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2010 MLB Draft – First Round Names To (Probably) Know

Guessing the 32 names expected to go in the first round two and a half months in advance probably isn’t an activity that makes a whole lot of sense, but, hey, why start making sense now?

Last year I threw out 30 names that I thought would be first rounders in 2009. Remember that? Good times. I hit on a whopping 17 of them. I’m not sure what the success rate should be, but I get the feeling that 17 of 30 isn’t particularly good. The players I had in the first round who weren’t first rounders in the end included Tyler Skaggs, Tanner Scheppers, Luke Bailey, Austin Maddox, Rich Poythress, James Paxton, DJ LeMahieu, Kentrail Davis, Trent Stevenson, Alex Wilson, Ryan Berry, Andy Oliver, and Jason Stoffel. The majority of those misses make me feel like a real dope in hindsight.

Poythress, LeMahieu, and Davis were all non-elite college bats that I pushed up the draft board in large part to being near the best of a weak college crop of hitters. Lesson #1: Teams will let the draft board come to them early on rather than reach for the better players at the draft’s weakest positions. Stevenson (hopped on his bandwagon after reading a lot of positive early season buzz), Wilson (another early season helium guy and the reason I was too scared to put Barret Loux on the list), Berry (really liked his glasses), Oliver (didn’t really like him, but succumbed to peer pressure), and Stoffel (figured big league teams would reach on a reliever in the late first) were all part of my pitching misses.

Skaggs, Scheppers, Bailey, Maddox, and Paxton aren’t misses I’m too stressed out about for a variety of reasons, mostly because I think they are all darn good prospects that are better than some of the players taken in the first round. Yes, I think quite highly of myself, why do you ask? Skaggs’s prospect stock was hurt by a better than usual lefthanded pitching crop, Scheppers and Bailey both had major injury concerns, Maddox fell at least partly because of signability concerns, and Paxton’s stock shot up late in the draft season, but never made it quite high enough to get into the first.

Enough about 2009, let’s see if we can do better here in 2010. First up, the best of the best. I’d call them locks if I had more of a backbone, but will instead hide behind the quotes. “Locks” it is.

2010 MLB Draft First Round “Locks”

C – Bryce Harper

1B -

2B -

SS – Christian Colon, Manny Machado, Yordy Cabrera

3B – Zack Cox, Nick Castellanos

CF -

OF – Bryce Brentz, Austin Wilson

RHP – Deck McGuire, Jesse Hahn, Anthony Ranaudo, Jameson Taillon, AJ Cole, Karsten Whitson, Dylan Covey

LHP – Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale

I originally wanted to leave it at the locks and call it a day, but what’s the harm in stretching this out to attach 32 names to the 32 first round spots? My next set of guesses includes the following names:

SS Justin O’Conner, CF Chevy Clarke, OF Josh Sale, RHP Stetson Allie, RHP DeAndre Smelter, RHP Kaleb Cowart, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Brandon Workman, RHP Alex Wimmers, and LHP James Paxton

17 “locks” plus the 11 new names brings us to 28 potential first rounders so far. Four more to go. Hmm. Let’s see what four names we can pull out of the old magic hat here…

College Catcher, C Stefan Sabol, CF Angelo Gumbs, RHP Cam Bedrosian

Wouldn’t it be weird if there was a draft-eligible player by the name College Catcher? It would be like my favorite player in the non-Jordan licensed NBA Live 97, Roster Player. To add to the realism, I’d always look at the R.Player in the lineup and just pretend his first name was Reggie. Anyway, College Catcher isn’t actually a real person, but if he was real than I’d mentally change his name to Charlie Catcher whenever I’d see C.Catcher in the lineup. So who will be the 2010 draft’s Charlie Catcher? Odds are good that at least one of the two big college catchers from the junior class will go in this year’s first, I think. That’s why I wimped out and hedged my bets by reserving a first round spot for “college catcher of your choosing.” Feel free to pencil in Miami’s Yasmani Grandal and/or LSU’s Micah Gibbs if that’s the direction you see things going this June. Contrarian that I am, my pick isn’t one of the two junior catchers but rather UC Riverside’s sophomore draft-eligible backstop Rob Brantly. What a twist!

Sabol is a favorite due to his strong bat and great athleticism, but I’m reminded of my fondness of Austin Maddox last year and I get a little gun-shy. Sabol is a much better athlete and runner, but the two share enough similarities with the bat to give me pause. Gumbs gets a mention for two reasons. First, and I’ll be as succinct here as possible, all five tools are first round quality. Easy enough. The second reason I’m sticking here is my belief he fits the mold of the type of player the Phillies could target at pick 27. Then again, Philadelphia’s front office recently came out and specifically mentioned third base and catcher as positions of organizational need that will be addressed this June. Bedrosian’s long been a favorite, so might as well stick with him.

2010 Draft-Eligible Pitching: Groundout Percentage

The week ahead is wide open, so let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see. I’m currently working on a couple of high school position rankings, more college stuff (mostly position lists by conference), an updated big board, and a brand spanking new mock draft. With so much half-finished content staring me in the face, I’m happy to put something on hold to do something new and exciting as a change of pace, so if there is anything new and exciting you want to see, please let me know and I’ll make it happen.

Because I hate posts that don’t have much to do with baseball, how about a little content? The title says it all, except for the brief and wondrous snippets of 2011 draft-eligible players included (both 2011s would be second on their lists, by the way). The data I have doesn’t include every pitcher in college baseball, but rather a sampling of some of the biggest names…I’m only one man, after all. Like last time, if you have a player you are curious about, let me know.

Highest Percentage of Groundball Outs

1) North Carolina JR RHP Matt Harvey

2) Texas Tech JR RHP Chad Bettis

3) Florida Gulf Coast JR LHP Chris Sale

HM) 2011 draft-eligible Texas SO RHP Taylor Jungmann

Lowest Percentage of Groundball Outs

1) San Diego SR RHP AJ Griffin

2) San Diego JR RHP Kyle Blair

3) LSU JR RHP Austin Ross

HM) Cal State Fullerton SO RHP Tyler Pill

2010 MLB Draft: Pac-10 Shortstops

It’s purely coincidental that the first three conferences I’ve looked at have exactly four potential draft picks who play shortstop apiece. Weird. The order of these four really could be picked out of a hat and look about as good as what I’ve got here; we’re talking about a group of tightly bunched, similarly talented future utility guys, so I guess it makes sense that they are so close. Let’s see who is worth knowing in the Pac-10…

Stanford JR SS Jake Schlander
Height, Weight: 6-2, 195

FR – .232/.307/.256 (24 BB/41 K; 3-3 SB)
SO – .232/.288/.324 (16 BB/41 K; 3-4 SB)
JR – .283/.420/.472 (12 BB/7 K; 1-1 SB)

Jake Schlander can really pick it at shortstop, but his inability to make consistent contact, hit for power, and get on base regularly through his first two college seasons has put a damper on his pro prospects. He’s started since day one at Stanford, putting up lines of .232/.307/.256 and .232/.285/.324 in his freshman and sophomore year. Those are stunningly bad numbers. However, as mentioned, Schlander can really pick it at shortstop. I mean, he can really, really pick it. Plus range, flawless hands, strong arm; defensively, Schlander has it all. His defense is so good that I felt comfortable predicting that he’d be on draft boards back when his offensive numbers were, and I say this with all due respect, straight up horrible. One month into the college season Schlander’s bat has show such unexpected signs of life that it may be time to start recalibrating his final draft position’s ceiling. Before the season I wrote this: “Expect a forward thinking front office, maybe Seattle or Boston, to pop Schlander late (round 35+) against all offensive odds.” If the offensive gains can be maintained, Schlander could see his draft stock jump up 20 rounds. Too drastic a reaction to a small sample of early season plate appearances? Perhaps, but I’m alright with jumping the gun a bit when the tools are there to justify it.

Washington State JR SS Shea Vucinich
Height, Weight: 6-0, 183

FR – .316/.357/.440 (8 BB/34 K; 2-5 SB)
SO – .230/.341/.377 (27 BB/41 K; 8-10 SB)
JR – .358/.460/.604 (6 BB/13 K; 3-4 SB)

Reports on Vucinich’s defense vary depending on the day, but most seem to agree his upside with the glove is significant. I’ve even heard some evaluators touting him as a potential plus defender up the middle. He also has shown good power potential throughout his career with the Cougars. That’s the good news. The less good news is centered around Vucinich’s aggressive approach at the plate. His free swinging ways help explain some of power output (swing hard at anything around the plate and sometimes the ball goes very far), but it’s also gotten him in trouble in the past. Something about his skill set had me really curious about locking down some worthwhile comps. Best two I came up with are former Padres starting SS/2B Damian Jackson (44th rounder) and current Red Sox minor leaguer Tug Hulett (14th rounder). It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vucinich split the difference between the two, both in eventual draft landing spot and pro career accomplishments.

Arizona JR SS Bryce Ortega
Height, Weight: 5-11, 175
Birth Date: 9/22/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .326/.409/.429 (25 BB/24 K; 13-15 SB)
SO – .324/.420/.438 (31 BB/32 K; 16-18 SB)
JR – .258/.390/.274 (11 BB/4 K; 9-9 SB)

Ortega put up very consistent numbers in his first two full seasons at Arizona, but has taken a step backwards in the power department in the early going of 2010. As a matter of fact, he’s the only one of the four players listed who has experienced a decline in his performance so far in 2010. The most commonly cited reason for Ortega’s early season struggles relate back to his transition from shortstop (a position he is more than capable of playing, for the record) to second base; not sure I buy it, but it’s a thought. Strong base running and good patience have long been the bedrocks of his offensive game, so it’s good to see those areas remain consistent despite his 2010 contact and power deficiencies. Patience at the plate, a two-year track record of pop (2010 be damned), excellent base running instincts, and a versatile glove fit the potential utility infielder mold pretty well, don’t you think?

UCLA JR SS Niko Gallego
Height, Weight: 5-11, 180
Birth Date: 12/29/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .317/.378/.415 (2 BB/7 K; 1-2 SB)
SO – .273/.361/.326 (16 BB/34 K; 6-10 SB)
JR – .305/.411/.542 (8 BB/8 K; 5-5 SB)

Gallego didn’t do much to impress in his first two years with the Bruins, but experience in two quality wood bat summer leagues (Northwoods League and Cape Cod League) and pro baseball bloodlines (father Mike had almost 3,000 big league at bats) make him a good bet to hear his name called on draft day. The quality start in 2010 certainly doesn’t hurt his prospect stock, but, again, his pro future maxes out at utility player. He doesn’t quite have dear old dad’s glove, but may have more upside in his bat than the .239/.320/.328 career line put up by his father. Speaking of comparisons to Mike Gallego, enjoy this quote from former Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy on comparing Gallego the senior to Dustin Pedroia:

I’ve been trying to figure it out and I can’t. Mike Gallego is a good friend of mine and I used to tell him that he reminded me of Gags. That used to piss Pedroia off. He would say ‘Mike [expletive] Gallego, are you [expletive] me?’ and he would say that all the way back when he was a freshman. Can you imagine a freshman in college baseball reacting like that when you’re comparing him to a Major Leaguer…but that’s exactly the way Pedro is.

2010 MLB Draft: Big 12 Shortstops

I’m digging these quick looks at different 2010 MLB Draft position groups, so let’s keep it going with a look at the handful of Big 12 draft-eligible shortstops of note. I think this group is actually a touch better on the whole than the ACC quartet, but I’m probably splitting hairs with that assessment considering the most probable career path of the eight players listed so far would be considered under the umbrella category of “utility player of varying value.” Speaking of the ACC list from yesterday, a comp for one of the players on the list came to mind last night: Tim Smalling as the college version of Tampa’s Reid Brignac. Bit of a stretch, perhaps, but there are some similar tool-based similarities between the two. Just a thought.

Texas A&M JR SS Kenny Jackson
Height, Weight: 6-4, 195
Birth Date: 7/2/89 (Age-20 season)

JR – .421/.511/.447 (7 BB/4 K; 1-1 SB)

The former Alvin College shortstop reminds me of current Cardinals starter Brendan Ryan. Both players are smooth defenders, possess strong arms, bigger than usual shortstop frames, and enough offensive skills and defensive consistency to provide value as a starter. Jackson hasn’t put up big power numbers in 2010, but showed off enough pop prior to joining the Aggies to have some observers (myself included) buy in to his double digit home run potential as a professional. Like the vast majority of the college shortstops on this list, Jackson’s clearest path to the big leagues will be as a utility player with a strong glove. Unlike so many of the others, however, Jackson has clear starter upside at the position if he continue to tap into his above-average tools.

Kansas State JR SS Carter Jurica
Height, Weight: 5-11, 185
Birth Date: 9/23/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .240/.329/.360 (15 BB/23 K; 9-14 SB)
SO – .353/.437/.492 (26 BB/45 K; 23-32 SB)
JR – .432/.495/.662 (11 BB/9 K; 10-13 SB)

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. The raw tools are there for Jurica to succeed professionally, but it’ll take a team buying in to his long-range projection if he wants to sneak up into the top ten rounds this June.

