Prospect Roundup: Week 11

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Virginia ace Connor Jones tossed a complete game four-hitter against Pittsburgh on Saturday in ACC action.

By: Burke Granger

As the June 9th MLB draft approaches, Florida’s A.J. Puk is solidifying his spot as the top arm in this class.  After exiting a start earlier this month with back spasms and then sitting out the following weekend, Puk has looked like the 1:1 candidate he is since his return.

This weekend against Georgia, Puk struck out 10 over 6 innings, while surrendering just 4 hits, a run, and 3 walks.  Puk did leave this start with what coach Kevin O’Sullivan later called a hand cramp so that will be something to monitor this weekend to determine if it’s something more serious.

Right-Handed College Pitching

While Puk is clearly the top left-handed college arm in this class, there is less clarity who the top right-handed counterpart is at the moment.  Jordan Sheffield may be the top candidate for that spot right now.  The redshirt sophomore is riding a hot streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings over his past three starts.  The lines for those SEC conference games were:

4/15 v. Kentucky: 9IP, 5H, 0R, 2BB, 14K.

4/22 @ Tennessee:  8IP, 3H, 0R, 1BB, 4K.

4/29 v. Georgia: 7IP, 7H, 0R, 1BB, 7K.

On Saturday I got the chance to see a couple of right-handers who have put themselves into the conversation with recent strong play.  Defending National Champion Virginia traveled to Pittsburgh in ACC action and treated scouts and fans alike to a Connor Jones/T.J. Zeuch matchup.  It didn’t disappoint.  Jones sat at 90-92 mph throughout complete game in which he allowed just 4 hits and 1 run.  Relying on a 4-pitch mix, Jones kept the Panthers off balance leading to a 5-1 Cavalier victory in the series opener.  Following the win, Jones is now an impressive 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA.

Zeuch also impressed on Saturday.  The 6’7″ fireballer sat comfortably at 94-95 mph with a two-seem fastball in the first few innings before settling down at 93-94 for the latter part of his start.  Zeuch’s 87-88 mph slider was an effective out pitch that helped Zeuch strikeout 8 over 7 innings.

Mississippi State’s Dakota Hudson has been regarded as the top righty for much of the season, but he’s struggled in his past few starts.  Following a brilliant April 1st start against Ole Miss in which he scattered 4 hits and 1 unearned run over 9 innings while striking out 11 and walking none, Hudson’s last 4 starts has been less impressive:

4/8 @ Florida:  5IP, 8H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K.

4/15 v. Texas A&M:  7IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 8K.

4/22 @ LSU:  7.1IP 12H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB, 3K.

4/28 @ Alabama: 5IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K.

Here’s a look at how the top college arms performed this weekend.

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

6

4

1

1

3

10

Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville

7

4

0

0

2

9

(W, 5-3).
Connor Jones RHP Virginia

9

4

1

1

2

5

(W, 9-1).
Matt Krook LHP Oregon

2

5

4

3

1

2

(L, 3-3). 
Robert Tyler RHP Georgia

2.1

4

7

6

6

5

(L, 3-4).
Logan Shore RHP Florida

4.2

5

3

3

2

5

Mike Shawaryn RHP Maryland

9

4

1

1

1

6

(W, 4-3). 
Eric Lauer LHP Kent State

7.1

4

3

2

2

10

(W, 8-2).
Jordan Sheffield RHP Vanderbilt

7

7

0

0

1

6

(W, 7-2).
Dakota Hudson RHP Miss. State

5

6

4

3

2

4

(W, 6-3).
Corbin Burnes RHP St. Marys

7.1

4

1

1

5

8

W, 7-0). 
Anthony Kay LHP Connecticut

8

9

1

1

1

5

(W, 5-2). 
Zach Jackson RHP Arkansas

4.2

6

7

7

4

6

Jared Poche LHP LSU

4

8

4

4

1

3

Zack Brown RHP Kentucky

6

12

5

5

2

3

(L, 2-8).
Cody Sedlock RHP Illinois

6.2

9

3

3

3

6

(L, 4-2).
T.J. Zeuch RHP Pittsburgh

7

6

5

2

1

8

(L, 5-1).
Justin Dunn RHP Boston College

5.2

3

0

0

4

6

(W, 2-1).
Cole Irvin LHP Oregon

9

6

0

0

0

13

(W, 4-4).
Braden Webb RHP South Carolina

7.1

5

1

1

3

7

(W, 9-2).
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