Draft Prospect Performance Round-up (3/23/14)

  • LHP Carlos Rodon (NC State) couldn’t make it through five-innings in the Wolfpack’s 10-0 loss to Maryland. He struck out eight, but also walked four and was handicapped by a defense that committed four errors. It wasn’t all the defense’s fault, however, as Rodon also plunked two batters and tossed two wild pitches. The loss dropped him to 2-4 on the season, although his 2.18 ERA and 50/15 K/BB ratio lead all NC State pitchers.
  • SS Trea Turner (NC State) didn’t do much to help the Wolfpack either. He mustered just three hits and struck out four times in the three games, in which NC State was outscored 22-6, and more importantly, swept. For the season, Turner’s line has dropped to .301/.375/.398 and he has just seven steals (in nine attempts) in 20 games.
  • It wasn’t the best weekend for aces, as RHP Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt) also got roughed up in the Commodores 17-2 thrashing at the hands of Mississippi State. Beede couldn’t make it out of the third-inning, dealing with a lot of the same issues that plagued Rodon. Five walks, one wild pitch and a hit batter. He was yanked after facing 23 batters, more than half of which reached base, and allowing 11 runs, five of which were earned. The rough outing boosted Beede’s ERA just north of 2.00, but with a 4-2 record and a 42/11 K/BB, he’s still Vandy’s unquestioned ace.
  • Like Rodon and Beede, RHP Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina) didn’t earn a win this weekend, but he sure pitched better. Hoffman’s gutsy seven-inning, six-hit, three-run effort kept the Pirates alive until they scored five runs over the final three innings, topping Charlotte 5-3. Hoffman finished just short of 100 pitches, but didn’t rack up big strikeout or walk numbers (two of each). Lack of control was clearly the motto of the weekend, with Hoffman also tossing two wild pitches and hitting a batter. On the season, the right-hander hasn’t been getting much help from his offense, and as such, is 0-3 with a 4.03 ERA. He has 39 strikeouts in 38 innings, but he’s also walking more than four batters per 9/IP and he has six wild pitches and three hit-by-pitches.
  • His team has lost six in a row, but don’t place the blame at C Max Pentecost’s (Kennesaw State) feet. The junior catcher went 5-for-13 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI, during the Owls’ three-game set with Lipscomb. Despite State’s 12-15 record, Pentecost is thriving, posting a .330/.403/.491 line. He paces the Owls with ten doubles and eight steals and has already racked up 20 RBI, putting him ten away from tying his career-best, set last year.
  • RHP Nick Burdi (Louisville) pitched just once this week, but he made the most of it, allowing just one hit, while striking out three in one scoreless inning. He picked up his third save of the season in Louisville’s 9-8 win over Rutgers. He needed just 16 pitches to complete the inning. The appearance was Burdi’s eighth of the season, and he has still yet to allow an earned run. He’s sporting a 16.9 K/9, cementing his place as the top relief-pitching prospect in the 2014 draft.
  • RHP Aaron Nola (Louisiana State) continued his blistering start to the 2014 campaign, tossing 6.2 innings of two-hit ball, lowering his season ERA to 0.22 in the process. He did walk a season-high four batters, but also racked up eight more strikeouts. Obviously, LSU won, moving Nola to 5-0 on the year, and 24-5 in his career. While the four walks were out of character for Nola, he has just eight in 40.1 innings this season, compared to 56 strikeouts, limiting the long-term concern. Ever the efficient workhorse, Nolan tossed a season-high 117 pitches in his most recent start.
  • One of the finest pitching performances of the weekend was turned in by LHP Brandon Finnegan (Texas Christian). The lefty scattered three hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings, while striking out ten. He got eight flyouts and just barely surpassed 100 pitches (65% strikes), before turning the game over to the bullpen, which preserved a 9-0 victory over Texas Tech. A dark-horse first-rounder, Finnegan is now 4-2 on the year with a 1.44 ERA and jaw-dropping 65/9 K/BB in 43.2 innings. Batters are hitting a paltry .172 off of him.
  • Another top relief prospect, RHP Michael Cederoth (San Diego State) was overshadowed this weekend by a pitcher on the opposing team, although he did get in some work in the Aztecs 5-2 win on Saturday. He pitched 2.1 innings and allowed just three hits, while striking out three. He picked up his eighth save, while lowering his season ERA to 2.61. While his 5.7 BB/9 for the year is disconcerting, he has picked up the slack by striking out almost ten batters per 9/IP. Just imagine how impressive his .152 average against would look without the walks.
  • The pitcher that stole the show this weekend in Vegas was none other than RHP Erick Fedde (UNLV). The junior right-hander went the distance, tossing his first complete-game of the year in UNLV’s 5-4 win. He scattered six hits and allowed three earned runs, but he also struck out a season-high 12. He also got ten groundouts. On the year, Fedde is 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA. He has a 47/13 K/BB and has yet to allow a home run in 43 innings of work.
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