UConn baseball right-handed pitcher Ben Casparius has been selected in the fifth round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, No. 162 overall. The recommended signing bonus value for this pick is $318,200.
He will join Wills Montgomerie, who was selected in the sixth round in 2017, in the Dodgers organization.
Casparius, originally from Westport, Connecticut, only had one season in Storrs but made it count. He made a team-leading 15 starts, earning an 8-5 record with a 4.03 ERA. His best outing of the season was March 5 against Miami (OH), scattering three hits in a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts. He also exited three additional starts without surrendering a run, including against UMass, Georgetown and Creighton. Casparius struck out 15 hitters in seven innings against the Hoyas, his career-high.
He led the Huskies in innings (91 2/3), as well as strikeouts (127), which translates to 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. His strikeout mark is also second in UConn history, behind only Colin McLaughlin, who notched 138 punch-outs in nearly 20 more innings (111). This was enough to earn Casparius ABCA First-Team honors for the Northeast region, as well as second-team all-conference honors and a spot on the Big East all-tournament team.
Casparius’ best pitch is his change-up, which MLBPipeline graded a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale, which translates to above-average. His fastball, slider and control were each given 50 grades, which is average. His fastball sits around 91 mph but he has been recorded as high as 95 mph. He projects as a strike-thrower with a solid three-pitch mix. This, despite his slight 6-foot, 208-pound build, leaves him a chance to start through his professional career.
Casparius spent his first two years at North Carolina, where he played sporadically as both a hitter and pitcher, before missing the 2020 season due to transfer rules. As a result, he has some eligibility remaining, should he decide to return to UConn.