Aaron Rozek-Minnesota State-St. Cloud Rox

Well I was supposed to get this article out earlier but got a bit sidetracked. I was looking over my last article and saw that I completely messed up Aaron Rozek’s name, instead calling his Adam Rosek. What a professional I am.

Aaron Rozek is a left handed pitcher for Minnesota State-Mankato. His first two collegiate baseball season were rough. In his first year, he had a 4.07 ERA in 48.2 innings, which is not terrible considering he was a freshman and he pitched nearly 50 innings, which showed that the coaches trusted him. He also had a 6-0 record, and he along with fellow freshman pitchers Dalton Roach, Brody Rodning, and Christian Howell looked to be very promising. Rozek’s sophomore year was a disappointment though, as he had a 5.29 ERA in only 32.1 innings pitched. His BB/9 went up from 2.78 to 3.87 and his K/9 went down from 7.59 to 6.16.

However, his junior season went very well even though his innings dropped to 29.1. He recorded a 1.53 ERA and had a 11.67 K/9 and 1.84 BB/9. Rozek followed up this season with a 2.39 ERA in 64 innings pitched and 78 strikeouts, while winning Pitcher of the Year in the Northwoods League with the St. Cloud Rox.

There is not much(any) video on Rozek, so I cannot comment to much on his mechanics. There is a video of him from high school, and I though his mechanics were solid. I know that is pretty vague, but I just do not really have anything to work with.

To sum up Rozek, I will be watching him closely in his senior year to see how many innings he throws this year. If he gets into the high 30 to low 40 innings pitched range while maintaining his impressive strikeout rate, he has a shot at being drafted. If not, I do think he can play independent baseball and I think he could be successful there.

Hope you enjoyed this article, please consider following me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress. Also feel free to leave a comment, I would love to respond. Thanks and have a great rest of your week.

Zack Zubia wins Northwoods League MVP

The Northwoods League announced today the MVP and Pitcher of the Year for the 2017 season. The league’s MVP is Zach Zubia, a power hitting first baseman for the Rochester Honkers and the Pitcher of the Year was Adam Rosek, who I briefly discussed already in my Northwoods League Top Pitchers Profile. Expect a longer writeup about Rosek tomorrow. Today though, we will be discussing Zubia, who had an excellent season despite only having one year of collegiate baseball under his belt.

Zach Zubia is a 6’4” 235 pound first baseman who plays for the University of Texas. When I looked at his Perfect  Game profile, it said that it is easy to forget he is just a kid, and that is true. Zubia is a strong guy who can crush the baseball, as proven by the 22 home runs he hit this season with the Honkers. Coming out of high school, Zubia was ranked number 500 amongst prep players in 2016. He also was a standout quarterback for Strake Jesuit high school.

Statistically, there is not a lot to go off of. He didn’t play last season for Texas, although I would expect him to have a larger role this year. This year with Rochester, he hit .309/.456/.678 with 22 home runs as well as 18 doubles and a triple. His ISO was an incredible .369 and 56.9% of his hits were extra base hits, which is very impressive. He did commit 7 errors for a fielding percentage of .977, but he made up for it with his bat.

This season with the Longhorns, I think it is safe to say that he could hit around .270 with high teens home runs and a respectable on base percentage. Although he is a power hitter, he did have more walks than strikeouts, something that always makes me happy. I can’t wait to see if his incredible Northwoods numbers translate this year for him in Texas and he is definitely on my sophomore watch list.

That’s all for today, if you liked what you read please follow me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) as well as WordPress to get notified when a new article gets posted. You can also leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks and see you next time.

Logan Gilbert-Stetson-Orleans Firebirds

This past season, Stetson had quite a pitching rotation, with all of their starters having over 100 strikeouts and sub 3.20 ERA’s. Their strikeout leader, Brooks Wilson, was drafted in the 27th round by the Rangers this year but did not sign, making him one of the top senior signs for the 2018 draft and making next year’s rotation one of the scariest in college baseball. And while I want to do a more in depth review of both Wilson and sophomore Jack Perkins, today I want to discuss Logan Gilbert, who had the lowest ERA of the rotation and was Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year for 2017.

Gilbert is a 6’6” 210 pound righty who has a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90’s as well as a curveball in the high 70’s and a changeup in the low 80’s. His arm motion in his delivery is somewhat loopy since he pulls the ball behind his back from his glove, which caught me off guard at first. His arm slot is a three quarters slot and it allows him to get some movement on his fastball. Mechanically he is a bit stiff in my opinion, but nothing too bad. I do like his curveball and think it projects to be an above average pitch.

