SEBRING, Fla.–Day One of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Baseball Classic featured an exciting starting pitching matchup of Nevin Griffith (Middleton High, Tampa) and Michael Main (Deland High). The two talented righthanders did not disappoint.
Main has been the state’s best prep prospect this spring, dominating competition while leading his high school team to the state finals last week before it lost.
Griffith didn’t have the longstanding reputation that Main did, but he asserted himself as a potential supplemental-round pick thanks to a big arm and improved delivery. Griffith added an exclamation point to his year with two strong innings, needing just 23 pitches to carve up the West lineup. His last fastball was 94 mph and he pitched at 91.
Main, meanwhile, fell into some trouble with his fastball command, walking in a run in his second inning of work and then giving up the highlight of the two-day event thus far, a John Tolisano (Estero High) hit a grand slam.
“I was sitting fastball and just tried to stay back,” he said. “When I got a breaking ball I was able to get some decent wood on it.”
Main’s fastball was up to 96 mph, but Tolisano was able to pick out a 79 mph slider that he pulled over the right-field fence to break the game open. He and Main have played together off and on with travel teams and AAU teams since they were 12, but this was the first time they had faced each other since 2004 at USA Baseball’s youth national team trials in Arizona. Tolisano said he walked against Main that day, and was savoring the grand slam.
“It’s nice,” he acknowledged with a smile after the game. “Hitting one off a high-profile guy like that is definitely something that feels good.”
Main threw 50 pitches, 31 of which were strikes, and came back to strike out Michael Burgess (Hillsborough High) and Bo Greenwell (Riverdale High, Fort Myers) on 95 mph fastballs following the home run. Main’s outing shouldn’t cause him to fall out of the first round, however.
“I don’t think so,” a scout responded when asked that question. “This event, to me, can help you more than hurt you. He’s done it (pitched well) all spring, so there’s no reason to think, based of this (performance) that he would fall.”
Tolisano and Griffith, however, were both stabilizing their status as supplemental round picks.