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College World Series Discussion - 2015


With the College World Series starting today I am creating a thread for any discussion or notes surrounding the event over the next 11 days. There are a few Brewers draft picks participating in the CWS along with some top prospects for next year's draft as well.

 

I will update the SCHEDULE in this first post as the College World Series progresses.

 

College World Series

June 13-23/24

TD Ameritrade Park • Omaha

(All Times Central)

 

Bracket One: Arkansas, Virginia, Florida, Miami

 

Bracket Two: LSU, TCU, Vanderbilt, Cal State Fullerton

 

Saturday, June 13: Bracket One

Game 1: Virginia 5, Arkansas 3

Game 2: Florida 15, Miami 3

 

Sunday, June 14: Bracket Two

Game 3: TCU 10, LSU 3

 

Monday, June 15: Bracket One

Game 4: Vanderbilt 4, Cal State Fullerton 3

Game 5: Miami 4, Arkansas 3 (Arkansas eliminated)

Game 6: Virginia 1, Florida 0

 

Tuesday, June 16: Bracket Two

Game 7: LSU 5, Cal State Fullerton 3 (Cal State Fullerton eliminated)

Game 8: Vanderbilt 1, TCU 0

 

Wednesday, June 17: Bracket One

Game 9: Florida 10, Miami 2 (Miami eliminated)

 

Thursday, June 18: Bracket Two

Game 10: TCU 8, LSU 4

 

Friday, June 19: Bracket Championships

Game 11: Florida 10, Virginia 5

Game 12: Vanderbilt 7, TCU 1 (TCU eliminated)

 

Saturday, June 20: Bracket Championships

Game 13: Virginia 5, Florida 4 (Florida eliminated)

 

Monday, June 22: Finals Game One

Vanderbilt 5, Virginia 1

 

Tuesday, June 23: Finals Game Two

Virginia 3, Vanderbilt 0

 

Wednesday, June 24: Finals Game Three

Vanderbilt vs. Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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Below are players participating in the College World Series that were drafted this past week including Brewers selections in Bold. Roster information taken from this LINK.

 

[pre]FLORIDA GATORS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

1 20 Richie Martin SS Oakland Athletics

3 100 Harrison Bader OF St. Louis Cardinals

6 181 Eric Hanhold RHP Milwaukee Brewers

8 242 Daniel Young LHP Toronto Blue Jays

9 270 Taylor Lewis RHP Atlanta Braves

10 294 Joshua Tobias 3B Philadelphia Phillies

14 411 Bobby Poyner LHP Boston Red Sox

24 730 Michael Vinson RHP Detroit Tigers

28 855 Aaron Rhodes RHP Los Angeles Angels[/pre]

[pre]MIAMI HURRICANES

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

2 61 Andrew Suarez LHP San Francisco Giants

4 119 David Thompson 3B New York Mets

7 211 G. Iskenderian 3B Milwaukee Brewers

14 432 Garrett Kennedy C Los Angeles Dodgers

16 485 Ricky Eusebio OF Seattle Mariners[/pre]

[pre]VIRGINIA CAVALIERS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

CB A 40 Nathan Kirby LHP Milwaukee Brewers

CB B 74 Josh Sborz RHP Los Angeles Dodgers

5 148 Joe McCarthy RF Tampa Bay Rays

5 157 Brandon Waddell LHP Pittsburgh Pirates

19 572 John LaPrise 2B Toronto Blue Jays

20 615 Kenny Towns 3B Los Angeles Angels

36 1090 Daniel Pinero 3B Detroit Tigers[/pre]

[pre]ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

1 7 And. Benintendi OF Boston Red Sox

9 257 Trey Killian RHP Colorado Rockies

30 889 Bobby Wernes 3B Houston Astros

35 1041 Tyler Spoon OF Boston Red Sox[/pre]

