Monday, August 3, 2009

August 4 for August 3 Update

I went to Bourne on Monday for both ends of a doubleheader between Bourne and Brewster. Bourne won both games to secure a playoff spot and knock Brewster out of contention.

Right-handed starter Kendal Volz from Baylor started for Brewster and showed he is still struggling to regain the dominant form he displayed as Team USA's closer in 2008. The Red Sox selected Volz in the ninth round of this year's draft, and had a very high ranking member of their front office scouting Volz on Monday. Volz is big with a solid build at 6'4" 220, but he is short-arming his pitches and landing on a stiff front foot which is limiting his velocity. Volz was known to touch 97 mph with his fastball last summer, but it sat between 87-90 mph on Monday and only once touched 91. He threw a 77-79 mph curveball that was very good when he threw it well, but that was only once every three or four times he threw it. The curve simply spun and stayed up in the zone too often, and Bourne's hitters were able to get to it. Volz also threw an 83 mph changeup and a hard slider that had tight break but which didn't move a whole lot. Volz clearly needs to find his velocity again to maximize his effectiveness, but he has shown potential in the past.

Bourne's Game 1 starter was Robert Morey from the University of Virginia. Morey is average height with a thin frame at 6'1" 185. He comes almost straight over the top when he throws and throws with some effort. His fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range, and he threw a good curveball with tight overhand break which he could throw for a strike. Morey also threw an 84 mph slider with tight break but which didn't a lot and had the effect of a cutter. He rarely showed a 79 mph changeup. Morey is decent but his stuff is not outstanding.

Righthander Michael Dimock from Wake Forest got a spot start for Bourne in Game 2. Dimock is also average height with a thin frame at 6'1" 185. He throws with some effort but gets good extension and has good arm action. Dimock is not afraid to throw his fastball over both sides of the plate. He has an average slider with sharp run, a curveball with slow, overhand break and an average changeup with downward movement. Morey and Dimock were really quite similar, aside from just the identical height and weight. Both were solid, both knew what they were doing on the mound, but neither had exceptional stuff.

The offensive hero of the day was Bourne first baseman/designated hitter Kyle Roller from East Carolina. Roller has put up monster numbers this season and is the odds-on favorite to win the league's MVP award. Roller wasn't selected until the 47th round of the draft by Oakland, but the Red Sox executive said he was surprised Roller lasted that long. That comment begged the question why didn't the Red Sox just take him, but the answer is perhaps that Roller might not be more than a DH in professional ball. But Roller can hit. He smashed an outside fastball for a double to the left-centerfield gap and hit a moon shot grand slam in the first game, then smoked a single up the middle in the second game. Roller is slow and is not very good in the field, but he is making himself some money with the display he has put on this summer.

Bourne rightfielder Ben Klafczynski from Kent State also had a big day at the plate. Klafczynski has proven to be a tremendous athlete in the outfield, but he has struggled to hit all summer. He hit two ground-rule doubles and hit a third double toward the fence Monday. Klafczynski has quick hands but he has kind of a one-plane swing that makes him prone to strikeouts. Still, Klafczynski has good size and great athleticism and will get a lot of looks next spring. He was an All-American coming out of high school in 2007.

Brewster third baseman/second baseman Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia still looked uncomfortable in the infield but he is continuing to prove he is a really good hitter. Gyorko steps in the bucket and never fully closes his open stance which leaves him susceptible to outside pitches, but he still manages to get his bat to the ball and make solid contact more often than not. He has good pitch recognition and does well sitting back on breaking pitches. His biggest issue is his lack of position in the field.

I will be at Harwich at Brewster for a few innings and then over to Bourne at Hyannis on Tuesday.


Y-D 3 Falmouth 0: Four pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout for Y-D. Third baseman Steve Chatwood from the University of San Diego went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Chatham 5 Harwich 4: Third baseman Matt Duffy from Tennessee went 2-for-4 with a home run for Chatham. Leftfielder Leon Landry from LSU went 4-for-5 with two RBIs for Harwich.

Orleans 6 Hyannis 5, 11 innings: Right-handed pitcher Matt Hiserman from Santa Clara pitched 5.1 shutout innings in relief for Orleans, allowing one hit and striking out one. Designated hitter Ryan Cuneo from the University of Delaware went 3-for-6 for Hyannis.


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