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2023 Mets Draft profile: Wyatt Hudepohl

With their fourth-round selection in the 2023 draft, the 123rd overall pick, the Mets selected Wyatt Hudepohl, a right-handed pitcher from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

The nephew of Joe Hudepohl, who swam at Stanford and won three Olympic medals, including gold during the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, Wyatt Hudepohl was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended St. Xavier High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. A 2020 graduate, Hudepohl made the varsity team three years, striking out 61 batters in 63.1 innings thanks to a fastball that sat in the low-to-mid-90s. He went undrafted in the 2020 MLB Draft and honored his commitment to the University of Kentucky.

The right-hander appeared in 16 games for the Wildcats in his freshman year, posting a 5.23 ERA in 20.2 innings with 23 hits, 17 walks, and 21 strikeouts. He returned to Kentucky in 2022 and had a similar season, posting a 7.48 ERA in 27.2 innings with 30 hits allowed, 20 walks, and 31 strikeouts. That summer, he played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League, Hudepohl posted a 6.11 in 17.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, walking 11, and striking out 11. That summer, he entered the transfer portal and transferred to the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Given the opportunity to start, the right-hander started 17 games for the 49ers, posting a 4.27 ERA in 105.1 innings with 94 hits allowed, 27 walks, and 129 strikeouts, setting the program record for most strikeouts in a single game by recording 17 against Old Dominion in March.

The 6’4”, 220-pound Wyatt Hudepohl throws from a three-quarters arm slot, folding his top half over to lower his release point. His delivery incorporates a leg lift and slight rock back, potentially making the right-hander susceptible to his mechanics coming out of sync. Earlier in his career, he struggled with his command, but had no problems while at UNC. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out in the mid-90s. The pitch is not an elite bat misser, and Hudepohl can be home run prone, as he tends to crowd the zone with his fastball. He complements the pitch with a low-80s power curve that has emerged as his go-to strikeout pitch. In 2023, his curveball had a 39.1% chase rate and a 47.9% whiff rate, and utterly befuddled Conference USA batters with its sharp 12-6 dive. Rounding out his arsenal is an upper-80s splitter and an upper-80s cutter, but neither are as effective as the curve as they are both recent additions to his arsenal. If the right-hander can continue developing them, he has the chance to start as he is tall, strong, well-proportioned and should be a durable innings-eater, but if they do not, his fastball/curveball combination would be effective out of the bullpen.