Summer Collegiate | Story | 7/8/2014

Summer notebook: July 8

Patrick Ebert         Frankie Piliere        
Photo: Stevens Athletics

PGCBL spotlight: Jayson Yano

Righthanded pitcher and second baseman Jayson Yano threw three consecutive complete games for the Newark Pilots from mid-June to early July. In those three games – against Glens Falls, Watertown and Albany – the 6-foot, 170-pound athlete tossed 22 innings allowing only two earned runs while posting a sparkling 16-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Yano opened the season in the Pilots' bullpen before being move to the starting rotation. He made his fourth start of the year on Monday night against second-place Elmira in the West Division, and while he didn't go the distance, he did pick up the win.

On the year Yano is now 4-1 in 30 1/3 innings of work with a 1.48 ERA. He has allowed only 25 hits and three walks with 21 strikeouts.

Control is clearly the strength for the young righthander, pounding the lower half of the strike zone with a sinking fastball that hovers consistently at 87 mph and can reach 88-89 at times. Yano has also shown great improvement with his slider, and overall shows a great aptitude for pitching.

Yano also led his college team, the Stevens Institute of Technology, with a .342 batting average this past spring and stole 16 bases in 18 attempts. His command of the strike zone was equally obvious in the batter's box, as he struck out just once in 152 plate appearances.

On the mound during the spring he went 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA, striking out 46 and walking only 10 in 50 innings of work. That included a complete game shutout in the CUNYAC semifinals (the team won the 2014 CUNYAC Championship) as well as the Stevens Ducks' first-ever victory in the NCAA Division III New York Regional.

Yano was named a ECAC Division III Metro All-Star for his success on the mound, at the plate and on the field as a sure-handed defender at second base.

Cape Cod League notes

Cody Ponce
, RHP, Cal Poly Pomona – You may not know much about Ponce now, but in time the whole scouting world is going to be aware of this 6-foot-6, strongly built right-hander. He’s been one of the true revelations of the Cape so far, showing off a legitimate four pitch mix, led by a 91-95 mph fastball with late life. Ponce’s most impressive pitch in his latest start may have been his hard, late biting 85-86 mph slider with two plane action. He doesn’t throw it as often as his 78-81 mph curveball, but it’s going to be the pitch that nets him swings and misses at the next level. The fact that he can also locate an 80-82 mph change clearly makes him one of the more fascinating college prospects on the summer scene right now. This is a first round pick in the making.

Kyle Cody
, RHP, Kentucky – Of all the currently active pitchers on the Cape, Cody may have the strongest case for being the league’s top pitching prospect. The aforementioned Ponce may be his closest competition, and newcomers like Walker Buehler and Josh Sborz will soon make their cases, but right now Cody is the reigning champ, so to speak. The towering 6-foot-7 righty stumbled out of the gate in his first two starts, but has followed that up with two outstanding outings in a row. Armed with a low effort, downhill 92-96 mph fastball, Cody has done a much better job of late of pounding the lower quadrants of the zone. But, his ability to mix and spot his 84-86 mph changeup has likely been the biggest difference maker. He hasn’t thrown quite as many of his above average 82-84 mph sliders (which actually have more of a curveball break), and his changeup has given him a real weapon against left-handed batters. He’s been as a complete a package as a scout could ask for his last two times out.

Mikey White
, SS, Alabama – White has certainly come a long way in the last year, adding significant strength and becoming a force at the plate. We already knew about his smooth shortstop actions and athleticism, but his emergence at the plate has put him high on scouts’ radar screens. He’s popped three home runs already and been one of the Cape’s most consistent hitters. His added power stroke and ability against more advanced pitching could make him just the medicine this crop of college players needs as premium position players become more scarce.

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