Cleveland has selected right-handed pitcher Tommy Mace out of Florida with pick No. 69 in the competitive balance portion of the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft. Standing 6-foot-6 as a college senior, was the Friday night starter the past two seasons for the Gators.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about him:
Mace spent his freshman year at Florida pitching mostly out of the bullpen before joining the weekend rotation as a sophomore and serving as the Gators’ Friday night starter during the shortened 2020 season. He seemed like he could be a second-rounder as the Draft approached, but the combination of the shortened season to go along with poor analytical data on his stuff led to Mace turning down offers, working in the offseason with Kinetic Pro and Driveline and returning to try and pitch his way into the first round in Florida’s new stadium in 2021.
In some ways, Mace is still the same consistent college starter with a four-pitch mix and a feel for how to use it well. But there have been some developments in his game that could lead to him being more highly regarded than he was in 2020. He’s added a four-seamer up in the zone with a much higher spin rate while still having an outstanding sinking two-seamer, up to 96 mph and often with cutting action, to rely on. He’s improved his curve, also with more spin and his changeup has gotten better.
Mace has gotten a bit bigger physically, which could help with consistency of velocity and stuff. He’s always been good at throwing strikes, but has been more a contact, ground-ball kind of pitcher, rather than one who misses tons of bats. He did increase his strikeout rate while continuing to fill up the strike zone in 2021.
MLB Pipeline had Mace listed as the No. 45 prospect in the 2021 MLB Draft, so he’s a bit above projections. Mace already turns 23 in November, so he’s likely going to be another quick mover in the Cleveland system.