College Baseball Roadtrip: D.C. Area Edition

Villanova finishes off the sweep at Georgetown - Henry Dao

A look at some of the top prospects playing college ball in the D.C. area

The following are notes on games played from May 16-May 18 in the Washington D.C. area. It is probably telling of the quality of ball I saw over the weekend that in five games, I only saw scouts in the stands for Pat Young's Saturday start which drew three or four to the park. There aren't any potential first rounders in this mix, but I've briefed a few top prospects and several solid college players.

Now that I've gotten this out of the way, I've got a report coming from the first two days of the Conference USA tournament in Houston, TX. Next I'm headed to Oregon to watch my Rice Owls at the Eugene Regional. I'm going to try to get over to the Oregon State regional as well, but it all depends on the Rice schedule.

Thursday, May 16: Connecticut @ George Mason (Fairfax, VA) and Villanova @ Georgetown (Rockville, MD)

Game1_medium

George Mason's park, Spuhler Field, is tucked away on campus and trees beyond the outfield wall provide a scenic view. Not much noteworthy happened in this game, except for a line HR past the LF foul pole by freshman catcher Max McDowell.

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Georgetown's Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda has a similar wooded surrounding, and they have made major improvements to the field since I visited two years ago. Villanova, who finished the season hitting .231 as a team, really took it to the Georgetown pitching staff over the weekend, starting with an 11 hit outburst in the Thursday opener. Stephen Ostapeck, Villanova's Friday starter, picked up his first win of the season with a complete game shutout. He never really struggled, and the final of this game was never in doubt.

Friday, May 17: La Salle @ George Washington (Arlington, VA) and Villanova @ Georgetown (Rockville, MD)

George Washington is looking to make some noise within the next few years. Their new head coach is recent Pirate's hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, and they've just put a few million dollars into renovating their home field (Bancroft Park). It is quite a nice facility, but its another one of those field turf shams.

Game3_medium

Back at Georgetown, the hot weekend for Villanova continued. Ace Pat Young got into some trouble in the third, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits. He cruised after that, and Villanova retook the lead for good with 5 runs in the sixth and another four in the seventh.

Game4_medium

Friday, May 18: Villanova @ Georgetown (Rockville, MD)

We were a little bit late for this game thanks to two different accidents on the freeway and a pregame stop at Port City Brewing to sample a few local microbrews. It was already 8-0 Villanova in the third, and the Wildcats were en route to an 11-1 win and series sweep. Soph LHP Josh Harris rolled for 8.1 innings before being pulled for a pair of senior pitchers to cap off the season. Harris needed only 94 pitches and gave up 5 hits, 0 walks. He looked just as sharp earlier this year against Florida State giving up only one ER in 7 innings on 6 hits, 0 walks.

