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First, a special thank you to everybody who reads the gibberish I churn out on a semi-daily basis around here. April was the best month from a traffic standpoint in the history of the site, besting the previous high watermark set last June. We’re up over 200,000 visitors and climbing. Thank you.
Second, another thank you for anybody who has commented or emailed over the past few weeks. I’ve read everything readers have sent in and learned a whole lot in the process. No one man can cover the draft by himself, so the help I receive in the comments or via email goes a long way in getting the best quality draft coverage out in the open. Thank you. Responses will finally be coming this week, so be on the look out for that.
Third, here’s a quick idea of what I’ve got on the agenda for the next week or so, in no particular order:
- Mystery Draft – High School Outfielders
- College Position Ranking – Shortstops and/or Catchers
- Alternate Reality Mock Draft – All Players Must Go to College (all members of 2007 prep class draft-eligible)
- 2010 MLB Mock Draft! Finally!
Anything else? I’m always open for suggestions.
Fourth, data! Top dozen groundballers in my admittedly not 100% comprehensive database:
- Vanderbilt SO RHP Sonny Gray: 2.73 GO/AO
- Texas Tech JR RHP Chad Bettis: 2.33 GO/AO
- Virginia Tech JR RHP Jesse Hahn: 2.33 GO/AO
- South Carolina JR RHP Sam Dyson: 2.13 GO/AO
- California SO RHP Dixon Anderson: 2.13 GO/AO
- Florida State JR LHP John Gast: 2.11 GO/AO
- Stanford SO LHP Brett Mooneyham: 2.09 GO/AO
- Texas SO Taylor Jungmann: 2.00 GO/AO
- North Carolina JR RHP Matt Harvey: 1.89 GO/AO
- Miami JR LHP Chris Hernandez: 1.86 GO/AO
- Florida Gulf Coast JR LHP Chris Sale: 1.69 GO/AO
- Notre Dame JR RHP Brian Dupra: 1.67 GO/AO
Now for the top half dozen…airballers?…in the same database:
- San Diego SR RHP AJ Griffin: 0.44 GO/AO
- LSU JR RHP Anthony Ranaudo: 0.57 GO/AO
- LSU JR Austin Ross: 0.60 GO/AO
- Cal State Fullerton SO RHP Tyler Pill: 0.62 GO/AO
- UCLA SO RHP Trevor Bauer: 0.73 GO/AO
- Georgia JR RHP Justin Grimm: 0.84 GO/AO
Something about Clemson’s Friday night lineup caught my eye recently. Anything about the following configuration of names look unusual?
No? How about when you look at it from the official Clemson baseball website? Anything?
It is entirely likely that I’m 100% insane, but the way the names are configured in that lineup is just a little bit too perfect. You could draw a line down the right side of the last names and almost get a perfectly straight line. It would look darn near perfect if not for Mike Freeman near the top and starting pitcher Casey Harman at the bottom; their names each have 11 letters total, first and last.
The entire lineup in total letters (first and last name, including the pitcher):
9 – 11 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 8 – 11
The third through eighth batters in the lineup all have exactly ten letters in their names! Amazing!
It’s the little things in life we find amusing sometimes, right? Thank you all for humoring me, now please do enjoy some exclusive ground out percentages from a sampling of college baseball’s finest Friday night starting pitchers.
School – Year – Pitcher – % of batted ball outs classified as “ground balls”
North Carolina JR RHP Matt Harvey – 69%
Notre Dame JR RHP Brian Dupra – 65%
Miami JR LHP Chris Hernandez – 64%
Kentucky JR LHP Logan Darnell – 64%
Florida Gulf Coast JR LHP Chris Sale – 62%
Mississippi JR LHP Drew Pomeranz – 52%
Tennessee JR LHP Bryan Morgado – 51%
Ohio State JR RHP Alex Wimmers – 50%
San Diego JR RHP Kyle Blair – 50%
Georgia JR RHP Justin Grimm – 46%
Missouri JR RHP Nick Tepesch – 45%
Louisiana State JR RHP Anthony Ranaudo – 41%
Vanderbilt SO RHP Sonny Gray – 72%
Texas SO RHP Taylor Jungmann – 69%
UCLA SO RHP Gerrit Cole – 59%
Rice SO LHP Taylor Wall – 55%
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%
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.
