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College  | Story  | 3/22/2015

Sat. recap: Staumont's easy heat

Patrick Ebert      Jheremy Brown     
Photo: Azusa Pacific

Friday Recap | Video Vault

After seeing UCSB ace Dillon Tate Friday afternoon, I continued back down the 101 South to Azusa Pacific to see their ace, righthander
Josh Staumont throw the first game of a doubleheader. After watching six innings of Staumont on the mound one thing is clear; he creates the easiest plus-fastball velocity in the 2015 MLB draft class.

With a large group of scouts behind the backstop, all from various levels of the command chain, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Staumont showed the electric fastball everybody was hoping to see. Though there are some command concerns with Staumont, who ended up walking six in six innings, he settled in after the third inning and was just dominant. He was pitching off his fastball early in the game and wasn’t able to locate it consistently in the first couple of frames, but as he began to mix in his pitches it became clear why he is a highly regarded prospect for the upcoming draft in June.

Though he didn’t touch triple digits in this outing, he was up to 99 mph on my gun once early with more than a handful of 98s thrown in, regardless of the inning. Staumont’s arm action is incredibly fast and extremely loose, free of tension allowing him to not only show the big velocity, but also maintain it throughout his six innings, consistently sitting in the 93-97 mph range with nice run to his arm side down in the zone.

Like his fastball, Staumont’s delivery is rather loose and easy, and with a high three-quarters to almost over-the-top slot he’s nearly unhittable when on top of the ball generating downhill plane. At other times though his arm would fall just behind his front side in terms of delivery, throwing off his timing and making him miss up and out to his arm side.

As the game wore on though the feel for his curveball came along and became a key pitch for Staumont’s success. Working in the low-80s – 80-84 mph for the most part – the pitch shows sharp 11-to-5 life with downward plane, proving to be an above average pitch with the chance to develop into something even better. He struck out the side in order in the fifth, racking up all three strikeouts with his curveball, and continued the trend into the sixth inning, striking out the first two with, you guessed it, the curveball. The pitch has potential to be a hammer and on a couple of the strikeouts the ball had sharp break to the back foot of lefthanded hitters.

Of the three hits Staumont allowed, none of which were barreled or hit extremely hard, and two came in the sixth, his final inning of work. He navigated the hits and was able to induce a weak ground ball to first base with a 95 mph fastball, his last pitch of the day, to end the inning with the bases loaded.

He made several pitches throughout the day that made you think what could be on its way with a couple of tweaks, particularly after he spotted a 96 mph fastball low to his glove side with late run back over the corner to a righthanded hitter. Though he only flashed his split-change once in the game at 85 mph, the pitch did show nice tumbling action in the pre-game bullpen and will be a pitch to follow as he continues to develop.

On the day Staumont picked up his third win and ended up striking out 11, adding to his impressive total on the year. He was able to miss bats repeatedly with his fastball and will keep scouts coming back for more thanks to his easy velocity and big time potential.

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