College : : Story
Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly college baseball chat

Kendall Rogers        

Comment From Guest 
How good is UCSB?
Guest, I think UCSB is very very solid. To be honest, you're seeing Andrew Checketts' and his staff's recruiting showing up right now. I never thought the Gauchos would get off to such a fast start after losing Austin Pettibone to an injury, but this team has been fantastic starting with OF Joey Epperson and LHP Justin Jacome, among others. This is a balanced club, who I think is just beginning its climb.
Comment From Ty 
What's your thoughts on this past weekends games of Kansas and Texas?
Ty, Well played series for the most part. Kansas is going to give some teams fit with some of the arms it has with Benjamin, Duncan, etc.... Connor McKay is also having a nice year. I've always thought Ritch Price was a pretty underrated coach at a place where it's not easy to win... For Texas, that meltdown late in the game yesterday was so reminiscent of last season. I'm interested to see how the 'Horns react in midweek action.
Comment From Guest 
I know FSU has a good rotation and deep pen, but do you think they have enough fire power to be dangerous in june?
Guest, No question at all -- yes. The thing I really liked about Florida State over the weekend is that guys like Justin Gonzalez got into the act with some key hits. If you read my series preview going into the weekend, that was one of my keys to the series. I think the offense only will get better as the season progresses. On the mound, I was thoroughly impressed with Gage Smith over the weekend. Simply dominant out of the pen.
Comment From Bly 
What team has the most to prove?
Right now? Cal State Fullerton. The Titans really are testing my patience. One weekend, they're sweeping Oregon on the road, the next, they're looking lost after dominating Baylor the first game of the series. There seems to be either A) a lack of leadership/focus and B) inconsistency. It's going to be a long season for these players under Vanderhook if this continues.
Comment From Guest 
Do you think the two nest teams are clearly SC and the Noles or do you think there are a couple more teams in the discussion
Guest, I have Florida State and South Carolina as my two teams at the top, and being the most impressive, but I've loved Vanderbilt, Oregon State and Virginia, too. I'v seen Vandy and OSU both in person, and boy, are those two so rich with arms. The offensive lineups are just good enough, too. I'd have zero issue with someone picking any of those top five clubs as national champions right now. All extremely capable.
Comment From Guest 
We know the hype around Luke Weaver is legit but do you think Mike Compton deserves more credit for what he does?
Guest, I think Compton is getting his due press right now. We and others have talked a lot about his return and how much it means to the Seminoles. Watching Mike over the weekend, he showed a lot of battle/grit, and it was interesting to see how his motion has a little deception to it. Not easy. I really like that trio of starters.
Comment From mike 
Your prediction for who makes ACC tourney, and who gets top 6 seeds?
Right now, would say Pitt, Va Tech, Boston College, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Maryland miss the tournament .... though I think the final spot comes down to either Maryland or Duke. As for top six seeds overall, would say UVA and FSU.
Comment From Darrell 
Hey Kendall which teams in the state of Texas are likely to make a cws run?
Darrell, At the end of the day, I think Rice is the most capable. Owls have an abundance of arms (even without Stephens) and has the most potential offensively of anyone in the state.
Comment From Baseball fan 
Kendall, curious to know how you would rank the top 5 teams in the state of Texas?
Baseball, 1. Rice 2. Sam Houston State 3. Houston 4. Texas 5. TCU
Comment From Tim 
Any thoughts on Saint Louis taking 2/3 from a solid Memphis ball club this weekend?
That was very impressive and more indicative of what we expected from the Billikens this season. When you consider SLU lost Clay Smith for the season, that was even more impressive of a series win, as Memphis is pretty solid. I continue to maintain that Darin Hendrickson is one of the more underrated coaches out there.
Comment From Greg -Hammond LA 
Has Tyler Beede elevated himself this spring in your eyes ad well as scouts. We traveled to Nashville to see LSU series and we all came away very impressed with his power and pitch ability.
Greg, Beede is a better overall pitcher than he was last year, as his command is better. But we had him as a top five overall pick entering the spring. That hasn't changed. He's still there.
