Sweet Home Alabama

Greetings from the greater Birmingham area…Hoover, to be exact. The site of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. And boy, is there a lot to talk about.

I saw some great left-handed pitching here on Wednesday…and David Price didn’t even throw (He goes on Thursday afternoon, in case you were wondering).

Both Arkansas’ Nick Schmidt and Tennessee’s James Adkins took no-hitters into the eighth innings of their respective games. Schmidt ended up with a two-hit, complete-game shutout against Alabama to kick off the tourney; Adkins pitched into the ninth against the top-ranked Vanderbilt squad. Both fit the "pitchability lefty" mold well. Schimdt stymied Alabama, a team he did not pitch well against the last time he faced them, mostly because he was able to spot his fastball in and out as well as throw his throw his breaking ball for strikes.

Adkins pitches a little backwards, pitching off of his breaking ball more than his fastball, which was in the 87-89  mph range, touching 90 at times. But he was able to throw his breaking stuff for strikes wherever and whenever he wanted to, thus making his fastball appear even better. He kept the ball down and induced a ton of groundballs while allowing just one hit. Schmidt’s name has been mentioned as a first-round possibility and this certainly didn’t hurt his stock. Adkins isn’t mentioned as  highly, but if he gets the chance to pitch again this postseason and he repeats his performance from Wednesday, he could creep up some. Those college lefties are always in high regard.

Elsewhere around the country…

With people still trying to figure out if Clemson’s Daniel Moskos is a starter and if he’s worth a top pick, he went out and pitched into the eighth inning. He didn’t miss many bats, but just the fact he was able to get that deep into a start, during the ACC tournament  no less, is encouraging.

It wasn’t as encouraging for Ross Detwiler at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. It was supposed to be a good matchup between Detwiler, Missouri State’s ace, and Travis Banwart from Wichita State. Didn’t really work that way. Banwart got knocked out in the sixth. Detwiler, expected to go as high as the top 5, only went three innings. He gave up four hits and four walks that led to two runs before he left. He threw 75 pitches in the three innings. There was talk of a blister issue, so stay tuned to find out what exactly happened there. But there were a lot of people into see him, including at least one general manager of a top 5 picking team.

Finally, in the California high school playoff scene, Mike Moustakas added to his career and season home run records. He hit two more out for Chatsworth High in a first-round game. There were plenty of scouts on hand to see him and teammate Matt Dominguez. It’s hard to say where he’s going to go yet because of perceived signability (he’s a Scott Boras advisee), but that could end up being just a perception. Remember Mark Pawalek signed very quickly with the Cubs a couple years back.

Anyway, Price goes tomorrow. I’ve never seen him throw and I’m extremely excited. Not that it’s  a mystery with him at this point, but I’ll report back tomorrow on how he threw.

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