The 2021 MLB Draft is now less than a month away, as it kicks off with round one on July 11. Today we take a look at the University of Virginia right-hander Griff McGarry. His outstanding performance on Sunday afternoon helped the Cavaliers force a winner-take-all game three against Dallas Baptist in the Columbia Super Regional. The righty’s performances in the regionals and super regionals have helped to elevate his draft stock.
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Griff McGarry, RHP, Virginia
Weight: 190 lbs.
2018: 0-2, 8.15 ERA, 22/16 K/BB in 17.2 IP
2019: 3-5, 4.56 ERA, 64/54 K/BB in 53.1 IP
2020: 3-0, 1.35 ERA, 31/19 K/BB in 20 IP
2021: 0-5, 7.53 ERA, 51/37 K/BB in 28.2 IP
Griff McGarry was originally drafted in the 31st round in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers – out of Menlo High School in California – but kept his committment to Virginia. In his four years there, he showcased tremendous stuff while struggling mightily with control. There was some hype around him going into the 2019 draft, but McGarry decided to stay at Virginia for his senior year after his junior season was cut short due to the pandemic.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 13, 2021
When McGarry is on, he’s really on. Evidence to that can be seen in the above video of his strong Super Regionals performance. During the postseason, he has consistently hit 97-plus mph on the radar gun and has been at the top of his game. When he has his command, McGarry can be dominant and he sure was on Sunday. The righty took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out a season-high 10 batters. When he has his stuff working, the California native sports a nasty curveball and slider which tunnel well with his fastball. The fastball can reach 99 mph and at it’s best sits 95-97 mph, which makes his breaking stuff even more deceptive.
As mentioned earlier, McGarry has really struggled with his control through his college career. While his strikeout numbers were high, so were his walk numbers. It was rare to see him at the top of his game throughout the 2021 regular season. It is promising to see McGarry perfoming well on the biggest stage in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, but he will need to find some more consistency. He started the season as the Cavaliers’ number two starter, but struggled enough to be pushed to the bullpen. That is where his future may be in the pros, as he can work on controlling his stuff and showing consistency. It’s possible he may still reach the level of a backend starter, but it is unlikely a team will draft him with that in mind. A closer role could be in the cards if the right coaching can get the fireballer under control.
Pro Comparison: Dellin Betances
Betances was a failed starter who turned into a pretty formidable reliever for the New York Yankees for several years. He has also struggled with control at times in his career, but is a top pitcher when he is under control. Betances has the same three-pitch mix as McGarry and they have a similiar look to them.
Draft Projection: Round 3, Pick 100, Tampa Bay Rays
It is tough to project exactly where a guy like this goes, but there is no better team for him to go to then the Rays. Tampa Bay is notorious for being a “pitching factory” of sorts and turning careers around. McGarry could really develop his control in that system and could work in a variety of different roles out of the bullpen or even as an opener, which the Rays love to use. A guy like McGarry will either be drafted by the Rays or be traded to Tampa Bay down the line and wind up a stud.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images