Kansas JR SS Brandon Macias
Height, Weight: 5-10, 183
Birth Date: 10/10/88 (Age-21 season)

JR – .213/.261/.262 (3 BB/10 K; 0-0 SB)

There is certainly an argument that could be made for Macias to sit atop this particular shortstop list, what with his excellent defensive tools and true plus arm strength and accuracy, but the early season struggles of the former Arizona State enrollee and South Mountain CC shortstop give me pause. Macias has received universal praise for his outstanding work ethic and love of the game, and his big first year playing for South Mountain (in a wood bat league, no less) had scouts thinking they were watching a future everyday shortstop in the making. A disappointing sophomore season chock full of struggles due in large part to a nagging hamstring injury took him off the radar to some degree, but, despite the down year, Macias showed off enough evidence that he’s a player with all five tools (in addition to the aforementioned defensive gifts, Macias has above-average speed and good gap power) present in his game. Kansas has a surprisingly rich recent history of shortstops drafted into the professional ranks, a factor that can only help Macias this June. Many talent evaluators look for programs that have coaching staffs with reputations coaching up certain positions or player types; in this way, Kansas’ strong track record developing up the middle types could be Macias’ gain this June.

Texas Tech SR SS Joey Kenworthy
Height, Weight: 5-5, 160
Birth Date: 6/6/88 (Age-22 season)

FR – .182/.262/.255 (4 BB/6 K; 1-1 SB)
SO – .313/.431/.411 (39 BB/20 K; 5-6 SB)
JR – .335/.363/.417 (12 BB/24 K; 5-7 SB)
SR – .303/.444/.461 (14 BB/8 K; 3-6 SB)

No, Kenworthy isn’t the water boy, scorekeeper, or equipment manager, thanks so much for asking. Opposing fans do a double take when the 5-5, 160 pound Kenworthy steps up to the plate for the first time, but his solid defense and not completely worthless bat (how’s that for a ringing endorsement?) typically give him the last laugh. I wonder if Kenworthy’s draft stock would have been higher if he was a senior coming out of school at the height of post-World Series Angels victory induced David Eckstein craze of a few years ago. As it stands, his draft prospects are touch and go, but a continuation of his improved senior year numbers might be enough to sneak him into the last few rounds this year.

2010 MLB Draft: ACC Shortstops

I’ve started to make some prospect rankings lists, but am realizing that there are some really tight competitions in certain conferences and position groups. Last night I was rolling along as I put together a list of the best 2010 draft eligible position players in the ACC until I hit a roadblock at around the tenth spot. There were four shortstops on my shortlist that hadn’t been included, so I figured, hey, why not tease that ranking out a bit to see how the four players ranked head to head to head to head?

Virginia Tech JR SS Tim Smalling
Height, Weight: 6-3, 207
Birth Date: 10/14/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .288/.389/.397 (21 BB/27 K; 1-4 SB)
SO – .250/.309/.442 (17 BB/61 K; 6-8 SB)
JR – (transferred in from Arkansas; sat out 2009 season)
rJR – .436/.482/.667 (5 BB/7 K; 2-3 SB)

Smalling is, perhaps somewhat ironically, the biggest of the four shortstops on our list. It’s ironic because his name has “small” in it. Clever observation, right? Anyway, that size (6-3, 207) and a strong arm make him look like a player capable of playing third professionally, but his skill set is still far better suited for shortstop. Good footwork and soft hands should keep him up the middle going forward, but that aforementioned potential for defensive versatility should help him in his cause for playing time at the next level. It may be a little strange to see a player like Smalling, a guy with a reputation as being more than a little hacktastic, atop this list, but his combined hit/power tools top that of any other draft-eligible middle infielder in the conference. Admittedly, Smalling’s plate discipline doesn’t look all that promising when judging solely by the numbers above, but scouts have given him high grades in his pitch recognition so far in 2010. He’s done a much better job at laying off balls he knows he can’t do much with (note the drop of strikeouts so far) and hammering pitches in his happy fun-time hitting zone (hard to argue with his power indicators thus far). Smalling’s total package of above-average offensive and defensive skills could get him into the top 5 rounds this June.

Duke JR SS Jake Lemmerman
Height, Weight: 6-2, 185
Birth Date: 5/4/89 (Age-21 season)

FR – .283/.353/.373 (15 BB/24 K; 5-7 SB)
SO – .287/.355/.448 (20 BB/32 K; 13-16 SB)
JR – .293/.391/.520 (11 BB/14 K; 4-5 SB)

Lemmerman, the youngest and best defensive player of our quartet, is a good runner (22-28 career SB) with enough untapped potential with the bat to legitimately claim an everyday role professionally someday. Lemmerman is already a plus defender with quick hands, above-average range, and an uncanny knack for turning the double play. If his strong offensive start to 2010 is for real, as many believe, he could hear his name called anywhere between rounds 5 through 8 on draft day. The renewed interest in defense should help Lemmerman as much as just about any player in this year’s college class.

Virginia SR SS Tyler Cannon
Height, Weight: 6-0, 205
Birth Date: 8/30/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .279/.350/.354 (20 BB/46 K; 8-12 SB)
SO – .252/.324/.345 (23 BB/45 K; 14-17 SB)
JR – .351/.451/.489 (35 BB/41 K; 17-19 SB)
SR – .368/.442/.566 (10 BB/12 K; 0-2 SB)

Cannon is solid in all phases of the game, but lacks fluidity on defense at any one given position. Between his lack of a true defensive home and his steady, but unspectacular bat, he has many believing his professional role will be that of a super-sub capable of playing literally every position on the diamond, including catcher. I’ve compared him to current big league utility infielder Eric Bruntlett (who hit .342/.463/.485 with more walks than strikeouts for Stanford in his third and final year as a college player) in the past, a resemblance many first think of as an insult, but one I consider to be a compliment. Cannon is a proven versatile defender at the college level who, as previously mentioned, doesn’t really have any glaring deficiencies in his tool set, minus a lack of long ball power.

It seems that the majority of area scouts like Cannon better than I do, so it really wouldn’t be a shock to see Cannon go first out of the players listed. I’ll stick to my guns and insist on liking the guys listed above due largely to their greater probability of sticking at shortstop professionally, but I can see how Cannon would be a player who would grow on you with repeated viewings. After all, my “insulting” comp Bruntlett went in the 9th round back in 2000. That seems like the area of the draft that Cannon’s final projection will likely be in June.

Florida State SR SS Stephen Cardullo
Height, Weight: 6-0, 200
Birth Date: 8/31/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .273/.308/.545 (1 BB/2 K; 0-0 SB; limited at bats)
SO – .387/.473/.613 (11 BB/14 K; 2-3 SB; limited at bats)
JR – .376/.476/.612 (45 BB/46 K; 20-24 SB)
SR – .324/.449/.437 (13 BB/13 K; 5-5 SB)

Cardullo’s defense is arguably the weakest of this bunch, but his junior year numbers are simply too wonderful to be ignored. Those numbers are made all the more impressive when you consider Cardullo started with Florida state as a walk-on who only earned 73 at bats through the end of sophomore year. The junior year breakout came completely out of nowhere, but Cardullo has managed to maintain some of the gains (largely those made in his mature, discipline approach at the plate) while still showing just enough of the gap power to keep scouts believing he has enough pop to spend a 15th to 20th round pick on him. I liken him to a less acclaimed version of former teammate Tony Delmonico, 2008 6th round pick of the Dodgers. Delmonico has seen time behind the plate and on the right side of the infield in the minors so far, a path that could be the best hope for Cardullo (who already has some college experience at both first and second) to follow if he wants to someday crack a big league roster. Without sounding too much like a broken record, defensive value through versatility will be a large part of what gets any of the above players to the big leagues. Steady defense at all five defensive spots + professional approach taken to every at bat + gap power + average speed = potential big league utility player.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – SEC Edition

Running out of steam/time on these, but figured the SEC is too big of a deal to skip out on. We’re already at Week 5 of the college baseball season, but let’s take one last look at Week 4 before this information gets any more out of date and useless.

Florida

Friday: SS Nolan Fontana (Florida): 2-4
Friday: FR 1B Austin Maddox (Florida): 2-4, 2B, 2 R
Friday: FR C Mike Zunino (Florida): 3-3, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Friday: SO LHP Alex Panteliodis (Florida): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K
Saturday: SR CF Matt den Dekker (Florida): 2-5, 3B, BB, RBI, 3 R, 2 K
Saturday: SO 1B Preston Tucker (Florida): 3-6, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: FR DH Austin Maddox (Florida): 4-6, 2 R, K
Saturday: FR SS Nolan Fontana (Florida): 0-1, 3 BB, SB, 2 R
Saturday: SR OF Jonathan Pigott (Florida): 1-2, BB, SB, 2 RBI, R, K
Sunday: JR 2B Josh Adams (Florida): 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB
Sunday: SO LHRP Nick Maronde (Florida): 1.1 IP 1 H 2 ER 4 BB 1 K
Sunday: SO RHP Tommy Toledo (Florida): 3 IP 5 H 4 ER 2 BB 3 K
Sunday: FR LHP Steven Rodriguez (Florida): 4 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 2 K

Fontana, den Dekker, Tucker, Maddox, Adams, Zunino, Tyler Thompson, Bryson Smith, and Kamm Washington. How’s that for a college starting nine? I may be wildly overrating the latest crop of amateur draft talent (something I’m wont to do), but that’s a core of position players that I wouldn’t mind having as favorite team’s minor league system’s hitting talent base. Could be six starting caliber players in that group.

Louisiana State

Friday: SR 1B Blake Dean (LSU): 3-5, HR, RBI, R
Friday: SO RHP Joey Bourgeois (LSU): 1.2 IP 5 H 6 ER 3 BB 0 K
Saturday: SR 1B Blake Dean (LSU): 3-3, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBI, R
Saturday: SO OF Mikie Mahtook (LSU): 3-4, SB, R
Saturday: JR RHP Austin Ross (LSU): 6.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K
Saturday: SO RHP Matty Ott (LSU): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

Will Blake Dean hit enough to be an everyday first baseman professionally? Does Matty Ott have the stuff to get an honest crack at a big league closer job someday? Can Mikie Mahtook put it all together to head into his draft year as a potential top-ten guy, as perhaps his talent suggests? Can somebody else answer these questions for me because I honestly have no idea how to end this thought?

Auburn

Friday: SO SS Casey McElroy (Auburn): 3-3, BB, 2 RBI, R
Saturday: JR 1B Hunter Morris (Auburn): 2-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR LHP Cole Nelson (Auburn): 2.1 IP 4 H 6 ER 4 BB 3 K

Hunter Morris has put up good numbers so far, but he’s done it while hacking away at anything and everything remotely in the strike zone. That’s cool when you are hitting over .400 and slugging over .600, but becomes a problem when the inevitable decline in batting average comes.

Mississippi

Friday: JR LHP Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi): 6.1 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 12 K
Friday: FR RHP Brett Huber (Mississippi): 4.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K
Saturday: SR 3B Zach Miller (Mississippi): 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, 2 R, K
Saturday: SO C Taylor Hightower (Mississippi): 3-4, R
Saturday: SR RHP Aaron Barrett (Mississippi): 6.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 4 BB 9 K
Sunday: JR OF Matt Smith (Mississippi): 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO C Taylor Hightower (Mississippi): 3-4, RBI, 2 R, K
Sunday: SO RHRP David Goforth (Mississippi): 2.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K

Pomeranz had what is quickly becoming known as a Pomeranzian start for him. Quickly known to me, at least. Huber, Barrett, and Goforth all have mid-90s fastballs and breaking balls that, at worst, flash plus. Huber probably has the most advanced breaking ball of the group, a true plus slider. Hightower is a solid 2011 backstop to watch for his defense alone; if he keeps hitting like this, watch out.

Arkansas

Friday: SO 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas): 3-6, 3 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO C James McCann (Arkansas): 2-4, HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SR RHP Mike Bolsinger (Arkansas): 5.1 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 4 K
Saturday: SO 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas): 2-4, BB, R
Saturday: JR 1B Andy Wilkins (Arkansas): 1-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, R, K
Saturday: SO LHP Drew Smyly (Arkansas): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 11 K
Saturday: FR RHP DJ Baxendale (Arkansas): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR RHP Brett Eibner (Arkansas): 3.2 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K

Seems to be a larger than normal number of sinker-slider pitchers in this year’s college class, although I may be misremembering the talent breakdown in previous years. Anyway, Bolsinger throws a high-80s fastball (muscled up to 93 when necessary) and an above-average, occasionally plus slider. He could slip into the back end of the top ten rounds as a solid senior sign.