Comment From Cards73 
Where do you see nick Burdi at come June?
Burdi is a first-rounder, IMO, but where is the question. Some have him in the top five/seven range, we have him in the teens. Drew Storen is the last reliever to get drafted high in the first round, and he was just outside the top 10. But Burdi is pretty unique/special in the sense he can get up to 100 with control.
Comment From Beauregard 
Kendall, 2015 draft helium for Vandy's Tyler Ferguson?
He was ranked decently for the 2015 class in our preseason draft rankings, but no doubt he'll rise, probably a significant number of spots, after I saw him earlier this year. Really like his sturdy frame, power arm, and overall stuff. And he's still a young pup. Bright future and prospect here.
Comment From Scott 
After competing with Virginia to open up ACC play last weekend, Duke impressed again with solid pitching leading to the weekend sweep on Notre Dame. What's your take on Duke? Do they have what it takes to compete this year for an ACC conference tournament spot? Or possibly an at large invite to the NCAA Tournament?
Duke will have a chance to win every game on the weekend with Marvel, Istler and Matuella, along with Van Orden. Those are some quality arms with some balance in the way they're made up. The Blue Devils are a postseason contender if they hit at all the rest of the year.
Comment From Shane 
What are your feelings on Ole Miss? They really tested South Carolina this past weekend.
Shame, I was extremely impressed with the Rebels over the weekend. This team, IMO, has the potential to be a top-10 club. I really liked the composure shown by Christian Trent, Sam Smith and Chris Ellis over the weekend. that's proving to be a good, stable, weekend rotation. Offensively, this team hit the ball hard over the weekend, with Auston Bousfield leading the way. Exciting team, one that right now, is vastly playing over expectations.
Comment From Ryan 
What are your impressions of Dallas Baptist this year? Do you see them getting back to a regiona?
Could very well happen, which isn't a surprise because Dan Heefner is such a good coach. I was impressed with DBU's weekend against Missouri State, specifically on the mound. Typically, DBU has been known for its offense, but Cy Sneed and Paul Voelker were very good over the weekend. Intriguing team, one I hope to see at some point.
Comment From Rick 
Can Oregon State's pitchers repeat their recent performances against higher-level competition, or is the recent run an artifact of playing not-that-great teams?
Wetzler, Moore and Inc., shutdown some of the nation's best teams last season, so I don't see why that'd change now. Not worried about that at all. This is a seasoned and very talented pitching staff.
Comment From Parker 
Were you surprised to see Elon take the series from Georgia Southern in opening weekend of SoCon? Who do you like from SoCon thus far as early favorites to land a bid(s) to tournament?
Not too much. Though Georgia Southern has been playing an exceptional brand of baseball, Mike Kennedy's club is always solid, and let's face it, the SoCon is always like the Wild Wild West every regular season. I thought Lucas Bakker set the tone for the weekend, while Ryan Pennell was very good out of the bullpen. By season's end, I think GSU, Elon and WCU are teams that'll have a shot at the NCAA postseason.
Comment From John 
Hey Kendall,with the year Tyler Beede is having and the fact that he's probably the most polished of all the pitchers is this years draft,can he sneak into the #1 pick ????
I think that's Carlos Rodon's spot to lose at this point, and I'd be surprised if he lost it -- but never say never. Right now, I'd probably go 1. Rodon, 2. Turner, 3. Hoffman, 4. Kolek, 5. Beede, with Nola right after that.
Comment From Drew 
Huge series at Dudy Noble this weekend. Thoughts on Vandy at Mississippi State?
Drew, Should be a terrific series. I think State comes to play, but I have to give the edge to Vandy due to its stability on the mound. Perhaps Ross Mitchell, though, any pitching concerns the Bulldogs might've had. He stepped up over the weekend and showed what a leader is like. PS: Looking forward to my Starkville trip in a few weeks.
Comment From Laurie 
What do you think of Stanford's all-freshmen starting pitching staff so far?
