College : : Story
Monday, February 26, 2018

Quick Take: Saint Mary's

Mike Rooney        
Photo: Tod Fierner/Saint Mary's College Athletics

Quick Take: Oregon StatePerfect Game College Player Database

During the season Perfect Game scouts will be traveling to some of the top series to watch the very best players in college baseball. Those observations, captured with both written notes and video, will be shared in the College Player Database as linked above, notes that can also be accessed on the players' individual PG profile pages. Throughout the season select reports will be shared in feature format to promote the players, the teams and college baseball as a whole.

Saint Mary's Gaels

What Happened: The Gaels won their series with Arizona State and almost swept the Sun Devils, losing 2-1 in the Sunday game. Eric Valenzuela’s club has now won back-to-back road series against name brand opponents after winning their opening series at Long Beach State.

Carrying Tool: This club is old, tough and skilled. The everyday lineup features six upperclassmen and zero freshmen. While there isn’t any mind-blowing athleticism on the field, the group as a whole plays excellent defense. And the Gaels’ offensive approach is ideal for defeating an ace: they use the whole field, battle with two strikes, minimize fly ball outs and the entire lineup is willing to wear one for the squad. They are also very aggressive on the basepaths.

Concerns: One concern would be that this lineup is extremely righthanded with only one lefthanded hitter in the starting nine in this outing. A really good righthanded slider might be problematic.

Best Player on the Field: Kevin Milam is the three-hole hitter and the Saturday starter. Milam is a physical bull and an excellent competitor. While quite gifted physically, his baseball instincts stand out both on the mound and in the batter’s box.

Fearless Forecast: This club is capable of winning a Regional. There is just enough pitching and the core of this group played in the 2016 Raleigh Regional so they know how the sausage is made. 

Database Player Reports (2):

Nick Frank
Kevin Milam

Prospect Spotlight: Kevin Milam, RHP/1B

Milam was a PG First Team Freshman All-American in 2017 as he amassed 12 home runs, 55 RBI and nine saves as a two-way standout. He is now the Gaels’ three-hole hitter and Saturday starter on the mound. This outing against Arizona State was our first look at whether Milam’s stuff would translate to the starting role, and this report will focus on Milam the pitcher since that appears to be where his professional future will lie.  

Milam is a physical and sturdy 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds and that inherent strength permeates his game. His is able to maintain his mechanics without difficulty and that includes his windup which has a little Luis Tiant to it with an exaggerated leg kick wraparound. On the mound, Milam sits 89-92 mph and he pounds the low and outside corner to righthanders. He did not pitch in with any frequency but he appears to have the command to do that if needed. He is an excellent strike thrower which seems to be a byproduct of his well-controlled mechanics. There is some sink to his fastball as well.

Milam’s slider is his go-to secondary pitch and it lived mostly in the 79-83 mph range. It is an effective pitch and one that he commands for a strike and also out of the zone as a chase pitch. His changeup worked from 81-84 mph and was more effective later in the outing as he used it more. As with most two-way players, Milam is an athlete first on the mound and he showed a winning toughness. After giving up a five-spot in the second inning (to give away a 3-0 lead), he then proceeded to record four consecutive zeroes and keep the Gaels in position to win.

One concern for Milam would be that his stuff flattens out when up in the zone. One could argue this to be an issue for virtually all pitchers but nonetheless, he did surrender a monstrous home run to Sun Devil freshman Spencer Torkelson on a hanging slider. Another concern would be that while Milam’s arsenal is well-rounded, he does lack a devastating out pitch. In ASU’s five-run inning, they used the middle of the field at will and Milam struggled to find an answer for that. In all fairness though, in total he did strike out eight hitters while issuing no walks.  

Milam is a winning player with arm strength and guile and there is a lot to like here. He appears to be physically mature from a projectibility standpoint. But from a skill standpoint, it bears repeating that he is also balancing the demands of being a critical two-way player for Saint Mary’s.
Copyright 1994-2018 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.