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USC Sweeps Weekend Tourney

March 10, 2015 | By RotoRob | Comments (0)
Mitch Hart is making an impact on the USC Trojans.
Mitch Hart is tied for the USC lead in wins. (Pufcaps.com)

Apparently, the Trojans are for real.

Many discounted the University of Southern California’s excellent 12-1 start because it was mostly built by beating up weak sisters. The true test would occur on the weekend when the 25th-ranked Trojans had to face No. 7 TCU, No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 6 UCLA in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic.

Taking two out of three would have been miraculous for USC, but a sweep? Holy crap.

The Trojans beat TCU 7-6 in 12 innings on Friday, edged Vandy 6-5 on Saturday and then took it to the Bruins 8-4 on Sunday to improve to 15-1 on the season.

The Trojans have soared to 14th in the rankings in the wake of this weekend’s success. USC is now in great position with conference play beginning later this week.

Freshman Mitch Hart moved to 3-0 with the win on Sunday. He wasn’t exactly at his best, giving up four runs in 5 2/3 IP, but now has a share of the team lead in wins through four appearances (three starts). In 21 2/3 IP, the 6′4″ righty has allowed 19 hits.

Hart was a three year letterwinner at Granite Bay (Calif.) HS and last year was a Perfect Game Third Team All American, earning a 35th round selection by the San Francisco Giants. He was a highly touted recruit and could close if needed.

Thanks to his fluid mechanics (see video below), Hart easily reached the low 90s at the Perfect Game National showcase. Baseball America lists him 31st in this year’s Freshman class.

Another freshman hurler that’s having a positive impact on the Trojans is Brad Wegman, who has been unscored on in limited action (two games, two IP, no walks, one strikeout).

He’s yet another 6′4″ righty that was a three-year letterwinner at Great Oak HS in California. Wegman was a member of the 2014 Perfect Game California All-Region First Team. At the PG National Game, he was cranking it up to 92 mph and reportedly keeps getting better. Look for Wegman to play a bigger role on the team down the stretch.

One freshman still waiting to make his Trojans debut is 5′11″ righty Bryce Dyrda. A four-year varsity letterwinner at Oakdale (Calif.) HS, he had a composite ERA of 1.34 in high school, earning 20 wins and fanning 225 over 151 2/3 IP. Like Wegman, Dyrda was named to the 2014 Perfect Game California All-Region First Team.

Dyrda has plenty of experience missing bats with his fastball/curve combination and he periodically tosses a changeup in the low 80s. Given his size, durability may be an issue, so it will be interesting to see if he can remain a starter.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which Trojan freshman you’re tracking.

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2015 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Relief Pitcher Rankings

March 9, 2015 | By Michael Seff | Comments Comments Off
Despite the recent proliferation of holds leagues — a move we applaud and hope gains more traction — saves continue to rule the roost when it comes to relievers. After all, there’s only so many saves to go around, so you kind of have to grab them while you can. But beware chasing them on draft day. Recent history has shown us that the dude earning saves on April 1 is often not the same man come June 1 or even May 1.
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The Wire Troll: Kris Russell Fuels Flames

March 8, 2015 | By Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
In three appearance last week, Russell had three assists, a minus-1 rating, two penalty minutes, three power play points, nine shots on goal, five hits and an astounding 26 shots on goal while averaging 29:10 of ice-time over that span. Wow.
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The Wire Troll: Jason Richardson is Back

March 7, 2015 | By McCade Pearson | Comments Comments Off
After not playing in the NBA for over two years due to injury, Richardson is back on the court and starting to look like his old self. In 11 games he has averaged 12 points, four boards and a steal while shooting 38 per cent from deep and 90 per cent from the line. J-Rich is sitting out Saturday for rest, so he isn’t all the way back. But when he plays he is worth something.
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Trojans Face Stiff Test at Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic

March 5, 2015 | By RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
The Sophomore was a two-way player last summer in the Alaska League, but has only pitched for the Trojans so far this year. Last year as a walk-on at USC, he spent time as an infielder and as a pitcher. Paschke scored four runs and hit .250 in limited at-bats as a true freshman. On the mound, he worked almost exclusively out of the pen, making just one start. Paschke dealt with some control issues (14 walks in 28 IP), something he continues to struggle with this season.
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