After breaking his left wrist diving for a ball in late February, Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache no longer has a cast on his wrist and is working to hopefully pick up a bat before draft day
"I'm going to rehab three times a week now, working with a certified hand therapist," Roache said May 9. "I go back to the doctor May 16th to have another follow-up and see how it's doing and see from there what the next step of my rehab will be. It's going good. Every time I go to the therapist, I'm making progress."
Roache, who led Division I hitters with 30 home runs in 2011, broke his radius three inches up from the wrist and dislocated the ulna bone. On the radial side, the doctors put in a plate with six screws and put two pins on the outside to hold everything in place. The pins were removed when Roache got his cast off on April 18.
[...] Continue Reading »
Lucas Giolito's dad, Rick, is active on Twitter, so it's no secret that his son has begun throwing again after suffering a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in early March. Lucas was considered a strong candidate to be the first overall pick in the draft before being sidelined, but is now more of a wild card as he works his way back to full strength.
Giolito went through the necessary amount of rest and rehabilitation and is under the watch of doctors at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Kerlan-Jobe has 17 orthopedists that are either physicians or consultants for sports teams in the area such as the Dodgers, Angels and Lakers. The doctors tested Giolito extensively and gave him a program to target areas they felt he needed to strengthen.
"That's the silver lining," Rick Giolito said. "He's much stronger now than he was. He approached his rehab the same way he approaches baseball. He is tenacious. He never focuses on anything that happened in the past. He's special that way."
Giolito threw 60 pitches his first time out and is at 60 feet right now. He is expected to move out to 90 and 120 feet over the course of the next couple weeks. Right now, his workouts are private and there is no specific timetable for when he might throw a bullpen for scouts.
Righthander Zach Eflin, a projected first-round pick out of Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla., returned to action Tuesday for the first time in a month. Now he won't pitch again for three more weeks.
Eflin pitched three innings for Hagerty, giving up two hits, but Spruce Creek High rallied to win the game 4-3 and end Hagerty's season. Eflin, a Central Florida signee, will pitch next during Florida's high school all-star weekend in Sebring, Fla., from May 25-27. [...] Continue Reading »
Day One: Correa, Big Arms Stand Out
CAGUAS, P.R. — In the history of the draft, only two pitchers from Puerto Rico have been drafted in the top two rounds—Jorge Lopez, who went in the second round to the Brewers last year and Luis Atilano, a Braves supplemental first-round pick from 2003. This year, there may be two more on that list. J.O. Berrios we covered last week and he could be joined by righthander Edwin Diaz from Naguabo (P.R.) High. While Berrios figures to be drafted first, both pitchers are exciting to scouts.
The 6-foot-3, 163-pound righthander could blow off the mound in a strong wind. Diaz's long, lanky frame has it's pros and cons. His long arms allow him to whip the ball with surprising velocity. He sits in the 92-95 mph range and touched 97 twice in his first outing at the Excellence Tournament. But, like many tall, gangly pitchers, the Miami Dade recruit sometimes has trouble controlling his limbs, which leads to spotty control and an inconsistent curveball. That, along with the fact that he doesn't use his changeup much, leads many scouts to believe he fits best as a power reliever in pro ball.
"I've been working with my pitching coach, John Burgos, and I'm getting better everyday," Diaz said. "He helps me with my mechanics. . . Sometimes when I'm going too fast, I lose my command. So I have to slow things down since I'm so tall and skinny. Sometimes I go a little easier to get more command of my pitches and switching to a full windup has helped me slow everything down."
Diaz comes from a humble, hard-working family. His father is a construction worker and his mother takes care of the children—Diaz has an older brother and a younger sister. Diaz is relatively new to pitching, having just started when he was 15.
[...] Continue Reading »
• Texas A&M senior righthander Ross Stripling threw eight innings against Texas Tech, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out 13. The strikeouts put Stripling among elite company in the Texas A&M record books, as he surpassed 300 strikeouts for his college career. Only three other Aggies pitchers have recorded 300 or more career strikeouts: Casey Fossum, Jeff Granger, and Stripling’s teammate, Michael Wacha, who collected his 300th the day before. Texas A&M’s offensive force for the team’s weekend series win was outfielder Tyler Naquin, who went 5-for-12 with three doubles, a triple and a stolen base.