Game5_medium

Geowas_50_medium
Justin Albright, INF (Sr)
Stat Line: .300 BA, .406 OBP, 29-37 SB
Notes:
My Take: 0-4, 2 K ... Hit .232 his first three seasons, looks like he finally figured it out. Athletic 2B.
Gtown_50_medium
Steve Anderson, 1B (Jr)
Stat Line: .274 BA, 3 HR, 1 3B, 5 2B
Notes:
My Take: 5-10, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2B ... Very big guy (6'5'', 240) who can hit with authority when he squares up on a ball.
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Max Beerman, 1B (Fr)
Stat Line: .188 BA, 6 HR, .362 SLG, .295 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 4-12, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, HR ... Mentioned him briefly in the Villanova @ Florida State recaps. Said if he ever caught up to D1 pitching he could be a terror. It looks like he's figured it out, raising his BA drastically from earlier this season. A friend with me at the game assumed he was the best hitter on the team after watching him rip two doubles off the CF wall. Big target at 1B, made a lot of bad throws look routine on the weekend. Still strikes out too often.
Gtown_50_medium
Nick Collins, C (Fr)
Stat Line: .333 BA, 3 HR, 2 3B, .441 SLG, .383 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 5-12, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2B ... Was a brick wall behind the plate, and he needed to be. Georgetown pitchers were all over the place, and he did a great job minimizing wild pitches.
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Carson Cross, RHP (RS Soph)
Stat Line: 8-4, 2.50 ERA, 104.1 IP, 83 K, 21 BB
Notes:
My Take: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 7 K, 0 BB ... Radar gun had him consistently 89-92 on the fastball, which he located well. Was effective in limited work in the Cape last summer (20 K in 13.1 IP).
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Billy Ferriter, OF (RS Sr)
Stat Line: .285 BA, 1 HR, .363 OBP, 25-36 SB
Notes:
My Take: 0-4
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Brandon Gum, SS (Fr)
Stat Line: .238 BA, 21 errors
Notes: #5 Newcomer to Atlantic 10 (Baseball America)
My Take: 2-4, 2 R
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Shane Hollman, RHP (RS Soph)
Stat Line: 3-4, 4.57 ERA, 63 IP, 49 K, 29 BB
Notes:
My Take: 6.0 IP, 1BB, 3 K, 4 H ... Started for La Salle. Has a strange motion that has him flying open glove side. If he got that under control, he would probably walk fewer batters, and might even pick up some velocity. (You can see the off-balance release in the game photo above)
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Connor Jones, OF (Jr)
Stat Line: .234 BA, 5 HR, .389 SLG, .360 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 9-15, 2 HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI ... Was an absolute monster over the weekend, earning Big East POTW. Lot of pop in the lefty bat.
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Dan Klem, INF (Sr)
Stat Line: .313 BA, .379 SLG, .358 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 1-5, 2B, K ... Batting leadoff
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Justin Leeson, OF (Sr)
Stat Line: .319 BA, 1 HR, .394 SLG, .379 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 5-13, 3B
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LJ Mazzilli, 2B (Sr)
Stat Line: .364 BA, 6 HR, .534 SLG, .419 OBP, 28-32 SB
Notes: Drafted in 9th Round 2012 by the Twins - #5 Prospect in Big East (Baseball America) - #18 Prospect in the Northeast (here) - #247 and #250 nationwide by Baseball America - There's been a lot more said about him by a lot of people
My Take: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 R ... Obviously the most highly touted position player I saw over the weekend. Good footwork at 2B. Picked off first by a lefty, but it looked like a balk from my point of view.
Gmason_50_medium
Anthony Montefusco, RHP/1B (RS Jr)
Stat Line: .238 BA, 1 HR … 5-5, 4.14 ERA, 78.1 IP, 80 K, 25 BB
Notes: #10 Prospect in Atlantic 10 (Baseball America)
My Take: 0-4, 2 K, batting cleanup ... DH'd the game I saw. He's probably got a better future as an arm.
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Stephen Ostapeck, RHP (Sr)
Stat Line: 1-8, 4.07 ERA, 79.2 IP, 48 SO, 21 BB
Notes:
My Take: W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (Complete game shutout)... Big righty (6'6'', 200). Was around 87-89 the whole game. Worked in and out effectively, and changed speeds well. Big East Pitcher of the Week.
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Tyler Sciacca, INF (Sr)
Stat Line: .307 BA, 2 HR, .466 SLG, .405 OBP
Notes:
My Take: 6-16, 6 RBI, 2 2B, HR ... Even earlier this season, fans at Florida State were raving about "what a good ballplayer" he is. Quick feet, and quick bat with suprising pop for his small build.
Uconn_50_medium
Tom Verdi, INF (Jr)
Stat Line: .260 BA, 2 HR, .402 OBP … 25 BB, 28 HBP (!)
Notes:
My Take: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HBP
Geowas_50_medium
Aaron Wisenberg, RHP (Jr)
Stat Line: 6-4, 3.32 ERA, 81.1 IP, 53 K, 22 BB
Notes:
My Take: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 3 BB ... Big (6'7'', 250) who has made significant strides in his K-BB ratio since last season. Not overpowering.
Vill_50_medium
Pat Young, RHP (Jr)
Stat Line: 2-8, 4.81 ERA, 82.1 IP, 76 K, 34 BB
Notes: Preseason Report (Draft Sleeper) from Baseball America - #189 and #193 nationwide by Baseball America
My Take: 8.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 K, 0 BB ... Similar build, delivery and stuff to Rice ace Austin Kubitza. Lots of movement on all pitches. Had one bad inning against Georgetown but cruised otherwise. Very athletic, especially for a big guy.

All photos courtesy of Henry Dao.

That does it for this regular season, it's tournament time now!

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