Perhaps the most fascinating storyline of the 2009 Draft has begun to develop in Southern California, courtesy of the Stock brothers.
Robert Stock of USC, currently playing in the Cape Cod League, has long been one of the premier prospects in the country. A catcher (and occasional pitcher) blessed with a howitzer for an arm and a powerful lefthanded bat, Robert has spent his youth drawing raves from scouts and collecting an attic full of shiny gold-plated trophies.
Younger brother Richard, of Agoura High in Southern Califronia, has quietly spent his amateur career in Robert’s shadow, popping up in random showcase events and inevitably being referred to as "Stock’s brother."
Richard Stock enjoyed a breakthrough performance Monday at the Milwaukee Brewers Area Code Tryout Camp at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.
A 6-foot-3, 185-pound lefthanded hitting catcher, Richard began his coming out party by blasting several home runs in a wood bat batting practice, lofting balls comfortably into the netting atop the right field fence.
He followed that display by rifling a series of clothes line throws down to second base in pre game, easily clocking bewteen 1.85 and 1.90 on his deliveries.
For an encore, Richard drove a long one hop double off of the left field fence during the simulated game.
The only flaw in Richard’s game is his 7.29 speed. Not a single scout was concerned. One was heard to observe:
"Cindy Crawford has a mole. Nobody’s perfect."
Richard Stock’s effort in Costa Mesa no doubt established him as one of the premier high school Prospects in the nation, and he is possibly the top prep backstop.
Both Robert and Richard Stock are draft eligible in 2009.
This fact figures to generate a Rubik’s cube style conundrum in the upcoming draft season: Which Stock item do scouts like best?
Let the arguments–and they promise to be vehement–begin.
The two day Area Code preliminary event, held on Monday and Tuesday July 7 and 8, got off to a colorful start.
College coaches flocked together, dressed in the de rigueur assistant coach outfit: Polo shirts in school colors and emblazoned with the team logo; tan or khaki colored shorts; brand name cross trainers worn with white ankle socks.
One bold assistant coach strayed from the pack by wearing a migraine inducing pair of kaleidoscope patterned black and gray plaid shorts. Our hero is to commended for his independence, but certainly not for his fashion sense.
Scouts experiencing a temporary reprieve from their summer pro coverage gathered in bunches and compared their success, or lack of success, in the recently concluded 2008 draft.
Each day’s festivities began with the 60-yard dash, run across the outfield at OCC. The track was a cow pasture on the first day, with the turf being thick, clumpy, uneven and moist. Most coaches and scouts disregarded the Monday 60 times, or chopped at least .20 seconds off their readings to compensate. The good folks at OCC mowed the grass and dried out the field before Tuesday’s actvities.
Outfield, infield, catcher’s POP times and wood bat BP completed the morning sessions. After a lunch break, a simulated game permitted each pitcher to show his stuff, or lack thereof.
Several Players, many of them previoulsy unknown, played brilliantly. Reports on several of those players will be posted to our Prospects Plus section over the next few days.
There was no question that the star of this event was Richard Stock. Both Robert and Richard Stock have the potential to become wealthy young men next June.
If they are entreprenurial types, the brothers can pool their funds and start a company to manufacture custom bats: Wood Stock.