Alabama

Friday: SO OF Tyler Dugas (Alabama): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, R
Friday: SR 1B Clay Jones (Alabama): 2-3, 3B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR 2B Ross Wilson (Alabama) and JR SS Josh Rutledge (Alabama) combined to go 3-10, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO LHP Adam Morgan (Alabama): 6 IP 6 H 3 ER 6 BB 2 K
Friday: SO RHP Tyler White (Alabama): 2.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K (5 GO/0 AO)
Saturday: JR RHP Jimmy Nelson (Alabama): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 4 BB 7 K
Saturday: JR 2B Ross Wilson (Alabama): 3-6, 2 HR, 2 BB, 7 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: FR LHP Taylor Wolfe (Alabama): 6 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K
Sunday: SO OF Tyler Dugas (Alabama): 2-3, BB, R
Sunday: JR SS Josh Rutledge (Alabama): 2-3, SB BB, R

Juniors Wilson and Rutledge get all the love, but Tyler Dugas and Clay Jones are two other Alabama hitters worth remembering. Dugas has an excellent idea of the strike zone and good speed, and Jones aptly combines above-average present power, good plate discipline, and solid defense. White is a draft-eligible sophomore with a good sinking low-90s fastball and an above-average big league curveball. Nelson’s stuff grades out as similar to Mike Bolsinger (listed above), but a notch better in almost all areas.

Vanderbilt

Friday: SO RHP Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt): 8 IP 6 H 3 ER 3 BB 5 K
Friday: SR SS Brian Harris (Vanderbilt): 3-4, 3B, 4 RBI, R
Friday: SO OF Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt): 3-3, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR RHP Taylor Hill (Vanderbilt): 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 7 K
Saturday: SR RHP Drew Hayes (Vanderbilt): 1.2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Saturday: FR OF Connor Harrell (Vanderbilt): 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 3B Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt): 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
Sunday: SO RHP Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt): 6.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 4 K

Drew Hayes may have the best fastball velocity out of any college senior. That’s just off the top of my head, so it’s somewhere between probable and extremely likely that I’m forgetting someone. Connor Harrell is a five-tool talent already tapping into his immense potential.

Kentucky

Friday: SR 2B Gunner Glad (Kentucky): 2-2, HR, 2 BB, RBI, 3 R
Friday: SR CF Keenan Wiley (Kentucky): 1-1, HR, 2 BB, 3 SB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR LHP Logan Darnell (Kentucky): 8 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K
Saturday: FR LHP Taylor Rogers (Kentucky): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K
Saturday: SO OF Chad Wright (Kentucky): 3-5, SB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO OF Cory Farris (Kentucky): 2-4, HR, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO OF Chad Wright (Kentucky): 4-4, SB, RBI, R
Sunday: SO OF Cory Farris (Kentucky): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO RHP Alex Meyer (Kentucky): 5 IP 4 H 1 ER 4 BB 4 K

Glad and Wiley are a solid set of redshirt seniors, a subsection of prospect that doesn’t normally produce any kind of worthwhile talent. I’m not saying either Glad or Wiley will be taken in the top half of the draft, but they are better than the average fifth year college player. Beyond those two, I really do love this Kentucky team from a prospect standpoint, especially the pitching staff. They are almost as loaded as the basketball team. Alex Meyer = John Wall (young star with impact pro potential); Logan Darnell = Patrick Patterson (glue guy capable of filling many key roles on a winning team); Taylor Rogers = Eric Bledsoe (above-average performance as freshman with above-average skills); James Paxton = DeMarcus Cousins (not a great fit, but I love watching both guys play and would love to see either on my favorite pro team at this time next year).

Mississippi State

Friday: SR 1B Connor Powers (Mississippi State): 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, K plus raw power; too many K’s; bat isn’t all that fast; limited to first, but very good there; 6-2, 228 pounds
Friday: SO LHP Nick Routt (Mississippi State): 1.1 IP 7 H 8 ER 2 BB 2 K plus CU
Saturday: SR 1B Connor Powers (Mississippi State): 2-4, 2B, K
Saturday: FR RHP/SS Chris Stratton (Mississippi State): 5.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 6 K 92 peak FB; quality breaking ball; emerging CU
Sunday: SO RHP Devin Jones (Mississippi State): 4.1 IP 7 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K low-90s FB, peaking at 93; 87-88 two-seamer with great sink; hard mid-80s SL could be plus pitch (82-84); CU is work in progress; 6-4, 180 pounds

Devin Jones is yet another quality sinker/slider guy with considerable upside. Powers is a college slugger that is better suited for his current role than he’ll ever be once he hits the pros.

Tennessee

Saturday: JR LHP Bryan Morgado (Tennessee): 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 3 BB 9 K
Sunday: SR RHP Stephen McCray (Tennessee): 4.1 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K 88-91, touched 93-94 with FB; SL, CB, CU; good command; good athlete; 6-3, 230 pounds

Did Tennessee really have that boring a weekend or was I just in a bad mood whenever I happened to look at their box scores?

Georgia

Friday: SO OF Peter Verdin (Georgia): 4-5, 2 HR, 2B, SB, 3 RBI, 4 R
Friday: SO RHP Michael Palazzone (Georgia): 5 IP 8 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: SO OF Johnathan Taylor (Georgia): 1-3, 3 BB, RBI, 3 R
Saturday: FR 1B/OF Robert Shipman (Georgia): 2-2, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR RHP Justin Grimm (Georgia): 2 IP 1 H 1 ER 2 BB 1 K
Saturday: SR LHP Alex McRee (Georgia): 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO OF Johnathan Taylor (Georgia): 1-1, 3 BB, RBI, R

Taylor may spell his name weirdly, but he’s a really interesting 2011 prospect all the same. He’s a leadoff hitter all the way (good patience, no power), but has enough in the way of speed (plus) and defense (crazy range in center) that he should have a career as a backup outfielder even if the bat doesn’t allow him to start. Grimm left his start early due to illness, by the way.

South Carolina

Saturday: SO OF Jackie Bradley (South Carolina): 3-6, BB, SB, RBI, R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR RHP Blake Cooper (South Carolina): 6 IP 2 H 2 ER 4 BB 6 K
Saturday: FR RHP Ethan Carter (South Carolina): 2 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K
Saturday: JR RHP Sam Dyson (South Carolina): 4 IP 7 H 6 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: SR RHP Jay Brown (South Carolina): 4.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR C Kyle Enders (South Carolina): 3-5, BB, 4 RBI strong defender
Sunday: FR LHP Tyler Webb (South Carolina): 5.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K

Bradley continues to impress, but Dyson’s dud is a tad worrisome. Late first round arm mixed with the consistency of a fifth rounder. Still not sure what to make of him.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – Big 12 Edition

Here we go again. This time, the Big 12 gets a shot. I’ll save you some time and just tell you this now – Taylor Jungmann is good. Hope that doesn’t ruin the surprise…

Texas

Friday: SO RHP Taylor Jungmann (Texas): 7.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 17 K
Saturday: SO SS Brandon Loy (Texas): 3-4, 2 2B, 3 SB, 2 BB, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Cole Green (Texas): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K
Saturday: JR RHP Brandon Workman (Texas): 6.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K
Sunday: FR OF Cohl Walla (Texas): 3-4, HR, SB, 5 RBI, R
Sunday: JR 1B Tant Shepherd (Texas): 3-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR LHP Hoby Milner (Texas): 4.1 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K

Clearly annoyed by all the early 2011 hype heaped upon Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, Taylor Jungmann had his say on Friday night. Cole’s 15 strikeout night looks downright puny in comparison and all that Rendon fella ever does is walk. What a bunch of amateurs. I, for one, welcome our new Longhorn overlord.

Kansas

Friday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Friday: JR RHP TJ Walz (Kansas): 6 IP 9 H 7 ER 1 BB 7 K
Friday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 2.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K
Saturday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 2-4, BB, R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K

I’ve mentioned Bochy before, but check out Bruce’s son’s season line so far: 9 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 19 K. Those numbers are even better than a typical Jungmann/Cole start! It’s getting easier and easier to envision Bochy cracking the top ten rounds as a potential quick moving power reliever. Walz is an underrated arm who is talented enough to start professionally.

Oklahoma

Friday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 3-3, 2B, HBP, 5 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO CF Chris Ellison (Oklahoma): 3-6, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Garrett Buechele (Oklahoma): 3-5, 3 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 1-3, HR, BB, RBI, R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Shore (Oklahoma): 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K
Sunday: SR RHP Jeremy Erben (Oklahoma): 4.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K

Cameron Seitzer is quickly becoming one of my favorite 2011 college bats; he’s the rare amateur prospect with a bat that could play at first base professionally. Buechele’s upside with the bat isn’t quite as high, but his ability to capably handle a more demanding defensive position earns him much needed brownie points.

Oklahoma State

Friday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 3-4, 2B, RBI, R
Friday: SR LHP Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 10 H 3 ER 0 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR 2B Davis Duren (Oklahoma State): 4-7, 2 2B, 2 BB, 3 SB, 4 RBI, 5 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR SS Tom Belza (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 1 RBI, 5 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF Dusty Harvard (Oklahoma State): 6-9, HR, SB, RBI, 3 R, K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 4-11, HR, 3B, 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R, 2 K
Saturday: JR LHP Thomas Keeling (Oklahoma State): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 6 BB 10 K
Saturday: FR LHP Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State): 7 IP 9 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K
Sunday: FR C Dane Phillips (Oklahoma State): 4-4, 2 2B, SB, 2 RBI, 4 R
Sunday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brad Propst (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 7 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

Big weekend for Cowboy prospects, right? Lyons, the biggest name of the bunch, certainly helped his cause with his stellar Friday night outing, but the best long-term names to follow did pretty well for themselves as well. 2011 prospect Mark Ginther keeps on hitting and 2012 prospect Andrew Heaney already possesses a fastball peaking at 92 MPH, plus changeup, good breaking ball, and advanced pitchability.

Missouri

Friday: JR C/3B Brett Nicholas (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, RBI
Friday: FR RHP/OF Eric Anderson (Missouri): 5 IP 10 H 6 ER 1 BB 6 K
Saturday: SR OF Aaron Senne (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Nick Tepesch (Missouri): 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K

Tepesch left his Saturday start early after getting nailed in the hip by a line drive in the first inning. As someone with a creaky hip myself, I can commiserate. Anderson is a really talented arm that could follow in the high round footsteps of the Tiger righthanders before him. Three good years would put him in a great position to take his low-90s fastball, plus changeup, and hard slider to the pros with Scherzer, Crow, Gibson, and, after the draft in June, Tepesch.

Baylor

Friday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 3-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR RHP Shawn Tolleson (Baylor): 5 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 9 K
Saturday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 4-5, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO RHP Logan Verrett (Baylor): 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR RHP Craig Fritsch (Baylor): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 3-3, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 2-3, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, R
Sunday: SR RHP Willie Kempf (Baylor): 5 IP 2 H 0 ER 5 BB 2 K

Muncy, Hainsfurther, and Vick are a big part of the core of Baylor’s next great offense. I’ve been especially impressed with Vick’s outstanding plate discipline at the top of the Bears lineup.

Kansas State

Friday: JR LHP Thomas Rooke (Kansas State): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: JR SS Carter Jurica (Kansas State): 5-9, HR, 2B, 2 BB, SB, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SO CF Nick Martini (Kansas State): 4-8, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SO LHP Kyle Hunter (Kansas State): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR 3B Adam Muenster (Kansas State): 3-3, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO RHP Justin Lindsey (Kansas State): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. Martini is another well-rounded player who squares up and hits balls as consistently hard as any other player in the conference. Lindsey is 2010 draft-eligible that gets by with a strong sinker/slider combination.

Texas Tech

Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Doran (Texas Tech): 5 IP 7 H 5 ER 1 BB 6 K
Sunday: JR RHP Chad Bettis (Texas Tech): 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K

Bettis’ groundout percentage dipped all the way to 76% after this week’s outing. Weak. I admire the Red Raiders for getting their best arms the most innings, but it may be time to get Doran back in the bullpen in some kind of stretched out swingman role for the rest of the season.

Texas A&M

Saturday: SO RHP Ross Stripling (Texas A&M): 5 IP 7 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 K
Saturday: FR RHP Michael Wacha (Texas A&M): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Saturday: JR 2B Andrew Collazo (Texas A&M): 4-5, SB, RBI
Sunday: SR OF Brodie Greene (Texas A&M): 2-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: SO RHP John Stilson (Texas A&M): 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP/OF Nick Fleece (Texas A&M): 2.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 0 BB 3 K

Collazo gets a mention here because he was a key member of last year’s ridiculous Howard College team that went 63-1. He’s also a plus defender at second with just enough offensive value to get himself drafted late, contingent on his 2010 performance. Stilson and Fleece both have late-inning reliever stuff. Their fastballs peak at 97 and 96, respectively. Wacha is another high profile arm with a big fastball and crazy 2010 production so far. He’s definitely a 2012 name to remember.

