Scouting The Tarheels

Since college baseball has started, I thought I would use my AT&T ESPN access to watch the North Carolina/Wright State series. The Heels are rated fifth, and the Raiders are a force in the Horizon League. This will be a three-phased post, as I will post on the opener, then the Saturday game. Perhaps I will watch the Sunday game a bit as well.

Wright State has a thumping first baseman in Jake Hibberd. The key for North Carolina is sophomore 3B Colin Moran. Comment below, and feel free to fill us in on any games with an eye on prospects.

My plan will be to spotlight a few players, and add on whatever else I see. My ratings will be, largely, what Round I'd consider him in. I will eyeball all the SPs, and guys I'm running into on watchlists.

North Carolina's Friday starter LHP Kent Emanuel (Class Of 2013) impressed me quite a bit. He's every bit of his posted 6-4, and was quoted as hitting 93 on his FB early. His change was confusing Raiders hitters. His curve could use some work, but in 2013, I wouldn't complain about a 5th round pick. He went 6 scoreless, fanning only 5 and walking two. He looks like he knows how to pitch, and he was challenging hitters, though he walked two. I'd like to see him against better competition. Emanuel's worst inning (hit and walk with a reasonably high pitch count) was after being given an 8 run lead in the second. Change appears better than curve or slider, but he uses them all.

Wright State started Joey Hoelzel (2012). A big difference between major schools and mid-majors is top-end pitching. If I saw Hoelzel against Illinois or NIU, I might have been really impressed. He's all arms and elbows, and challenges hitters. After a scoreless first, Hoelzel failed to get an out in the second. His FB was 86-8 or so, and I'm confident he'll do better against Horizon League foes. I think there would be better draft options in Round 40.

Colin Moran (2013) will be a big leaguer. He's a 3B that takes pitches, goes the other way, and can make nice contact. Like Emanuel, he'd be fun to watch against better teams. I think I'll be watching Carolina when permitted on Fridays. So far, and June 2013 is a way away, Moran would be a decent late 2nd Round/early third for me. College 3B tend to represent fairly well at reaching the bigs. More Robin Ventura than George Brett, but I'd like him in the system.

Jacob Stallings (2012) is a senior catcher. He runs like a young catcher. He hits cleanup, and is willing to work counts. He threw behind a runner at first. Not a whole lot to go off of, but he wouldn't be a bad pick in the 12th Round. Mike Brenly has done fairly well through the system, and Stallings is along the same lines, probably a bit better upside. Seems to handle pitchers well.

Jake Hibberd (2012) is a Horizon League masher. In the first, he fanned against Emanuel. In the fourth, he rolled over on one, rolling out to short. That was his last AB on Friday. My favorite comment from Friday's game, with the 1B in the system, I don't see a need to do anything with Hibberd until Round 20.

If you want to watch college baseball, ESPN360 and The Big 10 Network (or similar college network) would be your best bets. Some schools make packages available for a fee, and some televise Audio Streams of home games. Texas did last year, and (with sketchy production quality) San Francisco does this year. The best way to find out if a stream is available for a game you care about is through d1baseball dot com. They show daily skeds and scores. They link to team websites. From the team site, check for available Audio/Video streams on the team Schedule link.

More on Saturday's game upon my watching it.

Only a slight edit. Tar Heel 3B Colin Moran went 5-6 on Saturday. He had a cycle with an extra single. I'd consider him in the Mid 1st round. The kid flat-out rakes.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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