UC Irvine's Keston Hiura (Aaron Fitt)


Buzzworthy Matchups: Week Eight


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. Vanderbilt @ South Carolina – Wright vs. Schmidt

Kyle Wright will have questions to answer this week. While his stuff has continued to be electric, his results have not matched and his command has struggled in the zone. He will be tested again this weekend against a talented Gamecocks’ lineup. Wright has still pitched consistently at 92-96 mph with his fastball, but he’ll need to work down in the zone and be able to setup his devastating, hard slider. On the other side, South Carolina will hand the ball to polished righty Clarke Schmidt on Friday, who is coming off an outstanding effort last week. He touched 97 mph, the hardest we’ve seen him throw to date, and he showed big improvement on his changeup to go along with his typically plus breaking ball. Schmidt is usually ahead in counts, but we may see him go to more off-speed early in counts against some of the dangerous early count fastball hitters like Jeren Kendall and Julian Infante.

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