[pre]VANDERBILT COMMODORES

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

1 1 Dansby Swanson SS Arizona Diamondbacks

1 8 Carson Fulmer RHP Chicago White Sox

1 24 Walker Buehler RHP Los Angeles Dodgers

3 101 Philip Pfeifer LHP Los Angeles Dodgers

3 103 Rhett Wiseman OF Washington Nationals

6 168 Tyler Ferguson RHP Texas Rangers

12 350 Alexander Wiel 1B Minnesota Twins

19 558 Xavier Turner* 3B Texas Rangers

39 1163 J. Kilichowski LHP Chicago Cubs

* -- Suspended for 2015 season.[/pre]

[pre]CALIFORNIA STATE - FULLERTON TITANS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

2 46 Thomas Eshelman RHP Houston Astros

8 244 Justin Garza RHP Cleveland Indians

9 263 T. Peitzmeier LHP Chicago Cubs

12 358 Olmedo-Barrera OF Tampa Bay Rays

30 897 A.J. Kennedy C San Diego Padres

39 1184 Jake Jefferies 2B Washington Nationals[/pre]

[pre]LSU TIGERS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

1 2 Alex Bregman SS Houston Astros

2 58 And. Stevenson OF Washington Nationals

4 130 Kade Scivicque C Detroit Tigers

5 165 Jared Foster OF Los Angeles Angels

9 259 Zac Person LHP Houston Astros

9 264 Mark Laird OF Philadelphia Phillies

9 275 Conner Hale 3B Seattle Mariners

17 521 Chris Chinea C St. Louis Cardinals[/pre]

[pre]TCU HORNED FROGS

Round Pick Player Pos. MLB Organization

2 43 Alex Young LHP Arizona Diamondbacks

2 65 Tyler Alexander LHP Detroit Tigers

3 79 Riley Ferrell RHP Houston Astros

6 189 Cody Jones OF Kansas City Royals

8 233 P. Morrison RHP Chicago Cubs

9 280 Trey Teakell RHP Detroit Tigers

15 460 Keaton Jones SS Detroit Tigers

28 851 Mitchell Traver RHP St. Louis Cardinals[/pre]

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Below are some players participating in the CWS that have garnered early attention as top prospects for the 2016 MLB Draft.

 

Player reports listed below were taken from Fangraphs' Kiley McDaniel, in his 2016/17 MLB Draft Ranking: Ridiculously Early Edition. Below are just the players listed that are eligible for the 2016 draft, there are many more CWS participants listed on the 2017 draft prospect list found at that article link.

 

4. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida: Puk also has a chance to jump into the elite category, but he’s a two-way guy (with plus raw power from the left side) on a team with a deep staff, so he hasn’t pitched as much as some of his peers. He was also recently arrested for climbing on a construction crane with a teammate, which clouds his future just a bit. At his best, the 6’7/230 Puk sat 92-95 mph, touched 96 mph, worked in a plus slider and shows starter traits. 5/9/15 UPDATE: After his suspension for the crane incident, Puk has ticked up, looking more focused, sitting 94-97 early, hitting 98 mph and holding 93-96 late into games. If he continues doing this into the summer, he’ll jump a couple more spots, but there’s been some inconsistency from Puk in his college career.

 

8. Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia: A late 1st round talent out of high school that had a high number, Jones has progressed well at UVA, now working 91-95 and hitting 96 mph with plus sink (but also sometimes 89-93 mph), an above average to plus changeup and an average breaking ball. There’s a compelling case to throw Jones in the elite group now, especially if his breaking ball gets a little better.

 

12. Logan Shore, RHP, Florida: Shore likely stays in this range from start to finish, as he’s an SEC Friday night performer with a clean delivery/arm action and above average stuff with good command: 90-94 mph, above average to plus changeup, at least an average breaking ball.

 

21. Zach Jackson, RHP, Arkansas: UPDATE 5/16/15 I got a one inning look at Jackson in Arkansas’ regular season finale and it was better than I was told. He sat 93-96 mph, his mid-80’s curveball was above average to plus and his 6’4/215 frame has room to add more bulk. The delivery is clean enough that there’s a chance he sticks as a starter and I’d expect to see him in Arkansas’ rotation next season.

