Results tagged ‘ Mike Leake ’

Ewwww!

I’m always so positive, focusing on good performances and guys really stepping up. Today, I feel like being negative.

It’s not that I’m in a bad mood or anything — I sure could give Mike Leake and his complete-game shutout or fast riser Chad Jenkins’ complete-game victory over the weekend some love — but come on, we all know negativity sells. Besides, at this point in the amateur season, a bad performance can be magnified. It was the last week of regular-season games in the college ranks and here are some performances that made me say, simply, “Ewww!”

Kendal Volz, Baylor: I already labeled him as a “Lead Balloon” player in Friday’s Draft Notebook, and he didn’t do anything over the weekend to have it removed. Against Nebraska on Friday, he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits over 3 2/3 IP, striking out just one. He’s now 3-6 with a 4.62 ERA.

Mike Minor, Vanderbilt: Not as big of an “Ewww,” but considering I had Minor in the “Something to Prove” category of that notebook, he didn’t exactly go out and prove it. Against Tennessee, he did pitch into the eighth and didn’t get a decision, so he gets some kudos for going deep and keeping his team in the game, but he also gave up five runs on 10 hits, not exactly the stuff you want to see down the stretch for a potential first half of first round guy.

Andy Oliver, Oklahoma State: He wasn’t going to be the first college lefty to go and he might not even be the second, but most had him pegged as a first rounder. Again, it’s just one start, but after giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and three walks (only one strikeout) in 2 1/3 IP,. how many will reconsider?

Brooks Raley, Texas A&M: Raley gave up six runs on nine hits over six innings  for the loss against Oklahoma. Raley had kind of passed up Alex Wilson in the A&M draft prospect pecking order, but didn’t pitch very well this past weekend. Wilson, meanwhile, has been pitching out of the pen and went twice in the series against the Sooners, allowing one unearned run over four total innings.

James Paxton, Kentucky: The lefty had been moving up charts and there’s a lot to like about his arm, but the peformances haven’t always been there. He’s now got a 5.86 ERA following his last start that saw him produce the following line: 5 1/3 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 6 K.

Draft Aft: Strasburg is good

With our draft section officially launching today, I wanted to let you know that B3 is going to be very draft focused from now until after the June 9 Draft. I’ll try to do some Minors stuff here and there, but don’t count on it.

So, I was in San Diego on Friday. As luck would have it, Stephen Strasburg was pitching for San Diego State, so I figured I’d go have a look-see. He was kind enough to throw a no-hitter against Air Force, striking out 17 and never really being challenged. Now, with all due respect to Air Force, they are not a good baseball team. But tossing a no-no against metal bats is still pretty impressive in my book. If you don’t want to take my word for it, Toby Wachter over at Upper Deck was live blogging throughout the game. Not that there was any question about the Nats taking the guy, but most of the braintrust was in attendance, including acting GM Mike Rizzo and scouting director Dana Brown. Against a bad team, they’re going to be looking at things like command and location, and Strasburg was pretty locked in. He probably had his best stuff in the ninth and was still throwing 97 mph in that final inning. That’s the kind of thing an MLB team would look at. No triple-digits, but who cares, really?

Other things of note:

The Indy Leaguers:  Both Tanner Scheppers and Aaron Crow threw on Sunday for their respective independent league teams. Scheppers had been generating a ton of buzz this spring with how he’s thrown, but while he was lighting up the radar gun for the St. Paul Saints, he was giving up five runs on five hits over five innings. Guess how many he struck out — that’s right, five. Crow, pitching for the Ft. Worth Cats, tossed four scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out two. Both could figure prominently in the top of the first round.

Best performance by a non-Strasburg college righty: A lot of the top arms were only so-so, but here’s one that really stood out. One is ASU’s Mike Leake, who continued his outstanding junior season by tossing seven shutout innings against Winthrop on Friday.  He walked none and struck out eight. For the season,  he’s 12-1 with a 1.47 ERA. He’s got 104 K’s (vs. only 18 BB) in 97 2/3 IP while hitters have managed just a .179 batting average against him.

Bounce-back start?: Vandy’s Mike Minor has had an up-and-down year. He didn’t start on Friday this weekend, and even with his most recent start, he’s just 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA on the season. One start does not a hot streak make — he was pretty bad a week ago at South Carolina — but against a very good Georgia team on Saturday, the lefty went the distance, allowing two runs and striking out 12.  He’s got one more regular-season start, against Tennessee. If he can pitch well there and then put together a strong peformance in front of a lot of eyes at the SEC tournament, he could climb further up draft boards.

Much more to come…

Waiting out the rain

Back at PNC Park tonight — I’ve got Marlins duty the next three days. I hear they’re off to a good start. Of course, I’ll only have something to cover if it ever stops raining here. I’m not too confident, but we’ll see.

It does give me some time to hop back on here, though. First, congrats to jfish — I was indeed talking about ASU’s Mike Leake. He had another strong start on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see when he goes and who will look past his size to take the arm.

As for jfish’s questions about Ackley, I haven’t seen him enough or asked about his ability to play second. But arm strength isn’t really a problem. His arm is just fine and will continue to get better as he gets further removed from Tommy John. There isn’t concern about it long-term. It’s just that his speed would play better in center and his bat doesn’t profile as well to first, at least not in terms of power.

Couple of Minors notes… Our first Minor League Week in Review is up. Good stuff by Lisa Winston, so check it out. Fantasy fans can also peruse our second in tandem Futures Exchange , where we were all about the long ball.

OK, game under-way here, believe it or not. I hope to be back soon.

Draft Aft: An Update

I know, don’t be too shocked. But I had a few moments of down time while covering the Reds to throw up some draft tidbits. It’s not much, but hopefully it’ll keep you going until the next random time I can hop on here and talk draft.

First off, my latest Draft Report is up and ready for your perusal. Be sure to go to the landing page if you’ve missed any of the previous ones. We’ve got 32 in total to date, not too shabby considering it’s still March.

A couple of bits of information I’ve gathered along the way lately…

  • USC shortstop Grant Green, who I’ll have a report on next week, came out of a game earlier this week with an ankle injury. He was seen wearing a boot afterwards, which had some concerned. But from everything I’ve heard, it was just a precaution. He didn’t play in Wednesday’s doubleheader against Brown — which USC swept — but it seemed probable that he’d be in the lineup this weekend against ASU.
  • Scott Griggs, a high school right-hander in Northern California who was an AFLAC All-American last summer, has been dealing with a blister problem. That’s nothing serious, obviously, but it’s kept him from throwing enough for scouts to get a really good read on how he looks this spring.
  • Speaking of USC-ASU… how about this for a Friday night matchup: ASU’s Mike Leake vs. USC’s Brad Boxberger. That’s about as good a matchup as you can hope for at this point of the season.
  • Stephen Strasburg, the consensus top talent in the draft, will pitch against a tough TCU team. The game’s in Fort Worth and it should be his toughest test to date, as he’s been putting up video game numbers so far this season.

Well, that felt good to get a little info out there. I can’t promse I’ll be able to do much of this draft stuff until my Spring Training duties are over, but know it’s not from lack of effort.

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