Draft Profile: Drew Thorpe (RHP)
With the 61st overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Yankees drafted Drew Thorpe (RHP) out of Cal Poly. Who is he?
MLB Pipeline Pre-Draft Profile:
Player (Rank): Drew Thorpe (#61)
School/Position: Cal Poly (Big West)/Right-Handed Pitcher
Age/DOB: 21 Years Old/10/01/2000
Height/Weight: 6'4"/190 pounds
Previously Drafted: Not Applicable
Scouting Grades: (20-80 Scale)
College Statistics (2022):
15 Games, 10 Wins (1 Loss), 2.32 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 104.2 Innings Pitched, 65 Hits, 31 Runs (27 Earned Runs), 25 Walks, 149 Strikeouts
MLB Pipeline Blurb:
"Scouts have headed to Cal Poly on a very consistent basis in 2022 to see potential top of the first round talent Brooks Lee in the lineup. They can get a 2-for-1 deal on Fridays, when Thorpe takes the mound. The right-hander was the Mustangs’ Friday night starter in 2021 and has excelled serving in that role again this coming spring on the heels of a summer pitching for USA Baseball and a brief stop in the Cape Cod League.
At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Thorpe is an intriguing combination of stuff and projection in a college arm. He’s missed bats consistently since joining Cal Poly’s weekend rotation in 2020, thanks largely to what might be the best changeup in the class. He throws it in the low-80s with excellent arm speed for deception and with a ton of sink, getting outs via the strikeout as well as weak contact on the ground. He throws it almost as frequently as his 91-93 mph fastball, a heater that has good riding action and sink at the bottom of the zone and could increase in velocity as he adds strength.
Thorpe has been pitching off his fastball and has folded in his slider, which he now throws a bit harder in the low-80s, a bit more than in the past, something scouts wanted to see. They do like his projection and his feel for finding the strike zone. His steps forward on those fronts, to go along with his Kyle Hendricks-esque changeup, have helped him move up the college arm rankings."
The Yankees followed the big board with the move here, as with the 61st overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft they selected the 61st ranked player by the MLB Pipeline. Personally, I was hoping that a different college arm (LHP Connor Prielipp, ranked #25) was going to drop down boards (he went 48th to the Minnesota Twins) and the money saved from a potential under-slot bonus to Spencer Jones was going to help pay for the over-slot bonus for Prielipp. Ultimately, that did not happen and the Yankees went for a right-handed pitcher out of Cal Poly.
Drew Thorpe is an interesting guy to watch pitch. His delivery mechanics are funky and feel off when watching tape, though he does get good results from the mound. From the MLB Pipeline blurb about him, they don't specifically mention anything about his delivery though they do mention that he has some natural deception which helps his pitches play up.
The Yankees are going to be hoping that his changeup- which some say may be the best of the class- are going to carry his development as they will look to perfect his slider and improve his fastball. Luckily, the Yankees have had a lot of success in recent years in adding velocity across the board to their drafted pitchers, and have helped bring a few extra average MPH to the fastball.
I won't say I'm personally the biggest fan of the draft choice as other more favorable prospects were on the board, including a left-handed pitcher named Carson Whisenhunt (ranked 30th overall, who went 66th to the San Francisco Giants) as well as some other good hitters to join Jones like fellow left-handed hitting college outfielders Jacob Melton (ranked 39th overall, who went 64th to the Houston Astros) and Brock Jones (ranked 33rd overall, who went 65th to the Tampa Bay Rays).
I'll be wishing for the best for Thorpe, but he definitely would not have been my selection.