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MLB Draft 2022: Tampa Bay Rays select Hawaii RHP Cade Halemanu in tenth round

Hawaii’s ace has one more year of college eligibility, but with a four-pitch mix and starter’s build, could be a solid pick up for the Rays in the 10th round.

Cade Halemanu

In the tenth round of the 2022 MLB Draft, the Rays have selected University of Hawaii RHP Cade Halemanu at No. 314 overall.

Halemanu ranked in a similar position on the Baseball America draft board, at No. 375 in 2021 and No. 387 in 2022, both of which project an early Day 3 selection, but the Rays moved early to secure Hawaii’s ace at the end of Day 2.

The Rays select Halemanu without a guarantee of his signature, due to a final year of college eligibility remaining, but see a traditional starting pitcher’s build.

His late rise among draft classes was due to a surging fastball, that leapt into the 92-96 mph range last year. Here’s the report from Baseball America:

A fourth-year player this spring, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander has continued to improve his stuff, this time sharpening breaking balls that were previously below average. He’s now flashing an average slider and curveball to go with a fastball that averages 92-93 mph and has been up to 97 this spring. Some scouts believe he has an above-average changeup on top of that, giving him a sneaky solid four-pitch mix. He’ll need to sharpen his command after his walk rate spiked this spring. He posted a 4.69 ERA over 15 starts and 71 innings, with 71 strikeouts (21.6 K%) and 41 walks (12.5 BB%). He should have plenty of interest after the 10th round or could be a money saving senior sign before then.

Like the scouts referenced, the Rays also see major league potential in Halemanu’s change.

Prior to his Rays selection, Halemanu had committed to transfer to the Oregon Ducks. Halemanu holds a career 3.86 ERA (158.2-IP, 68-ER) in 42 apps (27 starts) over four seasons at Hawaii, having been used in relief to start his collegiate career from 2019-20.

Halemanu is the the third player drafted out of the Univ. of Hawaii in club history, joining Tyler Brashears in 2015 and Lenny Linsky in 2011.