clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Mets Draft profile: Nick Lorusso

With their ninth round selection in the 2023 draft, the 276th overall pick, the Mets Nick Lorusso, a third baseman from the University of Maryland.

A Monroe, Connecticut native, Nick Lorusso attended Masuk High School in Monroe, where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He lettered only once in the latter two sports while lettering three times in baseball, wearing the captain ‘C’ in two of those seasons. Lorusso won numerous awards and was named to all kinds of honorary teams over the course of his high school career but went undrafted upon graduating. He honored his commitment to Villanova University and immediately had an impact for the Wildcats, becoming the school’s first player in 25 years to be named Big East Freshman of the Year. The infielder hit .302/.409/.425 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 2 stolen bases in as many attempts, and drew 28 walks to 31 strikeouts while simultaneously posting a 6.05 ERA in 41.2 innings on the mound with 59 hits allowed, 15 walks, and 32 strikeouts. His sophomore year, 2020, was a lost season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lorusso hurt himself even before the year was cancelled, and as a result, he only appeared in 10 games at the plate and 3 appearances on the mound.

In 2021, Lorusso had the opportunity to build on his 2019 Freshman of the Year campaign, fully healthy and COVID-19 no longer a threat, and the right-hander delivered. Playing in all 29 games the Wildcats played, he hit .306/.380/.370 with 4 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base in as many attempts, and 16 walks to 25 strikeouts. After going undrafted, the infielder entered the transfer portal hoping to find a program that could get him drafted by an MLB club. His Villanova career concluded, he hit a cumulative .294/.392/.392 in 88 games with 14 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 52 walks to 62 strikeouts.

Lorusso transferred to the University of Maryland for the 2022 season, a fourth-year junior, and ended up having a critical role on a team that scored the second-most runs in college baseball in 2022. Appearing in 62 games, the 21-year-old hit .322/.409/.562 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and 37 walks to 55 strikeouts, setting career highs in virtually every offensive category. The third baseman also contributed on the mound when called upon once again, posting a 6.52 ERA in 9.2 innings, allowing 11 hits, walking 4, and striking out 8. He played for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer, and then returned to Maryland. Showing that he was far from a one-hit wonder, Lorusso had an equally impressive 2023 season, his fifth-year senior season. Appearing in 61 games for the Terrapins, he hit .379/.446/.765 with 20 doubles, 2 triples, 26 home runs, 3 stolen bases in as many attempts, 34 walks, and 46 strikeouts. His 105 RBI led the NCAA, in just two seasons, he became the Maryland RBI career leader, driving in 175, and his 31-game hitting streak between February 18 and April 14 shattered the previous record of 19, set by Garry Maddox in 1996.

The 6’2”, 215-pound 22-year-old has unconventional mechanics at the plate, standing closed off and slightly crouched, with his hands held high and his bat angled at 1:30. He swings with a slight toe tap and very little load and weight transfer. His bat path has natural loft, and Lorusso is capable of absolutely destroying pitches he gets full extension on and makes solid contact with, blasting extra base hits to all fields. He averaged a 92 MPH exit velocity this past spring in recorded batted ball events. Never having displayed this much power prior to transferring to Maryland, Lorusso credits minor alterations to his swing mechanics and better advanced scouting on the part of Maryland’s coaches.

Defensively, Lorusso has spent most of his time at third base, with a sprinkling of first base work. A former pitcher whose arm can reach 90 MPH, he has the arm strength and accuracy to man the hot corner, and currently has the athleticism to play there, but may eventually be forced off the position as he ages and slows down.