With the news yesterday that California prep righthander Lucas Giolito will be sidelined at minimum six weeks with an elbow sprain, the attention quickly turned to what will happen to him come draft day. There's no way to know in March what will happen in June for any player, let alone a wild card like Giolito. This is especially true with the draft changes from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new draft rules make it tougher for teams to throw money at players who fall in the draft, so the farther the Harvard-Westlake High senior falls in the draft, the more likely it is that he winds up going to school. However, some teams are simply better suited to pursue such a player. But before we start talking about potential fits, let's make a couple of assumptions . . . [...] Continue Reading »
Harvard-Westlake High righthander and top high school prospect Lucas Giolito is likely out for the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, head coach Matt LaCour confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Giolito left his Tuesday start after 6 1/3 innings. It was a tough outing for him as he allowed two runs on five hits, three walks and three hit batters. He struck out four.
Surgery is not needed on Giolito's elbow. He will rest and rehab it for six to 10 weeks. The draft is approximately 12 weeks away. He was considered a candidate to be the first overall pick thanks to his ideal frame and plus arsenal.
"He's crushed. His teammates are crushed," LaCour told the Los Angeles Times' Eric Sondheimer. "His coaches are crushed, and we're going to have to spend the next two days getting back on track."
• Stanford ace Mark Appel got roughed up Friday night against Fresno State, giving up seven runs on seven hits (including two home runs by sophomore outfielder and Aaron Fitt's pick to click Aaron Judge). While Appel hasn't quite dominated yet, scouts aren't concerned because his stuff is very good and he's still growing into his body.
• Marcus Stroman was lights out Friday night against George Washington.
• Stony Brook outfielder Travis Jankowski had a nice weekend in front of about 35 scouts, going 4-for-12 with two doubles. For more on Jankowski's day on Sunday, click here.
• While his teammate got hit around, Stanford lefthander Brett Mooneyham carved, pitching seven scoreless innings while only giving up two hits and two walks. Mooneyham, who missed all of last year after having surgery on his left middle finger, also struck out 13. On the season, Mooneyham is 3-0, 1.71 with nine walks and 28 strikeouts over 21 innings. The Cardinal will host Rice next weekend.
• Third-team All-American closer R.J. Alvarez from Florida Atlantic continues his perfect streak. With three more scoreless innings this weekend, Alvarez kept his sparkling 0.00 ERA through 10 innings. Over that span, he has given up six hits—all singles—he's walked three and has 12 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see if Florida Atlantic continues to use Alvarez in middle relief throughout the season or if he'll eventually get a chance to close.
• Georgia lefthander Alex Wood pitched eight scoreless innings against Western Illinois on Friday night. He only gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 14.
"Alex was dominating tonight, he had everything going," Georgia head coach Dave Perno said in a press release. "He was able to throw a power fastball to both sides of the plate; he had his breaking ball and threw a few change-ups too. Western had a good approach against him, but Alex was special tonight."
On the season, Wood is now 3-0, 2.25 with 26 strikeouts and only one walk over 20 innings.
• Arizona righthander Kurt Heyer continues to dominate college hitters. Last year, Heyer ranked fourth in the nation in strikeouts with 134 and he's on his way to matching that total again this year. On Friday night against Harvard, Heyer threw the fourth complete game of his career and matched a career-high with 14 strikeouts. He gave up one run on six hits and did not issue any walks. On the year, Heyer improved to 3-0, 0.78 with 25 strikeouts and three walks over 23 innings.
• Over at Arizona State, third baseman Joey DeMichele had a great weekend, going 9-for-15 with four doubles, a triple and a stolen base. DeMichele helped the Sun Devils go 3-1 on the weekend and improved his season line to .553/.617/.974.
• Even though Clemson lost its series against South Carolina this weekend, third baseman Richie Shaffer still stood out by going 6-for-9 with two doubles and two home runs. Shaffer is now hitting .452/.585/.968 on the year.
• Florida State senior outfielder James Ramsey turned down the Twins in the 22nd round last year and should go significantly higher in 2012. Ramsey went 5-for-10 on the weekend with a double, a triple and a home run. Over 29 at-bats this year, he's now hitting a blistering .552/.729/1.103. He has two doubles, one triple, four home runs and 16 walks to just four strikeouts.
• North Carolina first baseman Cody Stubbs has been a huge addition to the middle of the Tar Heels' lineup. After a 6-for-13 weekend with two doubles and his first home run, Stubbs is now hitting .472/.558/.833 with 10 doubles.
Here are all of the weekend stats for the nation's top draft-eligible college players, listed alphabetically by school. The stats were collected by CollegeSplits.com. Follow CollegeSplits on Twitter @collegesplits. The list of players was selected before the season to include this year's top college talent for the draft. . .
GREENVILLE, N.C. — Scouts up north generally spend a lot of time in the beginning of the season down south. The weather is usually warmer and oftentimes it's a good chance for the scouts to see players from their area take on stronger teams than they'll face once conference play begins.
Both of those conditions were on display this weekend as Stony Brook came down to take on East Carolina. The Seawolves lost three one-run games, but about 30 scouts showed up each day, mostly to take a look at Stony Brook center fielder Travis Jankowski.
Jankowski went 3-for-5 with a double Sunday and is now hitting .370/.469/.593 on the season. He also showed three above-average tools—hitting, speed and defense. Those, along with his good eye at the plate, allow Jankowski to profile as a prototypical leadoff hitter, and that's why he ranked No. 24 on Baseball America's Top 100 list for the 2012 draft prior to the season.
Stanford righthander Mark Appel entered the season as the No. 1 prospect on Baseball America's Top 100 list for the 2012 draft. With the top billing comes added scrutiny. Appel has premium stuff—including a fastball that touched 98 mph and a nasty slider—but just hasn't dominated like top pitchers from other years.
In fact, of all the college pitchers over the last 10 years who were drafted in top 5 picks or ranked as one of the top 5 picks in Baseball America's Draft Preview, Appel had the second-lowest strikeout rate during each pitcher's sophomore season.
DURHAM, N.C.—Duke righthander Marcus Stroman set a career high for strikeouts Friday against George Washington.
By the fifth inning.
The 5-foot-9 junior had 12 strikeouts through five and had at least two strikeouts in each of the seven innings he pitched against George Washington. He finished with a career-best 17, just two off the Atlantic Coast Conference record. Duke won the game 13-2.
Stroman struck out the side in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The only balls in play against him were flyouts to the outfield corners, a popout in foul ground by the third base line that Stroman took himself, and a groundout to second base.
He gave up two hits and didn't walk anyone en route to the victory. His fastball touched 95 mph in the first on BA's Stalker Sport II radar gun and sat in the 92-94 mph range throughout his outing in the cool, foggy weather. He had his usual wipeout slider, in the 82-86 mph range with good depth, and broke out his changeup the second time through the order. He also threw about five cutters in the 87-88 mph range that gave him another weapon.
Thanks to technology, today's scouts have things a lot easier than their predecessors.
Radar gun technology has improved, cell phones allow for constant contact, GPS systems can easily get them to any field in the country, video cameras allow scouts the ability to compare players side-by-side and break down mechanics in slow motion and virtually every team's schedule is posted on the Internet.
Things are about to get even easier.
With the help of a developer, a Giants part-time scout in Florida, Tim Rock, has created an iPhone application for scouts. The app, iProScout Baseball, is in the final testing stages and should be in the App Store by the end of March.
"I thought about this 10 or 15 years ago, but I think technology has finally caught up to my original idea," Rock said.
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