On Wednesday March 21st 2012 I went and watched Southwestern Assemblies of God at Howard Payne University. On Friday March 23rd I saw Howard Payne play Schriener University.
Reed Klose was the starting pitcher for Howard Payne, and (as I arrived an inning after the start) he gave up 3 runs in the first inning. He had unimpressive velocity, movement, and location on his fastball. The 6-1 230 (he definitely looked big) Junior right hander should get plenty of ground-balls when he is on. I liked his curveball when I saw it in warm-ups, it almost knuckled a bit (he did throw one about 56 feet).
Ryan Klose is apparently his brother, and he is even bigger at 6-4 235 and he played some first base. He is slow of course, and his swing was slow and not good, but the ball did jump off his bat. Alan Sailors is a junior catcher with a good build but a poor swing and poor speed. He really wasn't recognizing pitches and didn't have good patience at the plate. He did pull a ball that was low and in for a hit. Defensively, he had an erratic arm.
Dustin Kelver is a freshman 6-2 180 freshman relief pitcher. He had a very violent over the top delivery with not great command (he did hit a batter). He wasn't throwing exceptionally hard, but did break out a nice breaking pitch (but he did hang it for a single). He gave up a pretty hard ground-ball that turned into a double play. Defensively, he was a nice fielder with a good throw over to first (you would be shocked at how many pitchers can't throw to first, I'm looking at you Cliff Lee).
Jordan Hammontree is an awful defender in right field. He doesn't have a real good swing, but he took some pitches for a walk (and had another walk as well). He struckout on the knuckleball, and had some big swing and misses. He did hit a sharp foul, and with Hammondtree, you do see some potential in his bat, but he doesn't recognize pitches. He did walk and steal a base, even though he doesn't have plus speed. The senior does possess decent size at 6-1 190. Kristopher Kloc is another senior outfielder who is smaller and slow, but he has a good arm. He struck out chasing out of the zone offensively. Dustin Cole had a hard time at 2nd base with an easy ground-ball, and is not a very good fielder even though he made one good defensive play. He doesn't run real well either and doesn't have much plate discipline. The 150 pound (but 5-11) sophomore had a long at-bat where he lined a fastball that was placed down the middle. Houston Holmes is a 3rd baseman who is listed at 5-8 160 but is much bigger and appears too big for 3rd. However, he was good with the bat, walking and hitting a home run in the first game I saw him. The second time was very unimpressive, as he had some really weak swings and hit 3 ground-balls. Tyler Payne is listed as both an infielder and a left handed pitcher, but all I saw him play was the infield. He must be a switch hitter as I saw him hit right handed. He is 6-4 and yet 190 as a freshman, so one can expect him to fill out. At first, he had an ugly drop and was taken out the next inning. Offensively, he had bad pitch recognition, missing a breaking ball and had a soft pop up. Sam Dollahite is the lead-off hitting shortstop. At 5-9 160, the junior hit a double, hit 3 soft ground-balls (one off the end of the bat on the first pitch), a harder ground-ball, and struck out on a breaking ball. He really wasn't fast, which is not good for his size, and didn't have much range defensively and booted a pretty easy ball.
Ben Butler played 1st base, and he chased a breaking ball for a strikeout twice and it was a consistent problem for him. At 6-0 240, the junior is listed as an infielder but there is no way he could play any other position in the infield. Colton Buzzard played centerfield and really covers some ground out there. He is a 5-9 165 junior who doesn't do anything impressive with his bat.
Garrett Sosa is a 5-9 190 relief right handed pitcher. He moved okay defensively, but didn't have an overwhelming pickoff move. He was throwing a little harder than the previous pitchers, with a little sink. This pitch was best when it was high and in. He had a nice curveball with a good break that drops off the plate. He could throw it for quality strikes, but lost control of it and struggled with control as a whole, walking 4 batters. He tried a pitch out that nearly ended up being a strike. He did get a 1 pitch ground-ball after a mound visit.
