On Saturday March 17th 2012, I saw Texas Wesleyan play against Texas College at Legrave Field.
Derek Vaughn started for Texas Wesleyan. The junior right hander is not real big at 6-0 190, and was drafted by the Rays in the 47th round last year. He spent his freshman year at Arkansas-Fort Smith, where he struck out 10.71 batters per 9 innings and had an ERA of 2.87. He then went to Oklahoma where he was redshirted and never played. He seemed to have a pretty hard fastball and it was about 89-90 MPH (although I have read reports where he has thrown 93-94 MPH). He worked his fast-ball both inside and outside, mostly middle height (although he threw a very nice low fastball, but I really only counted one). The pitch was a nice pitch when it was on the high outside corner. He really seemed very happy for the most part, like he wanted to be a power pitcher. He did show a 73 MPH breaking pitch, but for the most part it was staying too high. He hung the pitch for a hard liner, and really seemed to be having problems with it. He threw a nice harder breaking pitch, most likely a slider, for a swinging strikeout. He showcased this pitch a little, but it wasn't a pitch he had much control or feel for it seemed. His best breaking pitches actually seemed to come in warm-ups. Overall, he had no location on his breaking pitches, and really lacked control overall. In the 2nd he had a walk and a hit by pitch back to back. He ended up throwing 114 pitches overall, and was really laboring from the 5th on it seemed.
The starter for Texas College was Chris Blackmon who ended up throwing a complete game. Even though the fences were way in at Legrave Field compared to other college stadiums, there was only one home run in the 11 innings I saw (it was a double-header and I watched the first game and the first two innings of the second game) and it was Alex Padilla homering off Blackmon off of a hanging breaking ball. Blackmon is a 6'4" senior, but threw a very soft fastball at about 81-82. However, he threw more breaking pitches than fastballs, showcasing mainly a 71 MPH looping curveball (he threw a 64 MPH breaking ball once, but it seemed to be just an even slower curve) that he was throwing both inside and outside. His location really isn't as precise as it needs to be for such a finesse pitcher, as his curveball was really staying high in the 5th on. He really lost effectiveness in the middle of the game and the manager kept him out there. If nothing else, the hitters were falling for that breaking ball and were having all kinds of problems with timing. It seemed that it says more about the hitters than the pitcher. He really seemed to be a right-handed Barry Zito (the Giants version of course), as I saw Zito pitch a few days before with a 70 MPH curveball that was staying up and an 83-85 MPH fastball. We have seen how many problems Zito has had the past few years.
Patrick Stanley was the only reliever I saw pitch, and he is a right handed side armer. He was throwing 82-85 MPH with not a ton of movement and not much low. In warm-ups, everything was on the right side of the plate, but his first pitch was inside to a right hander. In other words, it appears he can work both sides of the plate. When he threw the ball in the middle of the plate low, it turned into a line drive single, and the ball was staying in the middle of the plate too much. He also sailed a pickoff throw, but had a very nice 9th with a ground-ball, infield foul fly-out, and a strikeout looking.
In the 2nd game, the starter for Texas Wesleyan was Dillon Wilson, a 6-7 225 lefty. The senior clearly has much bigger size than you see in most lefties, and he was throwing about 88-90 MPH (he hit 91 MPH, and I am told this is a little bit harder than he usually throws). He got two nice looking strikeouts with the fastball on the outside corner (he tended to like to throw the ball in the dirt). He also broke out a 71 MPH curve on the 3rd batter, and it was a pretty solid pitch (with definite speed differential).
David Kipp was the starter for Texas College in the second game. He is not real big at 6 feet even 205 pounds. He was throwing about 84-86 MPH on his fastball with a 74 MPH breaking pitch. The breaking ball wasn't all that impressive, and ended up getting creamed by Justin Barnes.
Texas Wesleyan's lineup:
Brian White was the starting catcher, and the Junior had a nice arm behind the plate. However, the rather small catcher didn't look good at the plate, falling for breaking balls, and striking out looking in his final at-bat in the first game. Christian Soberanes started at shortstop and the senior didn't have very good pitch recognition, and swung at the first breaking ball he saw for an infield pop-up. He did pull a nice double, but didn't have much range at shortstop. Taylor Jockers was the senior center-fielder, who had a nice arm. Offensively, he showed a little power potential, and had a long at-bat. However, he also struck out swinging on a high fastball.Alex Padilla played 3rd base, even though the junior is listed as a catcher. I mentioned his homer earlier, but he also hit a ground-ball on a breaking pitch that was hung in the strike zone that I thought he should have really hit hard. Joseph Lassiter played 2nd base, although it is listed he can play in the outfield. He didn't show much range out in the field, but he hit a low breaking ball pretty nicely. Jake Howeth played in right field, and the freshman has a nice arm and gunned a runner down at the plate. He also hit a fastball to the wall. Vincent Winter made a nice play in left field, and the junior struck out swinging on a fastball and fell for a breaking pitch for an infield pop-up. Stephen Niedwiecki DH'ed and was really slow and didn't look his listed size of 6-2 200. Andrew Coleman came in the game as a pinch-runner.
Justin Barners played 1st base (he is listed as a 1B/OF, but I can't imagine him playing in the outfield with his 6-3 240 build), and definitely has power potential. He isn't slow, but he is an awful base-runner and doesn't move that well in the infield. The senior has to recognize breaking balls better, and with his age, he should be more advanced than he is.
For Texas College, Agustin Enriquez played shortstop. He looked good in the field, and at the plate he went the other way on a breaking ball for a hit. He also chased another breaking ball. D.J. Fisher played DH as a freshman, and is a real bad body type at 5-11 220. To add that, he is slow on the base paths. Offensively, he cut late on a fastball, and while he looked like he may have some power but I didn't see it. Corey Heidebrecht started at second base, and the sophomore showed some pop and drove a breaking ball pretty well. Jose Hernandez had a nice arm out in left-field (he is listed as a center-field), but the freshman is just 5-8 155. With the bat, he wasn't ready for the fastball. Tristen Neal played in center-field and the senior had all kinds of problems with the bat. He was late and having problems with the fastball, and he chased breaking pitches. He did have a long at-bat in which he grounded out to pitcher. Matthew McEuen played a good 3rd base, and the small junior didn't show an impressive bat (seemed to be a ground-ball hitter) but did hit a hard liner. Jared Seal started in right field as a sophomore, and walked but didn't have any hard contact in the game. He had a couple swing and misses on outside fastballs. He is a pretty slow runner. Jose Serna is the super slow junior catcher. I think there was something wrong with his arm as he wouldn't throw the ball.
Kasey Vogel started at first and the 6-0 200 junior hit a hard line drive on a hanger:
He did have an ugly hack though, even though he walked twice.
Blaine Shackelford made a nice play at catcher, even though he is listed as a pitcher. Tanner Shaffer was brought in as a pinch hitter to bunt. Cody Stifle was the courtesy runner for the catcher, and he is a nice baserunner. Artie Lopez pinch hit, and the listed 1st baseman looked like a bad build (6-1 230) power hitter. The junior is the only switch hitter on the team but wasn't starting, and I can only speculate that he isn't a good defender.