In 2018, MLB teams were expected to score at least a run with a runner on second with no outs. Not many scenarios where managers would automatically walk the next hitter to help increase the opponents odds of plating runs. Especially with one out when walking the hitter increases the likelihood of a run scoring.
The college game has its nuances, and automatically walking star players with runners in scoring position is one of them. It’s a bit frustrating watching these games through the lens of draft scouting because you want to see how the top hitters perform with runners in scoring position. So often the bat is taken out of their hands, and it doesn’t necessarily make sense strategy-wise.
This is often happening for the two best college hitters: Adley Rutschman and Andrew Vaughn. Last night, Cal visited Oregon State to start a very anticipated three-game series. Unfortunately, no fireworks from either as Rutschman and Vaughn were hitless in Game 1.
However, Rutschman walked three times and Vaughn twice last night. On the season, Rutschman has 29 walks to 11 strikeouts sporting a .618 on-base percentage. Vaughn is not that far behind with 23 walks to nine strikeouts and a .589 OBP. Hopefully, both are challenged a bit more for Saturday and Sunday’s contests, but that wouldn’t fit the current trends in college baseball. Teams are treating opposing star hitters as if they are Mike Trout and are more than happy to give the free pass. I do wonder if that is leading to very inflated OBP’s this season, and something to monitor in future years.
Sox Machine’s #4 draft prospect, UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott, didn’t have to worry about being pitched around Friday night against Nevada. Instead, Stott faced a shift to the pull side against left-handed pitching. This was an excellent opportunity to see how Stott handled facing infield shifts as he will see more of that when he’s in the minor leagues.
In five at-bats, Stott did very well avoiding the shift going 4-for-5 with a double. Stott’s first hit was an infield single beating the shift with a grounder to the left side. The second hit was between the third baseman at the normal shortstop position while the shortstop was roving behind second base. The third hit was a nice line drive to center field, and to cap it off Stott doubled down the right field line for his fourth hit.
Bryson Stott has been facing a shift all game – and he's 3-for-3 tonight. #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/fhATBogBRY— Josh Nelson (@soxmachine_josh) March 23, 2019
It was a nice bounce-back night for Stott who was in a slump his last four games hitting 1-for-15. For the season, Stott’s hitting splits are .349/.513/.663.
We might have finally found a college pitcher worthy of being a Top 10 pick. After Duke announced that Graeme Stinson will be moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen, TCU’s Nick Lodolo has taken the reigns as the best college starter.
Against Texas Friday night, Lodolo turned in another terrific performance throwing 116 pitches spanning eight innings, allowed nine hits and one earned run with nine strikeouts to just two walks. TCU would score three runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Texas, 3-2 and helping Lodolo to avoid the loss in a close game. Scouting reports had Lodolo at 94-95 mph with his fastball, and his sharp slider was working well.
T2 | A 10-pitch inning for Lodolo that features a pair of strikeouts, including this one to end the top of the second. #GoFrogs— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) March 22, 2019
Texas 0, TCU 0 – Mid 2 pic.twitter.com/GJCy2kvFjU
For the season, Lodolo in six starts has a 1.32 ERA in 41 innings with 24 hits allowed and 55 strikeouts to just nine walks. His next start will be on Friday, March 30th against Oklahoma State.
Walking Vaughn sucks for the Sox considering their biggest draft question is probably is Vaughn too good of a hitter to pass up even if he has no other position but 1st base. They need to see all the at bats he can get.
Most recent mock drafts have Adley and Vaughn going 1/2, leaving the Sox to (hopefully) pick between one of the HS SS’s.
a big part of the rebuild process as always compared to the astros and cubs was that we were gonna draft a bregman or bryant of our own…
well guess what just like free agency being a total bust, the development of most of our young players being slowed or looking like a bust… so will the drafting process.
if the sox have to take a HS SS, I worry they wont develop them properly, and the hope of an immediate impact from a high college bat falls squarely on madrigal….
Tim Anderson, our current Short Stop was 19 years old when drafted. Bobby Witt Jr. will be 19 the week after the draft.
Timmy worked out OK.
They developed one league average player I think I will wet my pants.
My main point is those teams drafted a college bat, near mlb ready guys who quickly became mvp caliber within the window of their contention
Our window is borderline non existent right now… anyone with thoughts of 2020 or even 2021 being competitive are fooling themselves.
Im not saying I wouldnt take witt if adley and vaughn are off the board, cause I probably would, but hoping that one of these top 5 picks is gonna come in and help us compete in year 3 or 4 of the rebuild is now not happening
Trout was a high school bat, as was Machado, as was Harper.
You are living under a black cloud. Debbie Downer.
@lil jimmy- I’m much less bullish on what the Sox have done withAnderson. Even if he’s accrued some WAR with positional adjustments and an above avg. glove, his bat is really bad.
@knoxfire30 I agree that trusting the Sox to with a HS bat is a risk. But I’d be really disappointed if they went with a future 2 WAR college st #3. Over-drafting doesn’t solve the development probs.
20 home runs from a shortstop is really bad now?
When it comes with an 85 wRC+, .281 OBP, 25% K rate, 5% BB rate, .687 OPS and 88 OPS+, yes.
plus 26 stolen bases, and 2.5 War. Yep he sucks
Wonder what his war is without the stat padding stolen bases. He’s ridiculously average at best and if that excites you then hooray.
Yeah I like Timmy.
I love his speed, his arm. his competitive attitude. I like his willingness to take an extra base. I like that he has a chip on his shoulder. I like when he scores from Second on a single, or stretches a double into a triple. I don’t find him average at all.
Goalposts, jimmy. He’s a good athlete. He’s good at the athlete stuff. But he can’t hit. So I don’t think the Sox get credit for developing him.
A bunch of super athletic 2ish WAR Andersons’, Yolmers’ and Moncadas’ are development failures in my book until they can hit. That’s actual development.
Just noting what you omitted. I know what you mean though. I hate players that are good at the “athletic stuff”
I certainly don’t hate them. They’re not far below avg. or AAAA flops.
I’m saying I can’t consider them success stories for the Sox’ development group, because they can’t hit. And these examples are why I’m hesitant to support drafting Witt Jr.
All that good stuff you’ve mentioned isn’t more gooder than the bad stuff is bad. He isn’t Lindor, and he’s never, ever going to get any better.
Hes never going to get any better?? I think we are forgetting how green TA was when he was drafted.
His footwork in the dirt improved so much last year, and he has elite bat speed and solid bat to ball skills. I’m not willing to gamble, but it’s a non zero chance he continues to develop more pitch rec and settles in as a 3 to 4 win player.
Or a development “win” for a JUCO mid round pick
I was being snarky.
Gooder didnt give it away for some reason. Forgive me, I’m going to go back to my rum and Eloy highlights
Sounds goodernough for me.
Lodolo looks awfully good. I have less reservations about him than I did about Rodon, smoother delivery.
Coach pushing him to 116 pitches is infuriating.
On recent pod, Kiley saw trackman data pointing to multiple White Sox pitcing prospects seeing velocity drops over the last 2 years. As with Buddy Bell before him, everything Kirk Champion touches turns to shit.
Eloy was in the Sox’ starting lineup today?