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Former MLB pitcher got drafted by faking like he could throw a slider

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: June 2, 2014 - 2:07 PM

Fascinating story at Sports on Earth by Dirk Hayhurst, a former MLB pitcher (if you haven't read his first book, The Bullpen Gospels, we can't recommend it highly enough).

Writing for SOE, Hayhurst describes how he turned himself into a draft prospect at Kent State after going undrafted out of high school. Basically, he started inventing pitches and inventing an air of mystery about himself. And it worked. He threw a few funky curveballs one time. A scout thought it was a slider. When the same scout asked him about it later, Hayhurst lied and said he had a blister and wasn't able to throw it in his most recent outing.

"Yeah," I said, "I wish I had it yesterday. Would have made the day a lot smoother, but," I held up my finger and shook my head at it, "this stupid blister, ya know?"

"Let it heal up, son," the scout said. "I'm just glad to know you still got it. I think it could be a real separator for you."

Separator indeed.

On draft day in 2003, my phone rang. It was the Padres. They were calling to tell me they'd selected me in the eighth round of the amateur player draft.

In any event, read the whole thing. It's a rare inside look into the draft process, with this year's draft coming up later this week.

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