 

22. Jake Fraley, CF, LSU: Fraley is the slowest of the three regular LSU outfielders and still may be a pro center fielder due to his above average to plus speed. He’s 6’0/183 with an advanced lefty bat and above average raw power that he’s learning to integrate into his game.

 

23. Dane Dunning, RHP, Florida: UPDATE 5/10/15 Dunning was one of the last cuts from the list, after I saw him early in the season showing above average stuff and improved feel but more of a backend starter with projection for more. He was recently up to 96 mph, is working with a plus fastball, has more projection left in his frame and the improved arm speed helps the crispness of his roughly average breaking ball and above average to plus changeup. Along with Puk and Shore, the Gators have a fearsome 2016 rotation, almost expected from their banner 2013 recruiting class, which includes 2016 draft prospects 1B Pete Alonso and CF Buddy Reed, along with three prospects that opted to turn pro: White Sox RHP Tyler Danish, Indians LHP Sean Brady and Giants 2B Christian Arroyo.

 

26. Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt: Sheffield was a high profile prep arm a few years back that hit 98 mph, but missed his first year at Vanderbilt due to Tommy John surgery. I saw him earlier this spring and he sat 92-95, hit 96 mph, has an above average to plus curveball and a changeup that flashed solid average. There’s some effort to the delivery akin to Carson Fulmer and Sheffield is still working on the command, but there’s stuff, athleticism and he hides the ball well.

 

29. Willie Abreu, RF, Miami (FL): Abreu was identified early in his prep career due to being high school teammates with Albert Almora but Abreu has performed plenty for himself. He has above average raw power from the left side, solid feel to hit and an above average arm, but he’s still learning to tap into that power in games.

 

More College Pitchers

LHP Ben Bowden (Vanderbilt), LHP Jared Poche (LSU)

 

More College Position Players

LF Bryan Reynolds (Vanderbilt), 1B Zack Collins (Miami), 1B Pete Alonso (Florida), C Matt Thaiss (Virginia), CF Buddy Reed (Florida)

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Is Kirby slated to start at some point or is he relegated to the bullpen after being cleared to play again?

All indications are that Kirby will contribute out of the bullpen. Below are some paragraphs from this ARTICLE with quotes from his coach Brian O'Conner in bold.

 

With a two-inning, 40-pitch simulated game on tap, Kirby needed to show coach Brian O'Connor he was healthy and ready to offer U.Va. (39-22) something on the mound in Omaha, Neb. at the College World Series, which begins Saturday for the Cavaliers with a game against Arkansas.

 

More than seven weeks after having to temporarily shut down his pitching due to a strained latissimus dorsi muscle, Kirby appears to be ready to return.

 

"He looked really good," said O'Connor, adding the left-handed Kirby threw his fastball 88-92 miles per hour, threw breaking balls and change-ups and will likely initially come out of the bullpen if he returns in the College World Series.

 

"I thought he looked good from the standpoint of his strength level. His consistency wasn't real great, which is what you'd expect since he hadn't faced a batter in seven weeks. A little bit rusty, but he looked fully healthy.

 

 

"So, based on what I saw there and what we'll evaluate over the next three or four days, I anticipate that he'll be able to help us to some degree in Omaha. I don't know that that would be in the first game, maybe the second game or beyond that. Obviously, the deeper we play, I think the more contributions that he can have."

 

............................................................................................

 

Despite Kirby showing significant signs of improvement, O'Connor isn't going to push his ace. O'Connor's designs to have Kirby first come out of the bullpen at the College World Series are accompanied by the thought Kirby could continue to stretch his arm out more if U.Va. hangs around in Omaha a while. Kirby hasn't played a relief role since his freshman year in 2013.

 

"He's just not built up enough we feel to go deep in a game," O'Connor said. "Maybe we'd look at him in a clean inning, a fresh start in a fresh inning to maybe help us out of the bullpen."

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Some entertainment from Omaha today with bottom of the 9th walk-off hits (including a HR) to end the first two games.