Stanford's crop of young arms is ridiculously good with Hanewich, Thorne, Viall and Quantrill. I've heard terrific things about Quantrill, though, and he continues to improve as he gains experience, tossing a shutout the last time he was out there against Kansas. Stanford's rotation next year and in two years will be silly good.
Comment From T Boy 
UL-Lafayette is off to a torrid start. What's your opinion on the Cajuns and where do you see their 1-2 punch of Robichaux and Baranik going in the draft?
T Boy, Really like both of those guys. Robichaux has a power arm and has good overall stuff, while Baranik has a nice three-pitch mix with the ability to get his FB into the low-90s. I have Robichaux as a 3-7 round type of guy, Baranik more of a 4-8 round type, but that could change. Still extremely early for that.
Comment From Guest 
What in the world is going on with Arizona this year? They really seem to be struggling.
Guest, There are a multitude of issues, not being able to close out games being one of them. But for me, I think back to when Andy Lopez told me in the fall he was excited about Tyger Talley and Tyler Crawford ... Talley has a 6.52 ERA and Crawford has a 9.78 ERA. That's just one of many examples. No reason why Arizona shouldn't be winning with some of the offensive #'s it's had at times.
Comment From Tommy 
Could Sam Houston ever host a Regional or is it too easy to throw them in as the #2 seed to Rice or Texas, regardless of what happens with the Kats? Thanks
Tommy, It's absolutely a possibility. SHSU has a good stadium (though small), with lights, good amenities, and there'd be plenty of room for hotels, etc .... definitely could host if the resume warrants it.
Comment From LH14 
UCLA has had some unexpected mis-week losses. Is this any cause for concern? On a positive note, Cody Poteet looked really good over the weekend!
LH14, Maybe the Bruins finally got things going last week in the midweek with that nice win over UC Irvine, followed by that road series sweep over Cal. I've never concerned about UCLA's pitching staff, just the offense. I remain that way.
Comment From Clint 
Why is Alabama not in the Top 25? Playing good ball right now with lots of good arms. Great series win against Kentucky this weekend.
Clint, very close call on Alabama not being in. They were my last team out of the rankings this week. Just thought a couple of teams were a little higher in the pecking order. With that said, we had the Tide ranked in the preseason for a reason -- because we thought they'd be pretty good. I still feel that way. How about those heroics with Mikey White leading the way? Gaspard might just have a special club.
Comment From Slow Curve 
If John Cohan makes Ross Mitchell Miss. State's No.1 started, as he hinted he would, do you think Mitchell can compete with all the Friday-night stud pitchers in the SEC? His style is very different from the classic No.1 pitcher.
Slow, Not going to see me disagree with having a guy like Mitchell in the Friday role. Sure, he's unorthodox for that role, but he throws strikes, has good stuff, and is the ultimate competitor. In other words, to some people he might not be what they want -- but he's a perfect guy to "set the tone" so to speka.
Comment From Michael 
How impressive has the SC bullpen been this season. They have gone 60+ innings without given up a run. That has included series against Clemson and Ole Miss. And is there a better 1-2 punch than Mincey and Seddon. Neither has given up an ER this season.
Michael, Couldn't be more impressed. Going into the season, the big question was replacing Tyler Webb and others. But the Gamecocks didn't waste any time ridding of those questions with the job Seddon and Mincey are doing. Mincey was pretty good, and I really liked Seddon's hook against Ole Miss. Both impressive.
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Comment From Tim 
What's the reasoning behind ranking FSU ahead of South Carolina? FSU lost to two teams, only one of them ranked, and otherwise they have not played many teams with a pulse. South Carolina has lost one game, which came against ranked Ole Miss. SCar also has completely dominated every team they've faced this year outside of Clemson and Ole Miss, both of which are ranked and very talented.
Are we really grasping straws when you compare the two? Actually if you really want to break down the two teams, FSU has the more impressive resume considering it swept a top six team, with SC's best series victory against a team in the teens. Both teams are excellent, by the way, and either could be No. 1.
