Who’s Hot & Who’s Not (Week 9): Mize Tosses Another Gem, Swaggerty Rises

Wake Forest Demon Deacons relief pitcher Griffin Roberts (43) reacts after getting the final out against the West Virginia Mountaineers in Game Six of the Winston-Salem Regional in the 2017 College World Series at David F. Couch Ballpark on June 4, 2017 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Demon Deacons defeated the Mountaineers 12-8. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

We’re now in the thick of conference play and each game is seemingly more important than the next.

And while some prospects have seemingly been worn down by the first nine weeks of play, like South Florida’s Shane McClanahan, there are some that have been inspired by the competition and are performing at their best, including Auburn’s Casey Mize, who went toe-to-toe with Mississippi State ace Konnor Pilkington, and came out on top…again. Shocker, right? And while Mize’s complete-game, five-hitter was impressive, the pitching performance of the week goes to Wake Forest right-hander Griffin Roberts.

For those of you not familiar with the name, Roberts was one of the best relievers in baseball last year, racking up eight saves and 80 strikeouts in just 53 innings. He made the transition to the rotation this season, and after a few hiccups, has settled in nicely as the Deacs’ Friday night ace. He went up against an over-matched Boston College lineup this past Friday and allowed just one hit, a second-inning single, while striking out 11 batters in eight sterling innings. He retired the next 14 batters before hitting a BC batter.

During his last three starts, Roberts has been one of the top arms in the country, posting a 29-to-5 K-to-BB mark in 23 innings, allowing just four runs in that span. He currently ranks second in the nation with 90 strikeouts, right ahead of the trio of Logan Gilbert, Casey Mize and Shane McClanahan. In ACC play, he’s been almost un-hittable, striking out more than 12 batters per 9 IP, while pacing the league in strikeouts and innings pitched.

Roberts keeps batters off-balance with a mid-90s sinking fastball that has given him a ground-ball rate of 33% during his stellar stretch, a plus slider and an improving changeup. He definitely seems comfortable in a starting role and should be rising up draft boards as we get closer to draft day. He just missed out on our College Top 50, but you can bet you’ll find him on our next revision.

At the plate, a couple of prospects had tremendous weekends, namely Dallas Baptist’s Matt Duce (3 HR, 7 RBI), TCU’s Luken Baker (2 HR, 7 RBI) and Oregon State’s Trevor Larnach (2 HR, 5 RBI). The star of the weekend, though, has to be South Alabama’s Travis Swaggerty. Pitched around for most of the season, the outfielder, let loose some pent-up aggression at the plate in a three-game sweep of Georgia Southern: five hits, five runs, seven RBI and again…more walks than strikeouts. Our No. 5 Overall Prospect, Swaggerty has boosted his average up to .314 and currently ranks fourth in the country in walks.

Pitchers (Hot)

RHP Tristan Beck, Stanford: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, win (4-2)
RHP Casey Mize, Auburn: 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, win (7-1)
RHP Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest: 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, win (4-3)
RHP Cody Deason, Arizona: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, win (4-2)
RHP Brady Singer, Florida: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, no-decision
RHP Logan Gilbert, Stetson: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, no-decision
RHP Zack Hess, Louisiana State: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, win (6-3)
RHP Stephen Kolek, Texas A&M: 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, no-decision
RHP Connor Van Hoose, Bucknell: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, win (5-4)
RHP Justin Lewis, Kentucky: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, no-decision
RHP Sean Wymer, Texas Christian: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, win (2-2)
RHP Davis Martin, Texas Tech: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, win (6-2)
RHP Matt Mercer, Oregon: 7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, loss (4-3)
RHP Jackson Kowar, Florida: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, win (6-1)
RHP Sam Bordner, Louisville: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 saves (10)
LHP John Rooney, Hofstra: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, no-decision
LHP Hogan Harris, Louisiana at Lafayette: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, win (2-1)

Pitchers (Not)

RHP Dylan Coleman, Missouri State: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, loss (5-2)
RHP Andrew Quezada, Cal State Fullerton: 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, loss (1-4)
RHP Thomas Ponticelli, San Francisco: 6.0 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, loss (5-1)
RHP Blair Henley, Texas: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, loss (5-4)
RHP Zach Haake, Kentucky: 2.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, loss (1-3)
LHP Chase Gardner, Connecticut: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, loss (3-1)
LHP Carson Teel, Oklahoma State: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, loss (4-2)
LHP Daniel Lynch, Virginia: 7.1 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, no-decision
LHP Shane McClanahan, South Florida: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, loss (4-4)
LHP Jake Miednik, Florida Atlantic: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, no-decision
LHP Nick Sprengel, San Diego: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, loss (1-2)
LHP Jeb Bargfeldt, Miami: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, no-decision

Hitters (Hot)

C J.J. Schwarz, Florida: 5-for-10 (.500), 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
C Mickey Gasper, Bryant: 9-for-19 (.474), 7 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
C Matt Duce, Dallas Baptist: 4-for-10 (.400), 3 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K
C Ryan Jeffers, North Carolina, Wilmington: 6-for-10 (.600), 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
C Nick Meyer, California Polytechnic: 7-for-12 (.583), 4 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
INF Nico Hoerner, Stanford: 5-for-12 (.417), 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
INF Luken Baker, Texas Christian: 4-for-9 (.444), 3 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
INF Rylan Thomas, Central Florida: 4-for-10 (.400), 3 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
INF Nick Dunn, Maryland: 4-for-8 (.500), 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
INF Wade Bailey, Georgia Tech: 5-for-13 (.385), 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K
INF Jonathan India, Florida: 5-for-9 (.556), 3 R, 1 3B, 5 BB, 3 K
INF/OF Greyson Jenista, Wichita State: 5-for-12 (.417), 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
OF Jonathan Engelmann, Michigan: 4-for-5 (.800), 3 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB
OF Tanner Dodson, California: 6-for-15 (.400), 1 R, 3 RBI, 3 K
OF Drew Mount, Kansas State: 5-for-11 (.455), 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 K, 1 SB
OF Alex McKenna, California Polytechnic: 6-for-15 (.400), 3 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
OF Travis Swaggerty, South Alabama: 5-for-12 (.417), 5 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
OF Antoine Duplantis, Louisiana State: 7-for-14 (.500), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI
OF Tristen Carranza, New Mexico State: 6-for-13 (.462), 4 R, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 2 K
OF Brock Deatherage, North Carolina State: 5-for-12 (.417), 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
OF Josh McLain, North Carolina State: 7-for-17 (.412), 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
OF Trevor Larnach, Oregon State: 4-for-8 (.500), 6 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K

Hitters (Not)

C J.T. Thomas, Mercer: 0-for-9 (.000), 3 K
INF Josh Anthony, Auburn: 0-for-8 (.000), 6 K
INF Johnny Aiello, Wake Forest: 0-for-11 (.000), 2 BB, 7 K
OF Trey Truitt, Mercer: 2-for-13 (.154), 3 K

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