Profile of sixth round pick, Harold Mozingo

Profile of sixth round pick, Harold Mozingo

On June 6, the Royals selected Virginia Commonwealth University's Harold Mozingo with their sixth round pick, a selection that may ultimately turn out to be a complete steal. RC saw Mozingo make his first start of the collegiate season back in February, and we've been following him ever since.

Mozingo, a 6'1", 190 lbs. righty, throws three quality pitches -- a fastball, change, and curve -- along with a developing but reportedly below-average slider. When we saw him, his fastball sat between 89-91 mph, which is consistent with reports, and he can occasionally dial it up to around 93. He subtracts about 10 mph from his change-up, and after we saw him earlier this year, we were convinced that his change just might be his best pitch. He used it on both sides of the plate with excellent command, and he wasn't afraid to throw it on any count.

We also liked his curveball, which he threw frequently at 70-71 mph. It had nice vertical movement, and the Longwood batters we saw him use it against couldn't touch it. Along with sound mechanics, Mozingo changes speeds extremely well and shows a very polished approach to the game, and he used those tools to completely dominate his competition this season.

On the year, Mozingo posted a 7-1 record with a stellar 2.45 ERA in 95.2 IP. He tossed five complete games, and he recorded eight or more strikeouts in eight of his 13 starts, en route to 101 K's on the season. His control was a bit of a concern entering the season after walking 92 batters in his previous 167 innings, but Mozingo eliminated those fears by dishing out only 18 free passes this season. In fact, he didn't walk his first batter until his fourth start of 2006. Combine that control with an opponents' batting average of .163, and you see why Mozingo was selected to the Colonial Athletic Association's (CAA) All-Conference First Team.

The only concern we have is the quality of Mozingo's competition. The CAA has some underrated teams, like James Madison and UNC-Wilmington, but for the most part, you'd expect a quality pitcher to dominate VCU's schedule. Nevertheless, the consistency that Mozingo showed all year goes a long way toward calming those fears. Not once did he allow more than four earned runs in any start, and he only allowed four twice, one of which was a complete game effort in which he took his only loss of the season (against James Madison). He also only had two starts in which he walked more than two batters (three BBs against Georgia State, and four against Madison), and he allowed four or fewer hits in ten of his 13 starts.

Frankly, there isn't a single hole in Mozingo's 2006 stats, and the most incredible thing is that his numbers might have been even better if he hadn't missed an entire month after being nailed in the pitching hand by a line drive in mid-April. Mozingo returned on May 15 and made four more appearances (three starts), but he seemed a little rusty, and he wasn't pitching on normal rest. Six of his 18 walks came after the injury, and Mozingo's ERA in those last four outings (spanning 20 IP) was 4.05. His strikeout rate also fell rather dramatically, from 10.6 K/9IP to 5.4 K/9IP. It may be that his injury scared off some teams late, causing him to fall to KC in the sixth round.

Nevertheless, when Mozingo is healthy, he's a pitcher with stellar command of three quality pitches, and his outstanding K/BB ratio is very encouraging. Mozingo signed quickly after being drafted, and he has been assigned to rookie ball in Idaho Falls. It will be interesting to see how he fares this summer.

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