James McArthur, Ole Miss

Buzzworthy Matchups: Week 12

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From week to week, there are marquee matchups between powerhouse programs on the college baseball scene that catch the eye. These matchups have potentially significant ramifications when it comes to the standings and long term postseason hopes. But, when you look at the college game through the eyes of a scout, and look at some of the matchups within a series, some very different showdowns become all the more intriguing.

Each week here at D1Baseball.com, we will provide a ranking of the best and most intriguing matchups between prospects that college baseball has to offer. Some of these matchups will be specific in nature (two top pitching prospects squaring off) and others will be between two exceptionally talented rosters. Essentially, the rankings are considered on the basis of how significant the matchup is looking at it through a scouting and draft lens. The goal is to shine a light on some lesser known quantities that deserve attention from the scouting world, and to highlight very specific aspects of some of the already highly talked about, marquee series from around the nation. Although professional scouts are currently focused on 2017, we also consider the 2018 and 2019 draft classes for the purposes of this list.

(This is not a ranking that reflects the overall rankings of teams in our weekly top 25. It’s a ranking of specific matchups that are particularly intriguing to scouting the community.)

1. Ole Miss @ Florida – McArthur vs. Faedo

The reigning SEC pitcher of the week squaring off against a probable first round draft pick? That’s a pitching matchup any college baseball fan would sign up to watch. James McArthur, a 6-foot-7 sophomore righty, has taken his game to another level for Ole Miss this spring and looks like a high draft choice in waiting in 2018. He was learned to command much more consistently down in the zone, has pitched mostly at 91-93 mph with his fastball and has had outstanding control of his breaking ball. He creates a difficult angle for opposing hitters to contend with and should be a major test for the Gator lineup. As for Faedo, the 6-foot-5 junior righty is well on his way to a first round draft selection in June for very good reason. He’ll showcase a 92-96 mph fastball and is the owner of one of the best two-plane breaking balls in the country as well. He’ll likely try to prey on the young Ole Miss hitters by getting them to chase that breaking ball out of the zone. Fastball command within the strike zone will again be a key for Faedo.


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