Nebraska

Saturday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 5-8, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF DJ Belfonte (Nebraska): 4-5, HR 2 BB, SB, 3 RBI, 3 R
Saturday: JR RHP Michael Mariot (Nebraska): 9 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Sunday: FR LHP Thomas Lemke (Nebraska): 6 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP Mike Nesseth (Nebraska): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K

Adam Bailey has the arm and raw tools with the bat to play right field professionally, but he’ll have to maintain the gains he has made in plate discipline if he wants to reach his ceiling. Mariot is a short righty with a good enough three pitch-mix to go within rounds 10-20 if he keeps it up.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – ACC Edition

Another day, another conference. Let’s take a journey up and down the coast to see who did what in the ACC this past weekend…

Virginia

Friday: JR OF Dan Grovatt (Virginia): 4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K
Friday: SO LHP Danny Hultzen (Virginia): 6 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K
Friday: JR RHP Tyler Wilson (Virginia): 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Friday: JR RHP Kevin Arico (Virginia): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
Saturday: SR SS Tyler Cannon (Virginia): 2-4, 2 BB, RBI, R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Robert Morey (Virginia): 5 IP 7 H 3 ER 3 BB 6 K
Sunday: JR OF Dan Grovatt (Virginia): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI
Sunday: JR RHP Cody Winiarski (Virginia): 3.2 IP 7 H 4 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR RHP Tyler Wilson (Virginia): 2 IP 1 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K

The season is still impossibly young, but Cody Winiarski has been one of my bigger prospect disappointments. Big things were expected out of the junior college transfer with a low-90s fastball and power slider, but his performances thus far can charitably be called inconsistent. Virginia’ s staff is so deep that he may actually be another bad start or two from getting leapfrogged in the rotation. Speaking of Virginia pitching, it’ll be very interesting to see where Danny Hultzen, the Cavaliers’ ace who is no danger of being leapfrogged anytime soon, fits alongside some of the other big name college pitchers in the 2011 Draft. Comparisons with former Virginia LHP/1B Sean Doolittle are inevitable, but, having seen both players in person, I’d take Hultzen on the mound over Doolittle at the plate.

Florida State

Friday: SO LHP Sean Gilmartin (Florida State): 6 IP 11 H 4 ER 3 BB 6 K
Saturday: FR 2B Justin Gonzalez (Florida State): 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Saturday: JR LHP John Gast (Florida State): 4 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K
Saturday: SO LHP Brian Busch (Florida State): 3 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 2 K
Sunday: FR 1B Jayce Boyd (Florida State): 3-4, 3B, R, RBI
Sunday: JR OF/RHP Mike McGee (Florida State): 3-4, HR 2 RBI, 2 R and 1.2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
Sunday: JR RHP Geoff Parker (Florida State): 5.2 IP 7 H 6 ER 3 BB 6 K 94-95 peak FB

I mentioned Northwestern’s SO 1B/RHP Paul Snieder as one of my favorite two-way players in the nation in yesterday’s post, so it’s only right that I spotlight another standout Swiss Army knife. Mike McGee currently has an OPS approaching 1.100 and an ERA (through 7.2 IP) at 0.00. His mature beyond his years approach at the plate make him a better hitting prospect in my mind, but he could get docked by some scouts as a tweener outfielder without a singular standout tool. I get all that, but still believe that he’s the kind of player who has the right blend of talent and temperament to succeed as a minor leaguer.

Wake Forest

Friday: SO RHP Michael Dimock (Wake Forest): 6.1 IP 11 H 5 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: SO 1B/LHP Austin Stadler (Wake Forest): 3-5, R, K
Saturday: JR CF Steven Brooks (Wake Forest): 4-5, 2B, SB, RBI, K
Sunday: SO 1B/LHP Austin Stadler (Wake Forest): 5.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 4 BB 6 K

Stadler is another two-way player who I like better at the plate than on the mound. His stuff grades out as average even by college lefty standards, although there is certainly room for growth with his mid- to upper-80s fastball if he ever gets the chance to solely concentrate on his pitching. Though just a sophomore, Stadler faces a time crunch to start performing because his lack of foot speed confines him to first base defensively. His best tool is his power, but he’ll have to start showing it off in-game if he wants to be taken seriously as a prospect.

Georgia Tech

Friday: JR RHP Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech): 9 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR 2B Thomas Nichols (Georgia Tech): 1-2, 3 BB, 2 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 3B Matt Skole (Georgia Tech): 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 4 R
Saturday: SR 1B Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech): 3-5, 2B, BB, SB, 3 R
Saturday: JR RHP Brandon Cumpton (Georgia Tech): 4 IP 10 H 5 ER 0 BB 3 K
Sunday: SR 1B Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech): 1-1, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: FR RHP Buck Farmer (Georgia Tech): 4 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO LHP Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech): 5 IP 6 H 4 ER 2 BB 3 K

McGuire ups his gem to start ration to an even 4:4 so far on the season with his complete game on Friday. Anthony Ranaudo left the door open and Deck McGuire has waltzed right through. If he’s not the top college righthanded pitcher on the board, who is? The only competition I see for him right now (and this can all change in a week, mind you) also pitches in the conference; he’ll get his turn further down the page. Meanwhile, Matt Skole continues to hit his way into 2011 first day pick consideration, Tony Plagman begins to make noise as a decent college first base alternative in a very weak year for the position, and Thomas Nichols comes out of nowhere (sort of) to emerge as a legit 2010 draft middle infield draft candidate.

North Carolina

Friday: JR OF Ben Bunting (North Carolina): 3-5, 2B, BB, HBP, 4 R
Friday: FR OF Brian Goodwin (North Carolina): 4-4, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 4 RBI, 4 R
Friday: JR RHP Matt Harvey (North Carolina): 5 IP 7 H 3 ER 4 BB 3 K
Saturday: JR OF Ben Bunting (North Carolina): 2-4, BB, HBP, 3 R, K
Saturday: FR 2B Tommy Coyle (North Carolina): 3-5, 2 2B, SB, HBP, 2 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 3B Levi Michael (North Carolina): 3-5, 2B, BB, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R, K
Saturday: FR LHP RC Orlan (North Carolina): 2.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
Saturday: JR RHP Patrick Johnson (North Carolina): 3.2 IP 6 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR RHP Colin Bates (North Carolina): 6.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 1 BB 3 K

You can’t see me right now, but I’m literally sitting here with my mouth open, hands on my head, and a stupider than usual look on my face. I would have bet good money I don’t have that Brian Goodwin, outstanding prospect that he clearly was and is, would struggle his first few weeks as he transitioned to playing big-time collegiate baseball. His .345/.458/.638 line so far is stunning, not just for his excellent power production (sooner than I thought), but also for his unreal early season pitch selectivity (12 BB to 8 K).

Duke

Friday: SO OF Will Piwnica-Worms (Duke): 4-6, 2B, 2 RBI, R, K
Saturday: JR SS Jake Lemmerman (Duke): 3-6, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R, K
Saturday: SO OF Will Piwnica-Worms (Duke): 3-4, HR, 3B, BB, 3 RBI, 3 R
Saturday: SO LHP Eric Pfisterer (Duke): 4.1 IP 7 H 4 ER 1 BB 4 K
Saturday: SR LHP Chris Manno (Duke): 1.2 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 1 K
Saturday: FR RHP Marcus Stroman (Duke): 3 IP 6 H 5 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR RHP Dennis O’Grady (Duke): 6 IP 7 H 3 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: SO RHP Ben Grisz (Duke): 3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K

I still need to finalize some of my college positional rankings, but I’m starting to think Jake Lemmerman may sneak up higher on the SS list than I ever thought possible heading into the year. My early reports on him, both from firsthand observation and through the grapevine, all indicated that his future was as an all-defense/above-average speed/minimal offense type of player. Then somebody casually mentioned they liked his bat more than most, citing untapped power potential in his 6-2, 185 pound frame. It’s early yet, but so far that little birdie has proved prophetic. Lemmerman is a quality player who will solidify his spot in the first ten rounds if he keeps up his current level of performance.

Miami

Friday: JR C Yasmani Grandal (Miami): 2-4, 2B
Friday: JR LHP Chris Hernandez (Miami): 6 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K
Saturday: SR RHP Jason Santana (Miami): 6 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K
Sunday: JR C Yasmani Grandal (Miami): 4-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R
Sunday: JR LHP Eric Erickson (Miami): 4 IP 3 H 3 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: SO LHP Daniel Miranda (Miami): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

Grandal’s impressive weekend aside, something just doesn’t sit right with the combination of “Yasmani Grandal” and “first round” in my head. I know I shouldn’t put as much stock in little instinctual hunches like that, but I just can’t help myself sometimes. Or maybe I just like hiding behind the illusion of an unexplained hunch when I don’t really feel like explaining the rock solid logic behind the conclusion. Either way.

Boston College

Friday: JR LHP Pat Dean (Boston College): 8 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K in win over Miami
Saturday: JR OF Robbie Anston (Boston College): 2-3, 2B, BB, R
Saturday: JR RHP Kevin Moran (Boston College): 4 IP 7 H 6 ER 5 BB 2 K
Sunday: SO RHP Mike Dennhardt (Boston College): 5 IP 11 H 4 ER 2 BB 4 K

Anston is an underrated 2010 outfielder with good gap power and strong baseball instincts. I wish I had more confident reports about his defense in center because the ability to play above-average defense up the middle would really give his prospect stock the shot in the arm it needs. Moran and Dennhardt both have electric arms (Moran has hit 96 MPH with his fastball, Dennhardt sits 90-93), but each has been awful so far. If they turn it around, Boston College will have itself one of the finest weekend starting staffs in all of college baseball.

Virginia Tech

Friday: JR 1B Austin Wates (Virginia Tech): 2-4, 2B, K
Friday: SR C Anthony Sosnoskie (Virginia Tech): 0-4, K, 7/8 stealing bases off of him
Saturday: SR OF/C Steve Domecus (Virginia Tech): 3-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R good arm, decent defender, good athlete, power potential; strong hit tool
Saturday: SR C Anthony Sosnoskie (Virginia Tech): 3-5, 2B, 2 R
Saturday: JR RHP Jesse Hahn (Virginia Tech): 7.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 9 K
Sunday: SO RHP Mathew Price (Virginia Tech): 8 IP 8 H 4 ER 2 BB 6 K

Nice to see Sosnoskie redeem himself on Saturday after a Friday night performance I’m sure he’d like to forget. Hahn is striking out just under a batter each inning and doing it while also getting 78% of his batted ball outs on the ground. That combination of strikeouts and groundballs could get Hahn in the running for first college righthander off the board. Watch your back, Deck.

Maryland

Friday: JR RHP Brett Harman (Maryland): 8 IP 7 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K
Sunday: SO RHP Sander Beck (Maryland): 5 IP 5 H 2 ER 5 BB 4 K

Harman was excellent on Friday thanks to his upper-80s fastball and decent slider/changeup offspeed duo. Beck was as successful on Sunday, but has a slightly more talented arm. He is capable of dialing it up to 92 with his heater and his curve has the potential to be an above-average big league pitch in time.

North Carolina State

Saturday: SO 3B Andrew Ciencin (North Carolina State): 6-9, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, 3 R, K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR C Chris Schaeffer (North Carolina State): 3-4, 2 HR, HBP, 4 RBI, R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF Kyle Wilson (North Carolina State): 5-8, 2 R, 2 SB, K in doubleheader plus athlete; versatile defender; can play center; above-average speed; questions about bat
Saturday: SO RHP Cory Mazzoni (North Carolina State): 3.1 IP 7 H 8 ER 3 BB 4 K 88-91 FB, touching 92; SL; CB; CU; 6-1, 170 pounds
Saturday: JR RHP Jake Buchanan (North Carolina State): 5.1 IP 5 H 4 ER 5 BB 3 K 87-90 FB; 74-77 near plus CB; nice 76-80 SL; very good 76-79 CU; impressive shown on Cape; 6-0, 205 pounds
Sunday: FR RHP Felix Roque (North Carolina State): 2.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 2 K

Chris Schaeffer has been a revelation in the early going for the Wolfpack, hitting a robust .462/.588/.795 (8 BB/1 K) through 39 at bats. Combine that production with personal 2011 favorite Pratt Maynard (.389/.522/.593) and you’ve got yourself one heck of a catching tandem. Mazzoni and Buchanan are similar pitchers in that both get by without overpowering fastballs. Mazzoni’s is better velocity-wise (topping out at 92), but Buchanan has one of the most complete set of secondary pitches in all of college baseball. It’s possible that all three of his offspeed pitches (curve, slider, change) will grade out as average big league pitches or better before the close of the season.

