Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scouting Report from Seton Hall at Texas A&M

It's been a while, hasn't it? Seems my time has been taken up lately by new gigs, new babies and not much minor league action. But, with the start of the college baseball season, I hope to get this blog revving up again. First up is a small scouting report on the Texas A&M baseball game from last Friday, February 19th.

The main guy I focused on was starting pitcher Barrett Loux. When I asked Andy Seiler over at his MLB Draft Blog who to watch for, he immediately said Loux is the guy. Coming off surgery last summer, Loux may end up falling into the fourth or fifth round, but a strong showing this spring could push him as high as the second.

For various, non-exciting reasons, I didn't get to this game until the bottom of the first and missed Loux's first inning of work. I did get to watch his next four and got some good notes. Loux threw five innings, giving up three hits and two runs, though only one was earned, while striking out eight and walking one. He used 92 pitches, but I only saw 74 of them. He did get nine whiffs that I saw for a 12.1 percent whiff rate. That's not great, but it's pretty good for a guy coming off surgery AND in his first game of the season.

Loux did run into trouble in the third. The first hit he gave up was an RBI single after an error and a walk put runners at first and second. One of the problems he ran into here was Seton Hall threw up a bunch of lefthanded hitters and Loux was not getting the calls low and away. Rather than give in, he ended up giving up some walks and a couple hits.

I posted some video of his stuff here. Go over to this excellent post on pitching mechanics first and then watch Loux.

You can see that his form holds up very well. His delivery doesn't drift into the Inverted W or Inverted L territory and shouldn't cause injury concerns. I like how effortless the delivery is too. He's a bit of a Tall and Fall guy, but he doesn't land very hard on his plant foot. I've read over at Driveline Mechanics in the past that too violent a follow-through can lead to elbow problems due to the force carrying up from the ground to the arm. The other thing to like here is his arm slot stays fairly consistent at a three-quarters angle. His high leg kick seems to hide the ball well and gives his delivery a little more deception.

The only quirk I noticed is that he pitched out of the stretch almost exclusively. I'll watch for that next time I go and may have to find out why that is.

The only other two notes I had from the game were about Brett Parsons and Adam Smith. I saw some of Parsons last summer with the Brazos Valley Bombers, a local wooden bat team in the Texas Collegiate League. He played the field pretty well then but didn't show a whole lot with the bat. In the game last Friday, Parsons was 0-for-3 and finished the weekend 1-for-6 with a double and a strikeout. His swing looks too long to me and might be an 'aluminum bat swing,' as the scouts like to say.

Smith is very intriguing. The 6-foot-3, 200 pound sophomore came in last season as a defense-first guy, but ended up hitting .267/.364/.489 with nine home runs in 180 at-bats. He also had a fielding percentage of .923 in 248 chances. All in all, he had a great freshman season and I was intrigued to see what he could do in 2010. The first thing that jumps out at you is how tall he is. Traditionally, shortstops are not this big, but if Cal Ripken could make it work, so can Adam Smith. He's got a pretty good glove and showed a solid swing. On Friday, he singled up the middle with a short stroke that didn't get much loft on the ball. He still took a good approach and looks like a sleeper for next year's draft. Plus, I've already nicknamed him 'The Economist.' Who doesn't love a history reference and a LOST reference in one?

For a guy who was named Big 12 Player of the Week, newly minted center fielder Brodie Green didn't to anything to jump out at me. Of course, we left right before his big hit Friday night and I didn't see him in Saturday's doubleheader. Apparently, he made a spectacular catch in center, running back and to his right before diving flat out to catch the ball right at the warning track. My writer friend who covered the game was pretty impressed. Not bad for a guy who played second base last season.

That's about all I have this time. I'll definitely try to make more games as the season wears on and report back here what I see.

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