Did you have a second to grab a snack between draft picks? Okay good, neither did I.
The MLB Draft rolls on in Day 2, and the Yankees have made their sixth-round selection. It will be their fourth college righty in the last five picks: Texas Tech pitcher Chase Hampton. He’ll turn 21 on August 7th and though he wasn’t among MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 Draft Prospects, Baseball America’s ranking went longer. That was enough for Hampton to make it at No. 291.
In two seasons for the Red Raiders, Hampton has a 4.10 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 101 innings. In the 2022 campaign, he posted an 11.4 K/9, though it was accompanied by a 4.4 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9. Both rates represented ticks above his 2021 rate, though it should be acknowledged that he was in a slightly different role. Hampton was almost entirely a swingman in 2021 (11 relief appearances in 18 games), but only 4 of his 15 games in 2022 came out of the bullpen.
A 6-foot-2 right-hander, scouts think that Hampton has been looking better and better as he’s matured on the mound. He potentially capped his career with a brilliant performance against Notre Dame, who made it to the College World Series. The Longview, Texas product struck out 12 batters in 6 innings of dominance out of the ‘pen:
Hampton has a 92-96 mph fastball and a nasty 84-87 mph slider that the Yankees’ pitching specialists are probably salivating about. He also has a curveball and changeup, though that slider is his preferred outpitch.
One thing is clear, though: Hampton pitches with a lot of emotion, especially in heightened moments.
That could be a lot of fun to watch on the mound at Yankee Stadium one day. He seems like someone who the Yankees will try as a starter for a little while, but could very well find a nice home as a dominating bullpen weapon.