Here's a look at how the top draft prospects did during their first week of the college baseball season.
Gauntlett Eldemire is an outfielder for the Ohio Bobcats. He enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, hitting .313/.443/.682 with 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases. Eldemire doesn't just have one of the best names in college baseball, he's also the rare college player with above-average speed, running the 60-yard dash in 6.46 seconds. Eldemire tried out for Team USA last summer, but was sidelined with a stress fracture in his left tibia. It kept him out of action in the summer, but he's fine now and the injury didn't affect his speed.
The Bobcats opened play this season with a tournament in Elon, N.C. Here is a video of Eldemire in the 9th inning of his game on Saturday, Feb. 20 against Elon. He worked the count to 3-2 before hitting an opposite-field home run about 390 feet.
LOS ANGELES—In scouting jargon, the term “bad look” is self explanatory, but also intentionally vague and ambiguous. It can refer to a prospect’s performance that on a given day is only slightly off key, or it can refer to a disaster of near-biblical proportions.
UCLA’s Rob Rasmussen, BA’s No. 37 college draft eligible prospect, suffered a distinct “bad look” day on Sunday. In front of approximately 50 scouts, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior lefthander was cuffed around Jackie Robinson Stadium in Westwood by Cal State Northridge.
In 3 2/3 innings of work, Rasmussen threw 72 pitches, allowed five hits, four runs (all earned), and walked three. The Bruins trailed 4-1 when Rasmussen departed and were able to rally for a 14-5 victory over the Matadors to improve to 3-0. [...] Continue Reading »
By Dave Perkin
FULLERTON, Calif.—Cal State Fullerton received its second consecutive loss to open the 2010 campaign, losing to Pepperdine 6-0 at Goodwin Field on Saturday night. Ranked No. 4 in the nation entering the season, the Titans have started 0-2 at home for the first time since the 1987 season. Fullerton lost to Oregon on Friday night, 7-3.
Pepperdine starter Matt Bywater, a 6-foot-2, 193-pound junior, pitched brilliantly in notching a complete-game shutout. The crafty lefty allowed just four hits, walked two, and struck out 10.
Bywater cleverly mixes pitches, speeds and locations and deftly kept the Titan hitters off balance all night. Bywater’s 88-89 mph fastball runs, sinks and dips. His low-70s curve and high-70s change magically disappear downward at the last instant. Without warning, Bywater will suddenly slip a high fastball past a startled opponent. [...] Continue Reading »
LONG BEACH— The premier pitching match up of Division I college baseball’s 2010 opening weekend in Southern California occurred Friday night at Blair Field in Long Beach. Pepperdine righthander Cole Cook, BA’s No. 39 ranked college draft eligible prospect, squared off against Long Beach State’s Jake Thompson, who checks in on the same list at No. 67.
Two thousand fans and approximately 60 scouts watched the contest, which began in cool, breezy conditions that later gave way to a steady drizzle. Thompson prevailed in a taut pitching duel as the Dirtbags edged the Waves, 2-1.
Troy Tulowitzki, star shortstop of the Rockies and a Long Beach State alumnus, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. Tulo fired a fastball for a strike, starting a trend that would continue throughout the evening. [...] Continue Reading »
COMPTON, Calif.—Vincent Velasquez has finally found his true calling. Velasquez, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound righthander, attends Garey High School in Pomona, Calif. Previously in his prep career, Velasquez dabbled at shortstop, third base, second base, outfield and has—with varying success—switch-hit. An injury to his right elbow, since healed, even prompted Velasquez to throw lefthanded during part of the 2009 season.
Having sampled almost every other position, Velasquez took the mound during the Southern California Invitational Showcase, held at Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy on Saturday. All participants in the event hail from Southern California High Schools and are 2010 graduates.
In front of approximately 200 scouts, Velasquez enjoyed a career-altering performance. Cautious in his injury recovery, Velasquez had not pitched since December 2008. After his outing Saturday, the mound figures to be his permanent residence. The slender and highly projectable righty struck out and more impressively overwhelmed all four batters he faced.
[...] Continue Reading »
CERRITOS, Calif.—The predominant feature of junior college baseball in Southern California is eardrum-busting, mind-numbing, window-shattering pregame and between-innings music. Thundering from high-tech loudspeakers which possess thrust equal to a NASA launch, the artists responsible for these musical assaults share two characteristics: questionable taste and lack of talent.
Lack of talent is not a trait associated with Joe Terry, a 6-foot, 185 pound second baseman who plays for Cerritos CC. Drafted in the 17th round by the Mariners in 2009, Terry did not sign with Seattle and has returned to the Falcons for the 2010 campaign.
A Cal State Fullerton signee who bats left and throws right, Terry is perhaps the finest lefthanded hitting JC prospect in the nation whose initials are not BH. Terry enjoyed a spectacular 2009 season in which he hit .426/.490/.746 with four home runs and 14 triples.
A dozen major league scouts were in attendance Thursday as Cerritos opened its season with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Fullerton CC. Terry’s performance, while a bit erratic, showcased the ability that makes him a top-five-round candidate for the 2010 draft.
[...] Continue Reading »
Last Friday night, an estimated 1,400 people—roughly 500 more than had ever seen a game at that particular ballpark before—showed up in Henderson, Nev., to watch a 17-year-old play his first game for the College of Southern Nevada.
"I thought it was closer to 17 or 18 hundred, but we don't know how much our ballpark holds," Southern Nevada coach and athletic director Tim Chambers said. "I just know we were pressing fire code, I'm sure."
However many people actually showed up, what's not in doubt is that just about all of them—particularly the 100 scouts in attendance—were there to see one man. Bryce Harper is still a kid, really, but he graduated from high school two years early in order to make himself eligible for this June's major league draft, in which he is widely expected to be the first player taken. Harper was such a legendary high school player in Nevada that last spring he landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated and inspired talk that he could be one of the best prospects ever. [...] Continue Reading »
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