With the seventh overall pick in the draft, the Royals selected Connecticut high school pitcher Frank Mozzicato out of East Catholic High School. The 18-year old left-hander was ranked #42 by Baseball America and was not considered one of the top draft prospects, so likely this signals that the Royals feel they can reach a deal for well under slot, and use the excess money to sign a guy overslot later in the draft.
Baseball America writes that Mozzicato won’t turn 18 until June, and has been under the radar because he did not participate in many national events.
Mozzicato has plenty of projection arrows pointing up, with easy arm action, a low-effort delivery and more space to fill out his projectable frame. That should help him add to a fastball that has trended up this spring, with Mozzicato now sitting at 88-91 mph and reaching 93. His separator is a plus curveball, a 74-80 mph pitch that’s one of the best breaking balls in the country from a high school lefty.
They note that while he lacks velocity, he has an advanced feel for pitching for his age. In addition to his “knockout curve” he has a good feel for a change up that could develop into an average pitch.
He threw four straight no-hitters, albeit in Connecticut, not usually considered a hotbed of high school baseball talent. Baseball America ranked him as the fifth-best left-handed pitcher in this draft. Mozzicato, who just turned 18 in June, is committed to the University of Connecticut, but it seems unlikely he will ever step a foot on campus.
The Royals will have a second round pick, the 43rd overall pick, as well as a Competitive Balance Round B pick after the second round, with the 66th overall pick.
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