Overview: Freshman Pitchers

Stanford enters the Finals break with a record of just 3-8, after 11 games against Vanderbilt, Cal State Fullerton, St. Mary's and Texas. The offense has been inconsistent, as has the pitching staff. As we wait for baseball to start back up, The Bootleg presents this overview of the multitude of young arms that could play big roles down the stretch.

Jordan Pries, RHP

The freshman pitcher from Alameda, Calif. came to the Farm this year with a chance to fill an important role immediately, but no one could have predicted he would be this good this early. He got his first start against Texas and turned in the best performance by any Stanford pitcher so far this season. He attacked hitters, rarely fell behind, and looked extremely comfortable on the mound throughout. If you ignore the final inning of his long relief stint in Fullerton (the only less-than-excellent inning he has pitched), he has only allowed two runs in 13.1 innings. Even if you include that inning, his ERA is 3.14, the best of any Stanford pitcher with more than six innings pitched. Opposing batters are hitting just .160 against him. Pries's continued dominance could play a huge role in Stanford's success in the all-important weekend series the rest of the way.

Brett Mooneyham, LHP

Another freshman from within the state (Atwater), Mooneyham has also been given the opportunity to start on the weekend. In his senior year at Buhach Colony High School, he went 9-2 with an ERA below one, while holding opposing batters to a .116 average and posting 103 strikeouts in just 58 innings of work. So far this season, his numbers haven't quite been that good: five earned runs in just 8.1 innings and an opposing average of .308. But the real concern has been a lack of control, as he has issued 10 walks and thrown two wild pitches in that span. Still, Mooneyham turned in several strong innings in his start at Fullerton, and when he is locating his pitches, he can be very effective. He isn't there yet, but he has the stuff to become a big asset for this team.

Scott Snodgress, LHP

This freshman from Yucaipa, Calif. is tough to figure. His numbers are, frankly, awful. But it difficult to read anything into them. His first career appearance against Vanderbilt came to an end after he allowed six earned runs and six hits to ten batters over just 0.2 innings. Every player deserves a free pass in their first career game, and if you ignore that nasty outing, his numbers are respectable: just two runs in 6.2 innings. Both of those runs came in his most recent appearance and first career start again Texas. Snodgress had very poor control in that outing, but he was visibly bothered by discomfort in his pitching hand (which required the attention of the trainer) throughout the appearance. Could his struggle to locate pitches be explained away by that? In his other two outings he was effective. If Snodgress can emerge from the break as a reliable option, he would add depth to the bullpen or could possibly be an effective weekday starter.

Carey Schwartz, RHP

This sophomore sidearmer from Palo Alto High School has been effective so far. He doesn't throw hard, but his delivery is deceptive and right-handed batters have had a lot of trouble picking up the ball out of his hand. In six innings he has allowed just two runs and struck out six batters. But the red flag is that opposing batters are hitting .304 against him. Schwartz has shown he can be effective in spots, especially coming on in relief of left-handers or hard-throwing pitchers who make his unorthodox delivery even more deceptive yet. He could be used to get big outs in tight spots, but it doesn't look like he will be suited to any sort of longer relief.

Brian Busick, RHP

The freshman recorded the most wins ever for a player from Poway (Calif.) High School, with a 24-5 career record there. So far at Stanford, he has had just three appearances and pitched a pair of innings, allowing no runs, but two hits and two walks. He projects to be a starter eventually in his Stanford career, but he could still be a year or two from getting regular starts. For now, he should continue to be an option out of the bullpen and, if he continues to be successful, he could be used in more critical situations.

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