San Diego Padres select Iowa baseball's Adam Mazur in second round of 2022 MLB Draft

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

If you're a future pitching prospect considering the Iowa Hawkeyes, chances are their recruiting pitch will include the incredible rise of Adam Mazur. 

A sputtering mid-major arm one year, a second-round MLB Draft pick the next. The workings of Iowa coach Rick Heller and his pitching guru Robin Lund have officially transformed Mazur into the Hawkeyes' highest selection in three-plus decades. 

The San Diego Padres drafted Mazur Sunday at No. 53 overall, using the 14th pick of the second round to scoop up the Big Ten pitcher of the year who was one of college baseball's most consistent starters in 2022. Along with becoming Heller's highest drafted player since he took over Iowa in 2014, Mazur is the first Hawkeye picked within the first 55 selections since Tim Costo in 1990. 

Iowa's Adam Mazur (33) looks for a signal during a NCAA Big Ten baseball game against Indiana on May 19 at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

When Iowa landed Mazur from South Dakota State last July, most believed the 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander was better than his pedestrian 2021 stats (2-7, 5.43 ERA) and more like his Cape Cod League numbers from that summer (3-0, 1.55 ERA). But what Mazur delivered in the season ahead surpassed even the Hawkeyes' most extreme expectations. 

MORE: Iowa baseball's Adam Mazur named Big Ten pitcher of year; Keaton Anthony earns top freshman honors

The Woodbury, Minnesota native immediately settled into the Hawkeyes' weekend rotation and became Iowa's Friday night anchor. A high standard had been set there — with aces-turned-draft picks Nick Gallagher, Nick Allgeyer, Cole McDonald and Trenton Wallace having come before — but Mazur soared by them all. When the lanky right-hander took the mound, Iowa expected a victory and nothing less. 

Most of the time, the Hawkeyes got exactly that. 

Mazur went 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 starts, yielding just 60 hits and 37 runs (32 earned) over 93 2/3 innings. He punched out 98, limited hitters to a .178 batting average and walked only 30. During Big Ten play, Mazur had seven consecutive quality starts from April 2 through May 13. The first-team all-Big Ten selection led the league in batting average against, ranked second in innings and strikeouts, third in wins and fourth in ERA.

"Mazur throws two different fastballs, a four-seamer that sits at 93-95 mph and tops out at 99 and a two-seamer at 90-94 mph with good sink," his MLB.com draft profile reads. "His best offering is an 82-86 mph slider that reaches 89, features two-plane break and grades as plus when it's on. His changeup is a bit firm in the mid-80s but dodges bats with some late tumble, and he also can mix in an upper-70s curveball to give hitters a different look.

"Mazur has a quick arm and plenty of room to add weight to his lean 6-foot-2 frame, so he could continue to get better. After averaging 4.4 walks per nine innings at South Dakota State, he cut that rate to 1.9 on the Cape and 2.9 at Iowa. He ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in opponent average (.178) this spring and has the makings of a legitimate three-pitch starter."

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.