Friday I went and dealt with 40 degree and windy weather to watch #2 MLB Draft prospect Gerrit Cole and UCLA pitch against Nebraska during the start of their weekend series. Cole made Nebraska look very overmatched as only Kale Kiser and 3b and #88 College Draft prospect Cody Asche were able to get solid swings on Cole all day. I was clocking him on my scout watch(unreliable) in the mid to upper 90s well into the 8th inning. From my vantage point (1st baseline) I couldn't get a good idea of how his breaking stuff was performing but from the looks of the Husker hitters it was definitely doing its job. All together Cole was quite dominate even if facing a subpar lineup finishing off 9 innings at 101 pitches with 70 strikes 8 K's 2 hits (none thru the first 6 innings) and two intentional walks.
Kale Kiser and Cody Asche looked solid at the plate showing solid balance and quick bats. Kiser jumped on a 1st inning pitch of Coles lining out to the right fielder but he did well to compete against the first rounder. Kiser offers just average speed and no projection however. I'll say more on Asche later in the year when I've seen even more of him.
Khiry Cooper the Huskers CF looks the part and covers a decent amount of ground in CF but was severly overmatched against Cole. His bat needs alot of work to become any type of prospect especially as a right handed hitting CF without much bat speed. His best prospects might be as a WR. Husker reliever Casey Hauptman looked strong going 5 innings yielding just 3 hits and 1 run against 5 strikeouts but I was not clocking him.
Jon Keller, the Huskers pitcher according to my clock was in the low 90s and like Cole was making the UCLA offense look poor from innings 3-6 after a shaky start in the first two innings when he was leaving everything up in the zone. Keller only allowed one hit walked four and struckout 8 in his 6 innings although a better hitting team could have probably done much more in the first two innings when he was missing up in the zone. UCLA has an even less impressive offense than Nebraska from what I saw. Maybe it was the cold weather but these SoCal kids weren't putting many swings on Keller and the only hard hit ball off their bats all day was a Dean Espy lineout to the wall that RF Josh Scheffert misplayed into a spectacular wall crashing catch.
UCLA CF Beau Amaral showed solid speed down the 1st baseline but as a whole UCLA's offense looks rather poor and if this is their everyday appearance even in warm weather I don't anticipate a return trip to the CWS despite outstanding pitching. Eventually you have to be able to push some runs across the plate.
I did not attend Saturdays game featuring 1st Round prospect Trevor Bauer because I had tickets for me and my sons and it was too cold for them to be dragged out to the ballpark. It was more of the same as tweeted by Keith "doublestixx" saying his fastball and curve were very impressive. Bauer went 10 innings striking out 17 while allowing 1 R via a Kalkowski HR. Again UCLA's offense couldn't produce much and the Huskers won 2-1 in 12 innings.