by John Vittas
Wednesday marked the eighth Cal Ripken League All Star Game, as the best college talent the league had to offer met at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Maryland.
Here's the scouting reports on the league's best players:
1. Nik Nowottnick (RHP - Towson)
At 6-foot-4, Nowottnick features a Big League fastball which never dips below 91 mph. He hit 93 on the gun and was flat out overpowering. He also showed a decent changeup at 82-84. He'll need to develop more reliable off-speed pitches to get college hitters out more consistently, as he posted an ERA around 5 as Towson's top reliever this year. Results wise, the good news is his summer numbers, where he's given up only 26 hits in over 34 innings. He always seems to throw strikes, he just needs an out pitch.
2. Ronnie Glenn (LHP - U Penn)
Glenn has a dramatic but fluid motion and gets on top of the ball well despite a three-quarters arm arm slot. He has a nasty 12-6 curve that touches 80 miles per hour, with a fastball that has been clocked at 90. He also throws a good two-seamer in the mid-80s and is equally as effective from the stretch.
3. Michael Austin (RHP - Bethune-Cookman)
Austin is the epitome of a starting pitcher. He works quickly and to all zones, using a four pitch mix to get there. His fastball is 85-87 but with some adjustments, he has the body to gain velocity. He also has a hard cutter at 83-85 which he uses up in the zone to get swings and misses. However, his breaking stuff might be the most impressive part. The Maryland native has a sweeper in the mid-70s that has as much movement as you can possibly put on a baseball. He can also snap off a serviceable curveball to keep hitters honest, being his only pitch with downward movement. He was a swingman at Bethune-Cookman, but he's proving he can start this summer, striking out more batters than total hits allowed.
4. Josh Kisamore (RHP - Florence-Darlington Tech)
The JUCO righty has a long way to go, but the stuff is there. Kisamore has an upper-80s fastball with a hard slider at 78. If he can gain more control, he could be a lights out D-1 college reliever.
5. Bobby Ruse (RHP - Maryland)
Ruse is as consistent and reliable as they come. He's been a reliever with the Terps, but has the stamina and control to start. His fastball consistently sits at 87, with a low-80s changeup that has some serious drop. Ruse also mixes in an average breaking ball, but is not able to do so repeatedly. Bobby's M.O. is throwing strikes, having only walked nine batters in 31 innings this summer. Because of this, his pitch count is usually minuscule. If he can develop a bigger breaking ball, there's nothing stopping him from being an innings eater in the ACC.
6. Tanner Love (RHP - George Mason)
If Love can get stronger, there's nothing stopping him from being a pro draft pick in two years. He's very projectable at just 19 years old and 165 pounds. His mechanics seem effortless and like Ruse, he pumps strikes. His fastball is only 86-87, but with three other solid pitches to work with, Love can be a legitimate starting pitcher at the next level if he continues to grow.
7. John Austin-Shephard (RHP - Tusculum)
Austin-Shephard won MVP of the game, pitching a scoreless ninth to earn the save. Most wold probably put him above the seventh best pitcher in the game, but to me his mechanics seemed awkward. He seems to fire to the plate in fits and starts, which can also disrupt the timing of hitters. The good part is that his fastball sat 88-90 and he showed a good breaking ball at 80 mph. as well.
8. Brandon Hinkle (LHP - Delaware)
For a small guy, Hinkle has some serious stuff. His fastball was 89-90 and he had as filthy a curveball as Ronnie Glenn. Glenn's size will make him the better prospect, but Hinkle's stuff-to-size ratio might be the best in the game.
Robin Mowatt (RHP - Catholic) - true pitcher, places all three pitches with ease, FB 83-85, changeup is his best pitch, also uses curve
Josh Baker (LHP - Jacksonville) - fastball at 87, also has slider
Jesse Frawley (LHP - Central Connecticut State) - relies on movement, FB 82-84, good sinker and slider as well, excellent command of all three pitches
Nick Riley (RHP - Mount St. Mary's) - deceptive side-armer, doesn't quite get to 80 but has more movement on his pitches than anyone; works with a 2-seamer and a Bugs Bunny slider that no one can put the bat on
Bryan McHale (RHP - Immaculatta) - 86 mph. fastball, good curveball, fluid motion
Joseph Vanderplas (LHP - UMBC) - FB 83-86, 68 mph. curve
Mitchell Leeds (RHP - Lafayette) - straight over-the-top delivery, 86-88 FB, 74 CB
Henry Sisson (LHP - North Carolina) - the Tarheel showed an 85 mph FB with a mid-70s slider , mixes speeds effectively
Denis Mikush (RHP - UMBC) - windy delivery, 88 mph. FB with very little command, swing and miss guy
Position Players That Showed Something
It can be difficult to accurately evaluate position players based on one game, but here are the position players that showed something in the All Star Game.
Will Kengor - jumps out physically as a 6-3 shortstop, smooth and wirey with everything he does, can be a legit pro prospect if he puts on weight, already has the numbers and tools to get drafted, showed lapses defensively
KJ Hockaday - makes contact with everything, patient hitter, went the other way nicely for a hit
Ian Rice - the only player to go 2-for-2, crushed a home run to the pull side and went oppo for a base hit
Cody Walker - hit both the fastball and slider well to both fields
Tom Woodruff - good defensive player, very athletic
Josh Ingham - experienced hitter, goes the other way with power, hits everything hard, doubles hitter
Will Young - extremely athletic, an infielder who played a smooth CF in the game and gunned out a runner at the plate
Collin Shaw - tremendous defender, excellent range and a good arm, line drive hitter from the left side, good speed
Cody Acker - extremely smooth and athletic, level swing, very young
David Del Grande - strong defender and consistent line-drive hitter, pop to the pull side
Trevor Freeman - good instincts, wreaked havoc on the basepaths