SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
13. Matt Mikulski, LHP
Highest Level: NCAA (Fordham)
Acquired: Draft (2021)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
If it weren’t for MLB’s decision to condense the 2020 MLB draft to five rounds, Fordham southpaw Matt Mikulski would have surely been drafted at some point between rounds 4-10. Instead, Mikulski was passed over in the draft and opted to return to school for another season. An upgraded arsenal pushed Mikulski up boards and led him to be selected by the SF Giants in the second round this summer.
Mikulski spent the offseason bulking up and watching YouTube videos that helped him overhaul his delivery. After relying on deception for his first three years at Fordham to get batters out, Mikulski’s fastball jumped from the low to mid-90s and touched 98 mph, making him the hardest throwing lefty of this year’s draft class.
Of Mikulski’s three offspeed pitches, his slider and changeup are clearly his best, but neither project as plus pitches. Barring a significant change in pitch shape, his curveball will likely be left behind in pro ball, except as an occasional get-me-over pitch. Without any other clearly above-average offerings, there’s a lot of pressure on Mikulski’s fastball and command for him to remain a starter.
Mikulski’s new motion led to a breakout 2021 at Fordham, recording an elite 1.45 ERA with 124 strikeouts in just 68.1 innings pitched, but it still has some significant moving parts that will probably push him to the bullpen. Despite his dominance, Mikulski still posted a walk rate just over 10%. If he can corral his new velocity for strikes and continue developing his slider and changeup into league-average offerings, Mikulski could become a mid-rotation arm. However, given his deception and velocity, he projects as a high-leverage arm.