Rays Select Right-Hander Nick Bitsko

Naturally, the Rays looked to add to their already young pitching pool. As a result, they have drafted 17-year-old right-hander Nick Bitsko.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder has a  frame that is extremely well-developed for his age. He throws a fastball that hits high-90’s and has the potential to touch triple digits as he matures. Oh, and his curveball is already an elite out-pitch.

Bitsko is at the age of a High School junior but graduated early in January. He didn’t play in any games this season, hurting his stock a bit, but likely would’ve been selected in the top 10 had there been a season.

The University of Virginia commit will join a farm that boasts Shane Baz, Mathew Liberatore, Brent Honeywell, and Shane McLanahan.

This is what MLB Pipeline had to say:

Bitsko was up to 96-97 mph at East Coast Pro, with all fastballs in the 92 to 96 mph range. He combines it with a hard breaking ball that shows plus-shape, thrown in the 78 to the 82 mph range to get a lot of swings and misses. While he doesn’t throw it as much, he does have a solid feel for a changeup. Bitsko isn’t pure power, either, showing the ability to throw all three pitches for strikes with a chance for future plus command.

Teams were going to have to play some catch-up with Bitsko this spring because they weren’t bearing down on him over the summer as much as they were with the incoming senior class, something that couldn’t happen beyond an early bullpen session because of the shutdown. He’s committed to the University of Virginia, which could come into play, but he has the chance to be an early first-round pick.

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