Ethan Petry has established himself as a legitimate two-way prospect this spring. The Cypress Creek (Fla.) High School third baseman and right-handed pitcher consistently squares up the baseball at the plate and hits 96 mph with his fastball on the mound.
In previous years, Petry pitched in relief due to his high-speed fastball. But now, he has dominated opposing hitters with his fastball, breaking ball combination as a starter. He credits his development as a pitcher to his brother Peyton, a freshman right-hander at NCAA Division II Saint Leo University.
Scouts have taken notice of Petry’s skill set and potential. While scouts are more familiar with him as a position player, numerous scouts are intrigued by his ability on the mound. Regardless of Petry’s future position, scouts believe he has the chance to hear his name called in the early rounds of July’s MLB draft.
“It’s pretty cool,” Petry said. “I just want to win a district championship this year. I just want to be there for the team. I’ve played in front of the scouts plenty of times in the summer. It’s really cool.”
Petry is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed hitter with above-average raw power. He has simple mechanics at the plate, using a straight spread stance with a subtle leg kick as a timing mechanism.
Scouts rave about Petry’s ability to drive the ball with authority to all fields. But he isn’t just a power hitter. He also has solid plate discipline and a good feel for hitting.
“My power is my biggest strength because I can change the game any time with one swing of the bat,” Petry said. “Also, my hit tool is a strength. I’m not a big strikeout guy. You see a lot of power hitters that strike out a lot. I’m the team guy who will put the ball in play.”
Petry has made strides defensively in recent years to develop into a well-rounded player. He has above-average arm strength and good athleticism. He wants to continue to improve his lateral quickness to remain at third base long term.
“If you saw me my sophomore year, you probably would be like, ‘How is this kid even considered a potential draft pick?’” Petry said. “I have worked really hard on my footwork, which has helped me become more accurate to first base. Every once in a while, I will make a bad throw. I just don’t even want to think about it and throw lasers to the chest each time.”
Petry throws a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup from a high three-quarters arm slot and low-effort delivery on the mound. He overpowers hitters with his mid-90s fastball and shows a feel to spin his curveball.
He wants to refine his command and control to throw a higher percentage of his pitches for strikes.
“I want to improve my control,” Petry said. “I want to continue to work on my pitching, so I can establish myself as a sold two-way.”
Petry is a South Carolina commit. He initially committed to the University of South Florida at 14 years old. Petry grew up near USF and liked the idea of playing close to home.
But as time went on, Petry aspired to play in college baseball’s top conference, the Southeastern Conference. His relationship with South Carolina head coach Mark Kingston and the program’s history of developing talent for the pro ranks stood out to Petry. He committed to South Carolina as a position player in 2020.
“South Carolina stuck out the most because of Mark Kingston,” Petry said. “He’s a great coach. He develops players and changes programs around. I feel like he is going to be there for a while.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.