This weekend, college baseball is in the midst of it’s double elimination super regional round “on the road to Omaha”. Right now the teams are playing a best of 3 series to determine who moves on to Omaha, site of the college World Series. The Yankees took several college players in the draft but only 3 are still playing. Here’s what to watch for.
Sam Stafford, Texas, LHP
Stafford was the Yankees 2nd round pick this year. Although he’s been a bit inconsistent, he’s pitched well of late for the Longhorns. Texas doesn’t have a lot of offensive prowess this year- they’re built around pitching and defense. Last night, Texas got a good performance from their ace, Taylor Jungmann (12th overall pick) but lost to Arizona State 3-1. 9th round Red’s pick Cole Green will probably get the start tonight and Stafford tomorrow if they can even the series tonight. Stafford has struggled with his command but when he’s on, he throws his low to mid 90s fastball for strikes and locates a true swing and miss curveball effectively.
Zach Wilson, Arizona State, 1B
Wilson plays first for AZ State which is a big favorite this year among college baseball prognosticators. The Yankees selected Wilson in the 21st round. As a right handed 1B, Wilson gets a little homer happy and he’s prone to swing and miss. This year he’s been a streaky hitter but the junior is certainly a feared bat in the middle of the Sun Devil’s lineup. Last night, Wilson went 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Arizona State, former home of Dustin Pedroia and Barry Bonds, is an offensive team that can swing the bats well. Fun fact- their LF is John Ruettiger, nephew of “Rudy” Ruettiger the Notre Dame folk hero.
Adam Smith, Texas A&M, 3B
Smith is one of a few 2 way players the Yankees drafted this year. Smith hasn’t hit very well, just .238/.310/.424 at the hot corner with 5 home runs. Smith can hit a mistake and has a bit of power but is more than willing to get himself out expanding the strike zone. He actually missed some time in the beginning of the year recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s a big kid though, 6’3″, 200 and obviously has a good arm at 3B. The Aggies lost their ace, John Stilson, to a shoulder injury. Stilson was likely a first round draft pick but dropped to the 3rd where the Blue Jays selected him. The Aggies have a deep staff though, backed by Ross Stripling and Nick Fleece who were drafted by the Rockies and Reds.
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