I’ll admit it. I understand why most baseball fans think with a bit of a “lesser than” mindset for later-round baseball draft picks. Unless you’re an absurdist (Like me.), you’re not going to prioritize minor league games over big league games. With four to eight pipeline games a day, a synopsis on the games is about the peak goal. Getting all “Death Or Glory” on a third-day selection isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. When it’s a reliever from a school you’re likely unfamiliar with doesn’t help. Here, nonetheless, is my look at Cubs pitching prospect Frankie Scalzo.
I don’t specifically know how the Cubs run their “shop” in Mesa. I’d imagine, even in the “dead periods”, they have some staff on hand. Whether trainers, nutritionists, computer technicians, and the like, they’ll have a reasonably sized skeleton crew, just in Mesa. As the players roll in, more people will have roles to fill. Once the college seasons begin, I’d recommend they have a scout to disseminate information from the local schools.
“Schools?”, I hear you say. Most of us know Arizona State plays in Mesa, but there’s a thriving smaller school scene. And, there’s Grand Canyon University.
Frankie Scalzo, right-handed relief pitcher
Born November 25, 1999, San Diego, California
Drafted by the Cubs in 2021 (14th Round), Grand Canyon University. Phoenix, Arizona.
Scalzo was the closer for the Antelopes (underused nickname) in 2021, saving twelve games. His ERA was rather good (2.12), and he fanned more hitters than he pitched innings. His velocity is mid-90’s, which is about the base for a reliever, anymore. Not a bad get in Round 14. As a pro in 2021, he pitched a scoreless inning in Mesa before being promoted to Myrtle Beach. His seven strikeouts to one walk and one earned run represents he might see South Bend sooner than later, if healthy.
Among Scalzo’s curiosities is that his multi-step set in the stretch position is probably a balk move, if not done regularly. YouTube is more Scalzo-friendly than Twitter. Here’s some of his 2020 appearances:
He has since junked this windup, operating from the stretch exclusively.
Fourteenth round choices usually qualify as afterthoughts. Scalzo, who walked only one hitter in nine pro innings in 2021, might be of moderate interest. Especially if he reaches Double-A Tennessee in 2022.