It is that time of the year, as baseball is now on television. The inaugural college baseball game on TV for my plan was Oklahoma and Arkansas Pine Bluff. I will (at least I should) see Oklahoma in person late in the season, but here are scouting reports on the two starters:
Adam Choplick is a gigantic freshman lefty that stands at 6 feet 8 inches. His fastball was at 89-92 MPH with a change at 77-80 MPH. He gets, a lot of glove side tail with a heavy usage of the change against right-handed batters. The break and command of it was inconsistent, but he threw some really impressive ones and they drop and tilt downward very well. When he missed, he usually missed arm side, which usually means he wasn't "finishing his delivery", which is especially for a problem for young and very tall pitchers. Overall, I thought his command was pretty good for his age and size. He has a solid to average fastball now from the left-side, with the potential to add even more velocity along with a changeup that should add a little velocity and has good movement. I liked how he was able to use an off-speed pitch, especially since it was the changeup, so often, and at the same time, have a legit fastball. Many times it seems that young pitchers either use almost all fastballs, or are very off-speed heavy because he doesn't have a good fastball (a good example of that is below). Choplick is not either of these.
Obviously he is far away from even being drafted (he was redshirted, so he should be eligible in 2014), but I like Choplick.The one thing you can complain about is a lack of a third pitch, as he didn't really show one in the game. He also is coming off what I understand was his 2nd Tommy John surgery. This is obviously concerning at such a young age. With that said, he showed decent control for his age, especially for his first start as a college pitcher, and had a good outing, albeit against inferior competition (the team is in a smaller conference and went 8-31 in 2012). To me, he is an interesting name to follow, as we will want to see if he can stay healthy, and also gain a 3rd pitch and add some velocity.
Mikey Ramirez is a 5-10 junior right-handed pitcher for Arkansas Pine-Bluff. He throws 84-86 MPH with some arm side tail along with a 73-77 MPH change that floats armside and also can get some impressive downward tilt. However, he seemed to have no idea where the pitch was going. It also was so slow at times that even when it was out of the strike zone and low it was still occasionally hit hard. Ramirez also has a curve that looks 12-6 in break that he can bury low, but it was not a frequent pitch.
His delivery with runners on base reminds me of Edgar Gonzalez for some reason. He sort of rocks, and has a lot of body movement and somewhat inconsistent landing point. Obviously, his command reflected this, and he was all over the place at times.
The lack of fastball along with the lack of height and projection basically makes him a non prospect when it comes to the draft and the Majors.