Rob Finneran: Rays Select D2 Tommy John Survivor in Round 37

By Robbie Knopf

Rob Finneran has had made quite a journey to get to pro ball. It’s hard enough to attract the attention of scouts while at a Division II school. But then Finneran underwent Tommy John Surgery, making his odds even lower. He even graduated from Bentley University and enrolled as business school there. But he had one season of eligibility remaining and he gave pitching one last shot. All of his efforts paid off. Finneran was the Rays’ 37th round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Finneran, 6’3″ and 215 pounds, is the greatest pitcher Bentley University has ever seen. Even though he pitched just three seasons for the Falcons, he is Bentley’s career leader in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. He finished his career with an exclamation point in 2012. Finneran went 8-3 with a 2.26 ERA, 78 strikeouts, just 29 walks, and not a single home run allowed in 12 starts, including 4 complete games, and 79.2 IP. Finneran had a 2.26 ERA, an 8.9 K/9, a 3.3 BB/9, and a 0.0 HR/9. The team as a whole had a 4.33 ERA, just a 5.5 K/9, a 3.1 BB/9, and a 0.2 HR/9 and he was astronomically better. No pitcher on Bentley’s staff minimum 15 IP had an ERA within a run of Finneran. He was captain of the team on and off the field and led them to a 26-22 season.

Finneran throws a fastball in the 90-91 MPH range with great late bite, forcing swings and misses and weak contact all day against Division II hitters and with the potential to do the same against pro hitters. Its great movement sometimes threw off his command of the pitch, but he controls it fine. His secondary pitches are a solid slider that has its moments and a changeup with good arm action. He ties his arsenal together with a deceptive delivery and great poise on the mound. Finneran only dropped this far in the draft because of his injury history. He has a solid arsenal and a chance to get to the big leagues someday. I think the Rays will give Finneran a chance to start, at least at the beginning. After Finneran got drafted by the Rays, here’s what he had to say.

"“I’m thrilled to get drafted and I can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough. They’ve been extremely supportive especially this past year coming back from Tommy John surgery. I couldn’t be happier going to an organization like Tampa Bay where they’re known for developing young arms and have a great farm system. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started.”(Courtesy of Bentley University)"

Finneran has a solid repertoire combined with outstanding intangibles and after fighting through the obstacles that he has faced so far, let’s see what he can do in pro ball.