The Rays really have no geographical bias in the draft. They just draft the best player available. But it’s always nice when they do decide to go with a local. Lefty Sean Bierman is just that, coming out of the University of Tampa.
Bierman may be the oldest player selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, already 23 years old. He’s a player who once had considerable promise. Coming out of Kinnelon High School in New Jersey, Bierman was a 6’1″, 175 lefty who hit 91 MPH with his fastball. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 42nd round of the 2007 draft but didn’t sign, attending Vanderbilt. But Bierman suffered an elbow injury as a freshman at Vanderbilt and never got on track, undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Bierman transferred to the University of Tampa in 2010 but his injury problems persisted as he appeared in just 7 games as a pitcher over the next two years. But in 2012, as a redshirt senior, Bierman finally stayed healthy and got it all together. Bierman was the ace of a standout staff, going 8-3 with a 2.27 ERA, with 85 strikeouts, just 11 walks, and just 2 home runs allowed in 15 starts and 83.1 IP.
Bierman’s fastball velocity is in the high-80’s now despite the fact that he’s a filled-out 6’1″, 195, but he has really improved his secondary pitches, a curveball and a changeup. Bierman is shifty and he knows how to pitch. His command is top-notch. We’ll have to see how far he can go.
Bierman is a different type of upside pick considering he’s already 23 years old. But he has shown some nice stuff in the past and if it ever comes back, combined with his excellent command he could be a solid pitcher. It’s nice that the Rays are giving the local a shot to prove himself. Let’s see what he can do.