USF pitcher Tommy Eveld was drafted in the ninth round, 269th overall, by the Arizona Diamondbacks. That draft slot is worth up to $168,100, according to mlb.com.
After two ACL surgeries, Eveld would be remiss/stupid/ballsy to not jump at the money and make the leap into professional baseball. By the sounds of things, he won't be taking any risks and will forego his senior year and turn pro.
Eveld hadn't pitched in a competitive baseball game since his sophomore year in high to focus on footbal. After some injury issues (see: ACL surgeries) he tried out for the baseball team. Throwing in the mid-80s initially, Eveld now tops out around 94 MPH accompanied by an above-average breaking ball.
In his first season with the baseball team last year, he showed flashes of promise while nearly striking out a batter an inning. He also almost walked a batter an inning. He finished the year with a 6.11 ERA, 25 K, 21 BB, .280 BAA and a 1.82 WHIP in 28 innings over 13 appearances (two starts).
With a full offseason to work with the team, Eveld turned it all around this year and became the only reliable arm in the bullpen. He turned in an impressive 2.21 ERA, recording 67 K, 24 BB, allowing opponents to hit only .189, and compiling a 1.13 WHIP in 53 innings. He led the team in appearances and saves with 26 and nine respectively. His only start of the season came against UConn in the AAC Tournament in what will most likely be his last Bulls appearance. He went four innings in that game, and gave up three runs on six hits and five walks before being pulled for shoulder stiffness.
While it wasn't his sharpest outing by far, one MLB scout told me that he would be drafted as a starter, but that he personally sees him in a different role.
"He has a hard fastball and a good hard slider," the scout said. "He needs to develop the change-up a little more but ultimately, I think he finds himself a spot in the bullpen." Eveld threw a bullpen for scouts before the draft to show that he was fine after the scare in the AAC Tournament.
I will always remember that him starting the second game of the American tournament as my first big scoop covering USF (Collin, Jamie, and USF's SID can confirm this) and for that, I thank you. The best of luck to Tommy with the Diamondbacks. Hopefully they don't mortgage more of their future for another guy who keeps hitting his hand on the mound during his follow through (looking at you, Shelby Miller).