On Sunday night, pitcher Sam Bachman is likely to become the first Miami RedHawk to win in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
MLB.com ranks Bachman as the 14th best prospect in this year’s draft class. The right-hander from Fishers, Ind., Was one of the nation’s top pitchers this spring. He finished the 2021 season with an earned average of 1.81 (7th NCAA) and recorded 93 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.
Bachman mainly attacks Hitters with a fastball that hits 101 mph and a wipeout slider. He also throws in a move – if the field develops, Bachman has a chance to be a starter in the Major Leagues. If not, he projects as an elite bullpen pitcher.
One of the most exciting qualities of Bachman is his obvious MLB willingness. Draft insider Joe Doyle speculated he might end up in an MLB bullpen later in 2021, saying, “If there are things that go straight out of a big league bullpen, it’s Bachmans.”
Major league teams always need Bullpen help. Who better to take care of that than a young player with strikeout stuff?
Avoiding the minor leagues is an exceptionally rare achievement; Bachman would only be the fourth player since 2000.
The latest example of a pitcher to reach the Major League in his draft year is Garret Crochet, a former Tennessee volunteer and current pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. Crochet was drafted 11th overall in 2020 and made five appearances for Chicago later that season. In the playoffs, he even beat two in a goalless appearance.
Crochet and Bachman are very similar cases. Crochet overheard Bachman, despite his nasty stuff, questions about his long-term viability as a starter in the draft. Both pitchers throw a fastball that hits three-digit numbers along with a slider and a change-up.
The only other pitcher to accomplish the feat since 2000 was Mike Leake, another polished college pitcher whom the Cincinnati Reds quickly rose to major leagues in in 2009. Leake, like Bachman, dominated the NCAA in its draft year, despite less noticeable fees than the former ‘Hawk.
This weekend one of the most talented baseball players of all time will find out at Oxford where his professional career will begin.
Watch out – you might see him on a big league hill before the fall semester ends.