Name: Calvin Ziegler
Weight: 205 lbs.
Acquired: 2021 MLB Draft, 2nd Round (TNXL Academy)
A native of Heidelberg, Ontario, Canada, a town of just 500, he was forced to relocate to central Florida in order to keep his baseball dream alive due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as the border between the U.S. and Canada closed for a time, making it difficult for scouts and evaluators to see the right-hander pitch. A senior, he transferred from St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener to the TNXL Academy in Ocoee, Florida in January 2021, where he finished out the 2021 baseball season. With their second-round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the 46th player selected overall, the Mets selected Ziegler, signing him for $910,000 a few days later, roughly $700,000 below his MLB-assigned slot value.
The right-hander throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action through the back and a bit of crossfire. His mechanics are loose, easy, and fluid and he repeats them well. There is probably not much projection left in Ziegler’s 6’, 205-pound frame, as he is already well built and solidly proportioned at this point. Ziegler goes after and attacks hitters but has had trouble locating fastball and secondaries in the past and will need to work on refining his command.
Ziegler’s fastball sat comfortably in the low-to-mid-90s this past spring and occasionally touched as high as 97 MPH, an overall improvement that he credits coaches who helped him utilize his lower half better and streamline his mechanics for. The pitch has some arm-side movement, and when thrown down in the zone, it also has some sink. He maintains his velocity through his starts and should be able to handle high workloads in the future.
Complementing his fastball, Ziegler also throws a slurve and a changeup. The low-80s pitch is somewhere between an 11-5 and 12-6 curveball in terms of shape, but has more horizontal movement than most curveballs. When it comes out of his hand as a more distinct curveball or slider, the pitch flashes average-to-above-average. It got high school hitters out at a consistently high rate, but going forward, as he develops as a pitcher, Ziegler and his pitching coaches will have to decide whether or not developing the pitch into more of a distinct curveball or more of a distinct slider will benefit him the most. His changeup sits in the mid-80s, and while he does not throw it too often, it shows promise. He maintains his arm speed when throwing it and the pitch has sudden fade and tumble in the zone.