The backstory on Saturday in the Georgia Southern-Radford doubleheader turned out to be the pitching matchup of Chris Beck versus Eddie Butler. The headline, at least as far as the draft is concerned, is the injury to junior outfielder Victor Roache, GSU's star power hitter and one of the top power bats in the college ranks this spring. He injured his left wrist diving for a ball on defense and it's "lookin' like rest of [the] season," said Roache, who had gone 3-for-4 in the first game of the day.
The right-handed hitting Roache was expected to be considered in the top 50 -- perhaps even late in the first round -- thanks to plus raw power even though he has some mechanical problems with his swing.
Beck was solid, yet unspectacular, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in the first game of the twin bill. The 6-foot-3 right-hander struck out five and walked a batter, but he was efficient, tossing 59 of 87 pitches for strikes. "He stuck with his fastball enough tonight," said one area scout. "He was definitely the sharper of the two."
Butler, the other pitcher the scout noted, has drawn some attention as a potential Day 1 selection. The 6-foot-2 junior right-hander gets his fastball into the mid-90s and also offers a slider and changeup. His command needs work, but Saturday's control problems were out of character. He walked six and needed 103 pitches to get through five frames.
Arms of note
• With few exceptions, the top arms in the class of 2012 are still showing an advantage over the top bats, including top college arms Mark Appel from Stanford and Kyle Zimmer from San Francisco. They weren't alone in dominating over the weekend.
Appel, the No. 3 prospect on Keith Law's preseason top 50, fanned 10 and allowed just three hits and one earned run in seven frames versus Texas on Friday night. It sounds a little more impressive than it is, as the Longhorns aren't much of an offensive threat.
Zimmer, having touched the upper-90s with his fastball last week, sat in the low-90s Friday -- mostly 91-92 mph -- and threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits. The curveball flashed plus again, but he didn't need it much in this outing.
• Duke junior Marcus Stroman, all 5-foot-9 of him, whiffed 10 in seven innings while surrendering two runs on six hits. It was against Canisius, but it was much better than Stroman's first appearance last weekend when he issued six walks in five frames. He probably profiles as a reliever due to his lack of size, but he's shown durability.
• LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman, a sophomore-eligible prospect and the No. 2 college pitcher in this year's class to start the season, needed just 90 pitches to get through seven scoreless innings. He yielded four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven. He's now gone 13 innings in two starts this season and allowed just one run on eight hits.
• Texas A&M righty Michael Wacha mowed down Holy Cross for seven innings, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits without a walk. He's got the best fastball-changeup combo in the country this year and, with an improved breaking ball, could be a top-10 pick. He's projectable at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds and already has touched 97 mph this season.
• Georgia Tech right-hander Buck Farmer struck out 13 in six mediocre innings versus Ohio State on Friday. He walked four and threw 40 balls in six innings. His stuff was above-average, and Farmer is worth keeping an eye on this spring.
• Stanford southpaw Brett Mooneyham, back from elbow surgery, went eight innings Saturday, punching out seven. He gave up just three hits -- all singles -- and walked three. He's been better than can be expected in two starts -- 15 strikeouts -- and his control looked better than his first start of the season.
On the offensive
• With Roache potentially out for the rest of the season, the best college power hitter is easily Florida catcher Michael Zunino, who homered twice during the week. He, too, however, suffered an injury, albeit a minor one. The junior slugger tweaked a hamstring running the bases Saturday and was held out of action Sunday. He went 2-for-6 with a walk for the weekend prior to the injury.
• Zunino's teammate, junior shortstop Nolan Fontana, had a strong weekend, collecting five hits in nine at-bats, including two doubles and a home run. Fontana is on the radar for the first round, but if his power shows better than it has in the past, the top 20 might not be out of the question.
"Where else can you find legit shortstops who can hit?" asked an NL area scout who sat in on the Gators' series over the weekend.
• Stony Brook outfielder Travis Jankowski went 5-for-12 in his first weekend of action, drawing three walks against no strikeouts and even tallying two doubles and a triple along the way. The top-of-the-order results, including three stolen bases, will have to continue if he wants to knock on the first-round door, as there's not much pop in his bat.
• Stanford's Stephen Piscotty struggled in the three-game set versus Texas, going 3-for-14 with a couple of walks and a double. The junior right-hander did drive in four in the Cardinal's 13-run fourth inning that put the game out of reach.
• Patrick Wisdom, a junior third baseman from St. Mary's, went 2-for-12 in three games versus BYU and has just four hits in 22 at-bats in seven games on the year. He has drawn seven walks, which might signal he is becoming more patient at the plate.