The Mets had a pair of selections in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft, and chose Tennessee RHP Blade Tidwell No. 52 overall in the second round proper, and prep outfielder Nick Morabito at No. 75 overall in the compensation portion of the round .
Tidwell, a draft-eligible sophomore, was a stud for Tennessee as a freshman, starting a team-high 18 games and winning 10 (second-most in school history for a freshman behind ex-Met RA Dickey) en route to All-SEC Freshman Team honours.
His sophomore season was a little different, as a shoulder issue cost him the early part of the season, and he worked in relief much of the year. Overall, Tidwell was 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 39 innings, and he was named to the NCAA Knoxville Regional All-Tournament Team after pitching a 7 2/3 shutout innings – a career-high for innings in a game.
From his MLB.com scouting report:
“Tidwell can light up radar guns with a fastball that parks at 93-96 mph and tops out at 99 with some arm-side run, though it also straightens out and gets hit when he doesn’t work up in the strike zone. He has a full array of secondary pitches, led by a low-80s slider that hits 88 mph and features sweep and some depth. His sinking low-80s changeup generated the best swing-and-miss rate (39 percent) of any of his offerings from him in 2021, and he’ll also drop in a mid-70s curveball to give left-handers a different look. After adding 20 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame since arriving in college, Tidwell does a good job of maintaining his stuff deep into games, and he still has room to add some more strength. He throws strikes but needs to improve the consistency and command of his pitches.”
The Mets then added Morabito at No. 75, selecting the Virginia Tech commit from DC’s Gonzaga College HS that “reminds some of Chad Curtis or a smaller Clint Frazier-type physically” according to MLB.com.
Morabito was listed as an outfielder but played shortstop and center field in high school, and per his MLB.com scouting report, “his below-average arm rule (SS) out at the next level. Some have seen an arm slot that could work from second base, while others have thought letting his athleticism play in the outfield would be the best move.
The speedster slashed .545/.644/1.119 with 12 home runs, 10 doubles, six triples and 52 steals last season, being named Washington Catholic Athletic Conference co-Player of the Year and Gatorade’s DC Player of the Year.
MLB.com’s scouting report says the righty hitter “has a short, compact swing and above-average bat speed that enables him to make hard contact with solid power, especially for someone his size,” and he is “a plus runner who has the chance to make an impact on the basepaths.”
Tidwell’s draft spot comes with a slot bonus of @1.47 million, while Morabito’s has a slot value of $873,300.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism