College | Story | 4/12/2019

Scout Take: Arizona State

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Hunter Bishop (Arizona State Athletics)

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Arizona State Sun Devils

What Happened: The scorching hot Sun Devils were cut down by the USC Trojans as Arizona State dropped their first series of the year. The Trojans pitching staff cooled down the big bats of the Sun Devils and guys like Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson were held relatively in check through the first two games of the series before coming alive in the third game. Offense is the life blood of this team and will need to score a lot of runs in order to be effective as Pac-12 play continues into April and May. 

Carrying Tool: Hunter Bishop. The Arizona State center fielder as the team's entire carrying tool might be a stretch, but Bishop has functioned as the barometer for the team this spring: as he goes, so goes the offense. Now obviously the Midseason Player of the Year has been mostly otherworldly and before this weekend the Sun Devils have only lost two games. However, in Arizona State losses, Bishop has yet to record an extra-base hit and there's no question that he will have to continue his torrid pace and be the anchor of this extremely talented offense. 

Concerns: Pitching depth. Pitching has been a big issue for Arizona State thus far as only Alec Marsh has really lived up to expectations, or in Marsh's case, outperformed them. You could tell on Friday night that head coach Tracy Smith has relied heavily on Marsh up to this point, as he was sent back out for the sixth inning with diminished stuff and finished with 118 pitches. Fellow starters Boyd Vander Kooi and RJ Dabovich need to step up as do bullpen arms such as Blake Burzell and Brady Corrigan.

Best Player on the Field: The Bash Brothers. Bishop has transformed himself into a likely top half of the first round pick while reigning Freshman of the Year Spencer Torkelson is turning in another big season while finding the power that carried him to 25 homers a year ago. Bishop is a tool shed of a prospect as a plus runner with plus-plus raw power and legitimate center field tools, along with a bonkers line so far as the Golden Spikes favorite. Torkelson might be the favorite for the No. 1 pick in 2020 with his consistent approach, also with plus-plus raw power and overall hitting tools.

Fearless Forecast: Super Sun Devils. While Arizona State is likely not a Top 10 team that their record showed in the early part of the season, they are poised for their first Regional appearance since 2016. The offense is immensely deep with names not even mentioned yet in Carter Aldrete and Trevor Hauver along with strong offense and defense prospects in Alika Williams and Gage Workman. The Sun Devils have the firepower to create some fireworks in the Regionals and look to be knocking on the doorstep of Omaha should they get hot toward the end of May. 

Players covered: Hunter Bishop, Spencer Torkelson, Boyd Vander Kooi, Blake Burzell, Carter Aldrete, Gage Workman, Alec Marsh, Trevor Hauver.

Alec Marsh
Junior righthander Alec Marsh has been tremendous for the upstart Arizona State Sun Devils through the first half of the season, pitching to a sub-1.00 ERA and being a steadying force on Friday nights for the top 10-ranked team. Marsh didn't have his best start of the season as he ended up tagged with the loss in the series opener at USC but he still showed a lot of intriguing potential on the mound that makes him a potential top five round pick come June. 

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