Since I am on record calling UConn a weak 3 seed, I have a little riding on the Super Regional match-up that appears to be a half hour or so from becoming reality*. I decided to look at a couple of Husky stars projected to go in the first round of today's MLB draft.
NOTE: Please do not cut and paste ESPN insider content linked below the jump. It will be deleted and you will have posting privileges temporarily suspended.
The Huskies have a couple of home state superstars, both of whom played for the USA Collegiate team this past summer and are projected to go in the first round of today's MLB draft.
CF George Springer was taken 11th by Houston. He was ESPN's #2 preseason prospect, but has fallen because his production doesn't match his tools. One of the ESPN guys called him the best athlete in the draft (Insider content). Player breakdown (Insider content) - "tremendous" bat speed, works counts but doesn't know how to handle two strike situations, poor swing mechanics have hurt his stock and lead him to rarely make good contact. If this is accurate, he sounds like the type of hitter our staff can (and does) manage fairly well.
RHP Matt Barnes was just drafted 19th by the Red Sox. I wouldn't be surprised if he grew up a Red Sox fan, so congratulations to the young man. Barnes shut down College of Charleston at Patriots' Point early this season, but he was roughed up Friday by Coastal. The scouting report (Insider content) sounds like a pitching version of Springer's - great measurables that are not employed to maximum effectiveness. He has a mid 90's fastball, and a high 70's curve with great break. However, his third pitch is a flat slider. He not only struggles to locate his fastball, but typically misses high.
In short, these guys sound like the opposite of our stars, especially with Jackie Bradley, Jr. still ailing. A hitter that feasts on pitchers who try to challenge him with fastballs, and a pitcher with great stuff but command issues are not the best ways to beat this Carolina team.
I stand by the claim that UConn's resume was weaker than the resumes of Stetson, NC State, and Coastal. Before this weekend, they had but a single top 50 win, and they flopped as a much criticized host 2 last season. All of this makes the thought of them eliminating Clemson even funnier. If we play to our abilities this weekend, Carolina should avoid a pizza bowl redux and return to Omaha.
* UConn actually had a better pitching situation than Clemson for this game. They pulled their regular Saturday starter early in their losers' bracket laugher over Sacred Heart, and he pitched into the 6th today. Meanwhile, Clemson is on their 4th pitcher. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.