MLB Draft

MLB Draft Notebook: 2/24/2020

With the baseball seasons now underway for both college and prep prospects, the scouting landscape has officially ramped up. Between now and June 10th, we will find ourselves on the front lines for a majority of the spring, as we gather notes on players across the country.

The past two weeks have been crazy on the college front, as that is the side of the draft that will see an abundance of chatter. Over the past weekend, I traveled out to Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC to watch one of the premier college series in the country, as #19 UNC hosted #23 Dallas Baptist University out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Dallas Baptist made a statement with a big series victory over the Tar Heels, winning the last two games of the weekend after losing Game 1, which was postponed due to winter weather.

The weekend featured some impressive pitching performances, including a no-hit bid that entered the 8th inning. Here are some notes on notable players from the weekend, as well as more notes on players across the nation.

Aaron Sabato, 1B, UNC

Aaron Sabato’s name is going to appear quite a few times this spring. The reigning ACC Freshmen of the Year has some of the best raw power in this class, rivaling even Spencer Torkelson. Sabato started off the weekend reaching base four times in Game 1 and followed that up reaching base three times in Game 2; however, he did go 0-4 with four strikeouts in the final game of the series. Among the four hits that Sabato had this weekend, two of them were loud doubles and he worked very solid at-bats in the games I managed to get looks at him.

Joey Lancellotti, RHP/DH, UNC

Lancellotti is UNC’s Friday night starter, and while he ended up pitching in the middle of a Saturday, he was electric. In a career day for Lancellotti, he pitched seven shutout innings, striking out seven, walking two, and allowing just four hits. He also managed to clobber an RBI double in the first inning against DBU starter Ray Gaither, helping his own cause en route to the victory in a 9-0 win.

Lancellotti’s fastball sat 89-93 MPH for a majority of the afternoon, and he even managed to notch 94 in the fifth inning. His slider was sharp as well, as it sat 80-83 MPH and had good bite to it. He flashed a few change-ups and curveballs throughout the outing as well, as his change-up sat in the mid-80’s and his curveball at 76-77 MPH.

Jimmy Glowenke, SS/DH, DBU

Glowenke is being relegated to the DH spot in DBU’s lineup for the time being, as he is still recovering from off-season arm surgery. Despite the setback, Glowenke still looked solid at the plate, garnering three hits and two walks on the weekend. He worked some good at-bats against the Tar Heels on Saturday, including some hard hit line drivers in Game 2. The expectation is that Glowenke can be back in the field in about a month, but you can still expect him to rake as the season progresses.

Burl Carraway, LHP, DBU

Easily one of the best college relievers in the country, Carraway is expected to be one of the first relievers taken in June. After waiting all day on Saturday, Carraway came in to close out the ninth, and he did not disappoint. Carraway touched 96 MPH with his fastball, sitting 93-95 MPH throughout the inning and his curveball looked very strong, sitting 74-78 MPH. He came out again to pitch the final five outs on Sunday after Dominic Hamel lost his no-hit bid in the eighth inning, and came out even stronger, as he struck out the final three batters in a row. His fastball sat 95-98 MPH and his curveball was still deadly at 73-74 MPH on Sunday. There’s a chance that Carraway could be on the fast track to the majors when drafted, as he looks like he belongs in a major league bullpen already.

Dominic Hamel, RHP, DBU

Hamel shined on Sunday, as he took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, where the aforementioned Lancellotti broke it up with a leadoff single. He did strike out ten batters en route to a well deserved victory. Hamel’s fastball sat 91-94 MPH during his outing, with him sitting in the 91-92 MPH range during the later innings and garnered a lot of swings and misses. His slider was just as effective, as it sat in the low 80’s with a sweeping action. He flashed a curveball as well with 10-4 spin.

Chandler Arnold, RHP, DBU

Dallas Baptist needed a big outing from Arnold for his Game 2 start, and he delivered with a five inning outing where he struck out five and allowed two runs, earning the victory in the process. Arnold’s fastball sat 89-93 MPH throughout the outing with good life, as well as a slider that sat 79-82 MPH that had solid movement to it. He flashed a change-up at around 84-85 MPH, but struggled to locate it a bit.

Austin Love, RHP, UNC

Love entered the game in the third inning for the Tar Heels on Sunday and went on to have one of his better outings in his career. He allowed just two hits and struck out nine batters, cruising through the Patriots’ lineup with ease. His fastball sat in the lower to mid 90’s, but his breaking pitches were on point. His change-up was a whiff machine, sitting in the mid-80’s with great diving action.

Other Notes From Across the Country

Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

In Week 1, Hancock got off on the wrong foot, as he only lasted four innings against Richmond, allowing six runs in the process. He had touched 97 MPH early but the velocity dipped to 91-94 MPH, but overall he presented himself well with a solid slider and change-up. How did he respond to that rough outing? On Friday, Hancock was locked in, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and striking out eight against Santa Clara. His slider looked a lot better, as it was in the mid-80’s and had a sharp bite to it, especially on this strikeout.

