Draft Aft: Early series starts
It’s the week before college conference tournaments and, as a result, many of the weekend series are Thursday-Saturday, rather than the usual Friday-Sunday. As a result, there were some pretty good matchups yesterday that probably had good heat (meaning: a lot of scouting types) at them. For example:
Boston College 3, North Carolina 1
The key draws were Tar Heels starter Alex White and 1B Dustin Ackley to along with BC catcher Tony Sanchez. White was solid, going 7 innings, allowing two earned runs (three total). He allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six, but got the loss. Ackley went 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. Sanchez went 0-for-3, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. A bonus was BC lefty reliever Mike Belfiorie, who tossed three shutout innings, striking out four, for his 8th save. He struck out Ackley looking with two runners on and one out in the ninth, then getting Kyle Seager to fly out to end the game.
Florida 10, Kentucky 3
Ooof! Kentucky ace, and first-round hopeful, James Paxton, did not throw well. The lefty went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and nine runs (eight earned). He didn’t walk anyone, at least, and he racked up six strikeouts. Not exactly the kind of outing against a good team you want to see this late. As good as his stuff is, he’s got a 5.86 ERA now.
South Carolina 7, Georgia 2
Unlike Paxton, South Carolina ace Sam Dyson, had an outstanding start against a good Bulldogs team. The right-hander pitched a complete game, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out 13. Big Georgia 1B Rich Poythress went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Kenesaw State 6, North Florida 5, 11 innings
Kyle Heckathorn went nine innings for Kenesaw State, but didn’t get a decision. The big right-hander allowed four runs and “scattered” 11 hits, but he also struck out 15 while walking only one. You try to put that in context.
Lipscomb at East Tennessee State, suspended
Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather and that’s a shame for scouts who went to this game to see Lipscomb lefty Rex Brothers throw. The first-round potential starter did get in four innings of work, where he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five.
Finally (you didn’t think I forgot, did you?):
San Diego State 11, Utah 2
Stephen Strasburg didn’t let any suspense build, giving up two runs in the first inning after throwing a no-hitter in his last start. He gave up a total of six hits in seven innings of work, walked just one and struck out 10 for the win. He’s now 12-0 with a 1.34 ERA. In 94 1/3 innings of work, the right-hander has allowed 54 hits (.167 BAA) and 18 walks while striking out 174.
My first weekly Draft Notebook is up on the site now, so go check that out.
I’m working on my first projections — top 10 comes out on Thursday. Feel free to weigh in on who you think will go where in comments. The things I’m struggling with right now are:
1. Who will take the gamble on Tanner Scheppers and his shoulder? The Mariners seem interested, but is that too big of a risk at No. 2?
2. I keep hearing over and over that the San Diego Padres really like toolsy high school outfielder Donavan Tate at No. 3. Why can’t I believe it? Maybe it’s the organization’s draft history, maybe it’s Tate’s potential price tag, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I need some convincing.
I’m hoping maybe some of the college guys, particularly the arms in top 10 contention, separate themselves in conference tournament play next week.
Be back soon…