Linwood, NJ MLB Draft prospect can throw 102 mph fastball

LINWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's not often a full section of bleachers at a high school baseball game is full of Major League Baseball scouts. Then again, it's not often a player comes around that throws a 102 mph fastball.

"I don't know how to describe it other than you have to sit there to see what it looks like, it's special," said Mainland High School head coach Billy Kern.

And so is Chase Petty, a senior right-hander at the school in Linwood, New Jersey.

He's the 23rd ranked prospect in the nation with a real chance at becoming a first-round draft pick in July.

"I couldn't tell you a time in my life when that wasn't my dream," Petty told Action News. "I remember being in 1st, 2nd grade, everyone's like, 'What's your dream job?' It was always to be in the MLB. It's always been the dream."

The last Cape Atlantic League player to go in the first round was Mike Trout, who was drafted 27th overall in 2009.

Petty, actually grew up in Millville, Trout's hometown.



"He's someone I always looked up to, so now being compared to and being from the same place as him, it's so crazy," Petty said. "At the same time, I kind of just want to be my own unique self and don't want to be compared to anyone. I just want to be known as Chase Petty."

Each time Petty pitches, 40 to 50 scouts clock his every move. Last week against Millville, Trout's old high school, he threw a no-hitter, striking out 18 while adding a two-run home run.

"When he reaches back and throws the ball, it genuinely explodes on our catcher," Kern said.

In fact, their catcher has to wear a special pad inside his glove and ends every game with a bruised hand.

"Yeah, he usually gets swollen. A little black and blue. He loves when he's not catching me, but when he is, he's not a fan of me too much," Chase said with a laugh.

Which begs the question, would Petty be able to get a hit off himself?

"I don't think so, honestly. I mean, maybe," Petty said. "Nah, I don't think so to be honest."
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