Editor’s note: The San Diego Padres selected RHP Adam Mazur with the 53rd overall pick in the 2nd round of the 2022 MLB Draft on July 17.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (BVM) — A little over a year ago, Adam Mazur was wrapping up his sophomore season at South Dakota State. He finished 2-7 with a 5.43 ERA. Fast forward to today, Mazur is the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year at Iowa and is the No. 51 player in the upcoming MLB Draft according to Prospects Live.
Mazur pitched two seasons at South Dakota State, but everything changed when he went to the Cape Cod League following his sophomore season. He finished the circuit with a 1.55 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 29 innings of work.
“It kind of put a chip on my shoulder when they said, ‘Adam Mazur, South Dakota State,’ and everyone kind of turned their head,” Mazur said. “I kind of made it a point to go out there and do my best every single time out there and prove everyone wrong because I knew I belonged out there. After the first start out there, people were probably like, ‘This kid is gonna get rocked,” so it was nice to show everyone what I already knew.”
With his performance, he received attention from pro and college scouts, including the coaching staff of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Mazur quickly got to know Iowa pitching coach Robin Lund at the Cape Cod, having two one-hour Zoom calls with him and Lund creating a plan that expanded over the next year for Mazur. This made Mazur very comfortable with the Hawkeye program, ultimately leading to his transfer there.
The decision paid off for him very quickly. In 2022, Mazur went 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 98 to 30. Outside of his conference pitcher of the year award, he was a Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten selection.
Start after start, Mazur kept boosting his draft stock to where it is today: a projected day one pick.
“Honestly, I didn’t worry about it too much,” Mazur said. “I wanted to focus on every single day and live in the present while I was at Iowa. Talking with Robin and Coach Heller before, we talked about how it could be a one-year stint, but going in, I wasn’t going to miss out on any moments. I really just tried to live in the present, soak in every day, and hang out with the guys and the team and get to build a lot of lifelong relationships.”
Mazur’s success has not been by accident. His professional approach has carried him thus far. Whether it is getting out of a tough spot, or needing to eat that extra inning on a day that the bullpen is thin, he is the man for the job.
“When I’m in-season, I don’t like to look forward or ahead,” Mazur said. “I truly take it day by day. It’s nose-to-the-ground, gritty performances. I’m going to go out there and get my job done no matter what it takes, no matter what I’m going through. Just to be available for my team was big this year and to pitch no matter what was going on was always big for me.”
While the draft will be the biggest milestone in Mazur’s career, that is just his starting point on what he wants to accomplish.
“I want to make it to the big leagues,” Mazur said. “That’s been my dream ever since I was young, so that is going to be something to continue to work towards until I get there. Once I’m there, the goal is to be one of those Verlander–type guys where it’s All-Stars, Cy Youngs and World Series.”