Thursday, November 11, 2010

Initial Thoughts from Fall Practices

I've put this to the side for quite some bit and I apologize, midterms and other stuff have greatly hindered my time.

But to get back to discussing the current Buckeyes I wanted to share a few thoughts before I really dig into what unfolded and what to expect come spring for the Scarlet and Gray.

Thoughts From Fall Practices

*Wetzel- One of the most prevalent thoughts and impressions took from the fall series of practice and intra-squad series is that Tim Wetzel is an incredible athlete. He has the speed of former Buckeye Matt Angle, covers plenty of ground in the outfield, is quick on the bases, but has a very solid frame with the ability to drive the ball. Coach Beals mentioned he had separated from the other freshman during fall practice at the plate, getting over that initial hurdle of adjusting to college pitching if you will, and is the type of athlete Beals wants to have.

*Greve- Sticking with freshmen, Greve was the best starting pitcher during the S&G World Series. While Rucinski and Wolosiansky flashed Friday-night potential, they both also had a pretty rough start. Greve on the other hand had two very impressive starts, was able to go both horizontally up and down in the strikezone as well as in and out. Greve might not be as polished as the veterans, though he possess a solid slider as an out pitch. Greve came into the Autumn as one who was competing for a weekend spot, it would be very difficult for Beals and staff to not have the talented rookie taking the ball once a weekend.

*Armstrong- Recovering from labrum surgery that kept him out all of the 2010 season, Armstrong looked well in his time on the mound. While it appeared he was not throwing with the same velocity as during 2008 when he made a solid impact as a freshman, his pitches had movement and depth. The velocity isn't of great concern right now, he has time to continue to rest and get back to full-strength prior to the season. Armstrong in 2008 showed in my opinion more than Wimmers did and had some of the best pure stuff on the staff. If the former draft pick of the Atlanta Braves returns to form, the sky is the limit for him.

*Pitching rotation- By the last two tidbits you may be wondering who exactly will be in the weekend rotation, a midweek starter, and in the bullpen. As of right now, your best guess is as good as mine. While if I had to place money on a weekend three right now it would be Rucinski, Greve, and Wolosiansky, in that order, a lot can change. Armstrong has the ability to step in with strong individual and winter workouts. McKinney surely wants to throw his hat in the wrong as well. I feel confident that the final three will come down to those five with the other two be mid-week long relief.

*Closer- This unlike the starting rotation appears to be pretty clear. Freshman Josh Dezse would be the one who holds this position. Dezse dazzled with pure velocity that over the summer he dialed up to 95. He is a strikezone pounder with a smooth delivery.

*More on Dezse- At the plate the two-way player has the most raw power of any Buckeye. For one who is 6'5 Dezse has a quick bat through the zone, and sizes the ball up well. Which for someone with his size allows him to drive the ball. Dezse showed incredible gap power, which with a winter in the weight room with OSU's strength & conditioning staff can lead to big things.

*New bats- But maybe not as big of things as power hitters of past. No fault to Dezse. With the new guidelines set forth by the NCAA on aluminum bats, the balls are not carrying nearly as fall as before. The difference might not be as noticeable at Ohio State where heavy hitters have been rare, but according to Beals they are making an impact. Over on my Webb Log you can hear Beals briefly speak on the bats, which background on the changes.

*More aggressive on the bases- To counter the lose of power Beals said Ohio State will be aggressive on the bases. This was easily witnessed as the Buckeyes were running much more than under Coach Todd. The potential for a player like Wetzel is certainly possible.

*The infield- To wrap up the initial thoughts, how the infield will shake out is one of the most intruging questions. When not pitching Greve and Dezse split time at first. Splitting time at first and third was Matt Streng. Also getting reps at third was Brad Hallberg. There were raving reviews of Derek Hannahs at shortstop sliding Tyler Engle over to second where Ryan Cypret is. There is a lot to be determined in around the horn, with plenty of options. No gun to the held in picking how I think things will unfold here. I can come up with 20 different around-the-diamond options.

That is all for now. Just wanted to pass along a few notes on what I saw and thought. I'll dig in much more on these and many more.

No comments: