Travis Bazzana, Chase Burns Highlight NCAA Week 5 Standouts (Hot Sheet)

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Image credit: Travis Bazzana (Photo by Eddie Kelly / ProLook Photos)

The College Hot Sheet has returned for the 2024 season. Like our pro Hot Sheet that runs during the minor league season, we’re recognizing some of the top performers from around the country in college baseball after each weekend of play. Carlos Collazo and Peter Flaherty contributed to the College Hot Sheet this week. Players are listed in alphabetical order.

You can find our updated 2024 draft rankings here. All of our college coverage each week during the season can be found here.

Coltin Atkinson, RHP, Sam Houston State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K

Atkinson continued his strong start to the 2024 season, with a career-high eight shutout innings in which he struck out a career-high nine hitters and surrendered only two hits. He relies heavily on his high-80s fastball and low-80s changeup, but will occasionally mix in a curveball that flashes plenty of depth and some downward bite. Atkinson’s changeup is the best pitch in his arsenal. It gets solid separation off his heater, and he has an advanced feel for the offering. Atkinson will throw it to both right and lefthanded hitters, and it will flash late tumbling life as well as some fade to the arm side. Across 30.2 innings this season, Atkinson has a 1.79 ERA with 30 strikeouts to nine walks. -PF

Jesse Barker, RHP, Central Arkansas

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 K

Barker on Friday allowed one earned run and notched a career-high 14 strikeouts across eight innings. He generated an impressive 30 swings and misses, with 18 coming against his high-80s/low-90s fastball. Barker’s best secondary offering was his high-70s slider that flashed both sweep and depth. An experienced strike-thrower, Barker this season has pitched his way to a 3.19 ERA with an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 38-to-6. -PF

Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-16 (.500), 4 R, 7 RBI, 3 HR, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K

After a rare 0-for-4 performance on Friday, Bazzana went an eye-popping 8-for-12 between Saturday and Sunday. His performance in the series finale was especially impressive, as he went 5-for-6 with two home runs, a double and five RBIs. Bazzana’s five hits, two long balls and five RBIs all either matched or set a new career-high. The Australian second baseman has one of the most explosive operations in the country, with double-plus bat speed and elite feel for the barrel to boot. Bazzana has also tapped into more power this season and on top of flashing plus power to the pull side, is well on his way to eclipsing his current career-high 11 home runs. This year, he is slashing .461/.577/.934 with 17 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs. Bazzana continues to make a compelling case as to why he should be drafted first overall this July. -PF

Tommy Boba, RHP, Cincinnati

Class: 2025

What He Did: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K

The sophomore righthander spun the best start of his college career to this point, allowing only one hit—a bunt single—across eight innings. Boba was through eight no-hit innings, but John Nett laid down a perfect bunt to lead off the ninth inning to end his bid for a no-hitter. He generated just one swing-and-miss with his fastball, but was able to stay off the barrel and avoid hard contact. Boba’s slider was his most effective pitch—especially against righthanded hitters—and was his go-to out pitch while flashing two-plane break. Boba saw his ERA plummet more than three runs to 7.04, and this season he has collected 23 strikeouts in as many innings. -PF

Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 13 K

For the second week in a row, Chase Burns carved through a high-powered offense. The high-octane righthander made mincemeat of the Cavaliers lineup to the tune of 13 strikeouts in 7 innings, with his only blemish being a Henry Godbout solo home run. Burns had his entire arsenal working and generated an impressive 25 swings and misses. His trademark fastball sat 96-99 and topped out at 100 with plenty of life through the zone, while his hellacious power slider flashed sharp two-plane break. Burns also threw a handful of changeups that flashed plus, with big-time late tumble as well as some fade to the arm side. Lastly, Burns worked in a mid-80s curveball. It is the least polished pitch in his arsenal, but at times it will show big shape with sharp, downward teeth. Burns lowered his ERA to 2.08 and his 56 strikeouts rank second nationally. He continues to look the part of a potential top-10 overall pick and could be the first arm off the board when all is said and done. -PF

Zac Capps, RHP, Fairleigh Dickinson

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Capps on Sunday struck out 10 and walked none across seven shutout innings. After a single in the third inning, the veteran righthander proceeded to retire 11 hitters in a row. Capps pounded the zone on Saturday and threw strikes at a 77% clip. He primarily attacked hitters with a low-90s fastball and low-80s slider, each of which generated nine swings and misses. Capps’ numbers this spring don’t jump off the page, but Sunday’s outing was a step in the right direction. -PF  

