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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

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