College Baseball Opening Weekend Notes (Pitchers)

Pitchers and catchers reported this past weekend, but what’s also exciting is that college baseball opened as well. It’s never too early to start reading about 2012 MLB draft prospects, and we’d like to start bringing you some coverage for the draft as well. Before we go on though, give @KendallRogersPG and @aaronfitt a follow on Twitter for live-updates of college prospects — they give you so much more than just line scores in their commentary.

Today, we’ll take a look at the notable pitching performances from the weekend, ranked approximately by 2012 pitching prospect you most need to know about:

RHP Mark Appel, Stanford (6-5, 195 lbs)
7.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 5K
While the stat line looks decent, reports out of Palo Alto were expecting more out of the early projected #1 overall pick. He touched 97 in the 1st, but remained in the low-90s the rest of the game. His changeup was not impressive, and he didn’t show a good breaking ball until the 5th. Keith Law ($) was not particularly impressed either with Appel’s continued lack of missed bats.

RHP Marcus Stroman, Duke (5-9, 185 lbs)
5.0IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 6BB, 3K
Because of his explosive arm, Stroman is one pitcher I am hoping to see this season when he visits Georgia Tech in late March. The former reliever’s first college start was a disappointment, though. Even if you consider that it was against #7 Texas, his command issues along with his small build can’t be giving scouts confidence that he can be a future MLB starter just yet. A few Texas bloggers (@DMcComasOB and @LoneStarDugout) were on hand to see Stroman in Austin. They had his fastball sitting 92-95 with command issues early, leading to six walks. His nasty mid-80s slider did make fools out of Longhorn batters, but Texas freshman Brooks Marlow hit two home runs off of Stroman’s fastball.

RHP Kyle Zimmer, San Francisco (6-3, 210 lbs)
4.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
A San Francisco staff member mentioned to @KendallRogersPG that Zimmer’s fastball was hitting 98 mph this weekend, one-hitting the San Jose State Spartans in four innings. He also mixed in a curve and a slider. His catcher Mason Morioka had this to say about Zimmer’s performance:

Kyle was throwing unbelievably well. It was actually the first time I’ve caught him all year, but he was throwing just like he did to end last season for us. He was locating his fastball on both sides of the plate and throwing his off speed stuff for strikes. He overmatched the hitters.

RHP J.T. Chargois, Rice (6-2, 200 lbs)
2.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 3K
Chargois is also a switch-hitter, so it remains to be seen what he’ll be drafted as. Either way, @Chronicle_Owls had his fastballs clocked at 95-96 mph. However, he did allow three consecutive singles, as well as throw two wild pitches and walk a batter when runners were in scoring position — all in the same inning. Yet somehow, the Florida International Golden Panthers only scored one run.

RHP Pat Light, Monmouth (6-5, 210 lbs)
7.0IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 6K
John Manuel was at Light’s opening start, and saw his fastball touch 96 mph in the first inning, drop to the low-90s early, and down to the high-80s later. His fastball had life down in the zone, while his slider and changeup were located well in the high-70s, low-80s range.

RHP Kyle Hansen, St. John’s (6-8, 215 lbs)
4.0IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 9K
Rogers also saw Hansen pitch against Michigan State (along with 60 scouts), seeing a mid-90s fastball with mediocre secondary pitches. His changeup was nasty early on, but was inconsistent later in the game, although he did record two strikeouts off low-80s changeups. However, Michigan State junior Torsten Boss did hit an opposite-field home run off one of his 95 mph offerings.

LHP Hoby Milner, Texas (6-2, 165 lbs)
5.0IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
Milner’s fastball command was sharp early on, and he was getting ground balls from the Duke Blue Devil batters. However, his off-speed location was off later.

RHP Austin Maddox, Florida (6-3, 230 lbs)
4.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
In the marquee matchup of the weekend between Florida and Cal State Fullerton, Maddox was fantastic in long relief. Rogers reported that Maddox had a 94 mph fastball, 84 mph slider, and 81 mph changeup. Maddox told him that he improved his slider by changing his grip. This is what Maddox had to say about his grip on his off-speed pitches:

I felt like I had everything working today. My (off-speed) was working well and it just felt good all around. I’ve been working on my off-speed pitching between last year and this year and it’s paid off. I went from a two-seam grip to a four-seam grip and I feel that I can locate it better and throw harder.

RHP Damien Magnifico, Oklahoma (6-2, 190 lbs)
1.0IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 1K
As reported by @aaronfitt, Magnifico showed filthy stuff: 95-99 mph fastball and a 78 mph changeup with drop. Though his command wasn’t great, it doesn’t have to be as a power reliever.

RHP Eric Jaffe, UCLA (6-3, 235 lbs)
0.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 0K
Fitt also saw Jaffe walk in a run with the bases loaded, as well as hit a batter. His fastball was at 92-94 mph, but he had poor command and just could not control his breaking ball.

——-
Non Draft-Eligible Prospect of the Week:
RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt (6-4, 200 lbs)
4.1IP, 9H, 9R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K
Our very own Carson Cistulli sat perched (or hunched) over his computer watching Tyler Beede make his first college start. The most-hyped freshman pitcher in the country (and disdained by some Blue Jays fans for not taking the money and signing with the club in the 2011 draft) faced a tough first test: Eno Sarris’ alma mater and the #4 Stanford Cardinal, a lineup that includes top 2012 prospects Stephen Piscotty and Kenny Diekroeger. Stanford had no problems making lots of contact off Beede’s pitches. And from what our Cistullian scout could gather, his fastball was sitting mostly 89-91 mph with little command, the changeup was good at times, but the curveball was not particularly sharp.




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Albert Lyu (@thinkbluecrew, LinkedIn) is a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, but will always root for his beloved Northwestern Wildcats. Feel free to email him with any comments or suggestions.


7 Responses to “College Baseball Opening Weekend Notes (Pitchers)”

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  1. Gregory says:

    Thanks for these. I follow ACC baseball fairly closely but it’s always good to hear about players in other conferences.

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  2. DrBGiantsfan says:

    Seems like a slot value of over $7 M is a bit rich for a prospect like Appel. If another consensus #1 does not emerge before draft day, might it make sense for the team holding the #1 to strike a pre-draft deal with someone like Zimmer or Light or one of many HS players for $3-4 M and then use the rest of the slot $$$ to go over slot later in the draft?

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    • Albert Lyu says:

      It’s too early to tell what Appel’s bonus demands are, but if he is not the consensus #1, it would do him a disservice to demand slot money for #1 overall from the Astros. Pre-draft deals are, I hear, common in baseball organizations, though some organizations adamantly say that they don’t strike pre-draft deals.

      The new aggregate bonus pools might just be another reason for a team to strike a pre-draft deal with their 1st-rounder in order to reallocate their slot $$$ to the rest of their 10-14 picks in a given team’s first 10 rounds.

      Jim Callis of BA had a good piece today tallying the bonus pools for each org:
      http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2012/02/2012-aggregate-bonus-pools/

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  3. fang2415 says:

    Our very own Carson Cistulli sat perched (or hunched) over his computer watching Tyler Beede make his first college start.

    No kidding? Where does one go to watch college baseball online? Or do you need to have an in with Appelman?

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  4. Frag says:

    “(and disdained by some Blue Jays fans for not taking the money and signing with the club in the 2011 draft)”

    That grudge has gotten ridiculous. The Jays got a good coup from the draft even without signing Beede. I’m certainly happy with what transpired, and I wish Beede the best.

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