If Hancock can continue to look like this as the spring continues, watch out.

Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M

A potential top five pick, Lacy has made a case to jump into the conversation of becoming a top three pick in June. In 11 innings so far, Lacy has been absolutely dominant, as he has posted a 1.64 ERA, allowed just three walks, and has struck out 22 batters, including 14 in five innings against Army on Friday night. He had all of his stuff working, particularly his slider, which was extremely nasty. As walks have been an issue for Lacy previously, he looks to have cut those significantly, which is great for the southpaw.

Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke

On Friday night, Jarvis was lights out, as he pitched the first perfect game in college history and the 31st in NCAA history at the DBAP. He recorded 15 strikeouts on 95 pitches in his perfect outing. He’s had a strong season so far leading the Blue Devils’ rotation, as he has 17 strikeouts and just one walk over two starts. He is lined up to potentially start against Florida State RHP C.J. Van Eyk in two weeks, which could be one of the premier pitching matchups in the nation that weekend.

Nick Gonzales, INF, New Mexico State

The reigning Cape Cod MVP is not slowing down this season. Over the weekend, Gonzales hit for the cycle and hit two home runs in the same game, increasing his slash line to .567/.698/1.433 with seven home runs and 26 (!) runs batted in in just eight games. That’ll definitely play for any team in the top five. He gets a chance to show off against a top ten team in Arizona State this week, as he faces Spencer Torkelson, one of the few prospects better than Gonzales in this class.

Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida/Brian Van Belle, RHP, Miami

In what was a classic pitcher’s duel on Friday night in Coral Gables, both Tommy Mace and Brian Van Belle were nearly unstoppable. Here are the lines for both pitchers:

Van Belle: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Mace: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Mace’s fastball looked very healthy, as it sat in the mid-90’s and had good life on it. He flashed a cutter/slider that touched 90 MPH, a big curveball that sat 78-79 MPH, and a quality change-up at 85 MPH. He pounds the zone with strikes and looks like he could pitch his way into Day 1 discussion.

As for Van Belle, he sat in the low-90’s with his fastball, but lived off a filthy change-up that flashed as a plus pitch. Van Belle is having a very strong start to his season, as he has just to allow an earned run through 13 innings, while striking out 19 and walking just one.

Vanderbilt’s Rotation

Vanderbilt started off with a rough opening weekend, losing to the team they beat for the College World Series title last summer in Michigan and losing to Cal Poly two days later, but the team has rebounded nicely, including the pitching staff.

It all started off with Jack Leiter, who was a top prep pitcher in last year’s class. In his college debut, Leiter went five strong innings without allowing a hit, while striking out 12. His fastball was dominant, and his curveball was otherworldly. He’s a draft eligible sophomore, and he could pair with another Vandy arm in the top five next year.

To follow up Leiter’s impressive debut, sophomore Ethan Smith showed off his potential on Wednesday, as he pitched five shutout innings, striking out seven and allowing just two hits.

After that, the weekend rotation was downright lethal. Mason Hickman led the Commodores rotation on Friday night, as he struck out 12 batters in seven shutout innings. The next day, the world got to see Kumar Rocker be the dominant force that he is, as he excelled in six innings, striking out 12, walking just one, and allowing just two hits. Rocker’s fastball/slider combo was as good as advertised, as shown by this PitchingNinja overlay, and he’s squarely in the conversation to win Pitcher of the Year.

But wait, there’s more! Southpaw Jake Eder was slated to start the series finale on Sunday, and he pitched to the tune of 5.2 innings with 11 strikeouts, three hits allowed, two runs, and two walks. The reliever-turned-weekend starter proved that he could stick in the weekend rotation, even with Leiter and Smith making their cases to join them. This year’s Vanderbilt pitching staff is one of the best I have seen in recent memory.

Logan Allen, LHP, Florida International

Logan Allen is one of the southpaws that could easily pitch himself into first round discussion, and he’s certainly making a strong case to do so. On the season, Allen has been electric, posting 24 strikeouts in just 12 innings across two starts so far, including seven one-hit innings this past weekend against George Mason, racking up 13 strikeouts and walking just one. Allen is one of the best two-way threats in the country, and he could be drafted that way, but with the way he’s pitching so far, there’s a chance he is just a pitcher as he progresses.

Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville

Speaking of southpaws, we get to Reid Detmers, who could arguably make a case to be the top college pitcher in this class. Through two starts, Detmers owns a 0.82 ERA, with 23 strikeouts to just two walks in 11 innings so far. This includes a 14 strikeout performance this past weekend, where he absolutely dominant. Detmers has a low-to-mid 90’s fastball that is deceptive and has a curveball that is devastating to opposing hitters. He’s solidly in top ten discussions currently, and there’s a good chance he cracks it come June.

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