Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 5 for July 4 Update

I spent my July 4th at Brewster, mainly to see Harwich right-handed starter Rob Gariano from Fairfield, the reigning Cape League Pitcher of the Week who entered the game with a 0.73 ERA.

Multiple readers had e-mailed me after Gariano's last start to ask what I thought of him, and unfortunately he was a big disappointment. Gariano gave up five runs on eight hits in just 1.1 innings pitched and Brewster won 7-4.

Gariano is undersized at 5'10" 180, so I figured maybe either the size of his body or the size of his school prevented the junior from being drafted last month. But the truth is his stuff just isn't good enough for him to win consistently against top collegiate players. Gariano's fastball sat in 87-89 mph range, and he left it up in the zone Saturday where Brewster hitters just crushed it. Gariano allowed five extra base hits, and almost got his head taken off by another sharp single up the middle. He did have a good 78-81 mph curveball with tight downward break, but he wasn't able to establish the fastball enough to make his curve effective. He also showed a 79 mph changeup. He has a lot of effort in his delivery and falls off the mound toward first when he releases. He also has a strange hitch in his motion. Gariano probably isn't as bad as his results were today, but he's definitely not as good as the results he posted in his first two starts for Harwich. I don't see him being a legitimate professional prospect.

Brewster left-handed starter Scott Alexander from Pepperdine pitched very well, allowing two runs on just two hits in seven innings. I wrote about Alexander in my June 28 for June 27 update, but he was definitely more effective today. His fastball sat mostly in the 90-92 mph range, his slider sat 78-79 and his good changeup sat between 78-81.

Right-handed reliever David Goforth from Ole Miss showed one of the best arms in the league pitching the eighth and ninth for Brewster. Goforth is a little small for a pitcher at an athletic 5'11" 185, and he throws with a lot of effort in his delivery. But Goforth's fastball repeatedly touched 95 mph, sitting in the 93-95 mph range for both of his two innings. His heater is straight, though, and his command comes and goes. His most impressive batter faced was when he broke Harwich's star right fielder Dan Grovatt's bat with a fastball in on Grovatt's hands. Goforth also showed an average 83 mph slider with sweeping break that he could throw for strikes and the occasional changeup. His consistent velocity alone makes him one of the better relievers in the league.

Pitching effectively with a much different style than Goforth was Harwich reliever Eric Jokisch from Northwestern. Jokisch is above average height with a thin, athletic build at 6'2" 182. He throws with ease and has good, smooth arm action. Jokisch showed very good command of an 84-87 mph fastball with really good tailing action. He threw a 77 mph curveball and floated a good 77 mph changeup. Jokisch really knows how to pitch and projects to throw harder in the future.

Right-handed reliever Matt Price from Virginia Tech also showed a good arm for Harwich, but he struggled with his command and an inconsistent release point. Price is thin with a projectable frame at 6'2" 185. He throws with good loose arm action but he throws across his body and as previously noted frequently changes his release point. Price's fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range Saturday and touched 93. He threw a 79 mph slider that was good when he threw it well, but he didn't throw it well each time He also showed a good changeup with nice downward movement.

Among the hitters, Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia stood out again for Brewster. Gyorko still doesn't really have a position, and he was playing second base tonight, but he is a great hitter. He turned on a mediocre Gariano fastball and crushed a no-doubt home run to left-centerfield, then later in the game went very nicely with an outside pitch and stroked a single to right. Gyorko is still a little small despite his muscular build at 5'10" 180, and he needs to find a place to play, but someone will draft him high next year if he keeps hitting like this.

Harwich centerfielder Trent Mummey from Auburn went 0-for-4, but he impressed me for the second day in a row and is making a major case to crack my top 15 position players. He has really quick hands, puts the ball on the ground and showed 4.1 speed to first base from the left side of the plate. He's also a very good defensive outfielder.


Bourne 9 Wareham 1: Leftfielder Nick Schwaner from the University of New Orleans, the Giants' 42nd round pick, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and rightfielder Ben Klafczynski from Kent State went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for Bourne. Shortstop Derek Dietrich from Georgia Tech went 2-for-4 for Wareham.

Orleans 1 Chatham 0, 10 innings: Orleans left-handed starter Rob Rasmussen from UCLA pitched seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven. Chatham right-handed starter Matt Harvey pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out six. Right-handed reliever Jesse Hahn from Virginia Tech pitched three shutout innings for Chatham, allowing one hit and striking out five.

Cotuit 5 Falmouth 1: Right-handed starter Seth Blair from Arizona State pitched a complete game for Cotuit, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six. Third baseman Zack Cox from the University of Arkansas went 2-for-4 and designated hitter Kevin Patterson from Auburn homered for Cotuit.

Hyannis 6 Y-D 4: Designated hitter Cody Hawn from the University of Tennessee homered twice for Hyannis, finishing 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Second baseman Nick Crawford from Alabama-Birmingham went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Hyannis. Rightfielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech went 4-for-5 for Y-D, and first baseman Brian Hernandez, Cleveland's 39th round pick last month, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.


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