Day Two at the East Coast Pro Showcase
The second day of the East Coast Showcase here in Lakeland was very much like the first, minus the 60-yard dashes and main-field batting practice. But there was plenty of baseball to watch — three games in total — and the rain stayed away this time around.
Day 2, however, didn’t really live up to the bar set on Day 1. The action could be best described as “blah” by most and there was a fair amount of sloppy play. The general consensus was that the player of the day was outfielder Byron Buxton. And he might not just be the player of the day — he could very well be the top prospect at this event. Other hitters who at least showed glimpses were Georgia catcher Zack Bowers, who missed a home run by inches and has generally looked solid at and behind the plate here, toolsy Delaware OF Jamie Jarmon, who’s shown good hit and run tools and Georgia infielder J.T. Phillips, who’s had some solid at-bats and had an RBI single on Tuesday.
Pitching-wise, it was just so-so, with no one really lighting up the radar gun and no one really impressing with secondary stuff. David Gonzalez (Georgia) was up to 91 mph and popped a 92 in his second inning. Justin Alleman (Michigan) was also up to 91 mph and out of any of the pitchers on Day 2, seemed to have a decent feel for pitching and mixed things up fairly well. If there was a pitcher of the day, it might have been Robert Whalen (Florida), who was up to 92-93 mph, but that was about it. One scout described his outing as “fair,” and that might have been the best there was on Tuesday.
Wednesday should be different, especially with the evening game (Rockies vs. Astros). It’s the game most are talking about with most of the top pitchers here going. The Rockies will throw Lance McCullers, Walker Weickel and Carson Fulmer. The Astros will counter with their own trio of great arms: Lucas Sims, Duane Underwood and Clate Schmidt. Suffice it to say the radar guns will be humming, with all of these guys able to crank it up into the mid-90s at least.
Last thing from here for now. I got the chance to talk to slugging first baseman Keon Barnum (and his dad) here. Here’s the story (and video interview) to go along with it.