College : : Story
Monday, March 05, 2018

Kilkenny impresses in Frisco

Britt Smith        
Photo: Texas A&M Athletics

Weekend PreviewPerfect 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.

Mitchell Kilkenny, rhp, Texas A&M

Entering Sunday with a stellar 15-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Mitchell Kilkenny did nothing but improve those numbers. Standing 6-foot-3 and 205-pounds, the Houston native displayed some electric stuff on the mound for Texas A&M while scattering seven hits over seven innings of work on the mound and punched out seven without issuing a free pass. 

The only bump in the road for Kilkenny was a two-run homerun off the bat of reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Jonah Davis in the top of the second inning. After that it was a fairly-dominant performance for the Aggie starter. Delivering a barrage of fastballs between 90-93 mph, topping at 94, Kilkenny was able to control both sides of the plate effectively. His heater flashed arm-side life and slight sinking action and he should he could elevate up and in on occasion to keep the Bears honest at the plate. 

Coupling the use of the fastball to both halves of the plate with an 11-to-5 shaped slider with late bite at 82-85 mph, he provided an impressive performance for the better than twenty scouts in attendance. With a quick tempo to his delivery, Kilkenny uses his lower well by creating hip turn at the top of his leg lift, staying short with his arm stroke which allowed  him to hide the ball well before reaching a high three-quarters arm-slot. Kilkenny creates good direction to the plate and full extension through release, allowing him to consistently be in a position of leverage with the baseball. 

If Sunday’s performance was an indicator of things to come this year, Kilkenny will find himself in a good position for the MLB Draft in June.

Tyler Thomas, lhp, Baylor

Making the first start of his collegiate career on Sunday, Tyler Thomas (6-foot-1, 170-pounds) showed no sign of nervousness on the mound. The freshman left-hander displayed the type of composure that is usually found in more seasoned pitchers. 

After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach base on singles he managed to pitch himself out of trouble by recording back-to-back strikeouts before inducing a soft liner to escape any damage. It was clear that Thomas had a game plan that was he settled into as the game progressed. He used a fastball in the 88-89 mph range to get ahead of hitters, usually to the outer half, followed by either, a 2-to-8 shaped curveball with tight spin and later bite, or his changeup at 79-80 mph with slight fade, to slow the hitters down. Then he would aggressively attack to the inner-half of the plate with a fastball the reached 91 mph. 

Although he did not surrender a run, Thomas lasted just three and two-thirds innings before giving way to the bullpen. With easy effort and good use of his lower half, he has a slight cross-fire step to the plate while utilizing a high three-quarters arm slot. There is a lot to like about Thomas and as he continues to refine his skills, it is easy to see that he should play a major role for the Bears not only this season but in the years to come.

Logan Bailey, lhp, Louisiana Tech

Coming off a two-for-three day at the plate on Saturday with three RBI, Logan Bailey started the final game of the Frisco College Classic on the mound for Louisiana Tech. 

With a compact and stocky build at 5-foot-10 and 225-pounds, Bailey showed he is not only competitive at the plate for the Bulldogs, but he takes that same mentality to the mound as well. Working with a three-pitch mix and a quick tempo, Bailey attacked hitters and kept a good pace to the game. Keeping up the trend of quality starts throughout the tournament, Bailey went five innings on 96 pitches, allowing four hits and a single earned run.

Although he would be tagged with the loss, he gave the Bulldogs a solid opportunity to win the game. Mixing his fastball to both halves of the plate at 87-88 mph, he showed the ability to elevate when needed and also bump his velocity as high as 91. With a compact and easy effort delivery, he incorporated a 2-to-8 shaped curveball, that could get to the back foot of right-handed hitters regularly. His changeup stayed mostly at 79 mph with slight arm side fade from his hand. 

Being a two-way player it's easy to see how he understands the difficulty of hitting a constant mix of speed variations, as well as the variations in eye levels. With a high three-quarters arm-slot Bailey was able to tunnel the elevated fastball with his curveball effectively. Although his repertoire is not overpowering, he knows how to use it efficiently and effectively.
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