For Southwestern, Dustin Jett played center field, but didn't show much range there. The senior singled off a hanging braking ball and seemed to make solid contact. Donavan Vess is a freshman second baseman who pulled a curve for a weak line drive single and then was promptly picked off. Mario Mendoza played DH and RF, and had good size and build at 5-11. He batted lead-off and ran pretty well. He had a pretty good eye with a walk, but also chased a 3-1 curveball. He drove a low curveball pretty well with some help from the wind as well. He is a senior, and he is also a pitcher according to their roster. Robert Elles is another pitcher/fielder and he played first base, even though he looked small for that position. One wonders if he can field elsewhere, even though he is a lefty. The freshman has a big cut, and hit a deep liner to the wall, a hard groundball, and an infield pop. On the basepaths, I thought he had pretty good instincts. Jared Denton is the sophomore catcher, who gave up a passed ball and had problems throwing back to the pitcher, but he threw out a runner easily. His bat was nothing worth writing about. Enrique Rodriquez is another freshman first baseman who is really slow but had a nice liner. Jacob Spivey is a 5-9 freshman shortstop who had an awful fielding play. Zack Worrell is a pitcher/outfielder who I got to see play both. He is extremely small, but did draw a walk. The lefty sophomore started the 2nd game of the doubleheader for Southwestern. He has a short stop in his delivery, and was throwing pretty hard for his size. It wasn't without effort though, with some very loud grunts. He also seemed to be rattled and uncomfortable out on the mound. He had some command issues with his fastball, but when it was low it was solid. I liked the way he hides the ball, and the hitters seemed to have some trouble with it. His slow delivery to the plate allowed for some easy steals. He had a low breaking pitch that hitters kept getting under, and it was nice when he threw it. However, he was very fastball happy. Worrell missed bats, getting 3 strikeouts in a row. Taylor Froelich was another guy who played some catcher, and the sophomore seemed kind of small for the position (he is listed at 5-11). He also didn't run well and didn't have much of an arm. He hit a ground-ball in the at-bat I watched him.
Some other Pitchers:
Tyler Gaddis is a 6-4 215 junior pitcher with a Josh Collmenter type delivery:
The delivery really doesn't seem to take advantage of his size. He had huge control problems, as his first pitch was 8 feet high and then he threw 2 straight pitches 55 feet to the 2nd hitter. He induced a weak fly-ball to first base to the first batter he faced, and these weak fly-balls were a pattern for Gaddis. He wasn't throwing very hard and he wasn't getting any kind of help from his defense. His defense was pretty good, and he moved pretty well. He gave up a 4 pitch walk, but also threw a nice pitch on a low corner for a looking strikeout.
Michael Reeves was brought in to "close" the first game, but didn't last long. He was taken out after a walk and a wild pitch, as he had control and command issues. He threw a fastball down the middle of the plate for a hard line drive. His fastball seemed to have decent velocity, but it wasn't overwhelming. He had a high leg kick with a slight back turn, keeping his fastball low early on. The 6-1 sophomore had a poor pickoff throw for an error.
Daniel Reinhardt is a 6-1 sophomore who also plays 1st base. There is no listed weight, but it looks like he weighs at least 230 pounds. He had a weird arm action and was throwing a knuckleball with a slow curveball to compliment it. He also mixed in a fastball, and I found it interesting that he threw it in a 3-0 count, meaning he probably doesn't trust his knuckle. The ball was staying low most of the time, which is desirable, especially for a knuckler. He got 2 strikeouts, one on the knuckle and another on the curve. He had some problems with control, walking one and hitting a batter, and he gave up a hard liner and a ground-ball. He was pretty effective, especially since Howard Payne gifted him some free outs. Despite being big, he was a good enough fielder of his position.
Carlton Brown is listed as an outfielder, but I saw him play as a pitcher and a DH. has okay velocity and got a swing and miss on a fastball early. The pitch wasn't bad when it was low. His breaking ball tails away from righties and floats and flutters a little with consistent location. He wasn't real sure where his fastball was going, and when it was in the middle of the low part of the plate it got smoked. He didn't get off the mound to field his position, but did made a nice snag on a comebacker. With the bat, he had a decent line drive to left center, a nice liner to center, but he chased a 3-1 pitch for a ground-ball.
