size of 13 2/3 innings. He was then sent to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League, where so far he has a 3.86 ERA and a 2.99 FIP in 35 innings at the time of this writing. He has a 35/10 K/BB.

Bergjan's is listed at 6'1" 190 and that appears fairly accurate. It's a skinny frame, one that I do not believe will hold up as a starter in the long run.

Bergjan's delivery starts from the far first base side of the rubber and has an over the top angle. His arm action adds deception to his delivery because it is short and quick. His delivery is very inconsistent right now and his leg kick varies from being almost non existent one pitch to being massive the next. One definite area he needs work is in repeating his delivery. He looks to be about average at holding runners and he typically delivers the ball to home in about 1.35 seconds.

Bergjan's fastball was 88-91 in the outing I saw. The fastball doesn't do a whole lot in terms of movement but his command of his fastball looked pretty good. His change-up worked in the low 80's (81-82) during the outing I saw. The change-up has good deception and it occasionally has very good fade, but the movement is pretty inconsistent. Finally, the last pitch he showed was a curveball, his curveball is his best pitch right now and it was thrown between 77-81 mph with very good 11-5 movement.

As previously mentioned I don't think his thin frame would work as a starter long term in the big leagues, but with improved consistency in his delivery and change-up movement, this guy has some big-league potential as a bullpen arm. Bergjan looks right now like he has potential to be a rare Division III product who could reach the Show eventually.