Re: The 2007 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft Discussion Thread (Day 2)
O’Neil Opens Eyes
Posted May. 29, 2007 12:35 pm by Alan Matthews
Filed under: Sleepers, College
The rise of Devin Mesoraco was easily the most exciting story of amateur baseball in Pennsylvania this year. While Mesoraco, a senior catcher from Punxsutawney, made his move early this spring, the last month of the season saw a college prospect from the Keystone State make a push, albeit not nearly as high in draft stock as Mesoraco.
Drew O’Neil has accrued quite a bit of mileage during his college career, and he might get reimbursed finally on draft day, with a spot in the top 10 rounds. A Roswell, Ga., native, O’Neil committed to Wake Forest but never threw a pitch for the Demon Deacons, missing his freshman season in 2005 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
He transferred to Young Harris (Ga.) Junior College in 2006, but didn’t show the stuff to garner much consideration in the draft, and transferred a second time, this time to Penn State.
As a redshirt sophomore this season, O’Neill has finally found his calling. The 21-year-old righthander went 4-2, 1.34 this season with 11 saves in 23 appearances. His strikeouts were underwhelming, as he registered just 21 with 10 walks in 33 innings, but he held hitters to a .188 average.
He works from a low-three-quarters arm slot, which gives his delivery deception. He’s been up to 92 mph and will flash a plus slider at times, though it’s inconsistent. O’Neil’s been invited to a couple of pre-draft workouts for major league teams, and was on the rise at just the right time.