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MLB Draft 2021: A look at LHP Frank Mozzicato, potential Dodgers 1st-round target

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Dodgers select No. 29 overall

Connecticut high school left-handed pitcher Frank Mozzicato could potentially be available when the Dodgers select at No. 29 overall in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
From MLB.com

Baseball America’s fifth iteration of its mock draft from Carlos Collazo is out, with the Dodgers to take Frank Mozzicato, a left-handed pitcher from East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut with their first-round pick.

The 2021 MLB Draft is a three-day, 20-round affair starting on Sunday, July 11. The Dodgers have the 29th and final pick of the first round.

The last time the Dodgers drafted a high school pitcher in the first round was in 2014, when they took right-hander Grant Holmes with the 22nd overall pick. Traded to Oakland in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick deal in 2016, the now 25-year-old Holmes is in Triple-A Las Vegas.

“Mozzicato seems to just keep moving up boards, and there’s a chance he gets into the back half of the first round,” Collazo wrote. “We hear the Dodgers are tied to other preps like Carson Williams, Chase Petty and Lorenzo Carrier.”

We profiled Williams and Petty earlier.

Mozzicato made news in May and June, allowing no hits over four straight starts and one relief appearance, a hitless streak that reached 30⅓ innings. It was part of a stretch in which the left-hander struck out 113 batters in 46⅔ innings.

MLB Pipeline ranks Mozzicato as the 39th best prospect in the draft:

Over the summer, Mozzicato’s fastball topped out at 91 and was below-average from a velocity standpoint, typically sitting in the upper-80s. After spending time working out at Cressey Sports Performance, he came out this spring throwing considerably harder, sitting around 91 mph and touching 93 mph consistently. His curveball is the selling point here, a plus breaker now with high spin.

The jump in velocity came after working with Cressey Sports Performance last winter.

“I definitely knew my velocity was going to go up, but I didn’t really know how hard I’d throw,” Mozzicato told Shawn McFarland of the Hartford Courant. “It was just if I could be consistent with it — stay in the low 90′s, or stay in the high 80′s. Just stay consistent, the velocity is going to come.”

Baseball America ranks Mozzicato the No. 41 prospect in the draft. The Dodgers forfeited their second-round pick for signing Trevor Bauer, and after their first-round pick won’t select again until No. 101, at the end of the third round.

In May, Keith Law at the Athletic compared Mozzicato to fellow high schooler Petty.

“[Mozzicato]’s left-handed and has a cleaner delivery with lots of physical projection left,” Law wrote. “He cuts himself off slightly in his landing, so getting to his glove side might be a problem in the long run but right now he can spin a curveball toward a right-handed batter’s back foot to compensate.”

Mozzicato has a college commitment to UConn.