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FSU baseball’s CJ Van Eyk drafted in second round of 2020 MLB draft

Four-pitch mix likely to keep Van Eyk as a starter at the next level.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida State vs Michigan Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

CJ Van Eyk came to Florida State as one of the top prep arms in the nation. His career at FSU was one of the best FSU has seen on the mound in recent years. After three years and 176.2 IP at FSU, the Tampa native has been taken with the #42 overall pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2020 MLB draft, to become the Seminoles’ highest drafted pitcher since Luke Weaver went in the first round of the 2014 draft. Van Eyk’s slot value is $1.77 million.

In three years at FSU, the RHP posted a 3.21 ERA and 11.29 K/9 in 41 appearances. In his time at Florida State, he worked his way from a shutdown reliever, to the Saturday night starter, before coming the Seminoles’ ace in his junior season.

Van Eyk’s biggest improvement at FSU was his pitchability. When he reached campus, he was more of a ‘thrower’ than a pitcher, but quickly turned himself into a complete pitcher, leaving Florida State with a true four-pitch mix.

The four-pitch mix includes a low-mid 90’s FB, drop-off changeup, sharp knuckle-curve, and a wipeout slider. He rounded out the arsenal with the mid-80’s slider this season, but is working on making it even sharper, with a cutter grip.

The Florida State ace has a low-effort delivery with a quick arm whip which creates his velocity. The FB has been up to 98 MPH at times, and there’s a good bit left in the tank for Van Eyk.

He likely fell out of the first round due to control issues early this season. If it had been a full season, I’m extremely confident he would’ve gone in the first day. He was settling in with his command and never got to show off his new slider consistently. If he can find the feel for all of his pitches consistently, he’ll have a good future in pro ball.

For more scouting and my draft profile on Van Eyk, click here.

Saiem’s Analytics Notes

In 2019, CJ Van Eyk had a 29.8% strikeout percentage while limiting his walks to just 9.5% of batters faced (a decrease from 2018’s 12.6% mark) for a K/BB ratio of 3.15 this season after posting a 2.37 K/BB ratio in 2018. Out of 433 batters faced in 2019, Van Eyk allowed extra base hits on 10.7% of the 252 balls in play, slightly above the D1 National average of 10.3%. Here is a diagram of ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching ERA for FSU pitchers from 2015-2019 as a point of comparison.

ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching, FSU Pitchers 2015-2019 | Figure: @SaiemGilani
ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching, FSU Pitchers 2015-2019
Saiem Gilani