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College  | Story  | 3/10/2015

National college notes: March 10

Patrick Ebert      Mike Rooney      Nick Faleris     
Photo: Vanderbilt Athletics

PG College Top 25 | College Top 25 Chat | Tigers eye the top from Houston

The full information included in Perfect Game's weekend recaps and weekly national notebooks can be viewed with a College Baseball Ticket (CBT) subscription. To learn more about the College Baseball Ticket and to sign up today please visit this link.

Draft Watch

Here is how the players currently ranked among the top 50 of Perfect Game's top 250 draft-eligible prospects have fared so far this season.


Rk. Player Pos. School Stats
6 Dansby Swanson SS Vanderbilt .354/.419/.538, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 SB
16 Richie Martin SS Florida .283/.429/.415, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 SB
17 Alex Bregman SS Louisiana State .338/.397/.554,  6 2B, 2 HR, 12 SB
20 Ian Happ OF Cincinnati .511/.623/.936, 5 2B, 5 HR, 3 SB
25 Christin Stewart OF Tennessee .316/.460/.605, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR
26 D.J. Stewart OF Florida State .292/.528/.667, 3 2B, 5 HR, 2 SB
34 Chris Shaw OF Boston College .244/.375/.533, 1 2B, 4 HR, 19 RBI
40 Gio Brusa OF Pacific .217/.368/.435, 4 2B, 2 HR
44 Steven Duggar OF Clemson .255/.344/.294, 2 2B, 9 BB, 2 SB

47th-ranked prospect, Joe McCarthy, out with back injury


Rk. Player Pos. School Stats
3 Michael Matuella RHP Duke 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 IP, 9:4
4 Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville 1-2, 3.38 ERA, 24 IP, 28:10
5 Walker Buehler RHP Vanderbilt 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 7:3
8 Carson Fulmer RHP Vanderbilt 3-0, 0.81 ERA, 22.1 IP, 33:13
11 Cody Ponce RHP Cal Poly Pomona 1-0, 1.08 ERA, 8.1 IP, 11:2
14 Nathan Kirby LHP Virginia 3-1, 0.71 ERA, 25.1 IP, 37:10
18 Kyle Cody RHP Kentucky 2-1, 3.43 ERA, 21 IP, 26:3
19 Jake Lemoine RHP Houston 1-1, 3.63 ERA, 22.1 IP, 14:3
21 Riley Ferrell RHP Texas Christian 0-0, 1.17 ERA, 5 SV, 7.2 IP, 11:5
27 James Kaprelian RHP UCLA 3-1, 3.33 ERA, 24.1 IP, 29:3
29 Dillon Tate RHP UC Santa Barbara 3-1, 0.96 ERA, 28 IP, 35:11
31 Alex Young LHP Texas Christian 3-0, 1.29 ERA, 21 IP, 21:3
36 Brett Lilek LHP Arizona State 1-1, 4.91 ERA, 18.1 IP, 19:11
38 Tyler Ferguson RHP Vanderbilt 0-0, 24.30 ERA, 3.1 IP, 3:14
43 Marc Brakeman RHP Stanford 0-1, 3.71 ERA, 17 IP, 13:7

30th-ranked prospect, Jon Duplantier, out with arm soreness

Freshman/Sophomore Stat Pack

During the course of the season our friends at CollegeSplits.com are going to be providing statistical leaders in the freshmen and sophomore classes in five different offensive categories and four different pitching categories. Each week we will choose one of those categories to share in the weekly PG college baseball national notebook, starting with home runs for the hitters and strikeouts for pitchers.