Clemson

Saturday: FR 1B Richie Shaffer (Clemson): 5-10, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 3 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SO SS Brad Miller (Clemson): 3-7, HR, 3B, 3 BB, SB, 6 RBI, 3 R, 3 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF Wilson Boyd (Clemson): 3-8, HR, 2 BB, 3 R, 5 RBI, K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR OF Kyle Parker (Clemson): 3-7, HR, 3 BB, SB, 2 RBI, 6 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SO LHP/OF Will Lamb (Clemson): 4 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 2 K
Saturday: FR RHP Dominic Leone (Clemson): 3 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K
Saturday: JR LHP Casey Harman (Clemson): 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR OF Jeff Schaus (Clemson): 1-3, 2 BB, 3 RBI
Sunday: SO RHP Scott Weismann (Clemson): 6 IP 4 H 3 ER 3 BB 5 K

Clemson boasts one of the deepest, most talented 1-9 lineups in all of college baseball. The way they can mix-and-match different outfielders in and out of the lineup is a thing of beauty. Jeff Schaus and Kyle Parker (who might just be my favorite college position player to watch these days) are as good a 1-2 punch of outfield talent that I can think of off the top of my head. Parker-Grovatt of Virginia are pretty good together. I’m sure there are others that’ll come to me in the next few days as we continue this tour around the conferences. Leone put his 93 MPH fastball to good use in striking out six of nine batters in his dominating relief outing on Saturday.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – Big Ten Edition

Yet another attempt at fighting the monotony that come with the college baseball weekend roundup posts. This week we’ll go through conference by conference to see who did what in the weekend that was. First up, the Big Ten. Midwestern baseball at its very best. All prospects were picked for some reason or another, so if the presence of a player confuses or excites you, please be so kind as to yell at me in the comments section.

Iowa

Friday: SO LHP Jarred Hippen (Iowa): 8.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR RHP Zach Kenyon (Iowa): 5.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K against Texas
Sunday: SR LHP Zach Robertson (Iowa): 3.1 IP 7 H 5 ER 1 BB 6 K

Hippen may have had the best start of the bunch, but Kenyon and Robertson are both better prospects. Robertson’s stuff falls in line with your typical college finesse lefty: mid- to upper-80s fastball, good changeup, solid curveball.

Michigan

Friday: FR CF Patrick Biondi (Michigan): 2-4, BB, 2 SB, RBI, 2 R, K
Friday: SO RHP Brandon Sinnery (Michigan): 4 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K out of bullpen
Friday: JR RHP Matt Miller (Michigan): 4.2 IP 9 H 2 ER 1 BB 4 K
Saturday: FR OF Patrick Biondi (Michigan): 4-10, 2 2B, BB, HBP, RBI, 4 R, K in a doubleheader
Saturday: FR SS Derek Dennis (Michigan): 3-8, 2 HR, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 K in a doubleheader
Saturday: JR RHP Kolby Wood (Michigan): 4 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: FR OF Patrick Biondi (Michigan): 1-3, HBP
Sunday: SR RHP/OF Alan Oaks (Michigan): 6.1 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K

Biondi’s cumulative weekend line: 7-17, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB, 2 HBP, 2 RBI, 6 R, 2 K. Not bad for anybody, let alone a freshman. Wood and Oaks both pitched well. We’ve talked about Oaks before (90-94 FB, but very raw on mound), so let’s delve a bit deeper into Wood. His best pitch is a nasty SL that flashes plus when he has it going; too often, however, it flattens out on him. He also throws a 88-93 fastball with late movement and a well above-average mid-80s splitter. The power stuff suits his 6-6, 210 pound frame well.

Illinois

Friday: JR OF Casey McMurray (Illinois): 2-5, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 6 RBI, 2 R in a doubleheader
Friday: SO RHP Will Strack (Illinois): 7.1 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K
Friday: JR RHP Lee Zerrusen (Illinois): 1 IP 4 H 2 ER 0 BB 1 K
Saturday: SO OF Willie Argo (Illinois): 2-3, SB, BB
Sunday: JR RHP Lee Zerrusen (Illinois): 7 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 4 K

Lee Zerrusen was called upon to close out Friday night’s game and then start on Sunday. Such is life when pitching for a team without too many other arms with quality three-pitch mixes. Zerrusen throws a fastball that sits 91-93, a quality cutter, decent changeup, and tops it all off with above-average command and a pro body.

Minnesota

Friday: FR CF/2B Troy Larson (Minnesota): 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI, K, R
Friday: JR RHP Seth Rosin (Minnesota): 7.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 12 K
Saturday: JR C Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota): 2-3, 2B, 2 BB
Saturday: JR LHP Luke Rasmussen (Minnesota): 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: SO SS AJ Pettersen (Minnesota): 3-5, SB, RBI, R
Sunday: JR RHP Scott Matyas (Minnesota): 2.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K
Sunday: FR RHP TJ Oakes (Minnesota): 5.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 4 K

I mentioned in the comments recently that Minnesota desperately needs a solid second starter to emerge after ace Seth Rosin. TJ Oakes may have heard me. The freshman righty features an upper-80s fastball (topping out at 91 currently) and a good low-80s slider, but offers plenty of room to grow on his 6-5, 215 pound frame. He’s one to watch as the season progresses. It’s also great to see Matyas back throwing strikes again and Kvasnicka continue to develop his defensive chops behind the plate.

Purdue

Friday: SO 2B Eric Charles (Purdue): 2-3, BB, R, SB
Friday: SR RHP Matt Bischoff (Purdue): 8 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K
Saturday: SO 2B Eric Charles (Purdue): 3-4, 2 RBI, R
Saturday: JR RHP Matt Morgan (Purdue): 4.2 IP 10 H 4 ER 2 BB 0 K
Sunday: SR LHP Matt Jansen (Purdue): 7 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 10 K

Bischoff has to be, what, an eighth-year senior at this point? Feels like he’s been on the Purdue squad forever. Charles put together a nice weekend at the plate, a welcome sight for a draft-eligible player already getting high marks for his defensive work.

Northwestern

Friday: SO OF Quentin Williams (Northwestern): 1-4, 3 BB, SB, R, 2 RBI, K
Friday: SO 1B/RHP Paul Snieder (Northwestern): 2-5, 4 BB, HBP, SB, R, 3 RBI and 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Friday: SO RHP Francis Brooke (Northwestern): 7.1 IP 11 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K
Saturday: SO RHP Zach Morton (Northwestern): 5 IP 14 H 11 ER 2 BB 5 K
Saturday: SO 1B/RHP Paul Snieder (Northwestern): 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI and 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K

Snieder is one of my favorite college players because 1. it’s always fun to have legit pro prospects playing for schools like Northwestern, and 2. he’s a legit two-way talent who happened to excel in both areas over the weekend. It’s arguable where his pro future will go — slick fielding first baseman with power potential or mid-80s fastball with dangerous slider — but he’s a solid 2011 player to watch either way. As for the two sophomore hurlers on the list, Brooke is a non-prospect who keeps putting up winning results while Morton is an excellent athlete with a good three-pitch mix (upper-80s FB, 12-6 CB, CU) that should make him a draftable player in June 2011.

Ohio State

Saturday: JR RHP Dean Wolosiansky (Ohio State): 6.1 IP 11 H 8 ER 3 BB 3 K
Sunday: SR 2B Cory Kovanda (Ohio State): 3-3, BB, SB, 2 RBI, R
Sunday: FR RHP Brett McKinney (Ohio State): 6 IP 10 H 5 H 4 ER 2 BB 4 K low-90s FB with good life
Sunday: JR SS Tyler Engle (Ohio State): 3-4, 2B
Sunday: JR RHP Alex Wimmers (Ohio State): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 5 BB 10 K against Tennessee

It wasn’t the prettiest effort of the season, but it’s hard to complain about 8 shutout innings against a traditional SEC power, right? Wimmers gets himself into trouble by being a nibbler, a problem that probably doesn’t worry me as much as it should at the next level. I’m admittedly a baseball outsider with playing experience that didn’t get too far past dabbling in high school, but I feel like Wimmers nibbling issue is something that can be knocked right out of his head by a good pro pitching coach. Wimmers’ possible Friday successor, freshman righthander Brett McKinney, used his plus fastball (sitting low-90s with good life) to get some success on Sunday. Oh yeah, one last thing about Ohio State before I forget: I love the person who is in charge of describing the weather on their box scores. Remember last week when it was “Blue skies, breezy & beautiful.” This week the weather on Friday was listed as “48 degrees. Eeerily quiet.” Love it. I’m really hoping there are weather forecasters in Columbus who check the radar and talk about warm fronts, cold fronts, and quiet fronts.

Indiana

Sunday: SO LHP Drew Leininger (Indiana): 9 IP 8 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

Leininger may not be much of a prospect, but who am I to ignore a complete game shutout? Plus, it’s nice to throw the Hoosiers a bone after the year the basketball team had. I suppose I could have done the same for Penn State, but, really, that team is such a disaster I don’t even know where to begin. Love the 15 walk effort by the pitching staff on Friday night, guys. Keep up the good work.

2010 Draft-Eligible Pitching: Groundout Percentage

A few side projects that have been holding up things on the site should be wrapped up over the weekend, so expect a return to site normalcy before too long.

As for today’s post, well, it’s exactly what the title says. I’ve been keeping track of as many of the big 2010 names as I can, so if there is anybody you’re curious about, let me know and I’ll check to see if I have the data. I also have some of the biggest names of 2011 and 2012 tracked, so, again, if there is anybody you want to know about, let me know. Some of the names and numbers that caught my eye so far:

North Carolina RHP Matt Harvey – 82%

Florida Gulf Coast LHP Chris Sale – 71%

Texas Tech RHP Chad Bettis – 91%

Texas RHP Brandon Workman – 62%

Mississippi LHP Drew Pomeranz – 61%

Georgia RHP Justin Grimm – 57%

LSU RHP Anthony Ranaudo – 38% (note: all of these are small samples, but Ranaudo’s is especially small — one start — due to his injury)

Ohio State RHP Alex Wimmers – 53%

Georgia Tech RHP Deck McGuire – 43%

South Carolina RHP Sam Dyson – 59%

San Diego RHP Kyle Blair – 36%

San Diego LHP Sammy Solis – 52%

Cal RHP Dixon Anderson – 71%

Virginia Tech RHP Jesse Hahn – 75%

Sunday Night Review – 2010 College Baseball Week Three

Sorry for the late start on the Sunday update and the general lack of quality content around here. Chalk it up to real life getting in the way. Anyway, I like doing these Sunday updates more than the other weekend days. There are more opportunities for lesser names and underclassmen to show something. The current plan for the end of the week is to begin 2010 draft rankings (by position) and to respond to a couple of emails/comments that I’ve neglected for too long. Good? Good. Here’s just a quick sampling of what caught my eye on Sunday…

JR OF Leon Landry (LSU) is now hitting .415/.490/.634 through Sunday. Nice line, right? Get this – Landry actually has the worst numbers of any of LSU’s starting outfielders. Crazy. His Sunday numbers: 3-4, 2 3B, 2 RBI, R

Another team loaded with hitters up and down the lineup is Virginia. On Sunday, the Cavaliers got 4 hits from Phil Gosselin, 3 apiece from Kenny Swab and Stephen Bruno, and Keith Werman reached based all 3 times he came to the plate. In the second game of their doubleheader, Tyler Cannon led the way with 3 hits, but he was one of 7 players in the lineup with multiple hits. Virginia had 34 hits in all on Sunday. Crazy.

JR RHP Max Friedman (Wright State) did all he could to slow down Virginia’s offensive attack. His good sinking fastball (88-93 MPH) and good 1-2 secondary punch (good changeup, average slider) kept the Cavaliers’ bats at bay: 5 IP 8 H 3 ER 2 BB 1 K

SR LHP Neal Davis (Virginia) and JR RHP Kevin Arico (Virginia) combined for 3.2 innings pitched with 0 walks, 3 hits allowed, and 5 strikeouts. The pair hasn’t been scored upon in 11 combined relief innings so far.

SO RHP Michael Palazzone (Georgia) had a rough Sunday. The draft-eligible sophomore was pounded by Florida State: 1.1 IP 5 H 6 ER 2 BB 1 K. Teammate SO RHP Cecil Tanner, channeling a young Bobby Jenks (Georgia) had an even rougher go of it: 1 IP 1 H 6 ER 6 BB 0 K 3 WP

In that same game, 5 Seminoles had multiple bases on balls, including leadoff man JR OF Tyler Holt: 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R

SO RHP/C Jordan Swagerty (Arizona State), generally regarded a better pitching prospect than a hitter, had a nice day at the dish: 3-3, 2 2B, 2 R

SO RHP Mitchell Lambson (Arizona State) used his plus change effectively to put up the following numbers out of the bullpen: 2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

In a great year for freshmen shortstop, FR SS Nolan Fontana (Florida) has been the best: 3-4, 2 SB, 2 R. He’s now hitting .400/.486/.567 through 9 games, easily Florida’s best hitter in the early going.