Statistically, there is nothing not to like about Gilbert. His K/9 has gone up(10.82) and his BB/9 rate(2.63) has gone down. He also only gave up one home run this past season with Stetson. This year in the Cape, he had a 1.72 ERA with 31 strikeouts(8.91 K/9) and only 4 walks(1.15 BB/9) and was selected to the All Star team.

To finish this off, Gilbert is one of my favorite collegiate pitchers in this year’s class. I love his K/9 and BB/9 ratios and he has good stuff as well. Gilbert is very high up on my list and I am excited to see if he can top the numbers he put up this year.

Thanks a lot for reading, and please follow us on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress if you enjoyed this article. Have a great weekend and I hope come back again.

Nolan Bumstead Report-Cal State Northridge-Willmar Stingers

Wow it has been awhile since I have last posted. There’s been a lot going on recently with school stuff(college apps are awful) but don’t worry I have not forgot about this site. Today we are discussing Nolan Bumstead, a third baseman about to enter his senior season at Cal State Northridge and was an All Star this year for the Willmar Stingers.

Bumstead recovered from his disappointing sophomore season to hit .302/.388/.422 with 4 homeruns and an ISO of .120 last year with the Matadors. Obviously these are not world beating numbers, but they are decent and I think he will have a breakout year next season. His OBP has gone up every season and his K/BB ratio has gone down. His power numbers are not the greatest, but his slash line so far in the Northwoods League leads me to believe that he could hit double digit home runs this year with Cal State Northridge. So far with Willmar, he has slashed .264/.347/.406 with 6 homeruns in 276 at bats.

What holds back Bumstead the most is that his fielding is not very good at all. So far in the Northwoods he has had 14 errors for a .934 fielding percentage. That is just bad, and a bit shocking considering that he made just 3 errors with the Matadors this past year and seemed to be improving his glove. However he does have a history with errors, and he had 11 in his sophomore year and 10 his freshman year.

Overall, I doubt that any teams will take a flier on Bumstead in the draft this upcoming season. He just does not hit for much power and his glove is not where it needs to be selected in the draft. If Bumstead is able to start hitting for more power and get into the double digits for homers, while making his glove more dependable. If he can do that, he has an outside shot at being a late round senior sign, although it is a very small percentage. I do think that he might be able to sign on with an indy ball team if he has another good year with the Matadors.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this review, it’s fun to look at players that nobody knows about. If you enjoyed this, please consider following this site through WordPress or on twitter at @theamateurbball. Thanks again!

 

Jimmy Herron Report-Duke/Orleans Firebirds

In the first installment of the Cape Cod hitters to watch, I profiled Duke outfielder Griffin Conine. However I left off the other Duke stud, Jimmy Herron. And by “other” I mean that I wanted to save him for another post, not that he is inferior to him. They both were MVP’s in the All Star Game and they both have had spectacular seasons. Today I just wanted to do a more in depth write up about Herron, so here we go.

Herron is a 6’1” 185 outfielder who was a draft eligible sophomore selected by the Yankees in the 31st round. Obviously there was signability issues other wise he would have been a top 5 round pick for sure. Herron returns to Duke and will look to keep on doing what he has been doing for the past 2 years, while improving on the power.

In his first year at Duke, Herron slashed .324/.418/.440 with an ISO of .116 and he didn’t have any home runs. While that is very impressive as a freshman, I think that his 25 K/29 BB ratio is far more impressive. What is not to love about a freshman that has that great of an approach at the plate? He improved upon that first year by improving his power with a .474 SLG and a .148 ISO and had 5 homers. His OBP dipped slightly to .412 but his 34 K/29 BB ratio was still very impressive. The only small concerning thing is that his secA dropped from .353 to .317, but I am not to concerned about that because he was able to hit for more power. Also this year with the Orleans Firebirds, he slashed .355/.447/.504 with 20 K/14 BB, 3 HR, and 11 SB. This slash line just reinforces everything he has done so far with Duke.

To go along with his above average to plus hitting tools, Herron also has plus speed and above average fielding tools as well. In 2016 he went 24/28 in stolen base attempts and in 2017 he was 17/24. His 60 time coming out of high school was 6.55 which is very good. With his plus speed and plus arm Herron projects to be an above average fielder in the majors.

Another interesting thing is that his KATOH projection was a 1.5 WAR. If you do not know what KATOH is, go to Fangraphs, they are the creators and they can explain it far better than me. In this years list of top KATOH draft prospects, he ranked 25th, which is surprising considering that he was ranked 283 by Baseball America. While this is not objective, it is pretty interesting and it shows that he is somewhat underrated.