Comment From Bill 
What are your thoughts on Seton Hall? and their hot start
Bill, I continue to be impressed with the Pirates. Another good weekend under their belt this past week, and SHU is right there on the cusp of our Top 25 ranking. It's very close. I'm a huge fan of Josh Prevost, who just continues to go out there and tally great numbers. Well coached club.
Comment From Luke 
Tennessee seems to have taken that "next step" with Dave Serrano early this season, but they had a long way to go. What would you consider their "next step" from here?
Luke, Tennessee has definitely exceeded expectations, but as Dave Serrano is probably telling his team, nobody will remember this start if the Vols flounder and fail to make the SEC or NCAA tournaments. Those are the two main goals now.
Comment From Guest 
What you read into Gonzaga sweeping USF this weekend? Does this ruin their chance of getting an at large? Also, who do you think will make the WCC tournament (top 4 get in)?
Gest, Very surprising weekend to say the least, and staff ace Abe Bobb didn't get things started on the right foot. Tough series to lose if you're a team that's hoping to earn an at-large bid at the end of the year considering how weak Gonzaga had been thus far. USF is a solid, but inconsistent, club.
Comment From brad 
whats the breakdown on wake forest? any shot at ncaa tournament?
Would like to see the offense be a bit better and more consistent, but this team has a chance despite squandering a golden opportunity against Clemson over the weekend. Jack Fischer and John McLeod are a pair of solid starting pitchers, but this team needs to be better than one hitting in the 250's moving forward.
Comment From Stretchy 
Let's be honest NCST got bigtime billing this year based on the names Rodon/Turner. So far they have played only 2 good opponents in UCLA and FSU and lost all those games! My bet is by end of the year UNC will pass them in the rankings. Agree?
Could happen because UNC is a terrific program, but I wouldn't say that's all NC State has at all. Brett Austin is having a nice year, along with Logan Jernigan, Brad Stone, Andrew Woeck, among others. Unfair to say it's a "two-player" team.
Comment From David 
Oregon State LHP Jace Fry follows up a complete game no hitter with a complete game shutout. So far OSU's starting pitching looks second to none. A product of the schedule or could this season be special?
David, The Beavers absolutely have a team capable of winning the national title. Offense is slightly better, IMO, than it was last year, and the pitching staff is just as good. Good club, who somehow I saw during the ONE bad weekend they've had. Go figure.
Comment From Meat 
How long can FSU hold on to pitching coach Mike Bell? The guy deserves a ton of credit for what FSU is right now. When does he get his own squad?
Great question. I was always intrigued when FSU added Mike Bell to the coaching staff because he had a very good reputation in the industry. Mike has done a terrific job, and Mike Martin Jr., is an excellent assistant coach. Great stuff. One of Bell/Martin will take over the program when 11 retires at some point ....IMO.
Comment From Guest 
Any chance you travel to Houston next Tuesday to see Rice @ UH?
I live in Houston, so chances are I'll be there. Will see the Coogs/C of C on Saturday, along with FAU-Rice as well.
Comment From Guest 
How lucky where the Gamecocks to not lose the weekend series to Ole Miss? They gave up the grand slam on Friday and were only one out away from losing the early game double header.
Guest, One of the great things about sports is that a lot of it is luck, and a lot of is creating luck. People talk about Schrock's home run, but not about the RBI single earlier in the inning that kind of got those juices flowing a bit. That game was a sure statement that if you're going to beat South Carolina, you better be on your game all nine innings and every pitch.
Comment From Jason in Corvegas 
Having wasted half my morning debating delusional Ole Miss on Twitter who think their team deserves to vault into the top 15 because they took a game from South Carolina, I can now commiserate with you having to deal with these people on Twitter, in this chat, etc. Since half the debate revolved around the value of RPI this early in the season, can you give us your brief opinion on RPI numbers at this point in the year? And about when do you start looking at RPI as an indicator of relative team strength? Thanks!
