Iowa lands Johnston lefty with MLB pedigree

Andy Hamilton
Johnston pitcher Jack Dreyer throws in their 4A quarterfinal game against Waukee at the 2014 State Baseball Tournament at Principal Park Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

There were nearly 50 college baseball programs trying to recruit Jack Dreyer, including a few that made recent trips to the College World Series.

In the end, though, the Johnston junior picked a program that’s aiming to get to Omaha rather than one that’s already been there.

Dreyer committed Monday to Iowa. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound lefty said the success of the 2015 Hawkeyes under second-year coach Rick Heller “made the decision a lot easier.”

Iowa racked up its second-highest victory total in program history last season when the Hawkeyes went 41-18 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990. Heller’s squad is eyeing the school’s first College World Series appearance since 1972.

“I know they have the talent and drive to make it to Omaha,” Dreyer said. “They’ve recruited great players over the last couple years, especially with the new coaching staff stepping in.”

The addition of Dreyer continues that trend. The son of former big league pitcher Steve Dreyer compiled a 7-0 record as a sophomore with a 0.67 earned run average and 53 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched.

Perfect Game ranks Dreyer the No. 388 prospect nationally in the 2017 class.

“He’s a strike-throwing, projectable left-handed pitcher with outstanding bloodlines,” Perfect Game Iowa Leagues director Steve James said. “His dad pitched in the big leagues for a couple years and has really taught his son well in regards to the art of pitching.”

The Recruiting Trail with Andy Hamilton

Dreyer said his fastball was clocked at 87 mph last month, and he thinks there’s more room for velocity gains.

“This last year I gained 9 mph,” he said. “And with the Iowa throwing program, I hope to be able to grow and get stronger and gain a lot more velocity.”

Dreyer is the second metro-area prospect to commit to the Hawkeyes this month. Iowa also snagged a pledge from Roosevelt senior outfielder Ben Norman.

“He’s got a ton of tools and he can really hit,” James said. “That’s the biggest difference he’s made from last year to this year. He’s a good runner, good defensive player, but his big deal is he can hit.”