Hopefully this write up give you a better picture about Jimmy Herron. Thank you for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Cape Cod League Pitchers(Part One)

No big intro today, let’s jump right into the pitchers.

RHP Griffin Roberts(Jr.-Wake Forest)-Wareham Gateman

Draft eligible sophomore Griffin Roberts was drafted in the 29th round by the Minnesota Twins, but he decided that he was going to return to Wake Forest for his junior season. Roberts has a fastball that sits at 92-95 and tops out at 97 as well as a slider in the low 80’s. Roberts last season had 80 strikeouts in 53.1 innings(13.5 K/9) but he also had 32 walks(5.40 BB/9). With those numbers he projects to be a reliever unless he can improve his control and add a third pitch. In the Cape this year, he has shown great command though with 4 walks in 28 innings while having over a strikeout per inning and a 1.93 ERA. It will be interesting to see where he goes in the draft next year. If his Cape numbers translate this year with Wake Forest, I think he might breakout and be a top 5 round pick.

LHP Kris Bubic(Jr.-Stanford)-Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox

Bubic is more of a conventional starter the Roberts is. This year at Stanford he has 3 pitch mix that includes a fastball that is ranges from 88-91 with some tail as well as a curve in the mid 70’s and a changeup in the high 70’s. But he’s increased his velocity this year in the Cape to sitting in the low 90’s as well as getting the changeup in the 80’s. His curveball has also gotten sharper, as reported by Frankie Piliere of D1 baseball. His changeup has always been his best pitch, but it seems that it has gotten better while in the Cape and apparently his curve has as well. I was not really sold on his curve, but if he can continue this development I think it has potential to be an above average pitch to go with his potentially plus changeup. Bubic had a great season with Stanford last year as their Friday starter after Beck went down, putting up a 9.56 K/9 against a 3.09 BB/9 and a 2.79 ERA. He’s continued his success with the Red Sox by having 32 strikeouts and 7 walks with a 1.95 ERA in 27.2 innings. Right now I say he is a 20-30 round pick, but look for him to go up the boards as next season progresses.

RHP Austin Bergner(So-North Carolina)-Chatham Anglers

For some reason I thought that Bergner wasn’t eligible until 2019, but turns out he is a draft eligible sophomore. Bergner has already been drafted, going in the 38th round by the Red Sox out of high school in 2016. He probably should have gone much higher as he was ranked 165 by Baseball America but he was firm in his commitment of playing college ball. Bergner already is throwing mid 90’s and has a changeup that sits in the low to high 80s. He also has a curve in the low 80’s. Bergner’s delivery is not the smoothest and he short arms it., and his velocity is iffy at times. At times he’s sitting at mid 90’s and other times it’s in the low 90’s, which is concerning to some. I think that shows that his conditioning is not there yet, but I can’t say that for certain. Also could be because of his short arm delivery.What I can say for certain is that he has amazing run and sink on his fastball. If he can consistently sit mid 90s and have that movement, it is a plus fastball for sure. He had a solid freshman year with the Tar Heels, posting a 3.00 ERA in 48 innings, but he only had a 8.44 K/9, which is slightly disappointing for a power pitcher. Also, he walked a lot of batters, recording a 4.69 BB/9. Bergner’s Cape season has gone a bit better as he has a 9.35 K/9 and 3.11 BB/9. Hopefully Austin puts together a great sophomore year for the Tar Heels and gets drafted in the first round, I think he has the potential to do it.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this. I think that this has been my favorite post to write so far for whatever reason. Also, check out the video Matt Antonelli did on the Cape Cod League, I think you might find it interesting. If you like what you read, please follow the blog on Twitter and WordPress so that you will be notified whenever I have a new post up. Thank you.

 

Cape Cod League Hitters To Watch-Part One

Going to start up the Cape Cod League series today and come back and revisit the Northwoods League at some other point. Glad to see that Stevie Mangrum won the All Star Game MVP, I profiled him in the hitters post so it was cool to see him win the award. Today we will be looking at some hitters that you should be looking into for next season that are playing in the Cape Cod League.

