The New York Mets selected Tennessee pitcher Blade Tidwell with the 52nd pick in the 2022 MLB Draft Sunday night.
The right-handed pitcher became the third Tennessee player selected in the 2022 MLB Draft joining first round selections Drew Gilbert and Jordan Beck.
Tidwell was a draft prospect coming out of west Tennessee’s Loretto High School, but went undrafted due to his high signing bonus demands and intentions of playing at Tennessee.
That move paid dividends as Tidwell is a second round pick just two drafts later.
A rare draft eligible sophomore, Tidwell projected as a mid first round pick entering his second collegiate season, but an adversity filled 2022 season saw his draft stock slightly drop.
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After earning Freshman All-American honors in 2021, Tidwell missed the first six weeks of his sophomore season due to right shoulder stiffness that turned into shoulder soreness. Once Tidwell returned, his role fluctuated coming out of the bullpen before re-establishing himself as a weekend starter.
The tall right-hander shined at times but struggled with his consistency in his second sophomore season. The NCAA Tournament was the perfect example of that. Tidwell dominated Alabama State to open up the Knoxville Regional, but Notre Dame ran him early from the Knoxville Super Regional a week later with five runs in three innings.
Tidwell posted a 3-2 record and 3.00 ERA while striking out 51 batters in 39 innings in his sophomore campaign.
Stay tuned at Rocky Top Insider for Tennessee updates throughout the 2022 MLB Draft.