LHP Frank Mozzicato, who was drafted by the Royals seventh-overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, joined the Fireflies on Tuesday and the club said he will have in innings limit throughout his first professional season.
“A lot of it is where we want the innings, we have a target of innings throughout his first full season, so whether we’re managing innings on the backend or front end, or a little bit of a combination of both,” said Mitch Maier, Royals director of player development/field coordinator. “Taking it slow the first month, making sure he’s in a good spot to go out was kind of the priority. And then we’ll see and manage those innings the rest of the year.”
Mozzicato was drafted out of East Catholic High School in Connecticut after his draft stock rose dramatically when he threw four-consecutive no hitters.
“Mozzicato’s curveball is his selling point, a plus breaker with high spin, sharp bite and good depth, and many scouts believe it could eventually be plus-plus, especially after seeing how he can throw it for strikes and expand the zone with it,” his scout report reads.
The 18-year-old is the highest draft pick to ever debut for the Columbia Fireflies.
Two other pitchers picked by the organization in the 2021 MLB Draft are expected to join Mozzicato in Single-A. Maier said Ben Kudrna and Shane Panzini are progressing and could join the Fireflies in the few weeks.
“They’re both doing well, too, so it’s just timing it out, looking at the back end of the season and getting their targeted 80-plus innings,” Maier said.