Before the team had an owner, Dana Brown drafted Black, but he chose to go to Seton Hall instead. Draft-eligible again this summer, he's getting attention as one of the interesting college arms out there. In fact, Black was ranked as the 56th best overall college player available (the 30th best pitcher) in this year's draft by BA earlier this winter.
Black was profiled in a piece by Jesse Burkhart posted on Baseball America yesterday. The article requires a subscription, but here are a few excerpts:
Loosely translated, Seton Hall's school motto—"Hazard Zet Forward"—encourages students to move forward despite all obstacles.The article summarizes his progress since he arrived at Seton Hall:
For Sean Black, that pithy advice couldn't be more relevant.
So when the 6-foot-5, 200-pound righthander didn't sign with the Washington Nationals after being selected in the second round of the 2006 draft, he opened himself up to an obvious question that he would have to answer on a semi-regular basis.
Would he do it over if he could?
"There haven't been any regrets. I've learned so much here," Black said.
Black first provoked doubters by going 3-3, 5.66 in his first year with the Pirates. A converted shortstop who pitched sparingly before his senior year of high school, he was best classified as a raw thrower at the time.The article goes on to discuss Black's maturation as a pitcher and his developing off-speed repertoire, as he drew praise for his work ethic and make-up. The piece also describes some mechanical issues that will need to be ironed out to be successful in pro ball. I'll be interested to see where Black gets drafted this summer.
A stronger commitment to his physical improvement—Black has added 20 pounds of what he calls "good muscle" since his freshman year—combined with a greater familiarity of the pitching process resulted in a better sophomore campaign. He posted a 3-3, 3.44 mark that helped the club finish above .500 for the first time since 2001.
Now, after two years of seasoning, Black is leading an experienced pitching staff with Big East championship ambitions. He got off to a good start in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, beating Minnesota with six shutout innings of work, showing an 88-91 mph fastball that peaked at 93.