Tyler Nesbitt verbally committed to Florida Gulf Coast University as a sophomore in 2016. The right-handed pitcher was working with National Scouting Report and the agency suggested he commit to a school sooner than later.
FGCU was always one of Nesbitt’s top choices. It’s a quality program and close to his home. But after thinking about the decision further, Nesbitt realized he wanted to pursue a Power Five program that had more resources available to help prepare him for the professional ranks.
Nesbitt committed to the University of Florida on Oct. 22, 2018, just days after reopening the recruiting process.
“I’ve been a die-heart Florida Gator fan my whole life,” Nesbitt said. “If you’re a Friday or Saturday guy at Florida, you are almost guaranteed to be a first-round draft pick. They do so good with pitchers over there.”
Nesbitt may never reach the University of Florida, though. He’s a well-regarded prospect for June’s MLB draft and has a chance to be a top-five round pick. He’s open to going either route this summer but admits that it will have to be the right opportunity for him to bypass playing at one of college baseball’s top programs.
“When the season first started, it was really stressful because I am not used to having guys in the back holding up radar guns and taking notes on every pitch I throw,” Nesbitt said. “Lately, I’ve tuned it out because I’ve gotten more used to it.”
Nesbitt, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound righty, has a four-pitch repertoire consisting of a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider and changeup. He throws from a high three-quarter arm slot.
His top pitches are his fastballs, which he commands well. He also has consistently displayed an above-average slider. It features a late, sharp break, and he uses it as his strikeout pitch. He’s made strides with his changeup since last summer when he relied on it against high-end high school talent in showcase events.
His fastballs have sat 88-92 mph and occasionally touched 94 mph this spring. Nesbitt has implemented different throwing programs and weight training exercises to improve his velocity, he said.
He has confidence in his four-pitch mix and isn’t afraid to attack hitters.
“I feel like I know what to throw and when to throw a certain pitch to a hitter,” Nesbitt said. “I can gage off what they did on a previous pitch to know what I need to throw next. I think that’s a good advantage for me.”
Besides improving his fastball velocity, Nesbitt wants to refine his command over the remaining part of his senior season at LaBelle High in Florida. He has struggled to have consistency with his repertoire this spring, he said.
“I will have my fastball good but then my changeup will be horrible or I will have my slider working but then I can’t throw my two-seam where want it,” Nesbitt said. “I just need to get more consistent with all of my stuff and get more in the zone.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for four years. He’s interviewed 133 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.