In his first three years as pitching coach, Mulvey has continued the Villanova reputation of having a successful collegiate pitching staff and of developing professional pitchers. A pitcher from the Wildcats has been chosen in the top 20 rounds of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in each of the past three years, most recently when Max Almonte was a 16th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015. The other draft picks since Mulvey became pitching coach are right-handed pitchers JB Kole and Pat Young. Kole was an eighth round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014 and Young was taken in the 13th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2013.
Villanova had a staff ERA of 4.14 for the 2015 season, a mark that was nearly a full run lower than the previous year and was the lowest team ERA overall in the past 20 years. One of the top performers for the 2015 staff was Chris Haggarty, who saved nine games and held opponents to a .194 batting average while appearing in 25 games. A former walk-on to the pitching staff, Haggarty appeared in 72 games over the last three seasons and finished his career ranked second in school history with 80 total appearances. He also ranks seventh in school history with 11 career saves and eighth among pitchers with at least 100.0 innings with a 3.78 ERA.
In 2014, the pitching staff lowered its ERA by more than a quarter of a run from a year earlier and had a number of noteworthy individual performances. Left-handed pitcher Matt Meurer made 28 appearances and had nine saves while posting a 1.21 ERA over 44 2/3 innings pitched. In addition, Kole developed into a highly-coveted professional arm with a strong finish to his final collegiate season.
The future continues to look just as bright for Wildcats pitchers. In each of the last two seasons, a freshman pitcher has led Villanova in ERA. Current junior lefty Hunter Schryver started 11 games and had a 4.55 ERA as a freshman in 2014. Another southpaw, Mike Sgaramella, tied for the team lead in victories and had a 3.79 ERA in 61 2/3 innings along the way to earning Philadelphia Big Five honors as a freshman last season.
Mulvey pitched three years for Villanova and at the end of his junior season was the top draft pick of the New York Mets in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. A second round selection and the 62nd overall pick in the 2006 draft, Mulvey became the first Wildcats player ever selected with a major league team’s first pick.
In parts of seven seasons playing in the professional ranks Mulvey spent time in the organizations of the Mets, Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks. He reached the Major Leagues with both the Twins and Diamondbacks, logging 10 appearances and starting four games. In the minor leagues Mulvey pitched in 143 games with 130 starts and tallied 35 victories while pitching more than 750 innings and striking out 547 batters.
During his first full season of professional ball in 2007, Mulvey was named a midseason All-Star in the Double-A Eastern League and was also selected to pitch in the Futures Game which takes place during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend. He wound up being a 12-game winner for the Binghamton Mets in 2007 and at the end of the year made his Triple-A debut with six scoreless innings of two-hit ball.
Mulvey became one of the most distinguished pitchers to wear a Villanova uniform and was a two-time All-BIG EAST selection. As a sophomore he threw the eighth no-hitter in school history and he finished his collegiate career with 222 strikeouts, the most ever in a three-year span in program history. Mulvey ranks third overall among the Wildcats all-time strikeout leaders.