Former Amherst pitcher Evan Shawver was named a Top 100 Draft Prospectus for Sports

When freshman Evan Shawver first joined the Amherst baseball team in 2015, he spent less than a day rehearsing for the Comets freshman team before moving up to junior varsity trials.

The day after, he was promoted to the varsity team and started one of the best high school baseball careers Lorain County has ever seen.

Now, more than five years after Shawver first turned his head in Amherst, the dominant Cincinnati left-handed is one of the best college guns in the country, having been named a top 100 nominee in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft after D1 baseball.

“I’ve said that before – he’s the best high school pitcher I’ve ever seen,” said Amherst baseball coach Matt Rositano. “He wasn’t a big, intimidating guy in high school, but he climbed the hill and knew how to be unlucky. He could work all four corners of the plate, and it was almost unfair at times how much better it was. “

Shawver was listed at number 45 on the list, making him the top ranked pitcher in the American Athletic Conference and the second highest ranked player at the conference. Rositano – who says he got calls from Boy Scouts asking about Shawver – wasn’t surprised by the ranking.

“Based on the things we’ve heard, most of the teams slashed him somewhere in the middle of the second round,” said Rositano. “We’ve heard things that say he can sneak into the first round if he can go out and have a really good spring like it was last year.”

Shawver essentially rewrote the record book during his time with the comets. In addition to holding the school record in strikeouts (316), Shawver finished his high school career with a record of 21-8 and an ERA of 0.77 in 191 innings. In his senior year, Shawver recorded 122 hits in 61 1/3 innings while allowing a well-deserved run all season (0.11 ERA) and keeping opponents to an average of 0.104.

Former Amherst pitcher Evan Shawver pitching for the University of Cincinnati.

After Shawver struggled with some issues in his freshman year in Cincinnati, it looked like he would start putting it together this past spring, before the novel coronavirus pandemic wrapped up college baseball season. In four starts last season, Shawver recorded 35 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.59 in 22 2/3 innings.

“Sometimes if you think too much, you do,” Shawver said. “I just played last year. It was unfortunate that the coronavirus pandemic emerged, but people’s safety is far more important than baseball. I’m really looking forward to being out there again with my teammates and coaches. “

The shutdown wasn’t bad for Shawver, however, as he used the time to work on a new move that went with his curveball and four and two-seam fastballs.

“I always thought about adding another pitch to the mix and the switch worked really well during quarantine,” Shawver said. “After things cleared up a bit, I was able to go back to Cincy and get it up and running against live hitters. I haven’t been to a live game on a hill since March so I’m definitely looking forward to the games starting again. “

From what Rositano has seen, Shawver’s move could be the perfect pitch to add to his dominant repertoire.

“He sent me videos of working with his move for about a year,” said Rositano. “He’s throwing it at about 87 mph and it’s just devastating. If you prepare for 97 and it comes out of the same arm slot and just dies, people get amazed. We hope in spring that the move will be a wipeout pitch for him.

“He always had a good curveball and he always had a plus fastball, but his main focus was being able to mix and match with that change. For what I’ve seen, the switch looks really good. He’s going to hit a lot of people with that pitch. “

Even with so much of the college baseball season still in the air, Rositano knows that Shawver’s focus will be on getting better with every outing.

“I told him not to worry about where to go on the draft and just worry about what he can do to make himself better every day,” said Rositano. “Not only is he a great pitcher, he’s one of the nicest, hardest-working kids you will ever meet. I am just so proud to be able to watch him and help him grow. “

Given that so much is in the air regarding next year’s college baseball season, it would be perfectly understandable if Shawver had an eye on the draft.

That’s not the case.

“Just because I’m 45th doesn’t mean I’ll change who I am,” Shawver said. “I will keep working and do everything I can to help Cincinnati win.”

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