Home Runs



Rk. Name School HR
Rk. Name School HR
1 K.J. Harrison Oregon State 6
1 Kyle Lewis Mercer 6
2 Kel Johnson Georgia Tech 5
2 Matt Thaiss Virginia 5
3 P.J. Harris Alabama State 3
2 Sheldon Neuse Oklahoma 5
3 Pavin Smith Virginia 3
4 Andrew Martinez UC Irvine 4
3 Keston Hiura UC Irvine 3
4 Will Craig Wake Forest 4
3 Randy Righter Bowling Green 3
4 Weston Wilson Clemson 4
3 J.J. Schwarz Florida 3
4 Chris DeVito New Mexico 4
3 Alex Destino South Carolina 3
4 Nate Palace Valparaiso 4
3 Brett Cumberland California 3

38 tied with two

16 tied with three




Rk. Name School Ks
Rk. Name School Ks
1 Eddie Macaluso Iona 30
1 Brady Bramlett Mississippi 34
2 Drew Rasmussen Oregon State 27
2 T.J. Zeuch Pittsburgh 32
3 David Peterson Oregon 26
2 Parker Dunshee Wake Forest 32
3 Alex Lange Louisiana State 26
2 Alec Hansen Oklahoma 32
5 J.B. Bukauskas North Carolina 24
5 Anthony Kay Connecticut 31
6 Griffin Canning UCLA 23
5 Wil Crowe South Carolina 31
6 Michael Baumann Jacksonville 23
7 Boomer Biegalski Florida State 30
6 Seth Oliver Texas Southern 23
7 Mike Shawaryn Maryland 30
9 Glenn Otto Rice 22
9 Keegan Akin Western Michigan 29
9 Ryan Wilson Pepperdine 22
9 Daulton Jefferies California 29
9 Will Gaddis Furman 22

9 Tanner Houck Missouri 22

The following reports comes courtesy of Nick Faleris and Baseball Prospectus as part of their weekly Draft 10 Pack feature. To view the full feature please visit 
Baseball Prospectus and follow Nick on Twitter @NickJFaleris.

Scouting Report: Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

Swanson entered the season as one of the top position players in this year’s draft class and has thus far done little to dissuade evaluators from confidently projecting him as a top half of the first round talent. At present, the Vandy standout projects to have four above average or better tools with an outside shot at pushing his playable power to average as well. The profile is that of an up-the-middle impact talent, and Swanson showed every bit of that upside in last Friday’s matchup against UCLA.

In the box, Swanson boasts a contact-friendly swing anchored by terrific balance throughout and a steady head and hands from load through finish. He utilizes a minimalist rock/load and launch with a quick trigger and good barrel acceleration, allowing him to square-up balls across the zone with regularity. The ball jumps and comes with solid carry, though the power and swing project more to fringe average and skewed to the gaps as of today. There is enough natural strength and bat speed for Swanson to tease out more over-the-fence pop in time as he continues to grow as a hitter and more regularly identify situations where he can add some length, leverage and lift. He’s quick out of the box, registering home-to-first times of 4.15 and 4.22 on Friday, and regularly clocks in the 55 to 60 range on the 20/80 scouting scale.

Swanson gave evaluators a taste of his talents at shortstop this past summer with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and has continued to prove more than capable of holding down the position after serving as the Vandy second baseman on last year’s National Championship squad. His overall athleticism and lower-half feel have made for an easy transition to the six spot, with the potential first-rounder showing clean actions and solid range across his zone. More importantly, his precision in movement, arm strength, and hands allow him to max out on his functional range and give him the ability to finish plays at the margins with regularity.

With only a portion of the season in the books, Swanson has exited the starting gates in midseason form and appears to be laying a solid foundation for early first-round consideration. He represents one of the better potential hit tools in the draft class, above-average speed, and an up-the-middle glove that looks at home on the left side of the keystone. If he can maintain this level of play, it may be difficult for the rest of the collegiate position players to keep up with the pace being set.

James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA

In a marque matchup against Vanderbilt ace and fellow first round hopeful Carson Fulmer, Kaprielian struggled to find his stride early in the contest, ultimately settling in but falling shy of the forceful statement evaluators were hoping to witness. The righty battled his fastball command in the first, all but abandoning the offering in favor of his curve, slider, and changeup, the latter proving most effective in helping him to work out of his early jams.

