The Yankees are going back to the college baseball well for some more pitching, using their 160th overall pick in the fifth round on Eric Reyzelman. A junior right-hander from Louisiana State University (LSU), Reyzelman converted to a full-time reliever this season after spending most of the previous two years as a starter. Baseball America ranked him No. 323 in its pre-draft Top 500.
Reyzelman didn’t manage to avoid damage this season, but he did miss plenty of bats — he posted a 4.04 ERA with 32 hits and 18 walks against 66 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. His pitches have the potential to be MLB-ready in a hurry, as he already features a fastball that flies in the high 90s, and can even touch 99 mph. He’s also got a starter’s arsenal to deploy around it, utilizing a cutter, changeup, curveball, and slider as well.
Eric Reyzelman, 97-99mph ⛽️— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 20, 2022
Gun Checks, PitchingNinja Hat behind home plate, K Strut...this has it all. pic.twitter.com/Tyo5EiZMdX
That fastball in particular is already major-league ready. Reyzelman’s heater has elite rising action, among the best in the NCAA and notable among professional pitchers already. Check out this distribution:
Eric Reyzelman @LSUbaseball has one of the best "Ride" Fastballs in the draft, consistently throwing it in the top 5% of Vertical Break in the NCAA— Brett Homer (@B_HOMERun2) July 15, 2022
His avg. -12.2 VB is the same as Hunter Greene, putting him in the T50 in the MLB today@ReyzEric @LSUBaseballData @FlatgroundApp pic.twitter.com/mS9wsNiia7
Reyzelman’s career is a story of persevering. The son of a pair of Jewish immigrants who fled the Soviet Union, Reyzelman was twice cut from his high school baseball team and has undergone Tommy John surgery already. He made adjustments and found his way on one of the powerhouse programs in college baseball, and now his effort has been recognized with a selection here in the first five rounds.
It’s unclear if Reyzelman will go back to college or not. Reyzelman left the possibility open depending on the result of the draft, but the Yankees’ selection here indicates that they should be confident that he’ll sign. If so, he becomes the third college arm that the team has taken with their first five choices, previously taking Drew Thorpe with their second-round pick and Trystan Vrieling with their third-round selection.