Draft Dope: – Danny Hultzen, Blake Swihart, Roberto Padilla, Navery Moore, Mikie Mahtook, Eric Wahley, Keith Bilodeau, Phillip Pohl

Virginia ace SP Danny Hultzen isn’t known for his velocity, but most draft pundits say he has been the most consistent pitcher over the past few seasons. On Friday, he kicked butt, striking out 15 East Carolina batters, which must mean he has some speed on his fastball, right? Oh yeah, he also went 3-4 from the plate, but that doesn’t mean anything to the scouts. Hultzen is a future pitcher, period. Currently, I have him as the 13th overall pick (Mets) in the 1st round, and the 3rd LHP picked behind Matt Purke and Daniel Norris.

Lots of talk on the piss poor start of Texas, but it only takes one look at the stats of the majority of starters to figure out what’s wrong here(through Saturday’s game): Tank Shepherd .217, Kevin Lusson .214, Paul Montalbano .190, Jonathan Walsh .120, and Jordan Etier .053

As of right now, the top five catchers in the June draft are Cleveland (NM) High School’s Blake Swihart, Oregon States’s Andrew Susac, JSerra (CA) High School’s Austin Hedges, Bethune-Cookman’s Peter O’Brien, and Utah’s C.J. Cron. Falling down the list are Farragut (TN) High School’s Nicky Delmonico, Hanna (SC) High School’s Garrett Boulware, and Arizona’s Jett Bandy.

Players to Watch: San Jose State SP Roberto Padilla. Padilla transferred this year to SJS from Ohlone JC, where he earned All-American stripes. He went out and tamed big boy UCLA, limiting the Bruins to five hits… Vanderbit closer Navery Moore hit 99 Saturday against Stanford… Arizona’s Josh Garcia now has four home runs on the season… Owasso (Ok.) High School’s Dylan Bundy sat in the 91-35 range, hit 95… Dylan Maples tits 91-95 with 79-80 breaking ball.

I asked LSU’s Mikie Mahtook, who has already hit five home runs this season, if the new bats have affected his game in any way this year and if he had changed his off-season prep in any way to anticipate the new bats. “No sir”, said Mahtook, “I didn’t do anything different. I just didn’t allow myself to think of the new bats as an issue.” Simply put, that sounds like the right approach.

I congratulated Miami’s Eric Wahley on a job well done Saturday (7.0-IP, 0-ER, 9-K) against Appalachian State. He thought he had pitched well: “The defense made all the plays and didn’t make one error, so they helped me out a lot. I thought the main thing that was working for me was spotting my fastball inside and outside and getting ahead of hitters. My off speed pitches still aren’t how I want them to be right now but I just have to keep on working on them. I think that as a team we have a lot more improving to do and well all get better as the season goes on.”
The sophomore Wahley isn’t eligible for the draft until 2012… played high school at Cardinal Gibbons in South Florida… senior year: 2-3, 2.10… was drafted in the 40th round of the 2009 draft by the Chicago Cubs, but chose to attend the U instead… freshman year at Miami: 5-1, 4.28.

Maine’s Keith Bilodeau threw one hell of a game on Monday against Stetson, going eight innings, giving up no runs, and striking out ten. He… well, let’s let him tell you:

Lastly, Clemson’s Philip Pohl checked in after his role in the February 26th 19-1 win over Charleston Southern:

“Today’s outing was a great first win to put on the books for the 2011 season. I was very confident going into today’s game. My game plan was simple. Pound the strike zone and make them put the ball in play. If you look at our past outings from other starters one thing that really stands out is the amount of walks given up. We have a good enough field behind us that if you attack the hitters and make them put the ball in play things will be taken care of. Another great positive from today’s outing was working with freshmen catcher, Matt Verrier. I was really happy with the way he worked behind the plate. Everything from defense to hitting was well executed today. Great team win! Overall I am just happy to get the first one out of the way and I am really hungry for more of what’s to come.”

This past weekend, including Saturday,  was a good weekend for our team as we went 3-0. Saturday we beat Charleston Southern 19-1 and it was good to see our offense sharp and poised. I was fortunate enough to put a good swing on a down and in fastball to add a 2 run homer to our 19 run effort. Overall it was a good weekend as we looked to carry some momentum into this weekend for a three game series against the University of South Carolina with the first game tomorrow night at 7pm.”



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