Carson DeMartini, 3B, Virginia Tech

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9-for-15 (.600), 10 R, 11 RBI, 7 HR, 5 BB, 1 K

Demartini went nuclear last week with three multi-hit games, two three-hit efforts against Louisville and three multi-homer games. In just four games he jumped from a .302 average to a .368 average on the season and with 12 total home runs is just three shy of the 15-homer mark he managed as a freshman in 2022. DeMartini has been wearing out the right field fence with his power with 11 of his 12 home runs coming to the right side of straightaway center. He’s now hitting .368/.494/.985 with a 24.1% strikeout rate and 19.5% walk rate. –CC

Brady Desjardins, SS, Niagara

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9-for-23 (.391), 8 R, 10 RBI, 3 HR, 2 2B, 3 BB, 5 K

Following a quiet midweek series, DesJardins collected multiple hits in each of his three games over the weekend. He laced three hits on both Saturday and Sunday, and his performance in the series finale was his best of the week to the tune of two home runs and four RBIs. Desjardins this year has demonstrated an advanced approach with above-average bat-to-ball skills. He is slashing .347/.435/.597, and both his four home runs and 25 RBIs lead the team. -PF

Alan Espinal, C, Vanderbilt

Class: 2024

What He Did: 10-for-16 (.625), 5 R, 6 RBI, 1 HR, 2 2B, 5 BB, 3 K

Espinal has been a light-hitting part time catcher for most of his career at Vanderbilt. Now a senior, he has had a tremendous start to the 2024 season and after adding 10 hits last week is slashing .400/.495/.640 with four home runs (one shy of his career-best five in 29 games in 2023). He had multi-hit games in all four of his games last week highlighted by a 4-for-4 effort with a pair of walks on Saturday vs. Auburn. –CC

Ethan Hibbard, C, Fairfield

Class: 2024

What He Did: 10-for-17 (.588), 9 R, 10 RBI, 5 HR, 1 BB, 1 K

Hibbard is quietly one of the national leaders in hitting through the first five weeks of the season and after a 10-for-17 week he’s one of four qualified D-I hitters still hitting .500 or better—along with Charlie Condon (Georgia), Edwin DeLaCruz (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and Ryan Scott (Incarnate Word). He strung together three consecutive three-hit games and against Fordham on Saturday went 3-for-5 with three home runs. –CC

Roman Kuntz, 1B, Morehead State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 10-for-22 (.455), 10 R, 14 RBI, 5 HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 K

Kuntz enjoyed a monster week in which he homered—and collected multiple RBIs—in four of his five games. In Saturday’s doubleheader, the senior first baseman went 6-for-9 with three home runs and nine RBIs before doubling in Sunday’s finale. Kuntz has an uphill bat path and has above-average power to the pull side. This year he is slashing .304/.389/.734 with four doubles, 10 home runs and his 31 RBIs are tied for the sixth-highest total nationally. -PF

Joshua Kuroda-Grauer, SS, Rutgers

Class: 2024

What He Did: 14-for-26 (.538), 11 R, 8 RBI, 1 HR, 5 2B, 2 BB, 0 K

Kuroda-Grauer tallied a hit in both midweek games against UNC last week but then exploded in a three-game series against Delaware over the weekend where he had at least three hits in each game and in total went 12-for-17 (.706) with five doubles and a homer. Kuroda-Grauer’s contact skills have been on full display so far this season and he’s working a 92% overall contact rate and a 97% in-zone contact rate. On the season he’s slashing .442/.500/.628 with two homers, 10 doubles, an 8% walk rate and a 6% strikeout rate. –CC

Eddie Micheletti Jr., OF, Virginia Tech

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7-for-15 (.467), 5 R, 4 RBI, 4 HR, 3 BB, 1 K

Micheletti put together two-hit efforts in three of his four games last week and is now riding a five-game homer streak dating back to a two-homer game against Notre Dame on March 10. The senior outfielder and DH has already surpassed the six-homer mark that represented his career best in 2023 with George Washington and has nine on the season with a .361/.475/.885 slash line. On top of that he’s walking almost twice as often as he’s striking out with a 19.8% walk rate and 9.9% strikeout rate. –CC

