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2023 Mets Draft profile: Bryce Jenkins

With their seventeenth round selection in the 2023 draft, the 516th overall pick, the selected Mets Bryce Jenkins, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Tennessee.

Right-handed pitcher Bryce Jenkins attended Hardin Valley High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was considered a follow by area scouts and evaluators as a two-way player. A better hitter with loud pitching tools at that point in time, Jenkins hit a cumulative .325/.439/.450 in his two varsity seasons, helping lead the Hawks to back-to-back Class AAA playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019. He was uncommitted to a college following the conclusion of the season and went undrafted after graduating, so he attended Cleveland State Community College, a junior college in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Jenkins appeared in 15 games and started 5 games in his freshman year in 2020 but was unable to play the entire season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Jenkins had a solid season in that context, hitting .250/.429/.438 with a double, a triple, 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts, and 4 walks to 6 strikeouts while posting a 4.87 ERA in 20.1 innings, allowing 23 hits, walking 17, and striking out 24. He had a similar season in 2021, this time over a full season, hitting .271/.380/.529 in 36 games with 4 doubles, 6 home runs, 10 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 12 walks to 36 strikeouts while appearing in 9 games, making 8 starts, and posting a 5.82 ERA in 38.2 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 29, and striking out 54. He went undrafted after the season and transferred to the University of Tennessee, literal minutes from his home. Head Coach Tony Vitello used the right-hander exclusively as a pitcher this past season and he posted a 5.51 ERA in 16.1 innings over 18 games, allowing 13 hits, walking 7, and striking out 24. Prior to being drafted, he pitched for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, appearing in 4 games and posting a perfect 0.00 ERA in 5.2 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking 1, and striking out 5.

The 5-foot-11 Jenkins has simple, repeatable mechanics on the mound, throwing from a three-quarters arm slot with a little effort in his arm. His fastball sits in the low-90s, topping out at 94 MPH and features slight arm-side run. He complements it with a slider that sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s, 77-81 MPH. The pitch has logged high spin rate measurements and has sharp two-plane movement. Earlier in his career, when he was a starting pitcher at Cleveland State Community College, he also incorporated a high-70s-to-low-80s curveball and a low-80s changeup, but has pocketed both pitches for the most part since moving to the Vols bullpen, sticking with his fastball-slider combination instead as both pitches were still fairly undeveloped and rudimentary.