Over the course of his start Kaprielian was better able to spot his 89-91 mph heater, which allowed for his curveball and slider to play up substantially. While he was able to register some 92s and 93s early on, the pitch played mostly in the upper-80s through the later innings, showing some occasional natural cut.

The changeup, while at times a little too firm, serves as his best secondary offering at present and likewise projects as his standout offering at the next level. He worked the offering between 83-85 mph throughout the start, showing good arm speed and deception, with solid tumble that drew empty swings and soft contact alike.

The curve is a deep 11-to-5 breaker with solid shape but inconsistent bite, flashing above average but most frequently playing and projecting alike as solid average in the upper-70s to low-80s velo band. The slider is an 83-84 mph offering that can show sharp late action but will also lose depth and hug the swing plane when he isn’t able to stay on top of the pitch.

Overall, it was far from Kaprielian’s best outing, though his ability to right the ship and battle into the sixth inning after being taxed with 50-plus pitches through his first two frames was a silver lining. From the third inning on the Bruins’ ace showed a high level of comfort mixing each of his offerings and varying his sequencing, helping to keep a talented ‘Dores lineup at bay before ultimately tiring in the fifth and sixth and succumbing to hard contact.

He’ll need to continue to improve his consistency in execution across the board, and tangentially his ability to spot his pitches in and just outside of the zone, and the lack of power stuff will always limit his margin for error as he climbs the pro ranks. There is mid-rotation upside here predicated on the potential for above average command and a plus changeup, backed by three additional average or better major league offerings, with a more likely outcome as a solid back-end option.

Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt

Fulmer is one of the more exciting college arms in the game, coming with a high-effort, high speed motion that screams explosiveness. The diminuitive righty had his power stuff on display Friday against UCLA, hitting a lively 94 mph with the consistency of a pitching machine throughout the early innings, touching some 95s, and ultimately settling around 92 for the latter half of the 6 1/3 inning start.

Fulmer did a solid job early on keeping the heater around the plate and often sprayed the offering throughout the zone. There’s plenty of feel to elevate the pitch when called for and a chance for average control, though that may depend on his ultimate role and ability to maintain his stamina and mechanics in that role.

Fulmer’s best secondary is a malleable power curve that plays 79-83 mph, with the Vandy righty showing an ability to alter shape and depth. He has a tendency to overthrow the offering, in particular burying the pitch early in the count, which can force him to work from behind more often than one would like. When ahead in the count, the breaker can be a weapon thanks to solid pitch plane deception and good action. His change is a third potential average offering, though on Friday he generally relegated the mid-80s cambio to a change-of-pace pitch to same-side bats.

Fulmer’s arsenal and aggressive approach make him an impressive force as a Friday night collegiate arm, though the overall stuff isn’t as exciting when projecting to a starter role at the pro ranks. There are the obvious questions as to whether his smaller stature and high effort mechanics will limit his overall effectiveness, both due to his tendency to rack up higher pitch counts and through the day-to-day wear and tear of a pro starter’s workload.

It’s possible Fulmer proves up to the task, physically, in which case his pure stuff and command/control profile project to a potential solid mid-rotation arm.

In short bursts Fulmer has shown little issue sitting in the 94-97 mph range without much loss of life, and by removing the need to turnover lineups the power righty could focus on fine-tuning his two best offerings rather than further developing the change piece. Perhaps more importantly, the impact of his loose command and average control could be greatly minimized with more limited exposure against advanced pro lineups and his personality and presence on the bump would seem to dovetail with the profile commonly sought after for high-leverage pro relief work.

Fulmer without question looks the part of a first round talent, with his ultimate value likely tied to the balance of his starter portfolio come June. If he can finish the season with the same quality of stuff that has marked his first few outings he could earn a long enough leash to begin his pro career on a starter’s trajectory, which could find him in the top 15 picks or so.

