East Catholic pitcher and GameTimeCT’s baseball Player of the Year Frank Mozzicato was selected seventh overall by the Kansas City Royals in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft Sunday night.
The 18-year old UConn commit is the highest picked Connecticut high school player selected since Rippowam High’s Bobby Valentine was selected fifth overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He is also the first Connecticut high school pitcher drafted within the first five rounds since 2014.
“I am at a loss for words, this has been my dream since I was nine years old,” Mozzicato said in a press conference. “I couldn’t be more excited to get my career started in Kansas City. They have a great staff and I’m going to really excel there. I can’t wait, it’s an awesome fit.”
Considered a “pop-up” prospect, the 6-foot-3 175 pound lefty gained most of his prospect pedigree in the past year, increasing his fastball velocity into the low-to-mid 90s with what many scouts consider to be a professional breaking ball.
Mozzicato went 9-0 with a 0.16 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 55.2 innings pitched this spring, leading East Catholic to the Class M State Championship.
Mozzicato finished his high school career with 492/3 scoreless innings, including a stretch in which he threw four consecutive no-hitters garnering national attention.
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) July 12, 2021
Entering the first day of the draft Mozzicato had been projected as a first rounder in many mock drafts, so his selection surpassed most expectations. Mozzicato, from Ellington, has committed to UConn but the slot value for the Royals’ seventh overall pick is reportedly $5.4 million.
Mozzicato was the first selection in this year’s draft out of New England and was the fourth prep player taken off the board. He was the second high school arm drafted (behind third overall pick Jackson Jobe of Oklahoma).
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) July 11, 2021
“I was a little surprised, definitely,” Mozzicato said. “Six months ago I didn’t think I would be in this position.”
Mozzicato spent draft night at home with a group of around 30 family members and friends, all of which erupted when he got the call.
“We were at home with close family and friends,” Mozzicato said. “After the sixth pick, (scout) Casey Fahey called me and was like ‘We’re taking you, I just want to congratulate you on being a Kansas City Royal. When I heard my name called it was crazy.”
Should Mozzicato sign with Kansas City, he will join MLB.com’s 10th best farm system. The Royals have now taken five first-round pitchers in the last four years (three in 2018).