3B Alec Bohm(Jr.-Wichita St)-Falmouth Commodores

Bohm is a 6’5” third baseman who is currently leading the league in batting average. His slash line is very impressive at .372/.406/.535 with 4 homers. He also has a strong 18 K/7 BB ratio and has had 9 doubles this year. It was surprising to see that Bohm was not drafted this year, he hit .305/.385/.519 with 11 HR this year and .303/.346/.489 with 6 HR last year while starting for Wichita St. His ISO went up from .185 to .215 and his K/BB ratio improved to 1.07 from 2.78. His glove is somewhat questionable, but it improved tremendously this year, getting it up to .959 after recording a .859 the season before. Bohm is a top 200 prospect this year in my opinion and I am excited to see how his

RF Griffin Conine(So.-Duke)-Cotuit Kettleers

Conine has had an impressive season this year by leading the Cape Cod league in homeruns with 7. This is not surprising as Conine had 13 homers with Duke this season, putting up a .248 ISO. He was able to do this while keeping a respectable 45 K/41 BB ratio. He had 218 at bats so the 45 K’s is not a huge number but is a bit high. The only reason why I am giving this a pass is because of the 41 walks, which is very impressive. Conine is hitting .319/.405/.558 with the Kettleers and hit .286/.384/.592 with 16 home runs last year with the LaCrosse Loggers of the Northwoods League. Conine is an impressive player and one of my favorites coming into this year’s draft.

C/3B Willie MacIver(Jr.-Washington University)-Wareham Gatemen

It is very rare to see a catcher lead the league in stolen bases, especially since he only had 1 this year with Washington University. Yet MacIver has 15 stolen bases to go along with his .318/.414/.421 slash line. His .421 slugging percentage is a bit high considering he only has 7 extra base hits(5 HR/2 2B) but he only has 107 at bats so far. Last season with Washington, he has a .292/.372/.385 with a .094 ISO, so I would not consider him to be a power hitter. His 1.85 K/BB ratio is a bit high as well but it is not super concerning. MacIver should be drafted this year in the top 15 rounds as a third baseman.

That is all I have right now, thank you for reading. On a side note, it is interesting that the Northwoods League lists the players year that they just finished, but the Cape Cod League lists their year for next year. However, if the Cape Cod league really does it that way, then Griffin Conine should be listed as a junior. I could be reading it wrong and if so, please correct me.

Parker Sanburn (Lakeshore Chinooks/ Texas Rangers) Report

Sorry about the long wait in between posts, but I had my own baseball games to play and they got in the way. Anyways, not going to talk about any pitchers or hitters in the Northwoods League, but rather a bit more in depth look at Parker Sanburn, who was picked up by the Texas Rangers a couple days ago.

Here is what I had written up about him a few days ago:

Sanburn is an interesting prospect, he redshirted his first year at Arkansas and his redshirt freshman season went pretty terrible, having a 15.58 ERA in 8.2 innings. He transferred to Des Moines Area CC, where he had 72 K’s in 55 innings and a 3.44 ERA. However he did have 36 walks, which translates to 5.89 BB/9. The same theme runs with Sanburn this summer, as he leads the league in strikeouts(48) in 24.1 innings, but also has 12 walks. If he ever figures out the walk problem, he could be a dominant pitcher, but I am concerned that it will never happen.

Before we get into the scouting portion, one thing that I did not realize about him is that he did not have a commitment to play college after his last year at Des Moines Area CC. I am not sure what his plans were afterwards, I am assuming indy ball but I do not know. Just found that interesting, it obviously worked for him.

Parker Sanburn has a 2 pitch mix that he has been very effective in striking out hitters, as we can see with his impressive 11.78 K/9 this year with DMACC. He is 6’2” 195 lb right handed pitcher, and has broken his back and had shoulder surgery during his time with the Arkansas Razorbacks, before transferring to Des Moines Area CC where he started. Sanburn has a fastball that sits in the 90-93 MPH range and touches mid 90’s occasionally and a curve that is in the low 80’s. His curve is his out pitch, it has 11-5 break to it. I would rate both his curve and his fastball as above average pitches. However, his command is below average and something he will need to work on if he plans on making it even to AA ball. His ceiling in my opinion is a solid bullpen pitcher in the majors who is able to get a good amount of strikeouts. Given his walk numbers, I have concerns that he won’t be able to reach that level, but he has the potential to do it. I am surprised that no team drafted him this year, maybe it was the medical issues. His stuff though is draft worthy and the Rangers made a solid signing here.

That is all I have on Sanburn, hope everyone has a good Monday. I’ll link below to some video of Sanburn.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he_4AOvPpDA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKTnV8ijJ8w

Blast Motion/Cape Cod Partnership Reaction

Looking over stats and scouting reports can be somewhat monotonous after awhile. Thought I would break it up by giving my thoughts on this recent Baseball America article about the Cape Cod League implementing sensors onto the bats of their players to get swing metrics. The sensor weighs 0.3 ounces and goes onto to the end of the bat. The nice thing about this is that the swing metrics are available in real time and scouts are able to access them while watching the game. These sensors are able to track more simple things like bat speed, but also more advanced metrics like swing plane data. Also, the article says that the Astros have been big proponents of this new data, which I did not realize.

