Jack Cropper is the type of prospect who can cause MLB scouts to scratch their heads in disbelief.
Packed into a 6-foot, 180-pound frame is a fireballer with velocity rarely seen at the high school level in New England. The Norwood High (Mass.) senior spent the majority of last summer lighting up radar guns at showcase events with mid-90s velocity. The high-water mark: a 97.1 mph fastball at a Prospect Select Tournament.
“Sometimes God reaches out and touches a shoulder, injecting it with a thunderbolt,” said Cropper’s private pitching coach, Chris Costello, who also coaches at Walpole High. “Jack’s one of those guys. He has a natural ability to throw the ball harder than just about anybody at his age.”
Cropper committed to play his college ball at Northeastern as a junior, falling in line behind a number of in-state high-velocity recruits like Costello’s former pupil at Walpole, Cam Schlittler. A 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-hander, Schlittler went on to have an exceptional career at Northeastern, earning First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in 2021 and eventually a selection by the Yankees in the 2022 MLB Draft.