JR C Yasmani Grandal (Miami), arguably the top college catching prospect, had a Sunday to forget: 0-4, K; 4 successful Florida base runners

Two players coming off of arm injuries squared off in Florida: Draft-eligible SO RHP Tommy Toledo of Florida (5 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K) got the best of Miami’s JR LHP Eric Erickson (3.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 1 K)

3 hits each for JR 1B/OF Tant Shepherd and JR OF/1B Kevin Keyes of Texas

JR RHP Cole Green (2010) and JR RHP Chance Ruffin (Texas) both impressed. Green did this: 7.1 IP 8 H 5 ER 1 BB 4 K, while Ruffin did this in relief: 1.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

SO C/3B Matt Skole (Georgia Tech): 2-3, HR, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R

SO LHP Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech) is emerging as an early round prospect for 2011, helping Georgia Tech build up a big league over St. John’s: 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K

…and then JR RHP Kevin Jacob (Georgia Tech) tried his best to blow it: 1 IP 2 H 4 ER 2 BB 1 K 2 WP

Big contributions from both young and old for TCU. FR OF Josh Elander (Texas Christian) went 2-3, 2B, SB, RBI, R, while SR C Bryan Holaday (Texas Christian) went 2-4, BB, RBI

JR SS Rick Hague (Rice) continues to struggle: 0-3, K; made his 6th error

JR RHRP Boogie Anagnostou (Rice) is a short righthander with a big (94 MPH peak) fastball: 7 IP 8 H 1 ER 2 BB 4 K

SO RHP Kyle Winkler (Texas Christian) has first round quality stuff, but just can’t seem to put it all together with some semblance of consistency: 6.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 5 BB 4

A pair of 2011 draft-eligible Louisville Cardinals looked sharp. SO RHP Derek Self (5 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K) got it started and SO RHP Tony Zych locked it down (3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K).

JR RHP Colin Bates (North Carolina): 5.2 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K

SR SS Ryan Graepel (North Carolina): 3-4, 2 RBI, R; .385/.447/.538 through 11 games

JR OF Chris Epps (Clemson): 3-6, BB, 5 RBI, 2 R, 3 K

JR RHP Brett Eibner (Arkansas): 5 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K

JR OF Gary Brown (Cal State Fullerton) went 3-4, 2B, SB and is now hitting .478/.489/.826 (7/7 SB); JR SS Christian Colon went 1-4 and is currently at .225/.326/.325 (3/3 SB). Hmm.

FR RHP Dylan Floro (Cal State Fullerton) got lit up: 1 IP 5 H 4 ER 0 BB 0 K

JR RHP Seth Maness (East Carolina): 7.1 IP 8 H 2 ER 0 BB 7 K

SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R and is now hitting .419/.514/.935 through 11 games

SR OF Zach Hurley (Ohio State) did classmate SR 1B Ryan Dew (a mere 4-6, 4 RBI, 3 R) one better on Sunday by going 5-5, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R, although he was caught stealing twice

SO RHP Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt): 4.2 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 5 K

FR SS Kenny Diekroeger (Stanford): 2-4, 2 R

FR OF Jake Stewart (Stanford): 0-6

SO LHP Brett Mooneyham (Stanford): 0.1 IP 4 H 6 ER 3 BB 1 K

SO SS Joe Panik (St. John’s): 4-4, 3B, 2 2B, 3 R

FR RHP Kyle Hansen (St. John’s): 2.1 IP 2 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K

FR SS/RHP Marcus Stroman (Duke): 4 IP 1 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K

JR SS Nick DelGuidice (Florida Atlantic): 3-3, 2B, 4 RBI, R

JR RHP Kevin Moran (Boston College): 4.1 IP 6 H 7 ER 4 BB 1 K

SO RHP Mathew Price (Virginia Tech): 6 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K

SR 2B Dallas Poulk (NC State): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB, 3 RBI, 5 R; now hitting .512/.596/.902

SR OF Drew Poulk (NC State): 3-6, 2 2B, 4 RBI, R; now hitting only .370/.444/.543

FR RHP Felix Roque (NC State): 2.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 2 K

JR RHP Rob Catapano (Tennessee): 5 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K

SO RHP John Stilson (Texas A&M): 3.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K

SR 2B Raynor Campbell (Baylor): 3-4, 2 HR, BB, SB, 5 RBI, 2 R

FR LHP Josh Turley (Baylor): 4 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K

JR LHP Thomas Keeling (Oklahoma State): 6.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 11 K

SO LHP John Lally (Loyola Marymount): 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K

JR OF Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota): 0-1, 3 BB, 2 R

SO SS AJ Pettersen (Minnesota): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R

SR 1B Connor Powers (Mississippi State): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 BB, 7 RBI, 2 R, K

In his Sunday doubleheader, JR OF Brandon Eckerle (Michigan State) went: 5-8, 3B, 2B, 2 SB, RBI, HBP, 3 R

JR SS Carter Jurica (Kansas State): 4-4, HR, 2B, SB, 4 RBI, R

SO SS/RHP Nick Ahmed (Connecticut): 2-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 3 R

SO RHP Andrew Kittredge (Washington): 7.2 IP 7 H 1 ER 0 BB 10 K

FR RHP Seth Cutler-Voltz (Virginia Commonwealth): 8 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 10 K

JR 1B Hunter Morris (Auburn): 4-4, HR, 2 RBI, R

JR OF Brian Fletcher (Auburn): 2-4, K

JR LHP Cole Nelson (Auburn): 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 8 K

JR OF Gauntlett Eldemire (Ohio): 2-4, HR, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R

In a doubleheader, SO 1B Ricky Oropesa (Southern California): 4-8, HR, 2 2B, BB, SB, 3 RBI, 4 R, K

JR OF Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State): 2-5, R

JR OF Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville State): 2-4, 2 2B, R

Saturday Night Review – 2010 College Baseball Week Three

I’m finally at the point where I’m comfortable repeating the comp that I heard on SO OF Trey Watkins (LSU) not too long ago. Somebody told me in a position to know told me he thought Trey Watkins was the college version of Tyson Gillies. Interesting comparison, right? His Saturday line: 1-1, 3 BB, 2 R

SO RHP Joey Bourgeois (LSU) has looked excellent in the early going, giving LSU a real boost from the second starter spot: 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 3 K

The early season success of JR LHP Matt Bywater (Pepperdine) continues. His fastball doesn’t blow you away with heat (high-80s on a good day), but it’s almost a plus pitch based wicked movement alone. His Saturday line: 6.1 IP 7 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K

Every player in Virginia’s starting nine reached base safely on Saturday. Phil Gosselin, Dan Grovatt, Tyler Cannon, Steven Proscia, John Barr, and Kenny Swab all led the way for the Cavaliers, each reaching base at least 3 times against Dartmouth.

JR RHP Robert Morey (Virginia) has the stuff to start professionally, but hasn’t put up the strikeout numbers indicative of his better than average stuff so far this season: 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 3 K

Florida State JR CF Tyler Holt (3-5, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI) and SR SS Stephen Cardullo (3-3, 2 BB, R) both contributed to yet another beatdown of Georgia.

JR LHP John Gast (Florida State) continues his climb into the top five rounds: 7 IP 7 H 1 ER 3 BB 2 K

Arizona State SO SS Drew Maggi (4-4, 3B, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R) and SO 2B Zach MacPhee (2-2, 3B, RBI, R) keep on putting up huge numbers up the middle for the Sun Devils. MacPhee’s triple was his 7th of the season.

Florida had a big day with the bats on Saturday. The Gator offense was paced by SO 1B Preston Tucker (2-3, 2 2B, 2 BB, R), JR 3B Bryson Smith (2-4, HR, SB, 3 RBI, R), and, a player very quickly growing on me, FR SS Nolan Fontana (3-4, 3B, R).

FR CF Zeke DeVoss (Miami), a very raw talent with the bat but already a plus runner and defender, has begun to tap into his potential already: 3-4, 2B, BB, SB, R

Houston SO RHP Michael Goodnight (7 IP 2 H 0 ER 4 BB 9 K) outdueled Texas ace JR RHP Brandon Workman (8 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K), although Workman’s stuff and command were both reportedly very impressive. As for the game’s winning pitcher, well, it’s been mentioned before, but it really bears repeating: Goodnight would absolutely be the best name ever for a closer. That is, until Willie Wewin finally breaks out and reaches the bigs, of course.

JR RHP Brandon Cumpton (Georgia Tech) with another shaky start: 5 IP 7 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K

FR RHP Luke Bard (Georgia Tech) struck out the side in his one inning of work and is now up to 8 strikeouts in his 6 shutout innings of relief so far.

JR 1B/RF Jaren Matthews (Rutgers): 2-3, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R

SO 3B/C Matt Skole (Georgia Tech): 3-4, 2 BB, 2 R

Missouri JR RHP Nick Tepesch (6.1 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K) matched up pretty evenly against Texas Christian FR LHP Matt Purke (5.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 7 K) in their head-to-head battle.

SO RHP Kaleb Merck (Texas Christian) came on in relief of Purke and looked excellent: 2.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K. Merck is a short righthander with a big fastball, but questions about his pro future abound. I’m the last to dismiss a pitcher as unable to start because of stature alone, but Merck’s fastball jumped almost 4 MPH once moved to the bullpen. It would be a shame to “waste” his quality three-pitch mix (also including a 55 curve and 50 changeup) by forcing him into relief full-time, but the difference between a fastball peaking at 92 as a starter versus a fastball peaking up at 96-97 as a reliever is too much to ignore.

SR C Bryan Holaday (Texas Christian) should get drafted based on his strong defensive chops alone, but performances like this with the bat will help his cause: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, R

I’ve been slow to buy into SO CF Jackie Bradley (South Carolina), but I’m warming up to him as he warms up this spring: 3-4, HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R

South Carolina JR RHP Sam Dyson (5.2 IP 5 H 4 ER 2 BB 7 K) got the best of Clemson SO LHP Will Lamb (5.1 IP 3 H 2 ER 4 BB 1 K)

SO 1B/3B Phil Wunderlich (Louisville) may not have a ton of projection left in his bat, but his present power ranks up there with any hitter in the college game: 3-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R

JR LHP Dean Kiekhefer (Louisville) twirled a gem: 7 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K

FR OF Patrick Biondi (Michigan) has all of the tools pro teams look for in an up-the-middle prospect – outstanding range, strong and accurate throwing arm, and game changing speed. He can also handle the bat a little bit: 4-4, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, R

JR RHP Matt Miller (Michigan) has long been a favorite due to his heavy low-90s fastball, solid low-80s slider, and projectable 6-6, 215 pound frame. Unfortunately, North Carolina got the best of him, chasing him after 3 innings and 95 pitches: 3 IP 10 H 4 ER 2 BB 4 K

JR RHP Patrick Johnson (North Carolina) has been on the radar since stepping on campus thanks to his low-90s fastball and solid slider: 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 4 BB 2 K

JR LHP Cody Wheeler (Coastal Carolina) reminds me a little bit of a mirror image of the player listed above: 6.1 IP 7 H 3 ER 3 BB 4 K

I’m convinced that SR RHP Eric Pettis (UC Irvine) has a bionic arm: 8 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K

SO 3B Anthony Rendon (Rice) actually got a few pitches in the strike zone, apparently: 2-3, HR, RBI, R, HBP

Not to be outdone, SO 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas): 3-4, BB, 2 RBI, R

Fellow draft-eligible sophomore infielder Tim Carver (Arkansas) had a nice day out of the 8-hole: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

I’d love to hear an updated report on the defense of JR 2B Brian Guinn (California): 2-3, 2 BB

SO RHP Dixon Anderson (California) with a clunker: 5 IP 8 H 9 ER 3 BB 2 K

SO LHP Drew Smyly (Arkansas) looked very sharp on Saturday. The draft-eligible sophomore used a good low-90s sinker to put up the following line: 5 IP 2 H 0 ER 5 BB 7 K

JR RHP Bobby Doran (Texas Tech) is another pitcher with the three-pitch mix good enough to start, but a fastball better equipped for relief work. If he can add another tick or two to his mid-90s fastball, he could be a potential relief ace professionally. For now he’s a starter and doing things like this: 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 5 K

SO LHP Bryce Bandilla (Arizona) was steady: 5 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K

SO RHP Noe Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) doesn’t have an exciting fastball (only tops out at 90 MPH, and even then it straightens out big time), but his great command of the pitch makes it play up. He also has a low-80s changeup, and an increasingly effective mid-70s curveball, although his command of each pitch needs work. His Saturday line was a beauty: 9 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K

JR CF Gary Brown (Cal State Fullerton) doesn’t stop: 3-5, 3B, 2 SB, RBI, R

JR LHP Tanner Robles (Oregon State) may not have the upside of injured teammate Josh Osich, but is plenty talented all the same: 7.2 IP 9 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K

JR SS Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia) could probably get up out of bed in the middle of the night and put up the following: 3-5, RBI, 2 K

Rubber-armed JR RHP Zach Woods (East Carolina) bailed out East Carolina with perhaps the best performance of a non-prospect on Saturday: 7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K

SO 3B Dean Espy (UCLA): 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K

JR LHP Rob Rasmussen (2010) isn’t part of UCLA’s great sophomore class of arms, but he is a potential top three round 2010 talent. The short lefty is the opposite of so many college lefthanders, as Rasmussen already has the fastball, but needs a legitimate secondary offering to emerge before he can reach his full upside. His Saturday line: 5 IP 3 H 0 ER 4 BB 10 K

SR RHP Aaron Barrett (Mississippi) has taken firm hold of the Saturday starter’s spot behind Drew Pomeranz: 6.1 IP 6 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K

SR RHP Preston Claiborne (Tulane) picked up Matt Petiton out of the Tulane pen: 3 IP 2 H 2 ER 0 BB 7 K

JR RHP Bobby Shore (Oklahoma) continues to strike out over a batter an inning: 6.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K

SR OF Zach Hurley (Ohio State), arguably the top position player on a team of solid but unspectacular hitting prospects, was but a single short of hitting for the cycle against St. Louis: 3-5, HR, 3B, 2B, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R. Funny enough, Hurley got that single in the second game of his doubleheader, also adding another double and a steal.