“Big” Name 2010s
Georgia Tech JR RHSP Deck McGuire – 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K
Florida Gulf Coast JR LHSP Chris Sale – 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
LSU JR RHSP Anthony Ranaudo – 5 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K
North Carolina JR RHSP Matt Harvey – 5.2 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K
Ohio State JR RHSP Alex Wimmers – 6 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K
Georgia Tech JR RHRP Kevin Jacob – 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Mississippi JR LHSP Drew Pomeranz – 4 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 7 K
Georgia JR RHSP Justin Grimm – 5 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K
Tennessee JR LHSP Bryan Morgado – 5 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K
Baylor JR RHSP Shawn Tolleson – 6 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 11 K
Not really a bad line out of the entire Opening Night starter bunch, I’d say. Pomeranz’s command was shaky, Ranaudo’s stuff wasn’t as sharp as it could have been, and Harvey was all over the place with his control, but, all in all, a darn fine night for college baseball’s aces.
*** Sale only pitched two innings because he’s being saved for this upcoming Wednesday’s huge game at Miami. He was incredibly sharp in this one, hitting the mid-90s with regularity. Sale vs Miami is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated early season mid-week games in recent memory.
*** Baseball America had Harvey sitting 92-94, touching 96. Lack of control or not, that kind of velocity this early in the season is an excellent sign for Harvey, a pitcher with a history of inconsistent radar gun readings.
*** Best publicly available groundout ratios of the night belong to Harvey (10/1 ground out to air out ratio) and Wimmers (7/1). Use that information anyway you see fit.
“Lesser” Name 2010s
San Diego SR RHSP AJ Griffin – 6 IP 6 H 4 ER 0 BB 8 K
East Carolina JR RHSP Seth Maness – 5.2 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 4 K
Notre Dame JR RHSP Cole Johnson – 5.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 2 K
Virginia JR RHRP Tyler Wilson – 3 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K
Clemson JR LHSP Casey Harman – 5 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Louisville JR RHSP Thomas Royse – 5 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K
Arkansas SR RHSP Michael Bolsinger 5 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K
Florida JR RHSP Tommy Toledo – 3.1 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K (WP, 2 HBP)
*** Griffin had a bizarre 1/9 ground out to air out ratio. I’m almost positive Griffin was a significant groundball pitcher last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if this one start was an aberration or the start of a larger trend.
*** Johnson has a solid reputation and good stuff, but he still hasn’t been able to harness his natural talents to dominate at the college level. The solid line he put up on Friday is indicative of his college performance thus far. Steady results, uninspiring strikeout numbers.
*** Wilson is coming out of the bullpen because Virginia has a pitching staff that rivals that of some minor league teams, but his stuff is good enough to start professionally. He’s a top ten round player.
“Big” Name 2011s
Vanderbilt SO RHSP Sonny Gray 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K
UCLA SO RHSP Gerrit Cole – 6 IP 1 H 2 ER 0 BB 9 K
Texas SO RHSP Taylor Jungmann – 7 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K
Virginia SO LHSP Danny Hultzen – 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 4 K
Kentucky SO RHSP Alex Meyer – 5 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 8 K
Totals: 32 IP 19 H 7 ER 8 BB 37 K
Those five 2011 arms are something special. I’ve been toying with a 2011 Mock Draft for a couple of days and every time I do a rough sketch of the first ten to fifteen picks or so, all of the names above appear…but each time I do it, I come up with a new order. I think I like them in the order I have them above, but that’ll change, oh, about ten thousand times between now and next June.
The GO/AO numbers for the quintet: Jungmann – 9/1, Cole – 7/2, Hultzen – 9/3, Gray – 10/4, and Meyer – 2/4.
“Lesser” Name 2011s
Baylor SO RHSP Logan Verrett – 7 IP 9 H 6 ER 1 BB 5 K
Rice SO LHSP Taylor Wall – 3 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K
Verrett and Wall both struggled some in their debuts, but they are still both 2011s well keeping a close on eye, Verrett especially. He’s a pitcher that would be getting a lot more attention (talked about as a serious top of the first half round candidate) if he wasn’t part of such a loaded class. Timing is everything, I suppose.