• Oklahoma State lefthander Andrew Heaney continues to dazzle and pitched a complete-game shutout against Oklahoma. Heaney allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out seven. He picked up his seventh win of the season, improving to 7-1, 1.65. Heaney is second in the nation in strikeouts (behind only Duke righthander Marcus Stroman) with 109 on the season.
• Louisville righthander Justin Amlung carved up West Virginia for eight innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out 10. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder didn’t get a decision in the outing and is 7-3, 2.16 on the season with 85 strikeouts and 17 walks over 83 innings.
• Arkansas third baseman Matt Reynolds had a productive weekend against South Carolina, even though the Razorbacks lost the series to the Gamecocks. Reynolds went 7-for-13 on the weekend with his 14th double. Over 167 at-bats this year, he’s now hitting .329/.449/.485.
• Cal Poly outfielder Mitch Haniger continues his hot streak. Against UC Davis this weekend, Haniger went 5-for-12 with a double and two home runs. He leads the Big West with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs and is now hitting .345/.420/.615 on the season.
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. . .
In 2008, the Diamondbacks used their 10th-round pick on a high school lefty from Washington, D.C. A year later, a righthander from Frederick, Md., was popped in the sixth round by the Red Sox. Both players turned down large bonus offers and honored their commitment to attend Virginia. The lefty—Danny Hultzen—had a spectacular college career that was capped by a $6.35 million signing bonus as the No. 2 overall pick. While the righty—Branden Kline—hasn't had as loud of a career, he still projects to go at least a couple rounds higher than he did out of high school.
Nathan Kirby may repeat Hultzen and Kline's path over the next few years, as he soon will have to choose between UVa and pro ball.
Kirby, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefthander at James River High in Midlothian, Va., has made it relatively clear to scouts that he intends to go to college, but that may not stop a team from taking their chances in the first 10 rounds. Kirby's fastball ranges from 88-92 mph and can sit 90-91. He also mixes in a good, sharp curveball in the high 70s that would give him a second plus pitch. He threw well early in the season but seemed to take a hit when his team traveled to Anaheim for the Hard 9 National Classic. Kirby pitched the first game against El Toro High (Lake Forest, Calif.) and had a shutout into the sixth inning despite only throwing about 50 percent strikes. The wheels came off that inning and Kirby exited with two outs having allowed five runs on four hits, two walks and two hit batters in 5 2/3 innings. Along with the development of a third pitch, command will be key for Kirby down the road. He has a long arm swing and a head snap that causes it to waver at times. He's a good athlete so it's not a dream to think he can figure it out.
"Hopefully he'll go (to Virginia) and be a dude on a Friday," an American League scout said. "He's not going to be a Hultzen, physical type, but he could be first rounder (in three years)." [...] Continue Reading »
Conor Glassey is at the Excellence Tournament, Puerto Rico's annual event to spotlight the top high school baseball players on the island.
Day One: Correa, Big Arms Stand Out
CAGUAS, P.R.—Jesmuel Valentin Diaz has grown up around the game. His father, Jose Valentin, spent 16 years in the big leagues. He debuted in 1992, and his first full season was in 1994—the same year Jesmuel was born.
Valentin has loved the game for as long as he can remember and spent summers tagging along with his father and hanging out in big league clubhouses.
"It was a lot of fun every single day going to the ballpark and into major league locker rooms," Valentin said. "Paul Konerko and Roberto Alomar played with my dad, so I grew up watching a lot of guys and learning from them and it was a really good experience."
Jesmuel has a similar build to his father at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He's primarily a shortstop, but plays a lot of second base in deference to his high school teammate at Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Carlos Correa. He's a smooth defender with a strong arm and is an average runner with good instincts on the bases. Valentin said he doesn't particularly care which position he plays—which must run in the family.
