With the 189th overall pick in the 2022 MLB first-year player draft, the Red Sox selected University of North Carolina at Greensboro right-hander Alex Hoppe.
Hoppe, a five-year senior who is already 23 years old, was not regarded by Baseball America as one of the top pitching prospects available in this year’s draft.
In 26 relief appearances for the Spartans this season, the native Iowan posted a 2.97 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with 84 strikeouts to 30 walks over 66 2/3 innings of work. He was named the Southern Conference’s Pitcher of the Year for his efforts.
While Hoppe may not have recieved much attention from Baseball America this year, he was ranked by BA as the No. 363 draft-eligible prospect in 2020. Per his scouting report from back then, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound righty “throws a fastball in the 92-94 mph range and has shown the makings of a plus breaking ball as well. He has a poor track record of throwing strikes, however, and will be a full reliever profile at the next level because of that.”
After walking more than 13% of the batters he faced through his first four seasons at UNC Greensboro, Hoppe was able to cut his walk rate down to 10.5% this year.
Hoppe, who turns 24 in December, becomes the first Spartan to be drafted by the Red Sox since 2016, when right-hander Hunter Smith was taken in the 24th round.
The recommended slot value attached to the 189th overall pick in this year’s draft comes in at $266,200. The Sox will have until August 1 to sign Hoppe, as well as the rest of their draft selections.
(Picture of Alex Hoppe: University of North Carolina at Greensboro Athletics)