Baseball – 2022 MLB Draft Profile: Noah Dean, Old Dominion (Pinelands High School)
Shore Conference 2022 MLB Draft Hopeful Profile
Noah Dean, LHRP, Old Dominion
High School (Graduation Year): Pinelands (2019)
2022 Stats: 26 IP, 3-2, 7 saves, 4.15 ERA, 13 H, 16 BB, 46 K
HS Senior-Year Stats: 34 IP, 3-2, 2.68 ERA, 19 H, 22 BB, 60 K
Dean was a four-year starter at Pinelands and an all-division selection in the Shore Conference Class B South in each of his final three seasons for the Wildcats. With 60 strikeouts in 34 innings during his senior campaign, Dean finished first in the Shore Conference with 12.35 strikeouts-per-seven-innings, topping other 2022 and 2023 draft hopefuls Trey Dombroski (Monmouth University/Wall High School), Pat Reilly (Vanderbilt/Christian Brothers Academy) and Liam Simon (Notre Dame/Freehold Twp.), as well as current Kansas City Royals farmhand Shane Panzini (Red Bank Catholic).
After High School
Dean settled into a bullpen role at Old Dominion and thrived in it. The left-hander put up major strikeout numbers in both 2021 and 2022, with 44 in 21 1/3 innings in 2021 before punching out 46 in 26 innings this spring. Dean finished his high-school career touching the lower 90’s with his fastball and after filling out and growing into his 6-foot-2 frame, his velocity spiked significantly and he became one of the hardest-throwing left-handers in college baseball.
Why Teams Like Him
This is an easy one: he is left-handed and throws really hard. Dean touched 100 miles-per-hour in 2021 and sat in the mid-90’s with his fastball this past season, which opened eyes to the possibilities as a flame-thrower from the left-side coming out of a Major League bullpen. Dean has always been comfortable spotting his fastball at the top of the zone and has worked on throwing a harder breaking ball to complement the dominant fastball.
Why Teams Might Hesitate
Most MLB clubs will wait on pitchers they consider to be future relievers, especially when those pitchers have already settled into a relief role in college. On top of that, Dean has had issues with walks at every level and for teams to feel good about using a pick in the top 10 rounds on him, they will have to feel confident in their ability – and Dean’s – to refine the command.
On the bright side, Dean has always shown clean mechanics and he is not the type of pitcher that necessarily looks “wild” when he issues walks, which suggests there is room for improvement with respect to the walks. How teams feel about his ability to refine his breaking ball will likely play a bigger role in his draft stock than his walk numbers at Old Dominion and Pinelands.
Dean is an exciting bullpen arm, so he should go on the early side for a reliever. Unless there are teams that see starter potential – not out of the question, mind you – expect him to go late on Day 2 of the draft, possibly early on Day 3.
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