Frank Mozzicato, a left-handed pitcher out of East Catholic High School and a UConn baseball Class of 2021 commit, was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Mozzicato is now the fifth Connecticut high school player selected in the first round of the MLB Draft, and just the fourth from a CIAC school.
He is the second-highest Connecticut prep player selected in the history of the draft, behind Bobby Valentine.
At No. 7, Frank Mozzicato is the highest drafted New Englander since Tony Sanchez (No. 4 out of BC in 2009), and the highest high schooler out of New England since RHP Mark Rogers out of Maine, who went No. 5 in 2004.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) July 12, 2021
Mozzicato is now very unlikely to step foot on campus as a member of the baseball team, as it’s very rare for players selected in the first round to forego a high six-to seven-figure signing bonus to play college baseball. The slot value assigned to the seventh overall pick in the draft is $5,432,400.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound arm is considered by some to be the second-best high school pitcher in the draft class, behind No. 3 overall pick Jackson Jobe, who went to Detroit. MLBPipeline.com grades his curveball as a future 60 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, which translates to a plus pitch, while his fastball is graded at 55, at above average, and his curveball and control are both graded 50, which is considered the major league average.
Most of the outlets that cover the draft had Mozzicato ranked in the top 50 out of all available prospects, including No. 39 by MLBPipeline, but it wasn’t always this way. He has had a meteoric rise into legitimate first-round consideration through April and May. Northeast prospects tend to be under-exposed compared to players in California, Florida and Texas due to the shorter, more compressed baseball season and less fertile ground for professional players.
However, once scouts began to hear about Mozzicato’s success — including four consecutive no-hitters and 30 1⁄3 straight no-hit innings, they came out in droves to Jim Penders Field in Manchester. Mozzicato would go on to lead East Catholic to the 2021 Class M state championship with a 17-strikeout performance in the title game.
Valentine, who was the No. 5 overall selection in 1968 to the Dodgers out of Rippowam HS in Stamford, is the highest prep player ever picked from Connecticut. He was followed by a pair of No. 26 overall selections in 1988 and 1989 in Rico Brogna (Watertown HS) and Scott Burrell (Hamden HS), as well as Anthony Hewitt, who went No. 24 overall in 2008 out of Salisbury Prep.