Reacting To Carlos Rodon
I don’t scout college games often, but the chance to see Carlos Rodon, the early leader for #1 overall in 2014 was too good to pass up. It took the left-hander 104 pitches to hurl a complete game eight hitter against a nationally ranked Yellow Jackets team. For Rodon, command issues which have plagued him in 2013 disappeared as he struck out 10 without walking a single batter. But was the stuff stellar enough to project as the top player in the land come next June?
Without question. Rodon is one of the best lefties I’ve scouted in person. For fantasy purposes, he should be owned in leagues where college players are fair game. However, expecting him to be the second coming of Clayton Kershaw is premature. After watching him pitch, I’m not even sure Rodon will be better than Danny Hultzen was as a Junior.
Truth be told, Rodon’s overuse of a mid-80’s slider worried me. Staked to a 4-1 lead entering the fifth or sixth inning, Rodon abandoned the fastball at a time when he should have been pounding the bottom of the zone with it. Instead, he averaged no more than one fastball per batter the remainder of the game and sold out for big strikeout totals. It’s something I’ve seen in the minor leagues before, but loathe as a practice.
It’s why I came home from Greenville so bullish on Clay Holmes. Faced with the same situation, he sat 92-93 at the knees and rolled up a 5.50 GO/AO on the day.
The big strike out totals look great on paper, but if Rodon is throwing both a slider and cutter with such frequency on a weekly basis, I’d be forced to question the wear and tear on his arm. With the 1-1 pick, an outing like yesterday might even force me to pass entirely for fear of future arm issues.
North Carolina State’s shortstop, Trae Turner, was fantastic yesterday. Having scouted Joe Panik as a college player, and then seeing him taken in the first round of a strong draft class, Turner will go high.
Eligible for the 2014 draft, he presented with plus speed, power potential and the agility to stick at shortstop. His home run to left field was a laser, only stopped by the brick wall of the football field house. Having scouted Joe Panik as a college player, and then seeing him taken in the first round of a strong draft class, Turner will go very high.
Yesterday, I went to the game with a friend and Pirates fan and felt empathy for him considering two of the top three players on the field (Turner and Georgia Tech’s Brandon Thomas) were Pittsburgh draft picks.
25 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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