Welcome to a new series of (hopefully) weekly post about thoughts on draft eligible draft prospects. The TCB Draft staff pays way too much attention to amateur baseball (no we don't…we just love baseball), and as a result we discuss it all the time.
It's no secret that the TCB writers have these ridiculous long email exchanges that usually spark ideas for articles or turn into articles themselves. Thankfully, not everything gets published! Honestly, I have checked my email at the end of a workday on my phone and at the bottom it says "Downloading 103 emails." That's not exactly a rare occurance.
It's also no secret that the other writers are VERY jealous that the TCB MiLB/Draft Team has our own separate email threads. Well, Terri isn't because she would get annoyed by another 50 emails about amateur players. But, we are going to give you a little glimpse into our discussions. This week is a little bare, but it's opening weekend and not a lot has happened. Expect these to get more interesting as we move on throughout the season.
College baseball is officially here and if you're on twitter and follow the right people, your twitter feed was filled with a lot of stat lines over the weekend.I'm sure everyone ran to see how NC State's Carlos Rodon did, well he went 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 6 SO. However, he did hit three batters. The question I have is, are you concerned at all with those HBP? Obviously it's the first game of the season so there's not only rust and jitters, but we're not exactly talking about a pitcher with a reputation of stellar control/command.Tyler Beede had a pretty intriguing line as well. He went 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 1 BB. The one hit was also just a bunt. Steve Fiorindo was at the game and posted one of his videos and the arm action looks a little better.Anyone else caught y'alls eye?
Not only was it the first game of the season, but the game-time temperature was a balmy 41 degrees at first pitch, and that's after the Friday night game got moved to Sunday, due to snow. It was an ugly start, but Rodon did manage to strike out a batter an inning. February baseball is hard to judge for a variety of reasons, so for now I think you just have to take it at face value and try not to read too much into it.Meanwhile, I was at the USC-Northwestern series, the first two games of which went into extra innings. The Trojans are an extremely young team, but a lot of their guys stepped up and looked very good in the sweep. They've got a mid-week test against Cal State Fullerton today. That'll be a good one.Another guy to talk about is Jeff Hoffman. I'm always wary of fast risers on the Cape, so he's a guy I'll be watching closely... and he didn't get off to a great start, surrendering a home run to the first batter of the game (to Ty McFarland, of my Fifty Very Luhnow Prospects). From there, I'll turn it over to Clint LongeneckerIn the first three innings, Hoffman’s fastball sat 94-96 mph with ease and touched 97. In the later innings, Hoffman pitched at 92-95 mph. A premium athlete, Hoffman showed the potential for at least plus command, capable of locating consistently on the outer-thirds of the strike zone to both sides of the plate. Hoffman established his fastball for strikes early in counts, and nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of his fastballs went for strikes, while more than two-thirds (67 percent) of all his pitches were strikes. He walked two of the 27 batters (7 percent) he faced.Read over there for more. Hoffman got roughed up on the day, allowing three home runs total.Casey Gillaspie, one of the top hitting prospects (and also of my Top Fifty Very Luhnow Prospects) hit two home runs over the weekend against SIEU, finishing the weekend 6/13 with 8 RBI, 3 K, and 2 BB.
Was there a pitch count to go along with Rodon's start? I'm starting to worry that he'll be a guy that needs a 100 pitches to get into the 6th inning.
Rodon threw 96 pitches to get through 6 innings.Also of note:Aaron Nola: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 KLuke Weaver. Luke Weaver walked the first batter he faced, and then didn't allow another runner through 6 shutout innings with 7 Ks.
Beede's line this weekend was very encouraging. If he improves on his walks consistently this year I like him more than Hoffman as the #2 college pitcher in the draft. Another guy who's line really jumped out was Aaron Nola of LSU. He went 6 innings with 6 K's and 4 hits allowed on Friday. He didn't walk anyone though he did hit three batters like Rodon. Nola doesn't have insane fastball velocity like Beede or killer breaking pitches like Rodon, but he has that "feel" for pitching that everyone talks about. He would be a great fit for a team picking between 10-15 overall in June and is a lot safer than Beede and Hoffman.Stanford is coming to Austin for a three game set against the Longhorns this week. The Card's roster looks a little less talented than previous years, especially draft-eligible players. One interesting guy is their third baseman, Alex Blandino, who's one of the better college infielders in a pretty weak 2014 class. Texas has a few draft-eligible starters who I hope I get to see pretty consistently this year. I'm not sure which game I'll make it to, but Dillon Peters will most likely go on Saturdaywhen I'm sure I can go. He's an undersized lefty who I've seen between 50-75 in some early draft rankings.
I don't know how deep you're looking to go, but Grayson Greiner was 5-12 with a home run and two doubles against Bucknell.