With the 159th overall pick in the 2022 MLB first-year player draft, the Red Sox selected Old Dominion University left-hander Noah Dean.
Dean, 21, is regarded by Baseball America as “one of the more exciting pure relievers” in this year’s draft class. The New Jersey native came into the week as BA’s 140th-ranked draft-eligible prospect.
In 19 relief appearances for the Monarchs this season, Dean posted a 4.15 ERA and 1.12 WHIP to go along with 46 strikeouts to 16 walks over 26 innings of work. He also made a total of four outings (three starts) between the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League and the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League earlier this summer.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Dean can be erratic at times and his delivery can be considered a bit extreme. Still, according to Baseball America, the lefty’s “stuff is fearsome. He throws a fastball from the left side that gets up to 100 mph and sits comfortably in the mid 90s. The pitch features plus carry and generated whiffs at a 45% rate this spring against mostly Conference USA hitters.
“He’s got a second plus pitch in his mid-to-upper-70s breaking ball that features sweeping action at times and solid two-plane bite with late tilt at others. Dean has thrown a mid-80s changeup extremely infrequently this spring and likely won’t need the pitch at the next level either.”
The Red Sox have not previously drafted a player out of Old Dominion University since 1994, when they took right-hander Denis McLaughin in the seventh round.
Dean, who does not turn 22 until next March, becomes the second college pitcher Boston has taken in this year’s draft, joining fellow southpaw Dalton Rogers from Southern Mississippi.
The recommended slot value attached to the 159th overall pick in this year’s draft comes in at $343,800. The Sox will have until August 1 to sign Dean, as well as the rest of their draft selections.
(Picture of Noah Dean: Old Dominion University Athletics)