Michael Carpin is a power pitcher with a fastball that approaches 90 miles per hour.
But what makes Wando’s 6-2, 200-pound senior right-hander a college prospect is his arsenal of pitches. He has command and confidence in his curveball and changeup, pitches that keep batters off guard and make his fastball seem even more explosive.
“I’m working on a cutter right now,” Carpin said. “But I only throw it in the bullpen. I’m getting there with it. Maybe, one day.”
Last spring, Carpin began the season unheralded. He posted a 5-2 record with a 2.01 ERA, allowing 34 hits in 451/3 innings while striking out 55. Carpin had the statistics but no major college baseball scholarship offers.
“He made great strides last year,” Wando coach Dirk Thomas said. “His work ethic has always been strong, but his confidence and his mental approach improved immensely. He’s always had it physically. But now he has it mentally as well.”
Carpin began attracting attention with an impressive performance at a Diamond Prospects Camp and as a member of the nationally ranked Diamond Devils 17-U select team.
At the Diamond Prospects Camp, run by Austin Alexander, Carpin wowed college coaches and professional scouts with his three-pitch repertoire. Georgia assistant Allen Osborne was in attendance and saw Carpin’s potential. He got an offer from the Bulldogs, committed and then proved his worth as a member of John Rhodes’ Diamond Devils, a program that also produced Drew Cisco.
Cisco, who also pitched for Wando, signed with Georgia. But he never arrived in Athens. The Cincinnati Reds drafted him and made him a financial offer he couldn’t refuse.
“I talked to Drew about his situation, asked him about his impressions of the university,” Carpin said. “It’s good to have someone who has that experience.”
At the Perfect Game tournament, which draws the top teams in the nation and scouts from just about every major league team, Carpin arguably was the best pitcher there. He shut out the YAK 17-U team, allowing only one hit in a complete-game effort. He threw only 67 pitches. Four days later, Carpin was just as impressive. Facing the Marrucci 17-U team, he pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out nine. He needed only 87 pitches to record a complete game.
“Carpin was a kid with little experience on the varsity level before being thrown to the sharks this past summer,” said Barry Mabry, the pitching coach for the Diamond Devils 17-U team. “I knew he was a three-pitch guy, but didn’t think he would make the jump he did and learn how to use all three pitches in such a short amount of time against legit hitters. Our plan was to ease him into the starting rotation but with how solid his earlier outings were, he left us no choice and became one of our top starters.”
Carpin plans to build on that success this season. He’s showcasing his talent this weekend at the International Paper Baseball Classic in Georgetown.
Before he knows it, graduation day and draft day will be here.
“I plan to go to college,” said Carpin, who has been contacted by several major league teams.
“The Yankees have been to my house and showed me videos of the organization,” he said. “If I get drafted my junior year, I will listen. But college is important. If all else fails, it’s something I can fall back on.”