College | Story | 4/20/2019

College Notes: April 19

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Doug Nikhazy (Ole Miss Athletics)

College Notes: April 18
College Player Database | College Player Rankings

Players covered: Doug Nikhazy (Ole Miss), Tanner Burns (Auburn), Elliott Anderson (Auburn).

Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss
Ole Miss features two freshmen starters on weekends and manning Saturdays has been Florida native and southpaw Doug Nikhazy. The freshman reportedly hit a velocity spike in the fall and worked up to 91 mph on Friday night, showing off his ability to pitch and mix his offerings en route to a victory and evening the series at Auburn. 

Nikhazy has been very good in the starting rotation thus far, pitching to a sub-4.00 ERA along with averaging a strikeout per inning. Though the stuff isn't especially loud or overpowering he mixes his offerings well, showing a healthy dose of off-speed pitches along with showing a ton of angle, and everyone knows lefthanders who can spin the ball will always find ways to have success. 

The southpaw is a shorter prospect on the mound, standing at 5-foot-10 and 200-pounds. He's fairly athletic with a high leg lift where he gathers nicely and gets excellent extension down the mound firing from a near over-the-top arm slot, though the head maintains its balance. He engages his back hip and from his slot can create significant angle on his fastball. 

The heater worked in the 88-91 mph range early on before settling right around 88 for the majority of the outing. The pitch had some natural life to it but Nikhazy really did a good job at being aggressive with the fastball and not being afraid to bust righthanded hitters with it over the inside part of the plate. He went to a bigger curveball often in the mid-70s with good spin and 1-to-7 shape, a pitch that projects to be a swing-and-miss offering. There's good spin, feel and command of the curveball and it's his primary out-pitch presently. 

Nikhazy also showed a couple of changeups and a cutter/slider offering and really works in complete control. He worked on the corners for the most part but would leak over the plate later in the evening. Nikhazy doesn't have the level of stuff to miss over the middle of the plate so that can be dangerous territory, and in this start he gave up two very long home runs on mistake pitches, but Nikhazy has clearly enough feel and command to succeed in the SEC on weekends for Ole Miss as he has thus far in the season.

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