It appears to be a consensus that the 2017 edition of Golden Eagle baseball team will be a group that can hit for power and average. However, the pitching staff has some questions to answer particularly when it comes to quality weekday pitching depth. Two freshmen right handers will go a long way toward determing the depth and success of the the all important weekday rotation. Here is an opportunity to get a little bit more acquainted with two youngsters who look to contribute early.
#36 Alex Nelms 6-3 206 Gulfport MS. During his senior campaign Nelms went 6-2 with a 0.36 ERA. He was 63 over 11 in strikeout to walks. Nelms was an all-state selection coming out of Gulfport. Alex not only was successful on the diamond, but was also a superior student sporting a 4.0 GPA and 33 on the ACT. Nelms is majoring in biology at USM, and one day hopes to be a medical doctor.
Nelms is a true starter with a big powerful frame. He is a four pitch guy, with a fastball that is consistently in the 90 mph range. Alex shows strong command of his fastball, with the ability to locate consistently on either side of the plate. He throws a two seam fastball, cutter, curve, and will occasionally throw a change. His cut fastball comes out of the same arm slot as his two seam fastball, which really confuses batters. His cutter looks like a regular fastball on approach, but has some nice late break on it. He has also shown the ability to locate his curve consistently. Obviously he is young, and there will be bumps in the road, but he is a guy that will push for a starts during critical weekday games and will be a quality weekend starter in the future.
#33 Cody Carroll 6-2 185 Mount Olive FL. Eustis High. During his senior year Cody was 8-3 with a 2.36 ERA. He registered 136 strikeouts, while allowing only six extra base hits and zero homers.
Carroll is a long athlete with smooth, easy mechanics. He appears to have a loose arm, throwing out of a three quarter slot. Cody has shown nice command of his fastball, with ability to locate. The arm slot he uses seems to create a little nice, natural run and sink on his fastball. He has also shown the ability to throw his curve for strikes. Cody has a nice frame and will only continue to get bigger and stronger. I could easily see him at 200-205 in the future. He has good stuff for a youngster, which will only improve as he continues to fill out. He too will push for starting assignments during weekday contests. Cody has a bright future ahead of him.