Two of the top college summer leagues—the Northwoods and Coastal Plain—played their all-star games Tuesday night in front of sizable scouting contingents in Eau Claire, Wis., and Forest City, N.C., respectively.
Duluth third baseman Cody Asche (Nebraska) earned MVP honors of the NWL all-star game, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer to lead the North to a 7-5 win over the South. Asche, who broke his hamate bone after just 10 games in Duluth last year, is having a fine summer, hitting .318 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. His summer comes on the heels of his breakout sophomore season for the Cornhuskers, when he hit .311 with 10 homers and 58 RBIs. Asche has developed into a nice lefthanded power hitter and an improved defender at third base, and his prospect stock is on the rise.
The South got two hits—including an RBI double—from Madison first baseman Harold Riggins (North Carolina State), who is tearing up the NWL for the second straight summer. After hitting .308 with nine homers in 214 at-bats last year for the Mallards, Riggins is hitting .366 with seven homers and 23 RBIs through 112 at-bats this year.
"He's definitely a physical specimen," said an American League scout who was on hand. "He's a guy to take a close look at next year."
The prospect who stood out the most at the Northwoods game, however, was Green Bay righthander Brad Schreiber (Purdue), who worked a scoreless inning for the South.
“He bumped 94-95, and he’s a big kid,” the scout said. “He threw mainly fastballs, and showed some arm strength. He was the only one throwing in that (velocity) range.”
The Coastal Plain League all-star festivities were split over two days. Gastonia first baseman David Chester (Pittsburgh) put on a show in Forest City, blasting 11 long balls to win Monday's home run derby, then going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs the next day to lead the National all-stars to a 5-4 win over the American all-stars.
“He’s a big kid, and he showed some real righthanded power,” an AL scout said of the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Chester.
The quality arms on display made an even larger impression. Fayetteville’s Carter Capps (Mount Olive, N.C.) showed the best arm strength, touching 94-95 in a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.
"It worked like it's supposed to," the scout said of Capps' arm. "He's 6-foot-5, his arm works, and he touched 94-95 with a decent breaking ball."
And Thomasville’s Jordan Jankowski (Miami, Ohio) impressed with a 90-92 mph fastball and “a real good breaking ball,” according to the scout. Jankowski was drafted as a catcher out of high school in 2008 (Astros, 34th round), and he has played both ways for the RedHawks over the last two years—hitting eight homers and racking up 10 saves as a sophomore this spring—but his future is on the mound.
"The breaking ball was a separator for him," the scout said. "He threw a slider and a curveball, and both of them were pretty decent. He's one you've got to watch to see what he does in the spring."
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