<
>
Insider

Bubba Starling shines on diamond too

6/25/2010
Play0:00
Keith Law scouts Bubba Starling

Keith check out the Nebraska RHP/QB.

Here's one last update before I leave the Tournament of Stars here at the USA Baseball complex in Cary, North Carolina. We'll be attaching video of some prospects to this entry over the weekend.

• If you follow college football recruiting at all, you're probably familiar with Bubba Starling, the sixth-best quarterback prospect in the class according to ESPN Scouts, Inc., and a very recent commit to Nebraska. He's also an obnoxiously talented baseball player, running the best time (6.5) here in the 60, working at 88-91 with the makings of a good curveball, and showing good bat speed, smoking one line drive down the left field line and getting to third easily when the leftfielder mishandled it. And he's apparently a pretty good basketball player. If he was a one-sport guy he'd be a first-round lock in baseball.

Ricky Jacquez is a 5-foot-10 (maybe) right-hander from El Paso who is the high school equivalent of Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray, another short right-hander with plus-velocity, a good breaking ball, and an intense, aggressive approach on the mound. Jacquez was mostly 90-92, touching 94, and flashing a hammer curveball while carving through three hitters in one inning of work.

• Lefty Henry Owens is 6-foot-5 with a loose arm; he was up to 88-91 with a big, slow curveball at 69-71 with great depth. He was staying on top for his curveball but dropping down on his fastball, negating some of the benefit of his height. Hitters didn't get good swings off him at all.

• Shortstop Francisco "Frankie" Lindor, from the Orlando area, is one of the best defensive shortstops in the country, with a short, slappy swing and above-average speed. He has good bat control but there's not much leverage or loft to his swing path.

• Outfielder Brandon Nimmo is a very good athlete with an above-average arm and a good body, but he's from Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they don't play high school baseball, so he doesn't have the same experience as the other players here and has been a little bit behind the pitchers. He'll need to find a place to play regularly in the spring and shows more promise with the hit tool.

• Greensboro shortstop Josh Tobias, already committed to the University of Florida, has shown above-average speed and is very strong for his size (he's only about 5-foot-9), but his lack of baseball experience showed at the plate.

• Shortstop Phil Evans of Carlsbad, California, is another above-average glove at short, and he's got good bat control with strong hands and pretty good leverage in his swing.