Stanek Continues To Cruise

UPDATED: July 1, 2012 at 4:09 p.m EST.

After the first game of the 2012 Prospect Classic ended in a 2-2 tie, the bats busted out in Game Two, but just for one side. Behind an eight-run second inning the Stars beat the Stripes 15-3 with 16 hits and seven walks. Oral Roberts infielder Jose Trevino led the barrage by going 2-for-3 with six RBIs and two runs scored. He doubled in the top of the second to open the scoring and followed with a grand slam in the fourth to make it 12-0.

Despite the outburst of offense, Arkansas righthander Ryne Stanek was one of the bigger highlights of the night. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out four. The only trouble he found was in the second inning when he allowed a leadoff single, got two outs and then loaded the bases with a walk and fielder’s choice. But he got Kentucky outfielder Austin Cousino to fly out to end the inning. He cruised through the third inning and was taken out in the fourth with two outs after walking a batter. He had thrown 59 pitches.

“I felt like I competed pretty well,” Stanek said. “I threw my fastball for a strike, which is the biggest thing. I was able to throw most everything for a strike. The second inning I ran into a little trouble. I tried to get a little too fine and make too good a pitch instead of just letting them put the ball in play and get a quick out.”

Stanek’s stuff was electric. His fastball sat around 93 mph and he touched 95-96 a couple times. His slider was a swing-and-miss pitch in the mid 80s and he also mixed in a solid changeup in the low 80s. Former major league righthander and Cy Young winner Jack McDowell is working with the 18-and-under pitchers, but got a look at one of the top pitching prospects for 2013 and was impressed with what he saw.

“He’s got electric stuff obviously and threw the ball great,” McDowell said. “Lots of confidence, you can tell he has command mentally on top of having the stuff physically. How he handles himself out there is one thing I noticed today.”

Stanek is fresh off pitching in the College World Series for the Razorbacks. He made just one start as Arkansas was eliminated by South Carolina on the final day of bracket play. Stanek beat the Gamecocks in the teams’ first matchup. He went six innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Tonight was his first Team USA outing for 2012, but competed with the team in 2011 and had a successful Prospect Classic outing too, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and eight hits while striking out six. A third-round pick of the Mariners out of Blue Valley High (Stilwell, Kan.) in 2010, Stanek opted to attend Arkansas and is very content with his decision.

“The experience has been awesome,” he said. “I’m 100 times better than I was out of high school. I’m a lot more mature. I made a big jump after my freshman year. It was good because I got to learn a lot about myself and my body and what I could do with the ball. The biggest thing is my command has gotten a lot better. If I’m able to command everything pretty well and be around the zone and keep attacking hitters, it’s pretty good.”

Stanek is expected to be one of the top prospects for the 2013 draft class thanks to his size and stuff. He is 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and projects to have three pitches that are at least average. As a freshman he went 4-2, 3.94 in 64 innings and then 1-0, 1.00 in two appearances for Team USA last summer. He was a big part of Arkansas’ trip to Omaha, going 8-4, 2.82 in 93 innings.

National Nuggets

• After a strong outing on the mound on Friday, Marco Gonzales had a good night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

• Kris Bryant and D.J. Peterson put on a show in batting practice, hitting in the same group and blasting balls over the Durham Bulls Athletic Park Blue Monster. Bryant easily cleared the signature bull sign and Peterson hit a window on the second floor of the building in left field. No one matched their power, but North Carolina State lefthander Carlos Rodon took his own rounds of BP and arguably displayed the best lefthanded power on the day, easily depositing a couple balls into the right field seats.

• Cam Varga, a 2014 righthander from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) was an unfortunate victim of the eight-run second inning. He allowed seven runs on six hits and a walk before being removed with just one out. He was sitting in the low 90s and had a sharp slider at times, but did not command his pitches well.

• The Prospect Classic will break for a day as the 18U roster is cut down to 28 and the Collegiate National Team travels to play the Forest City (N.C.) Owls of the Coastal Plains League. The next two Prospect Classic games will see the teams split into their respective Collegiate and 18U squads. They will play Monday, July 2, at the National Training Complex and return to the DBAP for the final game on Tuesday, July 3. The new roster of 28 for the 18U team will be available Sunday morning.

• The following 18U players made the cut for the 28-man roster:

Willie Abreu, of, Mater Academy, Hialeah, Fla.
Christian Arroyo, ss, Hernando HS, Brooksville, Fla.
Cavan Biggio, 3b, St. Thomas HS, Houston
Ryan Boldt, of, Red Wing (Minn.) HS
Bryson Brigman, if, Valley Christian HS, San Jose
Kevin Davis, rhp, Miller HS, Brewton, Ala.
Stephen Gonsalves, lhp, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego
Nick Gordon, ss/rhp, Olympia HS, Orlando
Connor Heady, ss/rhp, North Oldham HS, Goshen, Ky.
Rob Kaminsky, lhp, Saint Joseph Regional HS, Montvale, N.J.
John Kilichowski, lhp, Jesuit HS, Tampa
Christian Martinek, lhp, Jesuit HS, Portland, Ore.
Jeremy Martinez, c, Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif.
Andy McGuire, ss/3b, Madison HS, Vienna, Va.
Reese McGuire, c, Kentwood HS, Covington, Wash.
Dom Nunez, ss, Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
Chris Okey, c, Eustis (Fla.) HS
Ryan Olson, rhp, Western Christian HS, Upland, Calif.
Billy Roth, rhp, Vista (Calif.) HS
Carson Sands, lhp, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee, Fla.
Logan Shore, if/rhp, Coon Rapids (Minn.) HS
John Sternagel, 3b/ss, Rockledge (Fla.) HS
Dominic Taccolini, rhp, Kempner HS, Sugarland, Texas
Keegan Thompson, rhp, Cullman (Ala.) HS
Riley Unroe, of, Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, Ariz.
Cameron Varga, rhp, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Drew Ward, 3b, Leedey (Okla.) HS
Garrett Williams, lhp, Calvary Baptist HS, Shreveport, La.