Upon transferring to Ohio State this spring in search of a fresh start, the move paid off for one Buckeye pitcher.
The New York Yankees selected junior right-hander Jack Neely in the 11th round of the MLB Draft Tuesday. Neely was taken with the 333rd overall selection on the final day of the draft.
The road to professional baseball has been a unique one for Neely, who transferred twice in his collegiate career before landing with the Buckeyes prior to last season. He began with the University of Texas and made eight appearances with the Longhorns in 2019, then transferred to Iowa Western Community College the following year.
Neely joined the Buckeyes in time for the 2021 campaign, and initially was a starter for the majority of the season. He made nine starts and allowed at least one run in each, completing the fifth inning just once.
A move to the bullpen in May allowed Neely to thrive, though, and it’s easy to see why.
Neely boasts a plus fastball that can reportedly get up to triple digits, and head coach Greg Beals said in March that the right-hander’s fastball could reach 98 mph.
In three appearances out of the bullpen, Neely allowed just three runs while punching out nine.
Neely struck out 62 hitters over 41 1/3 innings for Ohio State. His 6-foot-8 frame makes him an imposing presence on the mound, and the Yankees took a chance on him.
Neely is the third Buckeye selected in the 2021 MLB Draft so far, joining redshirt junior southpaw Seth Lonsway, who went to the San Francisco Giants in the sixth round, and junior righty Garrett Burhenn, who was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round.