Mason Molina, LHP, Arkansas

Class: 2024

What He Did: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K

Molina has been one of the best strikeout artists in the country through five weeks of the college season and just had his third 10-strikeout game Sunday against Missouri. His 47.8% strikeout rate is among the best marks in the nation and, perhaps unsurprisingly for someone with that many strikeouts, he’s generated swings and misses with all of his four pitches at an impressive clip. He leaned heavily on his 89-91 mph fastball in this most recent outing where he used the pitch to generate 16 whiffs and finish six of his 10 strikeouts. –CC

Rafe Perich, 3B, Lehigh

Class: 2024

What He Did: 12-for-24 (.500), 8 R, 13 RBI, 4 2B, 6 BB, 4 K

Perich hit over .300 in both of his first two seasons with Lehigh and through the first 18 games of the 2024 season is flirting with a .400 average. Last week he put together two four-hit games and is now slashing .391/.506/.652 with more walks (15) than strikeouts (11). He employs an extremely high handset in his load—which is even more unorthodox because his pre-pitch stance has a lower than normal handset—but it’s more than worked for him so far in 2024. In addition to his offensive exploits, Perich has pitched as a reliever for Lehigh. The results are poor (10.38 ERA in 4.1 innings, six strikeouts, four walks) but he throws a fastball in the low 90s and has touched 94. –CC

Nick Pinto, LHP, UC Irvine

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K

Pinto has been a reliable starter for UC Irvine all season, but his eight-inning shutout against UC Davis last Friday was his best start of the year. With his seven strikeouts in that game he passed Andre Pallante to claim the No. 6 all-time strikeout spot on the UC Irvine career leaderboard with 265 in his fifth season with the program. Pinto doesn’t throw hard—he is averaging 88.5 mph with his fastball, but he commands a three-pitch mix effectively to keep college hitters off balance. He did a particularly nice job keeping the ball down in the zone against UC Davis in this outing.  –CC

Clayton Poliey, RHP, Rider

Class: 2025

What He Did: 8 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

It’s hard to have a more memorable first college start than Poliey’s from last Tuesday. After allowing runs in three of his four relief appearances this season, Poliey got the nod against a deep Duke lineup and proceeded to shut the Blue Devils out for eight innings. He worked around eight hits but also struck out eight to keep them off the board. Both the innings and strikeouts were career-best numbers for Poliey, who threw a fastball in the upper 80s and mixed in a low-80s slider and mid-70s curveball. –CC

Randy Reyes, LHP, Grambling State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K

Reyes pitched four seasons at Central Connecticut before moving to Grambling for a grad season in 2024 with Grambling State. His most recent start last Friday against Alcorn State was his best of the year. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed three hits and struck out 12 with no walks and lowered his season ERA from 4.70 to 3.60 in the process. Reyes mostly pitched in a reliever role with Central Connecticut and struggled to miss bats and avoid contact, but his 30.3% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate so far in 2024 would represent career bests by a wide margin. –CC

Zach Root, LHP, East Carolina

Class: 2025

What He Did: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K

Root was dominant on Saturday and allowed only one hit—an infield single—across six shutout innings. His plus, low-80s changeup was his most effective pitch. It got great separation off his fastball and flashed ample late tumbling life. Root’s fastball was up to 95 and played well up in the zone, while his mid-80s slider—a pitch that is most effective against lefthanded hitters—flashed long, sweeping action and garnered six whiffs. Root this year has established himself as one of the premier college pitching prospects in the 2025 class, and so far has a 1.21 ERA with 39 strikeouts to just five walks. -PF

Adam Tellier, 3B, Wake Forest

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9-for-21 (.429), 4 R, 11 RBI, 2 HR, 1 2B, 0 BB, 4 K

In a lineup that features two potential top-half of the first round picks in Seaver King and Nick Kurtz, Adam Tellier has been the team’s best—and most productive—hitter to this point. He crushed a grand slam in Friday’s game, and capped off his impressive week by going 4-for-6 with a double, home run and four RBIs in Sunday’s series finale. A wiry athlete at 6-foot-4, Tellier has quick hands with an above-average feel to hit. He has an advanced feel for the barrel, and so far this year has an overall in-zone contact rate of 91%. Tellier is also a plus runner, and this season has flashed a bit of thump to the pull side. He is hitting .380/.490/.785 with eight home runs and a team-leading 25 RBIs, and this July profiles as a day two money-saver. -PF

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