 

Curious what others think of the UmpCam? IMO, the camera quality leaves something to be desired, but the concept is interesting. Most intriguing for me is that it offers a different look at pitch speed and movement.

 

A little explanation included in this Omaha.com ARTICLE.

 

Here is a still image as captured by UmpCam...

 

CHaJD38UEAA06WP.jpg

 

And this VIDEO link provides some brief UmpCam footage.

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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DVR ALERT!

 

College World Series - Friday afternoon 6/19 ESPN2 2:00 PM Central

 

SB NATION POST: Nathan Kirby to pitch for UVA Friday against Florida

 

I think as great as it would is to be such a high draft pick, I'm bummed for Kirby because for life he can't say he was the Brewers first-round pick or second-round pick, he has to stumble his way of saying he was the "Brewers' Competitive Balance Round 1 Pick".

 

Guess he'll just stick to saying he was the 40th pick overall in the 2015 draft ;).

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I spoke to Kirby in Omaha about this, as well as Coach Brian O'Connor, and it's important to remember that he hasn't pitched since April 19 or something like that. They really wanted to get him in a low/no pressure situation because of that, but that opportunity never presented itself. Virginia is really low on arms, thus this move, but I'd be a little concerned that Kirby isn't going to have his best feel, but we'll see.

 

In other words, don't be too rash to make judgements.

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I had a chance on Saturday night to watch Kirby's 2+ innings on the DVR from Friday, and I still don't know that he's more than a #3. I mentioned that thought during the pre-draft discussions and while I know he was rusty having not pitched live since mid April, all of the things that gave me pause prior to his injury are still there.

 

I say that because it's really hard to tell what kind of athlete he is, and I don't mean by our standards, but rather professionally. He doesn't have a major mechanical flaw, there's not one glaring hole that you point to and say that's the reason he struggles with location. He gets his entire body moving in 1 direction (no stepping across or major rotational issues), he's balanced throughout the delivery (not falling hard towards 3rd), and he pitches with an even tempo. So on the surface there's nothing jumping out as to why he's having issues locating.

 

There are however a bunch of small issues that should have been rather easy to fix along the way; his arm slot is inconsistent, many times his follow through finishes across his body rather than down towards his right knee, he has that baseball wind-up going from 3, to 6, to 9 and ends up loading the ball fairly low, and finally many times his lower half is out in front of his upper half (meaning his hips fired before his shoulder/elbow) so he's out of sync and dragging his arm.

 

Since all of those things are relatively easy to repetition out of a delivery and I find his body type somewhat strange, I have concerns about his athleticism. If you watch the ESPN footage any time his throwing arm finishes down near his right knee he's pretty much on target, it shouldn't be that hard for him.

 

There's quite a bit to like... lefty (everyone should know what a sucker I am for lefties), cleanish mechanics, works in the low 90s, and has good stuff. It's the stuff which I struggle to understand with him that have given me pause. The simplest answer is usually the correct one so it would appear he's just not a good athlete, but I hate to say that about a guy I've rarely seen move. That's why I wouldn't commit to him for the 1st round prior to the draft and that's what I saw post draft watching the CWS as well. This isn't rust issue or being upset about him giving up runs, that's to be expected and I'm fine with it, this is an issue about athleticism that I haven't been able to adequately reconcile for myself since I started my pre draft homework last winter.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Nathan Kirby with one walk and three strikeouts in the 8th inning including a strikeout of 1-1 draft pick, Dansby Swanson on a check swing attempt. Kirby showed a couple of impressive sliders and is expected to stay in the game for the 9th in an attempt to pick up what would be the first save of his career, and oh yeah a national championship.
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Was it me or could the LF had maybe caught that for the third out? Why not at least go for it? 2 run lead, 2 outs in the 9th....worst case it goes past you and maybe the guy scores or winds up at third...who cares....that run is meaningless. Hard to tell from that angle but it sure looked like he could have charged and dove headfirst for it.
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