MLB Draft Profile: Parker Messickby Alex Kielar June 3, 2022 0 comments
The Florida State Seminoles won their first game of the Auburn Regional over UCLA on Friday. Leading the way for the Seminoles was redshirt sophomore left-hander Parker Messick, who went a solid five innings while striking out four and giving up two runs on four hits and two walks. Messick was a two-year captain at Plant City High School and despite being named 8A player of the year in Florida and leading Plant City to their first-ever state title in 2019, he wasn’t a top 500 player in the country. But the southpaw earned his spot at Florida State and has worked his way up draft boards the last two seasons to be a top 100 draft prospect.
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Parker Messick, LHP, Florida State
Weight: 225 lbs.
2020 Stats: 6 G, 1-1, 0.77 ERA, 0.943 WHIP, 19 K, 2 BB, 11 2/3 IP
2021 Stats: 16 G, 3.10 ERA, 1.156 WHIP, 126 K, 23 BB, 90 IP
2022 Stats: 15 G, 3.36 ERA, 0.961 WHIP, 140 K, 16 BB, 93 2/3 IP
As a redshirt freshman in 2021, Messick was named ACC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year which was only the second time one player won both awards in the same season. He cracked the rotation to start that season after coming out of the bullpen in his true freshman season. After the college season in 2020, the left-hander pitched in the Florida Collegiate Summer League where he earned Cy Young honors as the best pitcher in the league. He went 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA in 18.2 innings for the Garden Squeeze while striking out 27 batters and allowing just five hits and three walks.
After the 2021 season, he also pitched for Team USA’s Collegiate National Team in the summer. Messick was named to the All-ACC First Team after this season, ranking first in the conference in strikeouts – second in the country, strikeouts per nine innings, strikeout-to-walk ratio, and WHIP.
Messick has a legitimate four-pitch mix and is a very advanced college lefty. He can touch 95 mph with his fastball but normally sits around 91-93 mph. His best pitch is the changeup which misses bats in and out of the zone and produces a ton of weak contact in the low 80s. While he doesn’t bring the heat that other arms do, he knows how to command all four of his pitches well. That is very evident in his strikeout-to-walk numbers as he only walked 41 batters in his three seasons. He recently added a slider to his mix, which has become the better breaking pitch between that and his curveball. Messick knows how to pitch and pounds the strike zone, which is a good omen for him to move quickly through the minors.
While the floor is pretty high for Messick, there isn’t too big of a ceiling. With low fastball velocity, he can get hit hard when he misses over the heart of the plate. He will need to make sure to continue to show his secondary pitches in order to give hitters different looks. Still, though, the floor has the makings of a solid middle rotation arm or middle/long reliever. It wouldn’t hurt to add some extra velocity to the fastball to help the changeup take off even more and be extra deceptive.
Pro Comparison: Patrick Sandoval
Messick has a similar build to the 6’3″, 190-pound Sandavol and they both have a very solid changeup. Hitters have gone 0-for-30 against Sandavol’s changeup so far this year including 20 strikeouts. Sandavol was drafted in the 11th round out of high school in 2015, while Messick was non-drafted out of high school. But he will now go fairly early in the 2022 MLB Draft starting on July 17.
Draft Projection: Early-to-Mid Second Round
With a lighter pitching class this year, Messick really proved himself to be one of the better left-handers in the country these last two seasons. A lot of teams will be looking at safe college options like him in the early second round of the draft. One specific team that could be looking to snag him is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who own the 43rd overall pick and only have one left-hander in their top 30 prospect list.
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