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June 4, 2019 at 1:51 PM

Red Sox select Ryan Zeferjahn with their third-round pick



With the 107th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected right-handed pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn from the University of Kansas. The tall righty was ranked 57th by Baseball America, 84th by MLB.com, 87th by Perfect Game, 78th by ESPN's Keith Law and was ranked among the top remaining prospects on Day 2 of the MLB Draft by Baseball America. Zeferjahn was a highly ranked prep arm in a loaded Kansas class that saw the likes of Riley Pint and Joey wentz drafted, but opted to attend Kansas rather than entertain draft suitors. The Topeka native spent the summer of 2017 on the Cape with the Falmouth Commodores, where he was excellent pitching primarily out of the bullpen, and has recently appeared as a reliever for Team USA.

Zeferjahn was a three-year member of the Kansas rotation and has steadily improved every season, finally breaking out in his junior season with a 3.37 ERA and an 11.0 K9. The former Jayhawk has filled out immensely in his time with Kansas, adding at least 25 pounds to his once thin frame according to Baseball America. Zeferjahn utilizes a three-pitch mix and works from multiple arm slots, including a low three-quarters slot that sometimes undermines his command but provides him a degree of deception that allows him to make the most of his inconsistent secondaries. His primary pitch is his fastball which usually sits between 93-96, but has reached as high as 98 in the past and shows significant life down in the zone. Secondary pitches include a slider that ranges from 80-87 with depth and an equally inconsistent changeup. Baseball America reports that his secondary pitches are inconsistent, but have improved greatly since joining the Kansas staff.

Should Zeferjahn refine his secondaries and command he is looking at three true plus pitches and has a chance to start at the big league level. At his best Zeferjahn is one of the best right-handed arms in the class, but his lack of consistency and feel for his secondary pitches may slate him for a career in the bullpen. Should the Red Sox feel the Kansas product is a reliever long term, draft analysts think he could be a true impact arm with a potentially plus-plus fastball and will rise quickly through the minor league ranks.

Photo Credit: Ryan Zeferjahn by Baseball America

 
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