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Texas A&M Baseball

Cincinnati Reds select LHP Joseph Menefee in 20th round, 603rd overall

July 19, 2022

Moo-ving on up.

Left-handed pitcher Joseph “Moo” Menefee was selected in the 20th round, 603rd overall by the Cincinnati Reds on day three of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft. The Richmond, Texas native concludes his career in Aggieland with a 13-6 record, three saves and an impressive 193 strikeouts in 125.0 innings pitched. His selection makes him the third Aggie chosen in this year’s draft.

In a season where consistency on the mound became the team’s biggest concern, the southpaw filled a crucial role in relief and became a reliable arm out of Jim Schlossnagle’s bullpen. In Southeastern Conference play, Menefee eventually emerged as the Aggies’ strikeout leader with 87. By the start of the NCAA postseason, Menefee bested the nation in strikeouts per nine innings at 13.99.

The fourth-year arm posted a 5.60 ERA in 53.0 innings of work alongside 87 strikeouts and a 6-2 record this year — all career highs.

Perhaps his most memorable performance came in the College Station Regional opening round vs. Oral Roberts. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Menefee unflinchingly fanned two batters to end a late threat and went on to finish a three-inning outing with seven strikeouts. He was equally impressive in an April 30 victory over Vanderbilt, where he punched out nine and scattered two hits and one run across 5.1 innings.

During his first year in College Station, Menefee was the only Aggie in 2019 to garner postseason honors after being named to the Freshman All-SEC Team. He was also awarded SEC Co-Freshman of the Week in the final week of regular-season play for retiring 12 of 13 batters faced with seven strikeouts in two relief performances against No. 4 Arkansas. Though primed for a breakout year the following season, he saw limited action due to COVID-19 and only tossed 4.0 innings.

In 2021, Menefee solidified his status as a reliable arm and finished the year leading the team in ERA (3.00) and opponent batting average (.155). He was also second in WHIP (1.19), wins (4) and saves (1). That offseason, he joined the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League and collected 24 strikeouts in 14 innings with a 1.29 ERA.

A three-year letter winner at George Ranch High school, Menefee was highly touted heading into college as the third-ranked left-handed pitcher and tenth overall prospect in Texas.

Ryan Brauninger’s scout of Joseph Menefee

“Lots of data points throughout college career as he’s been used in a variety of roles since 2019. Worked hard in 2022 to transform his body. Wipeout slider to go along with a 90-94 mph fastball. Extremely tough at-bat on left-handed hitters, especially when he’s getting the ball to his glove side. Also showed well against righties last season. Command issues can be a concern. Likely future as a matchup bullpen arm or set-up man. A+ teammate that has always been a clubhouse favorite.”

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Cincinnati Reds select LHP Joseph Menefee in 20th round, 603rd overall

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