National Notes

Here's a statistic for any remaining doubters of the new flat-seamed college baseball: from the 2005 season to present, only five true freshman hitters have hit 20 or more home runs in their rookie season. K.J. Harrison of Oregon State looks like No. 6 as his six round trippers and 22 RBI put him on pace for 21 home runs and 77 RBI. Here is the list Harrison is chasing:

Year, Player/School, 
Home Runs

2005, Beau Mills, Fresno State – 22
2006, Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt – 22
2009, Troy Channing, St. Mary's – 20
2009, Anthony Rendon, Rice – 20
2010, Jeremy Baltz, St. John's – 24

The draft pedigree of this group is strong to quite strong. Alvarez, Rendon, and Mills were all first rounders going with the second, sixth, and 13th overall picks in their respective drafts. And Baltz went in the second round of the 2012 draft. Harrison was a well-regarded high school prospect coming out of Hawaii, and if this group sets the precedent then his stock is rising.

• Mark Mathias of Cal Poly is back in the Mustang lineup as the designated hitter – he had labrum surgery in December – and the defending Big West Player of the Year is already making a huge impact. Cal Poly started the year 1-6 without Mathias, and they are now 3-2 in his five starts since. Mathias is hitting .391 with nine runs scored through those five games. If the Mustangs pitching staff finds its footing then this is a team that becomes very dangerous late in the year.

• Ironically, the Sunday matchup of the Arizona State/Long Beach State series was the one targeted by scouts last weekend. The Sun Devils' Brett Lilek was moved to the Sunday spot in the rotation and the Dirtbags' freshman sensation Chris Mathewson was coming off of seven innings of no-hit baseball in just his second collegiate start last week against Wichita State.

Lilek earned the win for just his second victory in his last 14 starts. While the win is a debatable statistic, in this instance it reveals Lilek's biggest issue right now: pitch efficiency. Lilek's fastball wasn't as hot as usual, sitting at 88-91 and touching 92 mph, but he once again displayed a loose arm and strong frame. Lilek continues to struggle in finding a consistent second pitch he can rely on and his fastball command comes and goes. However, you can see why he entices scouts as the arm works well and the fastball has almost no effort to it.

Mathewson's velocity fails to impress at 85-88 mph but you can see why he has had early success in his college career. His two gifts are spin and the ability to pitch in. Mathewson relies heavily on his multiple breaking balls and he can manipulate the velocity of those pitches anywhere from the low-70s to the low-80s. At times, Mathewson showcased a true 12-to-6 curveball with sharp downward action, a rare pitch in college baseball. The fastball velocity might be a tick down as Mathewson continues to recover from a preseason knee issue, but the pitch plays up because he pounds righthanded hitters on the inner half. The combination of Mathewson's breaking stuff plus his fearless attacking inside will surely make him a force to reckon with in the Big West.

Justin Langley could be a significant pop-up player in regards to this year's draft. A draft-eligible sophomore who missed most of the 2014 season due to injury, Langley is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound sophomore lefthander for Wisconsin-Milwaukee that has seen his fastball velocity bump up to the 89-92 range while touching 93 mph regularly. He uses his stature very well to create sharp downhill plane on his pitches, and has proven to be somewhat of a giant killer the past couple of weeks. After pitching six strong innings again Grand Canyon, Langley was inserted into the Friday role against Missouri this past weekend, out-dueling Reggie McClain while punching out 10 Tigers in 5 1/3 innings. The 8-3 Panthers ended up sweeping Mizzou and Langley is currently 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA on the year, allowing only 11 base hits and eight walks in 16 1/3 innings, striking out 25.

• Speaking of big seasons, look no further than the Nintendo-based stats Alabama's Casey Hughston is posting so far this year. His slash line is .500/.515/.833 and 14 of his 30 base hits have gone for extra bases (10 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs). He also has 21 RBI and is a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts. Hughston, a physically built 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophmore, made a strong impression last summer in the Northwoods League and entered the year at PG's 63
rd ranked sophomore. He turns 21 on the second day of the draft (June 9), thus making him draft-eligible, and could very well be taken that day should he continue to post big numbers.