For the second day of play at Arizona State’s Winkles Field-Packard Stadium, our scout focused on a pair of catchers who were presesason All-America picks, as selected by major league scouting directors. Oregon State won the game 12-8, and the Beavers’ catcher seemed to fare better in the individual matchup as well, at least in the eyes of scouts.
DeMarini Invitational Day Two
Matchup Ryan Ortiz vs. Trevor Coleman
Day Two of the DeMarini Invitational featured two of the top catchers in the country in Missouri’s Trevor Coleman and Oregon State’s Ryan Ortiz. Coleman was Baseball America’s preseason second-team All-American, while Ortiz was a preseason third-team pick.
Coleman has the classic catcher’s build: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, stocky, strong lower half, barrel chest. Ortiz has more of a lanky frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds with longer arms and legs and not as much bulk on his frame. Their games are similar in some aspects. Both catchers received and blocked well. Each has a good setup and moves well behind the plate. [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America tapped a scout in Arizona to break down the action at this weekend’s DeMarini Invitational at Arizona State’s Winkles Field-Packard Stadium.
DeMarini Invitational Day One
Kyle Gibson vs. Mike Leake
TEMPE, Ariz.—One of the premier early-season pitching matchups in the country came on Thursday, the first day of the DeMarini Invitational on the campus of Arizona State between the Sun Devils’ Mike Leake and Missouri’s Kyle Gibson (right).
The game drew more than 50 scouts, including scouting directors, assistant general managers and at least one GM in attendance. Most scouts were there to focus on the Tigers’ ace righthander Gibson, but Leake wound up as the star of the show, out-dueling the projected first-rounder. Leake’s first pitch was 91 mph as he used a mix of fastballs, changeups and a devastating slider to rack up 10 strikeouts with just one walk.
Leake had the Missouri hitters off-balance all night and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning when Andrew Thigpen led off with a double to left field to end the no-hit bid. [...] Continue Reading »
Righthander Joshua Fields, the 20th overall pick in the 2008 draft, has agreed to terms with the Mariners. A baseball source said Fields will receive $1.75 million, splitting the difference between MLB’s $1.5 million recommendation for his draft slot and the $2 million he was seeking, pending the results of a physical he took on Saturday.
Fields helped Georgia reach the championship round of the College World Series last June, leading NCAA Division I with 18 saves. He has a mid-90s fastball and a hard downer curveball, and is expected to reach the majors quickly as a reliever. The Mariners, who are looking for a closer after trading J.J. Putz, will invite Fields to big league camp.
Though baseball’s signing deadline for draft picks was Aug. 15, Fields and the Mariners were allowed to continue negotiating because he was a senior who had exhausted his college eligibility. The Braves drafted him in the second round in 2007.
The draft is still 116 days away. Despite the fact that high school and Division I teams haven’t started playing yet (with the D-I start date a week from today), players are starting to make some noise.
• Fifty players convened in Compton last weekend for the annual Southern California Invitational showcase. Catcher Cameron Garfield of Murrieta Valley High in Murietta, Calif., stole the show for players in the 2009 class and Austin Wilson looked like a probable first-rounder for next year’s class.
• Whie the D-I baseball season doesn’t kick off until Feb. 20, junior college baseball is already underway. The second-annual JUCO National Classic took place Feb. 6-8 in Marianna, Fla. and featured some of the country’s best junior college programs. The host school, Chipola (Fla.) JC, was ranked No. 2 in the country by the NJCAA and the tournament also featured Walters State (Tenn.) JC (3), San Jacinto (Texas) (5), College of Southern Nevada (16) and St. Petersburg JC (NR). The St. Petersburg Titans will likely move into the rankings after advancing to the final game in the tournament, even though they ultimately lost 3-2 to Chipola—which won all four of their games on the weekend.
CCSN is hosting a tournament of their own, the 10th annual Coyote Classic, Feb. 12-15 that features San Jac, St. Petersburg, Chipola and Fullerton (Calif.) JC. Look for some in-depth JUCO coverage at baseballamerica.com next week.
• It’s a great year for baseball in Puerto Rico. That explains why about 90 scouts, including 22 scouting directors, migrated south in late January for a Puerto Rican baseball showcase. Baseball bloodlines were on display as the game featured Carlos Beltran’s nephew, Reymond Fuentes, Ruben Sierra’s son, Ruben Sierra Jr., Raul Rivera, whose brother, Saul, pitches for the Washington Nationals, and more. Click here for scouting reports on Puerto Rico’s top players.
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