Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sean Black Profiled on Baseball America

Everyone remembers the pitcher whom we drafted but failed to sign in 2008, but forgotten by many is that the top draft pick in the entire 2006 draft not to sign was the Nationals' second-round pick, Sean Black.

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.

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.
The article summarizes his progress since he arrived at Seton Hall:
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.

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.
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.


Positively Half St. said...

It definitely will be interesting, especially if the Nats take him again in a lower round than previously.

estuartj said...

Any word anywhere on how he would feel about a re-draft request from the Nats? His rankings would put him in prime position to be taken at the top of the 2nd round (we are going to pick between 48-53 by my count).

Steve Shoup said...

estuartj: Actually he would probably be around when the Nats pick at the top of the 3rd, though rankings could def. change. Remember he's the 56th best college player available not overall. There's probably 30 or more better high school players not to mention Indy guys like Crow and Scheppers who are 1st round picks.

So even if a few guys fall and/or Black has a really good season he should be there when we pick at the top of the 3rd round. Though in my honest opinion I really wouldn't be surprised to see him fall even to the 4th round unless he has a great spring. He def. has some questions about him and at best probably only profiles as a number 3 (not saying thats a bad thing but teams may prefer a HS arm that projects higher instead). Right now I would be ok with going with him at the top of round 3, and would love him at any later round. Part of my issue is that in all likelyhood college pitchers are gonna be are picks at 1 and 10. I'd like to see a few hitters before we go there again.

Anonymous said...

Sean black didnt sign cause of the nationals but because he wanted to go to college. He dad was urging him to sign and he decided not to. Different team under the same situation and he is still going to Seton Hall

Anonymous said...

He is a personal friend of mine thats how i know this.