2015 Draft - 15th Round (449th Pick Overall) - RHP Thomas Hackimer - St. John's (NY) - UPDATED 6-12


Thomas Hackimer was told his chances of making the St. John’s baseball team as an infielder were long. The odds of him getting drafted were somewhere between unrealistic and fantasy.
But as a pitcher, a position he only dabbled in as a little leaguer? That changed everything for the Queens native, who took the suggestion of St. John’s coach Ed Blankmeyer and ran with it, running with it so far, he developed into the Red Storm’s lockdown closer and a 15th-round pick of his hometown Mets on Wednesday.
“Looking back at where I’ve come from and how far I am today, it’s pretty unreal overall,” he said.
Hackimer arrived at St. John’s as a walk-on, a light-hitting shortstop from nearby Archbishop Molloy — the same school that produced former Met Mike Baxter. Blankmeyer was impressed by Hackimer’s arm in the fall of his freshman year, and suggested he try pitching.
He was open to it — he had no other choice.
“I was willing to do anything to keep playing baseball,” Hackimer said.
St. John’s wasn’t just making him into a pitcher, however. Blankmeyer felt his long and loose arm, in addition to his athletic 5-foot-11 frame, could translate into a quality side-arming pitcher.
“There were some ingredients to work with,” the St. John’s coach said.
So on his first day on the mound, pitching coach Scott Brown told him to drop down. It was like speaking a foreign language for the first time.
“It felt unnatural and a little bit forced, but the more I did it, the more comfortable I got. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without those two,” he said, referring to Blankmeyer and Brown.
Hackimer began studying side-armers, major leaguers such as Joe Smith and Darren O’Day, and he soon developed a comfort with the arm slot.
It showed in the results, from inconsistency as a freshman to improvements as a sophomore to being named an All-Big East first-team selection as a junior after leading the conference with 15 saves, to go along with a 1.92 ERA and .177 batting average against. His velocity increased each year, too, as did his control and effectiveness. Hackimer went from low 80’s to topping out in the low 90’s this spring.
“This kid was very attractive to us,” Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous said.
Tanous said it will be up to Hackimer and how he performs as to whether he will stay in his current role, or potentially become a starting pitcher. He doesn’t plan to change.
“I just love the possibility that I can go into every single game,” Hackimer said. “I can affect every single game.”
Hackimer didn’t have a choice which team to root for growing up in Floral Park. His father, Ed, was a Red Sox fan, so the Mets were the natural fit.
“I’ve always been a big David Wright fan — always,” he said. “It’s kind of incredible. It’s an honor to be drafted by anyone, but to be drafted by your hometown team is even more special.”
Hackimer didn’t pitch at all at Molloy. His father had heard horror stories about kids blowing out their arms at that age, and Hackimer loved playing shortstop so much he didn’t want to waste time on the mound, no matter how often he was asked to give it a try.
Looking back, that may be the key to a solid professional career. His arm has very little tread on it.
“It saved my arm,” he said. “My arm usually feels pretty good on most days.”
Hackimer isn’t sure what he will do next. He could sign with the Mets or spend the summer in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League and return to St. John’s for his senior year. Either way, he has options — which he didn’t have when he entered college.
“I don’t think I can make a bad decision here,” Hackimer said.   http://nypost.com/2015/06/11/the-journey-from-st-johns-walk-on-ss-to-side-arming-mets-pick/

5-11, 190  -  R/R

BA #346 - One of the more intriguing arms in the Northeast this year, Hackimer is a converted shortstop who throws from a sidearm slot with significantly more velocity than most sidearmers. Hackimer has pitched at 88-90 most of this spring, and can hit 91 with his heater. With his low arm slot Hackimer is able to get heavy sinking action on his fastball. His slider is also a weapon, and he has the ability to generate late break on the pitch and pound lefthanded hitters with it. Hackimer keeps both of his pitches down in the zone, though he can get wild and lose the zone at times. Some scouts view Hackimer as a potential quick-moving reliever, who could pitch in the Major Leagues with very little refinement.


Christopher Soto said...

The run on pitching continues.

Thomas Brennan said...

I used to play baseball in Floral Park, so this is a cool selection. Sign up and finish school later, Mr Hackimer.

Mack's Mets © 2012