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Buzzworthy Matchups: Week Seven

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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 community.)

1. Louisville @ Virginia – McKay vs. Virginia Bats

Brendan McKay has been the most dominant pitcher in the country over the first six weeks of the college baseball season. He has 55 strikeouts compared to just seven walks over 32 innings this spring, and he’s coming off arguably his “worst” start of the spring in which he still struck out 14 NC State batters over seven innings. McKay’s 91-93 mph fastball, hard swing and miss breaking ball and improving changeup are all commanded extremely well and hitters simply do not read the ball well out of his hand. The big lefthander will be thoroughly tested this weekend, however, as he squares off against a uniquely talent and powerful Virginia lineup. He’ll have two of the top lefty hitters in the country to contend with in the white-hot Adam Haseley, who is hitting .412 with eight home runs, as well as Pavin Smith, who is hitting .307 with seven home runs on the spring. Smith has struck out just three times all spring, so it will be particularly fascinating to see how he fares in a left on left matchup against the premier pitcher in the country. Ernie Clement has struck out just four times this, and Haseley has whiffed only ten times. This Virginia team makes a ton of contact – and it’s been a lot of hard contact this spring.


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