One year ago, a major league debut had to be the furthest thing from Chase Silseth’s mind. The righthander finished his 2021 season at Arizona with a 5.55 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, both reflective of a pitcher who struggled to limit hard contact and was often too hittable.
And yet, there Silseth was on a major league mound on May 13, less than a year after the Angels drafted him in the 11th round as they aggressively targeted college pitching.
Silseth had pitched his way to Double-A Rocket City in his pro debut last summer and came out firing in 2022. He generated at least a dozen swinging strikes in each of his first four Southern League outings, and his ERA stood at 1.73 over 26 innings when the Angels called him up—the first 2021 draftee to make his MLB debut.
Silseth made four MLB starts before being demoted to Double-A, but his quick ascension bodes well for his future. A number of fellow 2021 draft picks also got off to fast starts this season. All have one thing in common.
The shortened five-round 2020 draft pushed several talented college players back to school. This resulted in unusually strong depth of college talent in the 2021 draft, which is reflected in numerous players enjoying breakout seasons in 2022.
In this piece, we highlight a number of the best value picks outside the top two rounds of the 2021 draft. All players received signing bonuses less than $650,000.
Ricky Tiedemann, LHP, Blue Jays
Golden West JC (third round)
Few players from last year’s class have burst onto the scene like Tiedemann, a 19-year-old who had dominated up to High-A Vancouver this season. He has shown the ability to miss bats, limit hard contact and throw strikes. Most importantly, Tiedemann possesses top-of-the-rotation stuff, with a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid 90s. He pairs his heater with a sweepy low-80s breaking ball and a double-plus changeup, his best pitch. He has a rare combination of stuff, pitchability and starter projection with his strong-bodied,…