The field of elite Division II MLB Draft prospects has been very pitcher heavy. Tampa's right-hander Garrett Cave was the first draft prospect profiled at Minor League Ball this season. Then we turned our attention to coach Gary Adcock's pitching factory at Cal Baptist. It is a program that has pumped out near-MLB ready pitchers of late, including names like Trevor Oaks and Caleb Dirks. This year's ace is righty Garett King, who is coming off a 92 pitch, 15 strikeout no-hitter.
The trend continues with pitchers. We turn our attention to Mercyhurst’s ace Matt Minnick.
Minnick is the first left-hander to appear on the draft profiles. He stands at 6-foot-2.
His arsenal, as described by Minnick:
"I have 4 pitches, which are a 4-seam fastball, a changeup, curveball, and slider," Minnick said. "I'm definitely most comfortable with my changeup and fastball, and I’m working to incorporate my slider much more often."
The southpaw is off to a fantastic start this season, even though the Pennsylvania school's schedule has been decimated by weather cancellations. Despite not pitching in almost a three weeks, Minnick is 3-0 with a microscopic 1.89 ERA and a 17-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 19 innings.
The most important stat is the walks. He was a bit wild in his sophomore campaign, issuing more than five per nine, but this year he has cut his BB/9 in half.
"This year, I’ve really focused on throwing more quality pitches, especially when ahead in the count," Minnick said. "Looking back on last season, there were many games that I could have pitched further in if I had kept my pitch count down. I have a great defense behind me, and i know if I throw more quality pitches, they will make the plays."
None of this should come as a surprise. Baseball America tabbed the junior lefty as their preseason DII pitcher of the year. With Mercyhurst one of the premier DII program's in the nation, he should have plenty of attention on him. Should Minnick finish the season healthy he can easily go in the top ten rounds of the draft.
A full interview and analysis can be found at NCAA.com by clicking the link below.