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Blue Jays select RHP Nick Frasso in fourth round

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Cape Cod Baseball League Photo by Simon M Bruty/AnyChance Productions/Getty Images

With the 106th overall overall pick in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays selected right-handed pitcher from Loyola Marymount University in California. As was mentioned on the MLB broadcast, there’s a special significance in that Dave Stieb was picked with the 106th overall pick in 1978 (the year after Tim Raines went to the Expos 106th overall). It also marked the team’s first foray out of Florida.

Frasso is more of a development project, a 6’5”, 200 pounder who divided his time between baseball and basketball in high school, only focussing on baseball at LMU. Both his freshman and sophomore years were split between the rotation and bullpen, with very similar performance: ERAs of 3.15 and 2.22 in 60 and 56.2 innings, 17 walks both years against 74 and 73 strikeouts.

Last summer he briefly appeared on the Cape, making a couple appearances for Orleans before being added to the USA College National team and throwing four shutout innings against Cuba. The combination of stuff, performance, and remaining projection gave him some first round buzz coming into the year if everything came together, but two short starts (8.2 innings, 4.15 ERA, 11 K) before elbow tightness sidelined him and the premature end of the season prevented that from coming to pass.

In that sense, the Jays could potentially be getting a bargain. Frasso’s fastball wil touch the upper 90s, but sit in the low 90s as a starter. His main secondary is a sweeping breaking ball, with curveball speed in the mid-70s. He can at least flash a quality change-up, as he does a few times in the video to some lefty batters.

His delivery is variously described as “herky-jerky” and “gangly arms and legs”, which is evident in especially the first half of the video below (from last summer). It looked quieter in to me in the above video from this video.

Oh, and he can do this:

That athleticism is a main reason for thinking he’ll have the command to start, which as mentioned above had he been able to firmly establish in 2020 would have have had him going a lot higher. And if not, there’s relief potential and he’s already had success in that role. It’s also worth noting that Frasso was in new scouting director Shane Farrell’s coverage area with the Cubs, so there’s likely a level of familiarity there that may have factored in especially with the abbreviated season.