Ole Miss fans are fine ... just passionate. I have a theory that there's no such thing as a stupid question in this business. I do look at SOS slightly this time of year, but of instance ,Stanford has a top 10 RPI with a losing record, and Old Dominion is a Top 20 RPI team, both obvious flaws. I still have a few more weeks to go until the RPI is a legitimate tool. So very little of that is taken into account.
Comment From David 
Kendall, if had to pick between great starting pitching or a great bullpen...?
Starting pitching. Got to have someone who can get you to that bullpen to begin with. With that said, I've also seen teams flounder in Omaha because it only relied on starting pitching.
Comment From TitansBB 
Fullerton is a mess right now; Eshelman, Garza, Weist, Bickford have held their end of the bargain but they are offensively challenged right now and playing error-prone baseball...Can Hook turn it around?
The Titans are one of my pieces in my "what we learned" feature for this week. I think the Titans can turn things around, as they pounded the ball in Friday's Baylor game (I was at), only to struggle in the final two games. Consistency is the key, and right now, the ringleader, Matt Chapman is inconsistent. That needs to change.
Comment From Connor 
Predictions for the Arizona State-Oregon State series?
Connor, Like Oregon State heavily in that series ... but boy, does Arizona State need a statement weekend somehow?
Comment From UM Fan 
What is up with the Hurricanes and do you see them finishing strong?
UM, You know it's a strange weekend when Bryan Radziewski struggles in a start. I think the Hurricanes will be fine, but the first two games of the weekend, the offense was good, the pitching not so much, then in the final game, the roles were flipped. Need to show some stability in that regard. It doesn't get easier, either, with UVA in town this weekend, followed by a roadie to N.C. State. Canes could be in a gaping hole.
Comment From Guest 
What does San Diego have to do to host a regional?
Toreros will have a great chance to host if it finishes in the Top 25 and wins the WCC.
Comment From Mike 
2 Questions, thoughts on Houston? Really good schedule, really good they not pass the eye test (based on schedule and record shouldn't they be closer to where you have ULL?) Question on you see the Beavs sweeping ASU and if not which of the 3 pitchers for the Beavs do you think will fall...Wetzler, Moore Fry?
Mike, Houston definitely passed the eyeball test the few times I've seen it. The Cougars won't overwhelm you offensively, but they've got some scrappy hitters. The pitching staff is very solid, too, with Garza and Lemoine leading the way. I'll see lemoine again on Saturday against C of C. UH would be much higher if it doesn't go 1-2 in the Houston College Classic.
Comment From Guest 
Thoughts on Mizzou's Keaton Steele and Brett Graves in this years draft?
Guest, Graves in particularly is garnering a lot of interest right now. FB is in the mid-90s and overall stuff has been very crisp thus far.
Comment From Guest 
I have seen plenty of USC fans complain about FSU's schedule- would it be safe to say that FSU could have a harder schedule to date than USC?
Guest, FSU has a tougher schedule, but it's not a huge gap, and the SOS/RPI figures remain flawed this early.
Comment From Sam 
Will Washington Be A Top 25 Team In The Near Future?
Sam, Washington has some potential. I really really liked Braden Bishop when I saw the Huskies out in Arizona. Take into account that I saw UW play some awful baseball (base running) at times in that tournament, but they finished it off in impressive fashion. As long as Brigham is throwing like he is, that team has potential. That stuff is filled with good guys, so I'm happy to see it. UW is a sleeping giant.
Comment From WISM 
Kendall, Beede picked up the loss in the much-hyped Nola-Beede matchup. Should Corbin move him to the bullpen. #Sarcasm. That was an amazing game with both pitchers really delivering. It was the type of tense game where everyone except the two men on the hill were constantly uncomfortable knowing that one swing (or error) could decide the game. My question: What have been your favorite games to attend?
WISM, The opening day game between UCLA and Portland because of Radke's gem, but I think I'd have to give the edge to most of the games in the Houston College Classic. That was an exceptional tournament in terms of intriguing games this year outside of a couple of lopsided scores.
All right gang ... I've gone for almost two hours. Thanks for all the questions, we'll see you next week, and as usual, you can subscribe to the College Baseball Ticket, here!
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