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2016 Mets draft preview: Cal Quantrill

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With the 19th pick in the 2016 Amateur Draft, the Mets can potentially draft Cal Quantrill. Who is he, and would he be worth selecting?

Name: Cal Quantrill
Born: Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
Age: 20 (10/2/1995)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/185 lbs
Position: RHP
Bats/Throws: L/R
School: Stanford

Introduction

Baseball runs in Cal Quantrill's genes, as his father was Paul Quantrill, a former major league pitcher. The elder Quantrill attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 1989 MLB Amateur Draft. He made his debut with them a few years later, and in total, spent fourteen years in the game pitching for a handful of different teams. While he was not necessarily a stand-out pitcher, the total sum of his career was slightly better than the average of the era. Given his physical tools and gifts, Cal certainly has the ability to eclipse what his father accomplished.

Cal has been around baseball since his youth, as a result of his father playing for various MLB teams. "I'd go on the road sometimes with dad. Lived in the clubhouse, I was raised in that clubhouse," he said. He rubbed shoulders with greats such as Carlos Delgado, John Olerud, Randy Johnson, Kirby Puckett, and Cal Ripkin, Jr.

Owing to his genetics and the tutoring the his father and other professional baseball players undoubtedly gave him, Quantrill was a standout pitcher as a teenager. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he was the MVP of Trinity College School's baseball team. In addition, he played on Team Canada's 18U baseball team and helped pitch the team to a silver medal in 2012. The New York Yankees drafted him in the twenty-sixth round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, but the right-hander decided not to sign with them, instead attending Stanford University.

Quantrill quickly established himself as one of the better pitchers at the prestigious Californian university and was given honor of starting on opening day, the first freshman pitcher to do so since Mike Mussina in 1998. In his first year as a Stanford Cardinal, he went 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA in seventeen starts and one relief appearance. In the 110.2 innings he pitched, a team high, he struck out 98 batters, a team high. Due to his performance for the year, Quantrill was named to various honorary teams.

The right-hander's 2015 started very much like his 2014 season did. Through his first three starts, Quantrill was cruising. Against Indiana, Fullerton and Rice, he posted a 1.93 ERA over 18.2 innings, with 20 strikeouts. After his start against Rice, things fell apart. He had his spot in the rotation skipped over, owing to elbow soreness, and an MRI later revealed that he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery. "It was devastating," he said. "It was hours and hours of work and things I had changed to put myself in a position that I could make a difference last year and it was all taken away. I sat there for about 15 minutes - sad, angry, it's not fair, this or that. And what I realized, literally 20 minutes later, it doesn't help anything. Wallowing away, being sad, sorry for myself, wasn't going to fix anything. I needed the 15 minutes to recoup and just get that emotion out ."

Cal had been working hard to recover from the surgery roughly 14 months ago, but was not recovered enough to return to the mound in a competitive fashion for Stanford during their regular season. Any team that drafts him will be relying on his past body of work and notes on how his rehab has been going, rather than information garnered during live games.

Year Level Age Games Innings Pitched ERA K BB
2014 NCAA Div I (Pac12) 19 18 (17 GS) 110.2 2.68 98 34
2015 NCAA Div I (Pac12) 20 3 (3 GS) 18.2 1.93 20 8

What The Scouts Think

Before his Tommy John surgery, Quantrill looked like a total package and very realistically could have been drafted within the first few draft selections. He possessed a four-pitch mix, with the ability to control all of them. His fastball sat in the low-to-mid 90s fastball, and had a lot of sink. Pitching out of the stretch, his fastball had considerably less zip on it, as the right-hander was unable to wind-up. His change-up was his best secondary offering, with good velocity differential and fade. His curveball and slider were both developing pitches before his Tommy John, but projected to be average, usable pitched with further refinement. He had a good feel for all of his secondary offerings, able to mix them liberally.

At 6'3", 185 lbs, Quantrill has a little bit of room to fill out and add additional velocity and stamina. The right-hander threw from a high 3/4 arm slot, utilizing a high leg kick to add deception. He kept his release point tight for all of his pitches, giving him good control of all four.

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