Well, here’s a fun one.
Yeah, if Wheeling Jesuit University doesn’t exactly sound like a baseball hotbed to you, that’s okay; it doesn’t sound like one to me either. But one player there, lefty Noah Mull, caught enough eyes in the Padres organization to be their 38th round pick this year.
Mull is a tiny lefty listed at 5’10″ 160 who also played some outfield in college.
His stats are certainly impressive. Four of his eight starts as a senior were complete games (two were shutouts), as he posted a 2.09 ERA and struck out 81 in 56 innings.
Then again, how good is competition in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference? You tell me.
Still, it’s telling that Mull’s ERA was 2.79 lower than the next best pitcher on his team; he was baffling hitters.
What about Mull baffles hitters? It’s certainly not his height, as he obviously isn’t going to get much downward plane at 5’10″.
No, what makes Mull so successful is that he eschews the traditional high arm slot and throws sidearm.
Obviously, a 5’10″ 160-pound sidearmer isn’t going to cut it as a starter in pro ball, but the Padres have designs on seeing what Mull can do as a LOOGY. It’ll be very interesting to see how he pans out.