Name: Dominic Hamel
Weight: 205 lbs.
Acquired: 2021 MLB Draft, 3rd Round (Dallas Baptist University)
After lettering twice at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, Dominic Hamel went on to graduate and attend Yavapai College, a community college in Prescott, Arizona. He posted 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 the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 2021 by a wide margin. With their third-round draft pick, the Mets selected Hamel, signing him for $755,300, exactly the MLB-assigned slot value.
Standing 6’2” and weighing 205-pounds, Hamel has a solid pitching frame. He logged nearly 100 innings in 2021 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. The pitch averaged a little over 2400 RPM last season, making it above-average in terms of that measurement. Combined with where the ball comes out of his hand, the ball has rising life, making it difficult for batters to square up on. His command of the pitch is far from pinpoint, and he sometimes loses the top of the zone when attacking hitters upstairs.
He complements his heater with a slider, curveball, and changeup, the two latter pitches also showing high spin rates just like his fastball. When Hamel is struggling, his slider and curveball sometimes blend together, but they are two distinct pitches, a low-80s slider with late sweepy break thanks to its 3000 RPM of spin and a mid-70s curveball with big downward break. Both tunnel well with his fastball when he is able to maintain his release point and their distinct shapes and have the potential to be average-or-better pitches with some work. His changeup lags far behind his curve and slider and is a decidedly below-average pitch in the present, but he does have a feel for it and the offering could develop into something average with more usage and refinement. Sitting in the low-80s, it has some late fade, but is generally a firm pitch. Like his fastball, his command of his secondaries is far from precise, though changes in his mechanics made when he began pitching for Dallas Baptist are encouraging for additional future improvement.