Game 1 at SEC Tournament and thoughts on Pomeranz
It’s the second inning of the Ole Miss-South Carolina game here in Hoover, Alabama. Drew Pomeranz looked sharp in the first inning. His velocity was back up, at least in the first inning, up to 93 mph. He’d been sitting 86-90 in his previous starts. We’ll see if he can maintain it. He told me yesterday that it’s largely been a matter of his rhythm and timing and that he worked on some things over the past week that led him to believe he’d be back to the guy who typically had been in the 92-93 mph range for much of the year. Stay tuned on that one.
Every year at tournaments like these, pitchers who aren’t in that elite, first-round group, help themselves tremendously with strong performances in front of a ton of scouts, scouting directors and even general managers. A couple of years ago, it was Jess Todd. Most of the talk at the tourney that year was about Pedro Alvarez and Justin Smoak. Lance Lynn was coming out of Ole Miss that year and ended up being a supplemental first round pick. Then there was Arkansas’ Jess Todd, who dominated and struck out 15 or so batters. He ended up going in the second round.
This year, that player could be Alabama’s Jimmy Nelson. He’s been a little up and down this year, but mostly pretty good, though he’s never been thought of as a top prospect type. That might have changed with his tournament start today. He was up to 93 mph throughout his complete game victory, allowing just one run on five hits. He walked none and struck out six. The big right-hander needed just 97 pitches to finish off Auburn, throwing 64 strikes. A performance like that in front of about 10 scouting directors and a GM or two should mean he’ll get some second-round interest.