JR RHP Alex Wimmers (Ohio State) was unimpressive against St. Louis, although it seemed that any prospect performance would pale in comparison to the description of the weather from the box score. The weather was “Blue skies, breezy & beautiful.” That just sounds lovely, doesn’t it? His line: 5 IP 12 H 5 ER 3 BB 8 K

SO RHP/1B Braden Kapteyn (Kentucky) had a nice game on Saturday, but his biggest accomplishment was managing to only getting hit once. Monmouth used five pitchers in their loss against Kentucky. All five hit batters. Combined they hit 10 Wildcats. Ouch. Anyway, Kapteyn’s final line: 4-5, HBP, 3 RBI, 2 R

FR LHP Taylor Rogers (Kentucky), potential first round pick in 2012, got hit hard: 2.1 IP 10 H 10 ER 1 BB 1 K

JR RHP Matt Little (Kentucky) had the best relief outing of the weekend: 4 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K

JR RHP Jimmy Nelson (Alabama) continues his strong early season run: 6 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K

The Amazing Cody Brothers strike again! Doubleheader stats for both Tennessee JR 1B Cody Hawn (4-8, HR, 2 BB, 5 RBI, R, K) and his teammate FR 1B Cody Stubbs (5-7, 3 BB, RBI, 3 R)

JR SS Nick DelGuidice (Florida Atlantic) is a strong defender with a weak. Sounds like a second baseman professionally. He had a Saturday to remember: 4-4, 2 HR, 2B, 9 RBI, 3 R

JR RHP Jesse Hahn (Virginia Tech) justifies his early season draft ranking: 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K

SR 2B Dallas Poulk (North Carolina State) hasn’t stopped hitting from day one: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R

JR C/1B Curt Casali (Vanderbilt): 4-5, HR, SB, 2 RBI, 3 R

SO 3B Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt): 3-5, 2B, 3 SB, RBI, 2 R

JR RHP Taylor Hill (Vanderbilt): 7.1 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K

SR RHP Stephen McCray (Tennessee): 8 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K

SO LHP Eric Pfisterer (Duke): 6 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K

JR OF Steven Brooks (Wake Forest): 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, K

FR LHP Tim Cooney (Wake Forest): 7.2 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K

SO RHP Ben Tomchick (Old Dominion): 7.1 IP 8 H 2 ER 2 BB 9 K

FR LHP Joe Mantiply (Virginia Tech): 6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K

JR RHP Jake Buchanan (North Carolina State): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K

SO RHP Jordan Cooper (Wichita State): 8 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K

SO LHP Steven Gruver (Tennessee): 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K

JR RHP Zach Kenyon (Iowa): 4.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 3 K

FR LHP Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State): 2 IP 2 H 6 ER 3 BB 0 K

FR Dane Phillips, SO Mark Ginther, JR OF Luis Uribe, and JR 2B Davis Duren all had at least 3 hits for Oklahoma State.

SO RHP Francis Brooke (Northwestern) keeps up his crazy successful start to 2010 (0.44 ERA through 20.2 IP): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K

SO RHP Logan Verrett (Baylor): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 11 K (117 pitches)

SO SS Adam Smith (Texas A&M): 0-5, K and now hitting .174/.208/.261 on the young season

SO 2B Kolten Wong (Hawaii): 3-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R

JR LHP Sam Spangler (Hawaii): 7 IP 7 H 1 ER 3 BB 3 K

SO RHP Scott McGough (Oregon): 6 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K

JR OF Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State) 3-5, RBI, 2 R, K vs JR OF Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville State): 2-4, 2 RBI, R

The third entrant in the small school big name outfielder contest is JR OF Michael Choice (UT Arlington): 3-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, R, K

SO LHP Michael Kickham (Missouri State): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K

JR 1B Hunter Morris (Auburn): 4-5, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, K

JR OF Brian Fletcher (Auburn): 2-3, HR, 2 HBP, SB, RBI, R

SO RHP Andrew Gagnon (Long Beach State): 9 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K

SO OF George Springer (Connecticut): 2-5, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, R, 2 K

JR RHP Cole Johnson (Notre Dame): 3.2 IP 10 H 8 ER 1 BB 1 K against Harvard

Friday Night Review – 2010 College Baseball Week Three

SO OF/1B Tristan Moore (2011) and Wright State singled Virginia to death in the Raiders’ huge upset win in Charlottesville. Moore’s final line (3-4, R, K) works well with the reports on his tools. His tools grade out as average or better in all phases except power potential. His plus arm, above-average speed, and leadoff hitter profile with the bat will keep him getting looks from pro teams.

Despite taking the loss, SO LHP Danny Hultzen (Virginia) was sharp: 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 9 K

In relief of Hultzen, JR RHP Tyler Wilson (Virginia) pitched well: 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

SO OF James Ramsey (Florida State) has modest speed, an average on a good day arm, and just seems to always be fighting himself while trying to play the outfield. In other words, his pro future will either be as a subpar fielding leftfielder or a first baseman. That means he’ll have to hit a ton to have a pro future. Days like Friday help: 2-2, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 4 RBI, 3 R

Also reaching base 4 times for the Seminoles was FR 1B Jayce Boyd: 3-3, BB, RBI, 2 R

Florida State SO LHP Sean Gilmartin (7 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K) got the best of Georgia JR RHP Justin Grimm (4 IP 11 H 7 ER 2 BB 7 K). Not a good outing for Grimm’s first round draft hopes, assuming he looked as out of sorts as his line would indicate. His peak stuff  — a four-pitch mix featuring a sitting 92-93 with fastball that peaks at 96, potential plus upper-70s curve, good low- to mid-70s CU, and a mid-80s cutter — is up there with any college pitcher in his class, but his inconsistent mechanics and steady stream of nagging injuries have kept him from showing off that elite stuff as often as a team drafting high in the first round typically likes to see. I get the feeling Grimm could be this year’s Andy Oliver.

JR C Matt Colantonio (Brown) had a fabulous freshman year, but struggled badly in his sophomore year. His opening day (but not opening game…Brown beat Pepperdine earlier on Friday) performance against LSU was impressive both at the dish (3-5, BB, 2 K) and behind it (threw out Trey Watkins and Mikie Mahtook, the only two Tigers brave enough to run on him).

SR 1B Blake Dean (LSU) and JR OF Leon Landry (LSU) both reached base 4 times (2 hits, 2 walks apiece) in the win over Brown.

JR RHSP Austin Ross (LSU) disappointed in his Friday Night outing: 5.1 IP 7 H 5 ER 2 BB 6 K

Pretty unremarkable game from a prospect standpoint as Arizona State’s bats took care of Oregon State’s arms. JR RHP Tyler Waldron (Oregon State) wasn’t very sharp: 4.1 IP 7 H 4 ER 1 BB 1 K. Early reports are that FR RHP Jake Barrett (Arizona State) looked really good. That’s about all I’ve got on this one.

29 total strikeouts in the Florida-Miami game. Miami JR LHP Chris Hernandez (6 IP 8 H 3 ER 0 BB 8 K) and Florida SO LHP Alex Panteliodis (5.2 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K) both used their above-average offspeed offerings to baffle opposing batters. Florida’s bullpen ace and potential 2011 first round pick SO LHP Nick Maronde dropped the hammer with one of the most dominating pitching performances of the day: 3.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K

Hernandez, Panteliodis, and now Rice SO LHP Taylor Wall. All three are lefties known for above-average secondary stuff, but Wall, the best prospect of the group and a potential late first in 2011, features a plus changeup that may be the best singular pitch the threesome has to offer. His performance against Texas impressed: 7.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 8 K

As good as Wall was, SO RHP Taylor Jungmann of Texas was just a little bit better. And I really mean just a little bit, as the two pitchers put up startlingly similar lines. Jungmann got one more out (pitching 7.2 innings), allowed one less hit and one less run, walked one better less, and, just to keep up the theme here, actually threw one more total pitch (115 to 114). To add on to the craziness, each pitcher threw exactly 65 strikes. Weird night. Anyway, Jungmann’s final line: 7.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K

With that brief hard throwing righthanded pitching prospect interlude out of the way, let’s get right back to more soft-tossing lefties. Yes, JR LHP Casey Harman (Clemson) is yet another college pitchability lefty. His line against South Carolina: 5 IP 8 H 3 ER 2 BB 5 K. Interesting 2011 SO RHP David Haselden (Clemson) got the win, however, with his outstanding long relief appearance: 4 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

Another college pitchability lefty! SR LHP Daniel Bibona (UC Irvine) looked good in a victory over St. Mary’s: 7 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 11 K. Others that fit the mold include: JR LHP Pat Dean (Boston College): 7 IP 4 H 2 ER 4 BB 4 K; SR LHPTyler Lyons (Oklahoma State): 7.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 7 K; SR LHP David Rowse (Pacific), who beat up on an undermatched Seattle squad: 9 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K; SR LHP Chris Manno (Duke): 3 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K; SO LHPAdam Morgan (Alabama): 5 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K

JR LHP Kyle Hald (Old Dominion), the last college pitchability lefty we’ll mention today, impressed on Friday night with his steady mid-80s fastball, potential wipeout split-fingered changeup (called plus-plus by some), above-average slider, and solid curveball: 9 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 11 K

Kevin BrandtMike WrightPat SomersZach Woods, and Seth Simmons all saw time on the mound for the Pirates on Friday. All are pro pitching prospects. That’s quality pitching depth. Brandt, a 2011 SO LHP who got the Friday night start, is yet another pitchability college lefthander with an upper-80s fastball and solid changeup. He put up the following line: 6 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K

JR RHP Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech) continues to quickly and efficiently mow down opposing hitters: 8 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K

I know many people in the business who take this stuff very seriously hate comps with a passion normally reserved for important things, like the political party that isn’t your own, waiting in long lines, and Ke$ha, but I happen to think they are a lot of fun and a great way to get a conversation going about a particular prospect. Take SR 1B Matt Curry of Texas Christian, for example. Curry has had a Matt Stairs comp follow him along for years now. Matt Curry may not be a player that would get a lot of notice, but that Stairs comp, even when brought up for the sole reason of dismissing it, has gotten him attention. Attention often begets increased research — well, at least I know it did for me. A college guy compared to Matt Stairs? I want to know more! — which would then reveal a really good college hitter with excellent power potential who just put up the following Friday night line: 3-4, HR, 2 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 3 R

JR RHP Steven Maxwell (Texas Christian) outdueled JR RHP Chad Bettis (Texas Tech). Maxwell’s solid final line: 6 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K. Bettis, on the other hand, was disappointingly hittable: 6 IP 11 H 7 ER 2 BB 9 K, although he upped his already ridiculous groundball rate is 91%. Not a typo. 91%.

JR RHP Thomas Royse (Louisville) is finally beginning to hear his name talked about more often on the national stage. Performances like this one against LeMoyne are the reason why: 7 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K

A couple of my favorite potential mid-round senior signs, 2B Adam Duvall and C Jeff Arnold of Louisville, had big days. Arnold’s line was most impressive: 3-3, HR, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R

Name to know = North Carolina JR 1B Dillon Hazlett. I first heard the poor man’s Dustin Ackley comps coming out of Chapel Hill a few months ago, but dismissed them as nothing more than a coaching staff excited about a junior college transfer ready to step in and help fill the gigantic hole left behind by Ackley’s departure. The comp, like most are, was built on convenience – both players are way too athletic to be college first basemen, run well, and have questionable power upsides. That’s what the comp was trying to express, I think. Nobody actually meant that Hazlett would step in and show off a hit tool quite like the one Ackley had shown. Ackley was a truly special college player and an elite professional prospect. In many years, a prospect with his skillset would go number one without a second thought. In fact, from a prospect standpoint only, I’d rank Ackley only behind David Price, Justin Upton, Delmon Young, and Joe Mauer when comparing him to number one overall draft picks of the decade. Long story slightly less long, Ackley was a unique hitting prospect. Hazlett, though impressive so far, has a long way to go to even enter Ackley’s prospect stratosphere. Then again, Ackley’s final junior year line was .417/.517/.763. SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT, but Hazlett has put up a .467/.541/.700 line through 9 games. Just store the name way, way, way in the back of your mind.

