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Daily Notes: Five Notable College Weekend Series

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Five Notable College Weekend Series
2. Action Footage: Sophomore Left-Hander Carlos Rodon’s Slider

Five Notable College Weekend Series
The college baseball season begins today (Friday) and continues with games through the weekend. While some — like the author’s jerky editor Dave Cameron — are impervious to the charms of the collegiate game, it’s demonstrably a fact that the best NCAA players of 2013 will become relevant major leaguers in the not very distant future. Also, in the absence of the professional game, the college one has merits as a substitute.

With that in mind, the author has provided below a collection of five series this weekend that both (a) are likely to feature actual amateur prospects and (b) are available for consumption, via streaming video, through CBS Sports’ ULive service.

The author has benefited considerably from Aaron Fitt’s top-25 college preview at Baseball America — and also Fitt’s recent weekend preview at that same site.

As noted, all games are available streaming on ULive. All times are Eastern.

Teams: Appalachian State at (8) North Carolina State
Times (Fri/Sat/Sun): 3:00 PM / 1:00 PM / 1:00 PM
Notes: NC State left-hander Carlos Rodon might actually be the best of the Friday night pitchers presently. According to Aaron Fitt, Rodon “easily reaches the mid-90s from the left side [and has] a filthy 83-86 slider.” He posted a 135:41 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 114.2 innings last season as a freshman. Also on NC State is sophomore shortstop Trea Turner, who slashed .336/.432/.459 in 2012 and went 57-for-61 on stolen-base attempts.

Teams: Long Beach State at (2) Vanderbilt
Times (Fri/Sat/Sun): 4:45 PM / 2:45 PM / 1:45 PM
Notes: Sunday starter, sophomore Tyler Beede, was taken 21st overall by Toronto in the 2011 draft but decided to attend Vanderbilt instead. He has, according to Fitt, “a plus fastball, plus changeup and plus breaking ball.” Among field players, Mike Yastrzemski (grandson of Carl) is probably the most complete hitter, having posted a 26:33 walk-to-strikeout ratio last season while finishing second on the team with six home runs.

Teams: (14) Texas Christian at (13) Mississippi
Times (Fri/Sat/Sun): 5:00 PM / 2:30 PM / 1:00 PM
Notes: One of two games this weekend featuring two top-25 teams. Ole Miss features three pitchers with encouraging numbers from 2012 — all of whom, per Fitt, sit in the low-90s with their fastballs. Offensively, senior left-fielder Tanner Mathis is probably their most impressive hitter, posting a better than 2:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio last year as a junior. For TCU, the pitching is less impressive — with the exception of junior reliever Andrew Mitchell, that is, who posted an 11.8 K/9 last season as a starter, but has moved to the bullpen. Angels prospect C.J. Cron’s brother Kevin leads the TCU offense. He was second on the team last season in homers, despite playing in fewer than three-quarters of TCU’s games.

Teams: (9) Stanford at (18) Rice
Times (Fri/Sat/Sun): 5:30 PM / 3:00 PM / 2:00 PM
Notes: The second series featuring ranked teams. In terms of age, position, and possible upside, shortstop Ford Stainback is probably Rice’s most noteworthy player. The sophomore showed little power last season, but posted a 30:31 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 142 at-bats, while also — according to Fitt — playing solid defense. In junior first baseman Brian Ragira, junior right fielder Austin Wilson, and senior right-hander Mark Appel, Stanford has three of the country’s most talented draft-eligible college prospects. Appel will start Friday’s game and will probably sit at 93-95 mph while so doing. Junior second baseman Danny Diekroeger — the younger brother of Kenny, who graduated from Stanford last year — was quite good in limited play during the conference schedule in 2012, posting a 5:4 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 61 at-bats, with three home runs.

Teams: Oklahoma State at (21) New Mexico
Times (Fri/Sat/Sun): 7:00 PM / 4:00 PM / 3:00 PM
Notes: According to Huck L Berry of SB Nation site Barking Carnival, the University of New Mexico has one of the highest park factors among the country’s college baseball stadia. As such, the raw numbers for the team’s batters ought to be adjusted duly. Even so, junior third baseman D.J. Peterson‘s line of .419/.490/.734 from 2012 — including 17 home runs and a 33:29 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 248 at-bats — was quite impressive.

Action Footage: Sophomore Left-Hander Carlos Rodon’s Slider
Here’s footage, from an ACC tournament game last May against UNC (box), of current NC State sophomore left-hander Carlos Rodon‘s slider. Rodon pitches at 3pm ET on Friday versus Appalachian State.

First, to UNC third baseman Colin Moran:

Rodon to Stubbs 4

And also, to the back foot of right-handed-batting Shell McCain:

Rodon to McCain 1