Personally, I think this is just another step in the evolution of taking the human element out of evaluating baseball players, which I have mixed feelings about. While I think it is awesome that we are getting closer to objectivity in baseball, it also makes me wonder where the scouting element of baseball is going to go. The logical step obviously is that as this technology gets more refined and everyone is able to access it, scouting will go by the wayside. But I wonder if that as a response to this, there will be a group of people that hate all these analytics and go back to reading and writing up scouting reports. Think of the opposite of Fangraphs. I doubt that would happen, but it just makes me wonder. Another thought that is similar to this is that I wonder if we’ll ever have a team that bunts and steal bases just like they did 20-30 years ago. Who knows, but it would be cool to see if a team like that could do well today.

Anyways, thought this was a good article, and I’ll put the link to it under this. Thank you for reading.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/business/211559/#WZBmSPZHFmlcBXil.97

Northwoods League Pitchers Part One

If anyone is looking for some excellent hip hop to get them motivated, check out Brother Ali’s All The Beauty In This Whole Life. I flew through this article today, no doubt because of this album. I listen to a lot of angry music, so it is nice to change it up every once in awhile. But enough of that. Today we are switching it up to the pitchers of the Northwoods League. I enjoy looking at pitchers more than hitters, probably because I am a far better pitcher than a hitter. Tomorrow there will be another hitter list, so look out for that. Enough rambling, let’s go.

RHP Parker Sanburn(rSo.-Arkansas/Des Moines Area CC)-Lakeshore Chinooks

Sanburn is an interesting prospect, he redshirted his first year at Arkansas and his redshirt freshman season went pretty terrible, having a 15.58 ERA in 8.2 innings. He transferred to Des Moines Area CC, where he had 72 K’s in 55 innings and a 3.44 ERA. However he did have 36 walks, which translates to 5.89 BB/9. The same theme runs with Sanburn this summer, as he leads the league in strikeouts(48) in 24.1 innings, but also has 12 walks. If he ever figures out the walk problem, he could be a dominant pitcher, but I am concerned that it will never happen.

LHP Jack Eagan(Fr.-Madison College)-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

Jack Eagan went to Indiana University in the fall, but he transferred to Madison College in the spring and had a great season. This season he had a 2.16 ERA with 12.59 K/9 and 3.91 BB/9. The walk rate is a bit concerning, but he is only a freshman. This season with the Rafters, he has a 2.74 ERA in 39.1 innings and 44 K’s. His walk rate is much higher than it was in college, close to 4.5 BB/9, but the majority of the earned runs and walks he gave up this season came in his last start, in which he gave up 5 earned runs and 5 walks in 4.2 innings. That was an outlier, for the most part he has been very dominant this season.

LHP Aaron Rozek(rJr.-Minnesota State)-St. Cloud Rox

Rozek is another lefty who has had a low ERA and has well over 1 strikeout per inning. Unlike Eagan though, Rozek has had far better control of the zone, only allowing 2.65 BB/9. His official line looks like this: 2.65 ERA/10.61 K9/2.65 BB/9 in 37.1 innings. Rozek has been used as a starter by St. Cloud, which is interesting because he was used out of the bullpen the entire season with Minnesota State. Rozek is one of the best pitchers in the league this year, it will be interesting to see if he gets drafted.

RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson(Jr-Harvard)-Madison Mallards

Well I think we have found the smartest player in the league. As well as having an Ivy League education, this righty has also been a dominant pitcher for the Mallards this year. Rosenblum-Larson has a 1.20 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 8 walks in 37.1 innings pitched. His control is very impressive and it shows in the stat book. It is interesting that he has been able limit the walks, he had just over a half a walk per inning this year with Harvard. This happened in 2016 with the Mallards, he had a 2.25 BB/9 but then ended up with a 4.75 BB/9 with Harvard this past season. Maybe the second time’s the charm.

RHP Layne Henderson-(Jr.-Azusa Pacific)-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

Henderson has the second most amount of saves in the league with 10 so far this season. That’s not what makes him so interesting though. Henderson already has 30 strikeouts in only 15.1 innings and has a 2.34 ERA. There’s one problem with him, and I bet you already know what it is. Control. In those 15 innings he has 7 walks, which is not very good. Hopefully he can figure it out and gets drafted, but I would be shocked if he does get drafted. I am sure he is worthy of consideration for an indy ball team though.

Tomorrow we are going to go back to hitters to look at some of the players that have had good seasons so far.