The rise of Devin Mesoraco was easily the most exciting story of amateur baseball in Pennsylvania this year. While Mesoraco, a senior catcher from Punxsutawney, made his move early this spring, the last month of the season saw a college prospect from the Keystone State make a push, albeit not nearly as high in draft stock as Mesoraco.
Drew Oâ€™Neil has accrued quite a bit of mileage during his college career, and he might get reimbursed finally on draft day, with a spot in the top 10 rounds. A Roswell, Ga., native, Oâ€™Neil committed to Wake Forest but never threw a pitch for the Demon Deacons, missing his freshman season in 2005 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
He transferred to Young Harris (Ga.) Junior College in 2006, but didnâ€™t show the stuff to garner much consideration in the draft, and transferred a second time, this time to Penn State.
As a redshirt sophomore this season, Oâ€™Neill has finally found his calling. The 21-year-old righthander went 4-2, 1.34 this season with 11 saves in 23 appearances. His strikeouts were underwhelming, as he registered just 21 with 10 walks in 33 innings, but he held hitters to a .188 average.
He works from a low-three-quarters arm slot, which gives his delivery deception. Heâ€™s been up to 92 mph and will flash a plus slider at times, though itâ€™s inconsistent. Oâ€™Neilâ€™s been invited to a couple of pre-draft workouts for major league teams, and was on the rise at just the right time.
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