"I grew up watching my dad play shortstop and second base and third base, so that's what I learned and what I watched and I want to be just like him," Valentin said. "I'm really proud of my dad. Thanks to him, I'm the player that I am because I grew up watching him. He taught me a lot about being mentally and physically strong and was a lot of help."
[...] Continue Reading »
San Francisco righthander Kyle Zimmer will miss his start this weekend at Pepperdine due to a right hamstring injury.
Director of baseball operations Bryan Zahn said the Dons intended to err on the side of caution with the junior, who is 4-3, 2.71 and has vaulted toward the top of teams' lists for the 2012 draft. He has an 85-13 strikeout-walk ratio in 76 1/3 innings with 63 hits allowed and just three home runs.
Zimmer, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, tweaked his right hamstring while fielding a bunt last week in his 10-strikeout, seven-inning outing against Brigham Young. Earlier in the week, Dons coaches indicated Zimmer was physically about 85 percent, and they expected him to start, but he hasn't progressed as they'd hoped. He's expected to return to action next weekend.
For more on Zimmer see this earlier blog post.
CAGUAS, P.R. — The biggest draft names in Puerto Rico coming into the season were shortstop Carlos Correa, who ranked No. 11 in Baseball America's preseason High School Top 100, second baseman Jesmuel Valentin Diaz (No. 52) and righthander Edwin Diaz (No. 82).
Those players still figure to be premium draft picks in June, but the player who has improved his stock the most since then is righthander J.O. Berrios, from Papa Juan XXIII High in Bayamon, P.R.
Berrios continued to move up teams' draft boards on the first day of the Excellence Tournament here, Puerto Rico's annual event to spotlight the top high school baseball players on the island. Six teams play in the tournament, which has been taking place since 1996 and was started by longtime scout Jorge Posada Sr., and scouts flock to get a long look at the island's top talent in advance of making final decisions for the draft.
[...] Continue Reading »
Lance McCullers Jr. has the name. Walker Weickel has the USA Baseball pedigree and 6-foot-6 frame.
But this spring, Oviedo's Zach Eflin and Southwest Ranches' Nick Travieso have had the biggest arms in Florida's high school ranks. The two prep righthanders have thrown up to 96-97 mph this spring, thrusting them toward the front of the state's prep draft ranks.
Eflin, who pitches for Hagerty High and is committed to Central Florida, hasn't pitched of late due to an arm injury. Scouts are hearing triceps tendinitis, though some wonder if the problem is more serious. To quell such doubts, Eflin—a 6-foot-5, 200-pounder whose fastball sits in the 90-94 mph range—will try to pitch next week if Hagerty wins its first playoff game on Thursday. Otherwise, Eflin is expected to pitch in the Florida state high school all-star game in Sebring, Fla., at the end of May.
USA Baseball announced Wednesday afternoon that the Prospect Classic will return in 2012, but with some tweaks to the event. The event features Team USA's Collegiate and 18-and-under National Teams against each other and will expand from two to four games this year. The games will be held in late June and early July at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Last year, the college players and the high school players faced off against each other, with the college team predictably winning both games by a combined score of 20-2. This year, the first two games (June 29-30) will feature Stars vs. Stripes, with each team being made up of a combination of Collegiate and 18U players. The rosters will have a total of 62 players and be announced the morning of June 29. The second half of the event will take place July 2-3 and pit the Collegiate National Team against the 18U squad, just like it did in 2011. The Prospect Classic will serve as part of the selection process for the 18U team and the roster will be trimmed from 40 to 28 players on July 1.
“The response from fans and scouts alike to last summer’s Prospect Classic was extremely positive, and we’re looking to build upon that in 2012,” USA Baseball executive director Paul Seiler said. “This year’s event features more games, and by combining the teams for two of them, we’re once again providing followers of the MLB Draft a unique opportunity to catch amateur baseball’s top prospects in action.”
The first two games will be aired on a delay on MLB Network at 12 p.m. EST on July 2-3. The three games played in Durham will also be aired online at USABaseball.com and MLB.com.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog