Neil Devlin "Catching Up" with TCU Hornfrogs Jake Eissler, Caleb Sloan, and James Notary


Neil Devlin
Senior Writer

 

 

They are armed and want to fight crime. No, they don’t wear capes, but what are the odds of three former Colorado schoolboys, all right-handed pitchers, landing on the Texas Christian roster as criminal-justice majors?

Jake Eissler, James Notary and Caleb Sloan took the road to Texas and landed with the Horned Frogs. Call it an obscure pipeline or happenstance out of left field, but a few locals have been a Colorado cool aid to a Big 12 Conference baseball team quite thirsty in the Lone Star State. Having the same majors doesn’t hurt.

“It’s pretty funny,” Sloan said.

One from the north in the metropolitan area, one from the south and another in parochial ranks, three kids from a cold-weather state that has two major universities without NCAA baseball couldn’t be happier.

“It’s awesome down here and has been a lot of fun,” said Notary, two years removed from helping Class 5A Broomfield to a runner-up finish.

A 6-foot-3, 215-pound reliever, Notary made 12 appearances the past season as a reliever, 11.2 innings. Fourteen walks and two hit batters helped lead to a 6.17 earned-run average, although he held opponents scoreless in seven of the outings and he fanned 20.

“I had an OK year, but not great,” Notary said.

This season, Notary said, he could be “the gap guy from the starters to the closers. I should get a decent amount of innings.”

He’s throwing a fastball, curveball and cutter, and is topping out at 90-91 mph that he says is plenty.

“Here, they preach location, location, location,” Notary said.

As for joining the Horned Frogs with previous in-state competitors, Notary said te TCU recruiting coordinator Kirk Saarloos “figured out he saw some good arms in Colorado and he saw all of us at the same time and we all ended up here. It has been awesome.”

Eissler, now a junior from ThunderRidge in Highlands Ranch, was recently reached after a “Failures and Disasters” class, a core science credit and certainly not how it has been for the 6-1, 250-pounder.

Since he’s the oldest local to join the TCU roster – “I think I was the first Colorado guy, so maybe I opened it up.” – Eissler also has the best statistics – 9-1 over two seasons, 18 appearances in each, Big 12 honors as all-rookie, all-tournament and all-academic teams, and national pitcher of the week.

He credits TCU recruiting for being open-minded and “too many programs across Colorado off the map because it’s quote, unquote not a baseball state, but our coaches are smart and see Colorado baseball has come a long way the last 10 years … even five years. It’s not a powerhouse, but we have guys who deserve to be at schools like this.”

TCU was 33-23 a year ago, has a lot of talent and experience returning, and Eissler may turn into one of its main guys.

“For me, I want to be a starting pitcher in the rotation,” he said. He rested his arm over the summer, said he was strong in fall ball and craves a turn. He throws a 2- and 4-seam fastball, his changeup is developing and a slider has turned into his strikeout pitch. He topped out at 94 in the spring and usually sits between 90-92.

Eissler said he credits the coaching staff “for always having a good plan,” but “basically what I’ve done the past two years is showed them I can come out and start a game or go into the middle of the game. Or if the start doesn’t do well, l can come in there or come in the seventh and eighth innings to close a game.”

As for the whole TCU experience, he said. “I love it. I’ve got everything rolling for me.”

Concerning Sloan, who prepped at Regis Jesuit in Aurora, he earned a strong look for playing time a year ago and the Horned Frogs staff obliged. He was third on the team with 20 appearances out of the bullpen and had a 3-0 record with a 4.60 ERA in 31.1 innings. He only allowed two of 14 inherited runners to score.

“By the end of the year, I was the long reliever and that was a good deal for me,” Sloan said.

Truth is, Sloan said, “I learned more than I could ever imagine.”

He played in the California Collegiate League in the summer with the Santa Barbara Foresters as a starter and said “it went well.” One of his teammates was Notary. A solid showing in fall ball, he said, “makes me excited to see our team (in the spring). It looks great.”

Individually, Sloan’s thoughts about the upcoming season could involve becoming the closer – “It depends on an older … if he comes back, he’ll probably be the closer.” – or perhaps grabbing the No.3 spot as a starter.

At 6-3, 215, and named to the Big 12 all-freshman team, he’s throwing a changeup, slider and 2- and 4-seam fastball that regularly reached 95-97 over the fall.



