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2019 MLB Draft: White Sox take Tyson Messer in the ninth round (260th overall)

A true reliever, and a wild one at that

Tyson Messer is the first reliever taken by the Sox in the 2019 draft.

Tyson Messer

Campbell University
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Age 22
Bats Right
Throws Right


Baseball America N/A
FanGraphs N/A

Here we go, another college senior taken to most likely receive under-slot money. However, this time it is a reliever, Tyson Messer.

Messer was a reliever in all four years at Campbell, and in all four of those seasons had awful command. In three of the four years, Messer walked more batters than innings pitched and never had a WHIP of less than 1.69 because of it. Here is a recent example:

The last two seasons Messer was used as a closer/high leverage reliever. In 2018, he had a 4.72 ERA that included eight saves. The strikeout numbers were good at 9.45 K/9 but again, the walks killed him.

The story was the same this past season, but the ERA was a little better. Messer had a 3.45 ERA with five saves. He had a career high in K/9 at 18.38, however, he also walked an absurd amount of hitters at 12.06 BB/9. The real reason Messer’s ERA stayed at 3.45, while having a 1.91 WHIP, is because of those timely strikeouts. The Sox probably see some raw potential here, with a mid-90s fastball that just needs to stay closer to the zone. He certainly is a Wild Thing type of pitcher.

To end, here is a little more video, this time of his junior year: