Baseball America summer intern Bubba Brown is making his way to Durham from Utah and stopped off in Grand Junction, Colo., for the opening night of the NJCAA World Series. Here's a quick report on how the top prospects fared.
By Bubba Brown
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—The excitement that College of Southern Nevada catcher BryceHarper has brought with him wherever he has played this year was evident Saturday night, as 10, 339 fans packed the ballpark to see the presumptive first pick in the upcoming draft play in what could be the last week of his amateur career.
Harper grounded out sharply in his first at-bat, fouled off several pitches to work a walk in his second plate appearance and struck out swinging in his third trip to the plate. In his fourth plate appearance he finally got on the board with an infield hit before singling on a ground ball into right field in his final at-bat. After his eighth-inning base hit, Harper stole second base and came around to score what ended up being the run that cinched Southern Nevada’s run-rule victory.
Defensively, he showed off his terrific arm, easily throwing out a runner attempting to steal second, as well as making a nice tag on a runner at the plate. Harper’s performance was far from his heroics in the qualifiers where he went 15-for-22 with six homers and 21 RBI, but he contributed to a solid team win.
Here’s a look at how some other draft prospects fared on the first day:
Alex Burgos, lhp, State College of Florida
Facing top-ranked San Jacinto College-North in the first round of the Junior College Division I World Series, Burgos had a rough outing. Things started off poorly for Burgos in the first inning when he was on the wrong end of a controversial grand slam. The home-plate umpire initially ruled the ball foul, even though it appeared to be easily fair down the left-field line, but after convening, the umpires reversed the decision and awarded San Jacinto with the grand slam. Burgos gave up another big fly in the second inning—this time a two-run shot—before settling down and retiring seven straight. His day ended when he was chased in the fifth after surrendering a pair of hits and a walk. He did, however, strike out six batters in his 4 1/3 innings of work and showed some of the stuff that has made him a solid draft prospect.
Sean Nolin, lhp, San Jacinto College-North
Nolin, who was drafted in the 50th round by the Brewers last year, pitched opposite Burgos and fared a little bit better. Nolin finished with a seven-inning complete game win, although it was far from perfect. The lefty cruised in the early going and even picked off two runners, but hit a rough patch in the middle innings. In the fourth, he walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up back-to-back homers. He gave up single runs in both the fifth and the seventh innings to finish with five earned runs for the outing. His final line wasn’t as pretty as the complete game would suggest, as he gave up 10 hits and three walks in addition to six strikeouts.
Donn Roach, rhp, College of Southern Nevada
Roach had the best day of any prospect in the first day of the World Series. Using a fastball that sat in the 88-91 mph range and a 75 mph curve, Roach effectively worked an eight-inning complete game victory and limited Pitt (N.C.) CC to three earned runs. He did give up 10 hits but was overpowering at times, striking out 11. His toughest spot came in the fourth when he faced runners on first and second after having already given up runs in the inning. He promptly induced an easy ground ball to second, which started a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the jam and the inning.
For more on Roach and Harper, here's the Las Vegas' Review-Journal's report on the game.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog