Baseball – 2022 MLB Draft Profile: Liam Simon, Notre Dame (Freehold Twp.)
Shore Conference 2022 MLB Draft Hopeful Profile
Liam Simon, RHRP, Notre Dame
High School (Graduation Year): Freehold Township (2019)
2022 Stats: 30.2 IP, 2-1, 4.99 ERA, 21 H, 28 BB, 56 K
HS Senior-Year Stats: 29.2 IP, 2-3, 3.78 ERA, 17 H, 34 BB, 45 K
Simon pitched his final two seasons at Freehold Township having already committed to Notre Dame and it was not a surprise to teammates and coaches who watched Simon over the course of the entire baseball calendar that the Irish were interested. During his final two high-school seasons, however, Simon never quite settled in, pitching to a 3.90 ERA (per seven innings) in his last two years with the Patriots while walking a combined 59 batters in 60 1/3 innings during the same span. Even though Simon had his problems navigating the strike zone, he still flashed a low-90’s fastball and turned in moments of brilliance while pitching in a very tough Shore Conference Class A North division.
After High School
Whatever happened at Freehold Township, Notre Dame has been trilled to have Simon, particularly this season. Although the walks have still been an issue (28 walks in 30 2/3 innings in 2022), Simon used big-time stuff to get big-time outs for the Irish, striking out 56 batters on the season. Simon struck out eight in five scoreless innings to get the win in a 3-0 victory over Virginia in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, then punched out eight in three scoreless innings of relief against Texas Tech in the NCAA Regionals.
Why Teams Like Him
If you are going to walk as many batters as Simon does, you need filthy stuff to keep the scouts interested and Simon has developed some awfully filthy stuff. He has been clocked as high as 101 miles-per-hour and sat in the mid-to-upper 90’s during his postseason outings for Notre Dame this spring. While his secondary pitches are still under construction, Simon’s slider has the potential to be a quality second pitch and his changeup played well while pitching in the Cape Cod League this summer.
Why Teams Might Hesitate
While Notre Dame entrusted Simon with some starts during the 2022 season, he will almost certainly be viewed as a reliever by whichever team takes him during the draft. On top of that, reigning in his control while developing his secondary offerings will be a project for Simon and his new club, one that could take several years to refine in the minor leagues.
Project or not, Simon has always had a big arm and it’s developed into an even bigger arm than most expected. More often than not, control problems stay with pitchers, but it is not unheard of for a pitcher to workshop his way from below-average control to above-average control. If teams like the stuff – and there is plenty to like – Simon will be a Day 2 pick and possibly and fairly early one.
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