At 18 years old, Riley Pint isn’t living a normal high school life. Since freshman year, Pint has received attention from college coaches about playing baseball at the Division I level.
While that might not sound unusual for a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher, Pint is also regarded as one of the top high school arms in the country and has a shot of being selected No. 1 overall in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Pint, a Kansas native, is ranked fourth on MLB.com’s preseason top 50-draft prospects list.
“I don’t really listen to what everyone has to say,” Pint said. “I think that is a credit to my parents. They’ve always kept me away from it. They’ve just told me what I need to be focused on and not be focused on anything else that’s not important at the time.”
Pint is also committed to play baseball at Louisiana State University in the fall. But, that’s up in the air, depending on if he decides to go straight from high school into professional baseball.
“It will end up being my decision, but my parents will support me either way,” Pint said on how he’ll handle deciding between attending LSU or signing a pro contract. “My parents don’t really get involved in my personal decisions. I will for sure discuss it with them.”
If Pint decides to bypass pro ball in June, he’ll have a great opportunity at LSU, which is a program known for developing high-end pitching.
Pitching coach Alan Dunn has tutored pitching staffs that have consistently been among the best in the country, while producing two top 10 picks in Kevin Gausman and Aaron Nola in recent years.
“Coach Dunn has developed so many pitchers,” Pint said. “It’s just awesome how quickly they develop them and get them ready coming out of college to pitch in the pros.”
LSU began recruiting Pint in the summer leading up to his junior season, and once he decided to take a visit to Baton Rouge, La., he knew it was the place for him.
“It was one of those places where I always grew up and loved the team,” Pint said of LSU.
Pint credits his success to his father Neil Pint, who played baseball at Iowa State, and originally attracted him to the game.
“I don’t think I’d be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for him because he was always there for me,” Pint said of his father. “He’s the one who made me love baseball because he’d always tell me about how much he loves baseball. It made me love it too.”
Pint possesses a three-pitch mix featuring a mid-90s fastball, a hard breaking slider and a changeup.
“It’s really come along in the past year,” Pint said of his off-speed pitches. “I’m really looking forward to working on it this year and hopefully having them be really good out pitches for me.”
During his high school career, Pint has had little reason to throw his changeup, but plans on throwing it in certain situations this season, he said.
“I’m probably going to show it early in my high school games to let them know I have it,” Pint said. “When I’m warming up the bullpen I’m going to make sure I throw it to get use to throwing it going into the game.”
Pint has a chance at being a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher some day, but one thing scouts question is his consistency with his mechanics and the effort in his delivery.
Despite some concerns, if healthy, it is hard to imagine Pint not being a top five pick in June’s MLB Draft.
Regardless of what the future has in store for Pint, he’s only focused on one thing right now, and that’s leading his high school team to a championship.
“My goal is to win another state championship just like we did my sophomore year,” Pint said. “Last year we had a great season, we went 19-3, but it wasn’t where we wanted to be. All of the seniors are looking forward to getting back to the state championship and winning it.”
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