College Prospect Update: James Simmons
I watched the University of Oklahoma play UC Riverside this afternoon and got a first-hand look at RHP James Simmons. Several scouts were on hand (including a Royals' scout) to watch Simmons and Sooner starter Stephen Porlier (more on him in another post). Here's a brief bio of James Simmons:
Simmons is a junior at UC Riverside. He is a 6'4", 215 lbs right-handed pitcher. Last season, he led the team with a 2.96 ERA and led the team with 94 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings. Simmons pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer and had a 1.18 ERA in 53 innings. Baseball America listed him as the eighth-best prospect in the Cape Cod League.
Projected Draft Position:
Simmons is currently listed on Baseball America's Top 100 collegiate prospects for the 2007 draft. Brewerfan.net currently has Simmons listed as the #59 prospect in the country, which would make him an early to mid second round. If he continues performing well, he probably won't be around when the Royals make their selection with the #65 overall pick in the 2nd round. But, he's worth keeping an eye on.
4-1 2.38 ERA 34 IP 38 SOs 8 BBs .185 BAA
Simmons is off to a good start for 2007. Simmons is a candidate for the Roger Clemens' Award for the top collegiate pitcher. Before Simmon's start today, he was 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA. However, he struggled against the Sooner offense, allowing 9 hits on 7 runs in 5 innings.
Scouting Report: Simmons strongest asset is his control, which was fairly absent today. In addition to his two walks, Simmons hit two batters today. So, his performance today probably isn't the best for evaluating him. Simmons displayed an average (cut) fastball sitting at 89-90 mph. His second main pitch was his changeup, which wasn't very effective in keeping the Sooner hitters off-balance.
Simmons has a very high leg kick (see photo at start of post), but does a very good job of maintaining balance over his right leg during his delivery. He has a very clean, repeatable delivery overall and fields his position well.
Here's a short video clip of Simmons: Simmons Video
Summary: Simmons has pretty average stuff, but has plus command of his repertoire. He has a projectable frame at 6'4", 215 lbs, so he may end up throwing harder than 90 mph. If he's available when the Royals make their second-round selection, he would be a good pickup.
Coming up: Wichita State Prospects