So many players who perform well in Division I baseball programs can’t cut it in the pros–that certainly can’t make you optimistic about Division III players. However, there are always going to be surprises, and sometimes a player who dominates at D3 can be better than one who is just alright at D1. Tim Ingram was incredible both at SUNY Old Westbury and in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, and the Rays will see what he can do against better competition.
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Ingram is a 6’0″, 195 right-hander who joins the Rays as a senior sign out of Old Westbury. He played two years there after two years at Nassau Community College, and he did nothing but pitch well after arriving at his four-year school. He started by going 6-3 with a 3.41 ERA and a 73-19 strikeout to walk ratio in 9 starts at Old Wesbury in 2014 on his way to the Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year Award. For the Southampton Breakers in the HCBL, he went 6-0 with a 3.40 ERA and a 30-12 strikeout to walk ratio in 42.1 innings, tossing a complete-game shutout in the league championship series. Then he reached another stratosphere in 2015.
This year, Tim Ingram went 8-3 with a 1.92 ERA, striking out 92 while walking just 20 in 69.1 innings pitched. He was easily the Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year again, and he finished eighth in Division III with 11.9 strikeouts per 9 innings. He got there with a fastball ranging from 88 to 91 MPH with good run away from right-handed batters along with a changeup with nice late action as it approaches the plate. He also throws a breaking ball as his third pitch, although admittedly I don’t know anything about it.
Another interesting tidbit is that Ingram is just the second player drafted out of Old Westbury, joining Robert Whitenack, who Ingram also matched in terms of consecutive Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year awards. Whitenack was an 8th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2009 who actually made it onto their 40-man roster following the 2012 season after his fastball velocity went from the high-80’s up to 96 MPH. Whitenack’s career fell apart after Tommy John Surgery, but the Rays are dreaming of Ingram exhibiting a similar velocity increase and a different career result.
Even if that doesn’t happen, though, Ingram has solid stuff that could play up in a relief role, and he deserves a chance to show what he can do. He worked hard to get to this point in his career, and now he will truly get to find out how good he is relative to his peers coming out of Division I. Ingram wasn’t scouted much by anyone, and he is entering professional baseball with plenty to prove. However, there are always players out of small schools who slip through the cracks and wind up exceeding expectations, and Ingram will hope to be next.
Click this link to read our other 2015 Tampa Bay Rays MLB Draft profiles.