BERKELEY -- Coming out of Vacaville (Calif.) Will C. Wood, California righty Trevin Haseltine was considered very draftable, but he made it known that it would take a lot for him to eschew his scholarship agreement with the Golden Bears. He was throwing 94 mph and at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, had a very projectable body. But, once got to Cal, his velocity dropped as then-pitching coach Mike Neu tried to fix the mechanical issues that prevented him from being more than just a big high school fireballer. After a season of eliminating his bounce out of the wind-up, and getting him to come over the top, the Bears experimented with Hasletine as a hitter, to some limited success.
As a freshman, Haseltine made two appearances, giving up one run in 1.0 inning of work. Last season, Haseltine went 3-for-10 at the plate with three strikeouts and an RBI, but didn't pitch at all. As fall ball began, new pitching coach Thomas Eager decided to drop Haseltine down to a high-three-quarters release, closer to what Haseltine used in high school, and the results have been encouraging.
Haseltine is back to the low-90s with his fastball, but has yet to add secondary pitches to his repertoire. While once thought of as a candidate for weekend starting duties, it now appears as though Haseltine could be a very valuable arm out of the bullpen, particularly if he can add a secondary pitch off on his darting fastball that shows a lot of run, and can handcuff right-handed hitters. If he can develop a change up, one that tumbles down and in to righties, he could be very effective.
As it stands, Cal has a bevy of options for starting pitching. Ace Daulton Jefferies and 6-foot-6 righty Ryan Mason are fixtures on Friday and Saturday, with soft-tossing lefty Matt Ladrech providing stability and dependability on Sundays. Nipping at Ladrech's heels is sophomore Jeff Bain. Beyond them, freshmen Aaron Shortridge and Tanner Dodson have shown sustained outings of weekend stuff, while freshman Joey Matulovich has had flashes of developing into a member of the rotation. Junior Alex Schick started in the Cape Cod League this summer, and was named a Cape Cod League All-Star, going 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA in 11 appearances (7 starts) against some of the best collegiate players in the nation. He'll certainly contend for a starting gig, building off of a scintillating 5.0-inning outing, striking out six against San Francisco.