Buzzworthy Matchups: Week ThreeProspects
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. South Carolina @ Clemson – Beer vs. Gamecocks’ Arms
It’s early, but a lot of indicators point toward Seth Beer not getting a lot of pitches to hit in the middle of the Clemson lineup. He carried an over .500 on-base percentage into this week, and it’s clear that the Tigers are going to need to find answers and how to protect their lefty swinging sophomore slugger. The bigger question will be how the showdown shakes out between Beer and the vaunted South Carolina pitching staff. Clarke Schmidt, Will Crowe, and Adam Hill all have premium stuff in the weekend rotation, and Tyler Johnson’s 95-98 mph fastball could make for a delicious showdown in a key situation at the end of a game. But, the question will remain as to how willing the Gamecocks are going to be to pitch to Beer at all. That may end up depending on how well other Clemson bats produce early in the series. Despite the mid 90s fastballs they have in their arsenals, it’d be wise to expect Beer to see a lot of Clarke Schmidt breaking balls in game one, and potentially some elevated fastballs throughout the weekend. As fascinating as the matchups may be prospect-wise, the smart move is to be extremely careful and hope Beer expands the zone.
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