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College  | Story  | 3/23/2018

Quick Take: Texas A&M

Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Thomas Campbell/Texas A&M Athletics

Perfect Game College Player Database | Quick Takes: Clemson | NC State | Auburn

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.

Texas A&M Aggies

What Happened: Texas A&M dropped the opening series of SEC play to Auburn as they lost the first two games and salvaged a victory in the series with a Sunday win. The Aggies had one of the most prolific offenses in college baseball coming into the season, but were kept mostly quiet by strong pitching performances from Casey Mize, Calvin Coker, Davis Daniel and others. The Aggies scuffled a bit but still showed flashes of what makes them a special team. 

Carrying Tool: The starting pitching staff. With some of the best numbers in college baseball, the trio of Stephen Kolek, John Doxakis and Mitchell Kilkenny have been nothing short of fantastic with all three featuring ERAs below 2.00. Kolek showed flashes of the stuff on Friday night while Doxakis struggled on Saturday, and Kilkenny was masterful on Sunday. This was an atypical series for the Aggies in terms of the performance of the starting rotation, however they have too much talent to not right the ship moving forward.   

Concerns: Offensive swing-and-miss. The offense features a lot of high-ceiling, high-swing type of players that can have offenses rolling or struggling at various point. The Aggies only scored five total runs in their two losses and showed there is a ton of swing-and-miss potential with double-digit strikeouts in the two losses over the weekend. There is certainly a lot of talent to like, as well as a couple of extremely talented pure hitters, but the opening SEC loss was an example of when things can go wrong.  

Best Player on the Field: Braden Shewmake. We were bullish on Shewmake coming into the season, he was the projected SEC Player of the Year, and he has been outstanding thus far. He stands out for the polish and approach at the plate as he handles upper velocity and stuff with ease as Shewmake was one of the few batters who looked comfortable against Mize and notched two hits off him. The swing is smooth and visually appealing as Shewmake is showing that he is one of the best hitters in college baseball. 

Fearless Forecast: Aggies are a national seed. There is too much talent across the board for Texas A&M to endure too many series losses and they have the look of one of the best 16 teams in the country. The 1-2 punch of Stephen Kolek and Mitchell Kilkenny – the team's Friday and Sunday starters – along with underclassmen John Doxakis make for a formidable front along with talented bullpen arms such as the flamethrowing Cason Sherrod and reliable Chandler Jozwiak. The offense is primed for a long run that should put Texas A&M in prime position for a national seed by season's end. 

Database Player Reports (4):

Zach DeLoach
George Janca
Mitchell Kilkenny
Braden Shewmake

Previous Player Reports from Britt Smith at the Frisco College Classic (6):

Will Frizzell
Chandler Jozwiak
Mitchell Kilkenny
Stephen Kolek
Cason Sherrod
Braden Shewmake


Prospect Spotlight: Braden Shewmake, SS/2B

Proving to be one of the top pure hitters in the college ranks, Braden Shewmake had himself a good weekend against Auburn and showed off his smooth lefthanded swing to scouts yet again. Shewmake is only a sophomore, so teams will have to wait another year before bearing down hard on him, as he is quickly establishing himself as one of the premier bats for the 2019 draft class. 

Shewmake transitioned over to shortstop after spending his freshman season at second base and the results have paid dividends for the Aggies. Shewmake isn't an outstanding defender at the position, but he has good athleticism and agility while showing the ability to make plays to both sides well. The sophomore sensation is a very lanky 6-foot-4, 190-pounds so he may eventually outgrow the position, but he plays well as a college shortstop. 

The frame leaves a lot of room for scouts to project upon Shewmake's power, as with long limbs, broad shoulders and only a 190-pound listing, there is lots of room for additional strength into the swing. The swing is pretty smooth and fast through the hitting zone with present bat speed and lots of natural leverage thanks to his long limbs. He doesn't show you a bunch of power during BP but he can create good raw power to the pull side and Shewmake's power sees it's form take place more in terms of gap power. 

Shewmake sprays line drives all over the field with intent and authority. His hands and wrists are both quick and strong, with above average barrel control that allows him the ability to get a good piece regardless of the pitch location. The Texas native took consistently the best at-bats on the team, with a total of six hits on the series and handled upper levels of velocity from Casey Mize and Tanner Burns well. The hits he had off premier pitchers weren't cheap shots either, as he handled mid-90s and laced them for hits off the aforementioned starters while also adding a double and a triple on the weekend. 

Because he doesn't hit the ball on the ground often, it was a bit hard to get a run time on Shewmake but he registered 4.32 on the turn from his double on Sunday. If Shewmake is average or above on the run tool, that's just another tool to enamor scouts to his overall arsenal. The Perfect Game projected SEC Player of the Year has been off to a fantastic start as the anchor for a talented Aggie offense, and Shewmake is proving again and again that he is one of college baseball's best hitters.