Dominic Hamel played baseball at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, lettering twice. The right-hander had a solid build for a pitcher and a promising fastball and breaking ball but went undrafted as a senior. He attended Yavapai College, a community college in Prescott, Arizona after graduating high school, posting a 2.67 ERA in 67.1 innings in his freshman year and a 3.68 ERA in 73.1 innings in his sophomore year. His peripheral numbers in 2018 were excellent, with 29 walks and 79 strikeouts, but he regressed a bit in 2019, walking 44 and striking out 84. His 2019 sophomore season would end up being his last at Yavapai, as he transferred to Dallas Baptist University for the 2020 season, his junior year.
Appearing as the Patriots’ Sunday starter, Hamel started four games before the NCAA cancelled the remainder for the 2020 season due to COVID-19. In those 4 starts, he posted a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 innings, allowing 13 hits, walking 7, and striking out 27. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and returned to Dallas Baptist for his senior season. He was the Patriots’ Friday night ace, throwing 91.2 innings with a 4.22 ERA, allowing 68 hits, walking 34, and striking out 136, a Dallas Baptist record and most in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2020 by a wide margin.
Standing 6’2” and weighing 205-pounds, Hamel has a solid pitching frame. He logged nearly 100 innings in 2020 and should be able to handle a starter’s workload in the future. The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, with a long action through the back. He gets good extension in his delivery and generally stays on top of his pitches, giving them downward plane.
His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, generally sitting 90-94 and topping out at 96 MPH. Thanks to its spin rate, the pitch has rising life when thrown up in the zone. His command of the pitch is far from pinpoint, and he sometimes loses the top of the strike zone when intentionally throwing the pitch up.
In addition to his fastball, Hamel throws a slider, curveball, and changeup. His slider and curveball sometimes blend together, but they are two distinct pitches, a low-80s slider with late sweepy break and a mid-70s curveball with big downward break. Both pitches have high spin rates and tunnel well with his fastball and have the potential to be average-or-better pitches with some work. His changeup lags far behind his breaking ball and decidedly a below-average pitch in the present. He does have a feel for the pitch, which sits in the low-80s with some late fade, and with more usage could develop it further. His command of all of his secondary pitches, like his fastball, is far from pinpoint, but he has shown some improvements in that regard even as recently as this past spring.