In the eyes of baseball scouts, Joey Curletta has reinvented himself.
The Mountain Pointe graduate entered his senior year as one of the country’s top power hitters, but he is now viewed more as a pitcher entering Monday’s MLB draft.
Either way, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is expected to be one of the first Arizona high school players selected.
“You never know with the draft and what teams are thinking,” Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck said. “There is no one more athletic in the draft. They (the scouts) love his body and his athleticism and when he hit in the low 90s their interest cranked up even more.”
After hitting 21 home runs as a junior, much was expected of Curletta this season, but a combination of things (new bats, mounting pressure to produce) kept it from happening as he entered the postseason hitting .360 with four home runs.
He did, however, have a terrific year on the mound displaying a fastball that sat around 90 mph and touched 94.
“We never really worked with him all that much as a pitcher,” Buck said. “If they really clean up his mechanics he could add another 3 or 4 mph.”
It is tough to tell where he will end up or when he will go, but the Angels have shown some interest. The bet is he will go in the first 10 rounds.
If so, he will have to weigh playing professionally or staying true to his commitment of playing for the University of Arizona in the fall.
The other Pride player possibly going in the draft is shortstop Scott Kingery, while former Mountain Pointe players Jordan Kipper and Junior Zepeda both had quality freshmen seasons at Central Arizona and could get a look as well.
Desert Vista’s top offensive player was Tyler Adams, while left-handed starter Hunter Rodriguez, a Utah recruit, are late round possibilities.
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