Prospect Roundup: Week 9

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Jason Groome, the possible top overall pick in the June draft, has been declared ineligible for violating transfer rules.  (Photo courtesy of Mark Brown, B51 Photography)

By: Burke Granger

While we normally reserve this weekly installment for our college draft prospects, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least touch on the Jason Groome situation.  Groome is currently looking like the top player on the board in this draft class.  A Vanderbilt commit, there are few who think Groome will end up in Nashville.  A 17-year old, 6’5″ 210 pound lefty who can bump it up to 97 mph, Groom is obviously going to be an attractive commodity this June.

Groome started out the week making headlines on Monday by throwing a no-hitter in which he struck out 19 of the 21 batters he faced.

The celebration would be short-lived.  First reported by NJ.Com, Groome was ruled ineligible on Thursday by the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA) for violating the State’s transfer rules.  Groome spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Barnegat HS in New Jersey before transferring to IMG Academy Bradenton, Fla. as a junior.  Now a senior, Groome transferred back home to New Jersey, but according to the NJIAA, his parents did not move with him, resulting in failure to establish a bona fide address change.

Groome will become eligible in Barnegat’s 12th game of the year or on May 1st, whichever comes sooner.  As a result of Groom’s inelgibility, the wins and statistics of Groome’s two starts from this season will be vacated, including the no-hitter.

College Outfielders

It was a big weekend for #8 Louisville and their top draft prospect Corey Ray.  Hosting #18 Clemson, Ray went 3-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases in a 15-2 win on Friday.  He followed it up by going 2-5 on Saturday in another Cardinal’s victory.  Finally, on Sunday Ray went 2-5 again with a 2-run home run and a walk off hit as Louisville completed the sweep with a 9-8 victory.

Miami’s Willie Abreu also had a big ACC series as the #1 Hurricanes took two of three against Duke.  The outfielder had 5 hits, including a pair of doubles and a home run while driving in 8.  For the season, Abreu is batting .260/.341/.488 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI.

The biggest series of the weekend featured #3 Texas A&M at #4 Mississippi State.  Texas A&M outfielder Nick Banks started slow this season but has heated up as of late.  Banks went 8-15 with 6 runs scored, 7 RBI and a home run as the Aggies swept the Bulldogs, and now has his average up to .320 on the season.

College Arms

Vanderbilt’s Jordan Sheffield had the best performance among the college pitching prospects this weekend.  Sheffield has battled control and command issues throughout this career at Vanderbilt, walking 6.45 per 9 last year in his redshirt freshman season.  He’s cut that number to 3.88 this season but because he’s an undersized righty with a max-effort delivery, there have been questions as to whether he’s better suited to start or relieve as a professional.  Lending credence to the argument in favor of starting, Sheffield tossed a gem on Friday against Kentucky, finishing with a complete game shutout and 14 strikeouts against just two walks.  On the season, Sheffield is 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA and 12.45 K/9.

Prior to this weekend, Florida lefty A.J. Puk hadn’t pitched since he was pulled from an April 3rd start after just 11 pitches with an apparent back injury.  Against Arkansas on Thursday, Puk showed what he is capable of when healthy, throwing 101 pitches over 5 innings while striking out 9.  Puk reportedly was touching 97 mph in his 5th and final inning.

Here’s a look at how some of the top college pitching prospects performed this weekend.

Player Position School G IP H R ER BB K Notes
A.J. Puk LHP Florida

1

5

5

2

2

3

9

(W, 2-2).
Alec Hansen RHP Oklahoma

1

4

2

2

1

4

7

Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville

1

5

4

5

1

4

4

Connor Jones RHP Virginia

1

6

5

3

1

5

2

(W, 7-1).
Matt Krook LHP Oregon

1

6

4

3

3

6

5

(W, 3-1).
Robert Tyler RHP Georgia

1

3.1

3

3

1

4

5

(L, 3-3).
Logan Shore RHP Florida

1

6.2

7

1

1

0

4

(W, 7-0).
Eric Lauer LHP Kent State

1

6

2

1

0

1

7

(W, 6-2).
Jordan Sheffield RHP Vanderbilt

1

9

5

0

0

2

14

(W, 5-2).
Dakota Hudson RHP Miss. State

1

7

10

4

4

1

8

(L, 4-3).
Anthony Kay LHP Connecticut

1

8.1

6

2

1

2

7

(W, 4-2).
Jared Poche LHP LSU

1

6

9

5

5

2

5

(W, 5-3).
Zack Brown RHP Kentucky

1

6.2

7

3

3

1

6

(L, 2-6).
Cody Sedlock RHP Illinois

1

5

6

4

2

3

7

Bailey Clark RHP Duke

1

3

4

4

4

3

2

(L, 3-4).
T.J. Zeuch RHP Pittsburgh

1

9

11

5

2

1

7

(W, 4-0).

 

 

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