So much pitching to recap, so little time…
- Relievers, relievers, and more relievers
Jake Morgan, redshirt sophomore from the University of Mississippi, gets a special mention for his complete wipeout of Alabama: (2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K)
Long, lanky Matt Miller (6-6, 215) of Michigan’s great outing (3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K) pushed his K/IP total to 16/12.2 on the season. It’ll interesting to see if he is in the mix for a starting spot for the Wolverines next spring.
Preston Claiborne has been a consistent strikeout per inning got out of the bullpen at Tulane since arriving on campus. His latest outing is a continuation of his success: 2.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Steve Kalush is a less well known name than Claiborne, but has had similar success as a collegiate pitcher. The Santa Clara is another strikeout per inning guy. His weekend outing: 2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
I love the adjective “hulking” when it describes a pitcher. Luke Demko is 6-6 and pushing three bills, but as nondescript college relievers go, he’s a good one. Demko could be a nice late round senior sign flier of a pick. His weekend: 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K (7th save)
Taylor Hill, a Vanderbilt sophomore talented enough to start for a lot of teams but forced to relieve for the pitching-rich Commodores, put up the following line: 4 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K. I’m thinking Vandy would be a good candidate for the next college profile piece…they are completely stacked with prospects, both hitting and pitching.
- Non-prospect performance of the week
Alex Rivers, teammate of Kalush’s at Santa Clara, put up this beauty of a line against Dartmouth: 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K. Yeah, it was against Dartmouth, and, yeah, Rivers is a short righty without much of a pro future, but this strong outing is worthy of praise. Here’s to you, Alex Rivers!
- Starting pitching prospects, now and in the future
Chris Rusin (Kentucky, 2009) – 9 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 11 K against Vanderbilt. What I like best about Rusin is the steady increase in performance each year he has been in school.
Matt Harvey (North Carolina, 2010): 2 IP 7 H 7 ER 2 BB 1 K
Kyle Winkler (Texas Christian, 2011): 0.1 IP 5 H 6 ER 3 BB 0 K
Two really rough outings for two really good young pitchers. Winkler is a huge personal favorite – consider my love for him as a prospect partially due to my reverse short righthanded pitching bias.
Justin Grimm (Georgia, 2010): 5.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 9 K
Gerrit Cole (UCLA, 2011): 5 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K, 101 pitches
Grimm is well known in scouting circles, but I consider him a 2010 sleeper anyway because even though he’s expected to go high in his draft year, I think he’ll go even higher – love his 30/7 K/BB ratio in just 25.1 innings. The odds-on favorite to go number two overall in 2011 keeps on doing his thing for the Bruins…
DJ Mauldin (Cal Poly, 2009): 8 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K, 12/4/1 (GO/AO/LO)…another short righty with a big game.
- Strong outings, but heavy workloads…
Tyler Blandford (Oklahoma State, 2009): 8 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 11 K, 117 pitches
Chad Bettis (Texas Tech, 2010): 8 IP 8 H 3 ER 3 BB 8 K (11/5 groundball to flyball ratio), 129 pitches
A handy tip for those who have a hard time meeting self-imposed deadlines – making your schedule public makes it a heck of a lot easier to stick to. Remember this?
Monday: (2/16): All Freshman Prospect Team
Tuesday (2/17): All Sophomore Prospect Team
Wednesday (2/18): All Senior Prospect Team
Thursday (2/19): All Draft-Eligible Sophomore Prospect Team AND All Junior Prospect Team
Friday (2/20): College Opening Day Hip-Hop Pizza Party featuring the debut of The Baseball Draft Report 2009 College Prospect Big Board
No matter what happens this week, I’m sticking to this darned schedule. If today is Tuesday, that means it is All Sophomore Prospect Team Day! The players listed below are all, as far as I know, draft-eligible as of the 2010 season. There are no redshirt sophomores on the list — the 2009-eligible sophomores will get their own list — only players eligible for the 2010 draft. Something about this class really appeals to me, so I went a little overboard with some of the writeups. Enjoy the All Sophomore Prospect Team after the jump…