Corey Howie is a 6-0 155 sophomore who is listed as an infielder/shortstop. However, he is a starter for Howard Payne. In a game with a big strikezone, the small pitcher threw mainly fastballs to begin the game, and then threw mainly curveballs. He had an okay fastball that stayed way outside to start the game. It appeared he wanted to just pound the strikezone and overpower hitters with the fastball. He threw several down the middle, but also missed badly with some. His fastball is not good enough to be in the middle of the zone, but he did throw a couple pretty hard fastballs that were clearly harder than the majority of them. His curveball was a slow curve, and he couldn't get it over the first try. He was pretty wild, with poor pitch locations early on, even though they got a lot better later on. He threw some nice low strikes with the curve, but also hung it at times. The pitch had some break but he clearly gave away what pitch he was throwing with his delivery. When he was throwing a fastball, it looked like he was trying to throw it hard, but with his curve his delivery didn't seem as hard. He fields his position pretty well, and he picked a runner off.
Barrett Houser is a starting pitcher for Schreiner, who is a 6-0 175 junior. He tries to hide the ball behind his chest in the windup, and I didn't think it was that effective. Most everything, in fact basically everything, was down in the zone, but he really wasn't his spots at all. His fastball is not overpowering to say the least, but it has moving and sinking action (and stays low). He did throw one down the middle and got away with it, but I don't think he will be able to do that at a higher level. His breaking pitch looked like a slider with a slight break, tailing away from righties. It was basically never a strike (he was in trouble when it was), but it fooled hitters. His pickoff move wasn't bad.
Ethan Catalani was their reliever, and had nice size at 6-4 200, where one would think he would be able to get on top of the ball. The sophomore is also listed as an infielder, but with his size and the fact that he is left-handed, one has to assume he only plays 1st base. He has a 3/4ths delivery where he tosses his body around. He had some control problems and was very change-up happy. The pitch absolutely has to stay down, but he wasn't always keeping it low. It was a decent pitch but it didn't have a ton of break. If he can keep the ball low, it might make up for his apparent lack of velocity. His fastball was largely absent, and I mainly saw it in warm-ups and it was very unimpressive. In the game, he threw some very high "fastballs".
Reagan Reed is listed as a pitcher/infielder, but played DH when I saw him. In his first at-bat, he had a big whiff on a 2-0 breaking pitch, then hit a weak foul on another, then took a called strike 3 on a foul pitch. He also chased an inside fastball for some reason in another at-bat. He appeared short, but has decent build, as the freshman is listed at 6-0 170. He is pretty slow as well. Brad Thomas is listed as an outfielder, but played 1st. He is taller than Reed at 6-3, but he is not big (215 is not large for that height). I am pretty skeptical of his outfield abilities, as he showed some awful range at first. Offensively, he got jammed for a weak fly-ball to center on an inside fastball. He didn't really show a good swing, and wasn't hitting the ball hard. Curt Jaeger batted lead-off and played an awful left field. He is also listed as a pitcher, even though he is really small at 5-10 165. He hit a line drive the other way on a 3-2 count in his first at-bat. He also made nice contact on a low breaking pitch, but looked not great on low curves with some bad cuts and it looks like he is struggling with that pitch. Jesse Paredes played center, and has a poor arm and looked absolutely terrible out there. There was nothing really good to write about his at-bats either. Pete Trevino is a junior infielder who was chasing breaking pitches and late on the fastball (he had a good liner on another fastball right down the middle. Justin Martinez is an outfielder/pitcher, so it wasn't surprising that he had a nice arm out in right field. He is a slow senior with really little to no power but had a hard ground-ball. Eric Bukowski played 3rd base and is another pitcher/fielder hybrid. He had really poor range at 3rd base and is slow (things that don't always go hand in hand, but do many times). He had a really long at-bat before chasing a breaking ball to strikeout, and he really has a ground-ball swing. Ryan Pisseri is a freshman infielder/pitcher, who played a very range-less 2nd base. He struck-out looking on a breaking ball and also chased a 59 feet breaking ball. Chris Whitehad is the junior catcher who doesn't have a good arm. He had a decent line drive after 2 very forgettable at-bats. Freshman Caleb Veteto pinch hit, and didn't swing, striking out looking.