MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Right-handed pitcher Jacob Watters was one of two West Virginia baseball players invited to the MLB Draft Combine.
Watters, and centerfielder Victor Scott II, were in San Deigo to perform in front of Major League Baseball scouts and front office personnel.
While Scott II was one of the top base-stealing threats in the country this season, and ran a very fast 30-yard dash time on Friday, Watters seemingly has gotten more of the attention from MLB evaluators.
The junior’s fastball has caught the eye of big-league scouts. Watters lived in the mid-90s for most of the season, and could ramp it up to near triple digits when he needed to.
Watters also improved on his command this year, evident in his eight-strikeout performance against Oklahoma State in April and his 15-strikeout outing against Texas in May. His dominant start against the Longhorns earned Watters national Player of the Week honors.
According to his player profile on MLB.com’s draft prospect list, both Watters’ fastball and curveball have been given a grade of 60 on the 20-80 scale. That means MLB talent evaluators deem that both are above-average pitches.
The same player profile predicts that Watters will return to the bullpen if and when he is drafted.
Watters is one of 66 right-handed pitchers that appear on the Top 200 list of draft-eligible players.
He is the 22nd-highest-rated right-handed pitcher from the college ranks. However, he is the third-highest-rated righty from the Big 12 Conference, only trailing Oklahoma State’s Justin Campbell and Texas Tech’s Brandon Birdsell.
Watters is the 11th-highest-rated draft-eligible player, overall, coming out of the Big 12 this year.
Watters, who began the 2022 season on the Stopper of the Year Watchlist, transitioned into a Friday night starter for the Mountaineers this season.
He went 3-7 with a 6.22 ERA in 18 appearances, 11 of which were starts. Watters struck out 75 hitters in 59 1/3 innings pitched.
The Major League Baseball Draft will take place from Sunday, July 17 through Tuesday, July 19 in Los Angeles, California.