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Duke's Bryce Jarvis (28) pitches during an NCAA college baseball game, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

2020 MLB Draft

2020 MLB Draft Profile: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke

POSITION: RHP
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’2″/195 lb.
THROWS/BATS: Right/Left
COLLEGE: Duke
HS: Brentwood Academy (TN)

Background:

Bryce Jarvis is the son of former MLB pitcher Kevin Jarvis, who had a 12-year major league career. Kevin was mostly used as a starter in the majors and finished his career with 780.2 innings pitched. Kevin undoubtedly assisted Bryce on his own path to pitch in the majors as in some ways Bryce has always been an advanced prospect. As a prep prospect, he was known for consistently attacking the strike-zone and having a good feel for a changeup, which are traits not common for most prep pitchers.

Jarvis used his advanced skills to establish himself as a top prospect in Tennessee. As a senior,  he was named 2017 Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Div II-AA Player of the Year and was a part of the 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America team and Southeast All-Region 2nd Team. Going into the 2017 MLB Draft, Perfect Game rated Jarvis as the 347th best prep prospect overall and as the 12th best prospect in the state. He was not ranked as a part of Baseball America’s top-500 overall prospect lists and went undrafted in the 2017 MLB draft.

In his freshman year at Duke, Jarvis was mostly used out of the pen, and only pitched 47.2 innings. His overall numbers were as follows: 2.45 ERA, .944 WHIP, 12.7 K/9, and a BB/9 of 4.2. In the offseason, he opted to play in the Cape Cod League, and really struggled. In 28.2 innings of work, he posted the following stats: 5.34 ERA, 1.5 WHIP, 6.9 K/9 and BB/9 of 4.4.

In his sophomore season, Jarvis began to be used more as a starting pitcher and his numbers continued to regress from his freshman year. In 75.2 innings, he produced the following stats: 3.81 ERA, 1.414 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, and a BB/9 of 4.4.

Jarvis was eligible to be drafted as a sophomore, and while his overall stock did rise from his prep-days he still was not ranked as a part of BA’s top-500 draft prospects list (subscriber-only). With that being said he would have probably been drafted in the top 10 rounds of the draft if he was willing to sign a below-slot bonus. Jarvis was known to be a tough sign and he ended up falling to the Yankees in the 37th round.

Jarvis opted against signing and decided to focus on improving his overall game. With the assistance of Driveline Baseball (helped him with pitch design) and Cressey Sports Performance (helped him build muscle) he turned himself into one the best college pitchers in this year’s draft.

In an article by Dawindycity.com, Jarvis describes some of the work he did last summer to transform his game.

Below is an excerpt from the article where he discusses what he worked on with Driveline and at Cressey Sports Performance.

“At Driveline, I was able to work on pitch design with their team and get on their motion capture software. The main focus with them was tweaking my slider to make it a little more east-west instead of north-south so that I could add a true curveball into my arsenal this year. That was definitely the biggest takeaway from Driveline.

The jump in velocity, however, I attribute most to the added weight and functional strength that I put on at CSP (Cressey Sports Performance). I gained about 20 pounds in 7 weeks and felt more sturdy and robust on the mound overall. The added velocity to all of my pitches gave me newfound confidence to attack hitters more, and I think that helped with my command and walking fewer guys. My fastball command is in a place that it has never been before, and that makes all of my other pitches play up as well.”

These improvements seemed to have paid off, as he had a dominating junior season. In 27 innings, he has an ERA of 1, a WHIP of .481, a BB/9 of .7, and a K/9 of 13.3. He also threw the first perfect game in Duke history. Below is a video by Rob Friedman AKA @PitchingNinja which highlights his perfect game:

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Overview:

Jarvis is ranked as the 45th best prospect by Baseball America (subscription), the 24th best prospect by FanGraphs. and the 25th best prospect by MLB.com. Jarvis would make a lot of sense for the Yankees. The Yankees obviously liked him enough last year to draft him and by doing so, they potentially developed a solid relationship. In the past, the Yankees have been known to re-draft certain players when they had the chance.

The Yankees also have a relationship with both Driveline Baseball and Cressey Sports Performance (CSP). Sam Briend, the Yankees current director of pitching, worked for Driveline before coming over to the Yankees in June of last year. The Yankees connection to CSP is even stronger. Not only was CSP the former employer of big-league pitching coach Matt Blake, but their founder Eric Cressey was recently hired to oversee the club’s training programs.

It also should be noted that over the past few years, the Yankees have done a particularly good job of improving pitchers’ arm strength and velocity. So, Jarvis would be a good fit for the club. Selecting Jarvis would be reminiscent of the James Kaprielian pick because they both have the same pitch-mix. Kaprielian was seen by some as a risky pick because he did not fully prove that he was able to maintain a recent spike in fastball velocity.

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