There are 13 scouts at Baum today. The attraction is Blaine Knight. He was solid in his 3 innings today. Gave up a couple of ground ball singles, but no runs. Dominic Fletcher was only batter to hit him hard. Knight was hitting 94 with his fast ball. 86 with slider.
Carson Shaddy had two hits to pace Black squad, scoring twice. Evan Lee had an RBI single. Grant Koch hit a solo homer. That team roughed up freshmen Bryce Boning for four runs in three innings.
Zach Plunket had an RBI single for the Red team off of freshman pitcher Caleb Bolden.
A couple of youngsters who impressed me today were second baseman Casey Martin. He hit a couple of balls hard and looks smooth in the infield. He played second today. The other was Heston Kjrstad. Heston didn’t have anything to show for his day, but he hit line drive in the at bats I saw. And, he battled Knight by spoiling good pitch after good pitch with foul balls. Knight eventually got him out, but it was nice work for a freshman. He earned some praise from Dave Van Horn when he came back to the dugout.
That’s probably the best move for the team. Shaddy was a minus defender at a key defensive position. And, he wears down every year. So, moving him from 2b to DH might be a win-win (but certainly won’t help Shaddy’s middling draft prospects).
Martin played second base on Thursday when I was at the scrimmage. He’s worked at second, short and third. He has the ability to play any of those spots. One scout I talked to also thinks he will hit in the SEC.
Martin has hit and hit well at the highest levels of summer ball. I had a scout tell me he was one of the top 10 players at Jupiter last fall. For those that don’t know, Jupiter is the best of the best. There was thought at one point that he would not make it to campus. I think Hog fans will fall in love with his game.
I’m told Martin is a top of the lineup guy. Can hit, run and also defend. He’s got all of the tools. How long it takes him to figure out the good breaking balls he’s going to see in college would be the question. But he can hit breaking balls is the word.