Calvin Ziegler Keeps Gaining Momentum
Righthander Calvin Ziegler’s professional baseball aspirations hinged largely on remaining across the border from his native Ontario during the pandemic.
That allowed him to showcase his ability to scouts, while his fellow Canadians remained on tighter Covid protocols.
After finding residence in New York in 2021, the 18-year-old Ziegler enrolled in The Next Level Academy—a charter school in Ocoee, Fla.—for his senior year and began commuting back and forth in regular intervals.
“You have to give the kid credit—he was bouncing all over the place,” Mets scouting director Marc Tramuta said.
The logistical shuffling paid dividends this summer, when Ziegler was drafted by the Mets in the second round. He signed for $910,000, agreeing to less than the 46th pick's slot value of $1.62 million.
“Much is made about the slot and what we gave him, but I had teams texting me afterwards that had seen him and they saw what we saw too,” Tramuta said.
“We felt very comfortable about what we had him internally evaluated as, to catch him in the second round. It was really a group pick.”
The Mets had intended to use the bonus savings on Ziegler to sign first-rounder Kumar Rocker, but no deal was struck with the former Vanderbilt ace after his physical turned up something that concerned the Mets.
Rocker he will either sign in a professional league unaffiliated with MLB or re-enter the 2022 draft. Ziegler moves forward with the Mets, perhaps with more scrutiny now that he is the organization's top signed draft pick from 2021.
Ziegler, who checks in at 6 feet, 195 pounds, throws his fastball in the 93-97 mph range and also relies on a power curveball.
“We really liked (Ziegler’s) delivery, he had a lot of athletic movements and he was throwing 95-96 (mph) in the sixth inning when I saw him," Tramuta said. "He was commanding his fastball."
“Had teams more time to scout him—because he was on a screwy type of schedule—I think he got better, which a lot of high school kids do. He gained momentum throughout the spring.
"I felt very strongly about taking him in the second round.”