Incidentally, I’ve spent significant stretches of my life in the heart of ACC country, so it’s an area of the country I have a decent number of reliable contacts in. One legit source told me the top three draft-eligible bats, based on the pure hit tool alone, in the conference were, in reverse order, 3. Tyler Holt (Florida State), 2. Dillon Hazlett (North Carolina), and 1. Austin Wates (Virginia Tech). Seems plausible to me.

SR RHP Alan Oaks (Michigan) lived up to his reputation as a pitcher with excellent stuff (peak fastball at 94), but so-so control: 7 IP 3 H 2 ER 6 BB 3 K

JR RHP Matt Harvey (North Carolina) is a first rounder without a doubt in my mind. If he falls to the Phillies, my favorite team, at pick 27 then I hope they’d jump all over him. His Friday night line: 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 11 K

JR OF Rico Noel (Coastal Carolina) continues to reach base and steal bags: 2-2, HR, BB, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R

Some relatively big names had some relatively rough Friday nights. Included in this bunch are SR RHP Christian Bergman (UC Irvine), who got bombed by Saint Mary’s, FR LHP Justin Jones (California), hard hit by Arkansas, Nebraska’s SO 2011 draft-eligible LHP Sean Yost and JR RHP Michael Mariot, both tagged by UCLA, potential first rounder SO LHP Sammy Solis (San Diego) against Kentucky (4.1 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 5 K), and JR RHP Jake Thompson(Long Beach State) against Washington.

SR RHP Mike Bolsinger (Arkansas) looked good yet again: 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K

SR 1B Jeff Cusick (UC-Irvine) smacked the ball around in Friday night doubleheader action: 5-7, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R

SO RHP Kyle Barraclough (St. Mary’s) is an actual prospect for the 2011 MLB Draft. You wouldn’t know it based it on his Friday performance. I’m not trying to pile on, but this is definitely the early favorite for worst performance by a real prospect: 0.0 IP 6 H 9 ER 2 BB 0 K

3-6, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R for Gary Brown of Cal State Fullerton. The junior OF is now hitting .432/.447/.784 through 8 games, although he hasn’t walked in the early season. Still. Brown over Colon is starting to look a teeny bit less crazy by the day.

SO RHP Tyler Pill (Cal State Fullerton) was decent: 6 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 8 K

Same thing could be said for JR LHP Mario Hollands (UC Santa Barbara): 5 IP 7 H 4 ER 3 BB 3 K

FR RHP Kurt Heyer (Arizona) continues to impress as a rare freshman starting on Friday night for a big-time program: 5.1 IP 8 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K

UCLA got great production from their keystone combination in the Bruins’ doubleheader sweep of Nebraska. SO 2BTyler Rahmatulla went a total of 5-8, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 K, SB while JR SS Niko Gallego combined for 3-6, HR, BB, SB, 3 RBI, 3 R

SO RHP Gerrit Cole (UCLA) and SO RHP Trevor Bauer (UCLA) were both awesome this weekend against Nebraska. How awesome? So glad you asked. Cole put up the following line: 7 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 9 K; Bauer’s numbers looked more like this: 6.2 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 10 K. Just like last week, however, I’m as excited about a little thing that occurred in Cole’s start than I am about the entirety of his performance. Well, that may actually be a stretch, but I was impressed by his fourth inning showing all the same:

Nebraska 4th – Bailey, A. homered to right center, RBI (1-2). Farst, T. struck out swinging (2-2). Asche, C. struck out swinging (1-2). Burleson, C. struck out looking (2-2). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Nebraska homer. Strike out. Strike out. Strike out. One of the old school scouty worries about the most dominating amateur draft talents is the uncertain way they’ll respond to failure. The best high school players often get drafted after seasons of ERAs under 1.00 and batting averages well over .500. There’s little knowing how a player will react once those numbers begin to get ugly professionally. This is something I personally heard about Cole coming out of high school. I haven’t heard much of anything on the subject since he has enrolled at UCLA, but I’ll take this fourth inning as a sign of progress.

JR LHP Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) had what can only be considered a disappointing start for him: 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K. Only one strikeout per inning? Weak. In all honestly, I don’t know what to make of Pomeranz as a prospect just yet. New information on him is needed because of all the existing reports seem to conflict in pretty meaningful ways.

SO RHP Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) got back on track after his Cole-induced hiccup last week: 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 10 K

SO RHP Jordan Pries (Stanford) was solid as the starting pitcher (5 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K) , but the real stars were the pair of potential first round 2012 round arms who came in after him. FR RHP Chris Jenkins (2 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K) and FR RHP Mark Appel (2 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K) both flashed their customary plus stuff.

JR LHP Logan Darnell (Kentucky) has a definite pro future, but many think his stuff will work better out of the bullpen than as a starter. More starts like this may start changing some minds: 9 IP 8 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K

Two similar Big East tweener outfielders had big Friday nights – St. John’s JR OF Jimmy Parque (4-4, 3B, 2B, BB, 4 R) and Pittsburgh JR OF John Schultz (4-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R)

JR LHP Bryan Morgado (Tennessee) kept rolling along: 7 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K

JR 1B/RHP Ryan Rivers (Charlotte) has good power potential, shows versatility on defense (OF), and has a 93 MPH peak fastball. Plus, he did this on Friday: 3-5, HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 3 R, K

Quick hits on some lines of note…

JR OF Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville State) bested JR OF Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State) in their head-to-head Friday night “battle.” Cunningham went 3-3, HR, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R while Brentz was only good for a 2-6, HR, RBI, R, 2 K night.

JR OF Russell Wilson (North Carolina State), the quarterback turned serious 2010 MLB draft candidate, did alright for himself on Friday: 2-3, 2B, RBI

JR LHP Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast) struck out a bunch of hitters because, well, that’s just what Chris Sale does: 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 11 K

JR RHP TJ Walz (Kansas) is yet another part of the incredible baseball renaissance going on at Kansas: 8 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K

Hey, did you notice that JR SS Tim Smalling (Virginia Tech) is now hitting .500 on the nose after a 3-hit Friday night? Well, he was as of Saturday morning at least.

JR RHP Seth Rosin (Minnesota) is doing all he can to get into the top 5 rounds: 6 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K

JR OF Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) is doing all he can to join his teammate Rosin in those top 5 rounds: 2-2, HR, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, R

Personal favorite SO RHP Martin Viramontes (Loyola Marymount) lights up the radar gun with regularity (easy mid-90s velocity), but teases scouts with a pair of secondary offerings (curveball and changeup) that flash plus on occasion. That first round peak stuff + fifth round (at best) ability to harness it = very questionable draft landing spot. Third round, maybe? I don’t know yet. On Friday, he did this: 6 IP 3 H 3 ER 4 BB 8 K

JR RHP Barret Loux (Texas A&M) looked awfully healthy on Friday night: 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 12 K

JR 3B Mike Olt (Connecticut) flies under the radar a little bit, but I’m not sure there are too many college third basemen out there that can match his upside. He spent his Friday night doing this: 3-5, RBI, R, K

JR OF Ridge Carpenter (Cal State Northridge) has transitioned to big-time college ball nicely: 3-5, R

SR RHP Jason Sullivan (Western Carolina) really, really impressed on Friday against a crafty West Virginia lineup. His upper-80s sinking fastball and good slider were working all night long: 9 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K

JR RHP Jarryd Summers (West Virginia) did his best to match Sullivan’s performance, but came up on the losing end all the same: 8 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 11 K

JR RHP Kevin Munson (James Madison) has the requisite two-pitch knockout punch (FB/SL) combination to go far as a professional reliever: 2.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

JR OF Mark Micowski (Georgia State) had the game of a lifetime on Friday. The transfer from Vermont did this from the leadoff spot in Panthers 32-3 squeaker against NC Central: 7-8, HR, 3B, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 4 R

JR RHP Josh Mueller (Eastern Illinois) was very sharp on Friday night, hardly an unexpected occurrence for a pitcher with a nice three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, solid changeup, and better curveball: 5.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K

JR RHP Todd McInnis (Southern Mississippi) rode his good fastball (88-92 MPH) and near-plus curveball to another good night: 8 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K

FR RHP Bryan Crabb (San Diego State): 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 3 BB 7 K

SO LHP Tyler Anderson (Oregon): 8 IP 7 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K

SO OF Creede Simpson (Auburn): 5-6, 3 RBI, 2 R, K

JR OF Brian Fletcher (Auburn) is a little bit like a poor man’s Jarrett Parker, I think. Similar strengths, weaknesses, and builds. He was good on Friday night: 4-5, BB, 4 RBI, 3 R

JR OF Gauntlett Eldemire (Ohio): 3-5, 3 RBI, R, K

2010 College Baseball Week Three Preview

Wright State @ Virginia – Wright State goes into their weekend matchup against college baseball’s best team with a pretty solid nucleus of pro prospects. Included in that bunch are SR OF Casey McGrew (2010), JR RHP Max Friedman (2010), SR 3B Quentin Cate (2010), SO OF/1B Tristan Moore (2011), and FR LHP Cody Kopilchack (2012). All but Moore — the best prospect of the group, for what it’s worth — have struggled in the early going.

Georgia @ Florida State – The Seminoles try to keep the momentum going after an impressive effort against the defending National League champion Phillies on Wednesday. Florida State lost that game 13-6, but not before jumping out to a 5-0 lead based on the strength of the lineup battering Phillippe Aumont. Justin Grimm on Friday, John Gast on Saturday, and Michael Palazzone on Sunday will keep the series lively.

Middle Tennessee State @ Jacksonville State – Or Bryce Brentz @ Todd Cunningham, if you prefer.

Ball State v Pittsburgh – Two of my favorite non-first round college infield prospects go head to head as Kolbrin Vitek and the boys take on Joe Leonard’s Panthers. The last three times I’ve typed Joe Leonard’s name, I typed Leo Jeonard by accident. Pretty sure that means my brain is broken. This time I got it right the first time, I’m proud to share.

Arizona State v Oregon State – An abundance of offensive talent (Marrero, Ruettiger, Maggi, Calhoun, MacPhee, Torrez [x2], Newman, Barnes, Wilson, Maggi) squaring off against one of the deepest pitching staffs (Peavey, Waldron, Gaviglio, Sitton, Nygren, Robles, Rhoderick) in the country.

Florida @ Miami – Can the winner of this series lay claim to best team in the state? Depends on Florida State’s weekend, I suppose. From a prospect standpoint, I’d rank them Florida, Miami, and Florida State, but Florida State may have the best on-field college team of the threesome. Go figure. Apologies to South Florida (a fine college squad with lots of underrated pro talent) and, of course, Chris Sale.

Houston College Classic – Can the winner of this tournament (namely the Texas Christian v Texas Tech, Rice v Texas, and Texas Christian v Rice games) within a tournament (6-team quasi-round robin that also includes Houston and Missouri) lay claim to best team in the state? I wish I could be there in person to find out. 9 games in 3 days for just $30? That’s some serious value. Then again, I just bought this on sale for only $45:

Now that’s value! It’s alright to be jealous of my exciting, luxurious lifestyle.

Other series of note include Rutgers @ Georgia Tech, South Carolina @ Clemson, Michigan @ North Carolina, Arkansas @ California, Cal State Fullerton @ Arizona, Mississippi @ Tulane, Kentucky @ San Diego, Alabama @ College of Charleston, Florida Gulf Coast @ Wichita State, Washington @ Long Beach State, and Oregon @ Fresno State.

2011 MLB Draft Prospect: UCLA RHSP Gerrit Cole – Proceed With Caution

UCLA SO RHP Gerrit Cole (2011) is obviously a sensational prospect, as most pitchers with three potential big league plus pitches tend to be. His recent outing against fellow top 2011 prospect Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt had scouts buzzing, but maybe not for the reasons that first come to mind. True, his performance against a quality Commodores’ lineup was impressive (5 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K), and his stuff (sitting FB at 92-95, explosive peak FB at 97-99; plus 81-87 SL, excellent 83-84 CU) was as good as advertised. The following, however, was what got those in attendance really talking:

Vanderbilt 1st – Harris hit by pitch (1-1). Esposito hit by pitch (3-2); Harris advanced to second. Westlake struck out swinging (1-2). Giobbi reached on a fielding error by 3b (1-1); Esposito advanced to second; Harris advanced to third, out at home ss unassisted. Casali hit by pitch (1-1); Giobbi advanced to second; Esposito advanced to third. Reynolds struck out swinging (1-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB.

Harris, boof! Esposito, powie! Casali, vronk! Putting people on base is not a good thing for a pitcher to do, a simple fact that even Batman himself (ZGRUPPP! was always my favorite) couldn’t argue with. And I promise this isn’t a random thought brought on by a sudden irrational burst of machismo or anything like that. No, it’s about the way Cole went about establishing the inner half of the plate in the early stages of a big game. That can be something that separates a really good pitching prospect from a special one. Cole is clearly a special prospect whether or not he goes out and plunks three batters in the top of the first like he did last Friday, but it’s a comfort to know that he’s fearless pitching around the plate.

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