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2021 Mets Draft profile: Kolby Kubichek

With their eighteenth selection in the 2021 draft, the Mets selected Kolby Kubichek, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas.

A native of Bryan, Texas, Kolby Kubichek made the varsity team and lettered in all four years of his time at Bryan High School. In addition to pitching, he played shortstop and right field, impressing as a position player but really standing out as a pitcher. He earned a scholarship to the University of Texas and joined the Longhorns in 2019 after graduating from high school.

In his freshman year, the right-hander appeared in 14 games, starting two, and posted a 6.50 ERA in 18.0 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 12, and striking out 15. That summer, he played for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League and was an All-Star, posting a 0.90 ERA in 30.0 innings, allowing 16 hits, walking 9, and striking out 34. He returned to Texas for his sophomore year and performed well in the limited innings that he was able to throw before the NCAA ended the baseball season prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Appearing in 4 games and making 2 starts, he posted a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 innings, allowing 8 hits, walking 5, and striking out 8. He returned to the Longhorns in 2021 and was part of a stacked pitching rotation that included ace Ty Madden, high upside lefty Pete Hansen and Tristan Stevens. Kubichek posted a 3.86 ERA in 51.1 innings, allowing 50 hits, walking 27, and striking out 41, and did his part to help the Longhorns dominate the Big 12 Conference with a 50-17 record. After Texas lost to eventual winners Mississippi State University in the first round of the 2021 College World Series, Kubichek returned to Chatham and pitched a game before being drafted.

The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters, almost over-the-top arm slot. Kubichek is on the smaller side for a pitcher, standing an even 6’ and weighing 180-pounds. Key to his development as a pitcher since first enrolling at Texas was not rushing his delivery. The adjustment has paid major dividends since first being identified, helping his control and command, as well as the sharpness of his pitches. Much like his baseball idol, Marcus Stroman, the right-hander is athletic and confident enough to tweak his delivery from batter to batter in order to mess with their timing, adding pauses and hitches. Also like Stroman, he is aggressive on the mound, coming right after and attacking batters.

Kubichek’s fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s, featuring heavy sink and late, running life. Prior to his time at the Cape, he would overthrow the pitch, causing it to flatten out, but the right-hander has since learned that less velocity is sometimes optimal when it comes with more horizontal and vertical movement.

In addition to his fastball, the right-hander also throws a slider, curveball, and changeup. The slider is his newest pitch, having been developed during his time at the Cape, but it has emerged as his most effective due to how well it tunnels with his fastball. It’s short, sharp mid-80s break is disguised better than his low-80s changeup or high-70s curveball.