Each year there are a few players who come out of nowhere and skyrocket up draft boards. This year one of those players is talented young right-hander Dakota Chalmers.
A 6-foot-3, 175 pound hurler from Georgia, Chalmers jumped onto scouts’ radar around a year ago.
It wasn’t until his junior year that he had his first college team come watch him pitch.
“When I was a junior I had my first college team come watch me and it was Eastern Kentucky,” Chalmers said. “There was one radar gun out there, and my knees were knocking – I was so nervous.”
He said he then started to receive more interest, but college programs were still a “little hesitant because that ‘it’ factor wasn’t quit there yet.”
Chalmers ended up committing to Georgia, which was only his second offer he received.
“Georgia let me know they were interested and then came out to watch me play,” Chalmers said. “Coincidently I threw a no-hitter that game, but it wasn’t anything special – it was against the worst team in our region.
“They then called me the next weekend and offered me (a scholarship). For them to say that they were willing to develop me into a better overall pitcher was something that I was really attracted to.”
After he participated at the Perfect Game National last summer, Chalmers started to receive more interest from schools. However, he said that cemented his decision to stick with Georgia because they had faith in him while others didn’t even pay attention to him.
Georgia is getting an outstanding young pitcher with tons of upside, but his success on the mound has also vaulted him onto Major League Baseball Draft boards.
He currently ranks 27th on MLB.com’s best available players for June’s MLB Draft.
Chalmers has outstanding potential. He has a powerful arm and has hit 98 mph on the gun this spring. He usually sits in the low to mid 90s, but that along with his solid three off-speed pitches, makes him difficult to hit.
His best secondary pitch is his curveball, and Chalmers stated that it is equal to his fastball. This is a pitch that he taught himself and it has evolved into a pitch that he is confident throwing in any count.
Along with his curveball he also commands a slider, which is more of a setup pitch. He also throws a changeup, and that pitch improved throughout his senior season of high school as he has gotten use to throwing it more.
“The changeup is something that I’ve just started throwing at the beginning of the season and it’s really picked up for me,” Chalmers said. “It’s one of my good out pitches, especially if one of the breaking balls isn’t working. It is a pitch that I am very confident that I can throw it for a strike.”
Possessing a reliable changeup to keep hitters off balance is extremely important, regardless if Chalmers decides to attend Georgia in the fall or head straight to pro ball following the draft.
Despite all the attention Chalmers has received from pro scouts this year, he said he hasn’t paid much attention to it.
“Everyone has personal goals obviously and whenever you are up there pitching and you have 35 radar guns pointing at you it’s not like you don’t notice,” Chalmers said. “But, you just learn to get use to it. If you start pitching for them, then you are losing track of why you are out there, then everything goes down hill from there.”
Chalmers will most likely be selected in the early rounds of the draft. He will have to make a decision on whether or not to follow his dream of being a pro baseball player or heading to college. But, whatever he decides, he is really in a no lose situation.
“It [playing professional baseball] has been a goal of mine since I was a little kid just like everyone else,” Chalmers said. “Playing professional sports is something that so many people aspire to and then so little get to do it. Whether it is in a month or three years down the road, it is an opportunity you can’t pass up. If you are lucky enough to get a chance, give it a shot.”