Jake Eissler

Class of 2016 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2016
    Commitment: Texas Christian
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: ThunderRidge
    State: CO
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 210lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
90
Max FB
90 - 91
FB
74 - 75
CB
84 - 84
CH
81 - 83
SL
Position
7.21
60-yard
93
INF Velo
93
Exit Velo
4.50
H-1st

Scouting Report

5-12-16

A 6-foot-2, 210-pound right hand hitting RHP/3B.  Balanced at the plate with little wasted movement.  Swing path is slightly uphill creating a ball with good carry.  Good extension out front at contact and strong lower leg drive. Had a dominating day on the mound. Fastball was consistently 87-88 mph. Has good run into right-handers, and his curveball has late sharp break away from right-handers. Was showcasing his change more today which came in at 78-79 mph. Threw for strikes. Threw a complete game in which he only allowed 3 hits and struck out 8. In 2nd game of the day set the tone off a very good pitcher with a 2-out solo shot to deep center off an 87 mph fastball. Potential late round draft kid.

2-28-16

A 6-foot-2, 210-pound right hand hitting RHP/3B.  Balanced at the plate with little wasted movement.  Swing path is slightly uphill creating a ball with good carry.  Good extension out front at contact and strong lower leg drive creates an exit velocity of 93 MPH.  In the field he is athletic and moves well to the ball.  He shows good actions and transfer and delivers from along over the top arm slot.  He showcased a 93 MPH arm with accuracy.  Identified as the best prospect 2016 at this event.


6-15-15

Currently ranked No. 3 in the 2016 class and committed to TCU. 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B. Eissler had to impressive outings in the Junior Sunbelt Classic. In his first start against Arizona Eissler went 4 innings only giving up 4 hits leaving the game tied 2-2. Fastball touched 88 mph. In his second start in the tournament on 3 days rest he only went two innings due to the coaches taking care of his arm against Mississippi. In this start Eissler gave up 1 unearned run, but fastball reached 90 on a few occassions. Eissler made the Junior Sunbelt All-Tournament Team. During the tryouts for the team, Eissler registered a 7.21 60 time. At the plate, the right-handed hitter produces solid contact. He uses a smooth load, short stride, and explosive lower half.  90 MPH exit velocity, top 3 at the tryout.  Shows good pull power and good control to the opposite field gap. Not much movement in swing. Lets hands do the work. Did not pitch at the tryout. From third moves towards ball well, fields out in front. Had highest position velocity at the tryout at 93 mph which could be one of the top corner velos in the country.

5-4-15

6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B.  Strong, solid prospect that registered a 7.21 60 time. At the plate, the right-handed hitter produces solid contact. He uses a smooth load, short stride, and explosive lower half.  90 MPH exit velocity, top 3 at the tryout.  Shows good pull power and good control to the opposite field gap. Not much movement in swing. Lets hands do the work. Did not pitch at the tryout. From third moves towards ball well, fields out in front. Had highest position velocity at the tryout at 93 mph which could be one of the top corner velos in the country.

4-10-15

No. 3 2016 and currently committed to Texas Christian. 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B.  Strong, solid prospect that registered a 4.5 home to first. At the plate, the right-handed hitter produces solid contact. He uses a smooth load, short stride, and explosive lower half. Hits 4-hole for the Grizzlies. Was 1-3 in the game with an RBI. On the season is hitting .306 and is leading the Grizzlies with 12 RBI's and 2 homeruns.

3-14-15
Committed to Texas Christian. Currently ranked No. 3 in the 2016 class and 58 overall.  6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B. Strong, thick, body with more room to fill out.  Was 84-86 MPH 1st, 83-86 2nd from ¾ arm slot and touched 87 twice. Works at a fast pace, and throws off a solid two-foot base and is very square to the plate. Change-up was 75-76 mph and Curve ball was 73. Threw all three for strikes. Bats right-handed. Has good plate discipline and gap-to-gap power. Made solid contact at plate all day.

3-1-15
6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting RHP/3B.  Strong, solid prospect that registered a 4.5 home to first. At the plate, the right-handed hitter produces solid contact. He uses a smooth load, short stride, and explosive lower half.  90 MPH exit velocity, top 3 at this event.  Shows good pull power and good control to the opposite field gap.  Ran a 4.5 home to first.


Strong, thick, body with more room to fill out.  Pounds the strike zone with 87-90 mph fastballs from ¾ arm slot,  Works at a fast pace, and throws off a solid two-foot base and is very square to the plate. Change-up sits at 77-78 mph and Curve ball is 73. Throws all three for strikes. Shows strong arm from outfield and infield. Bats right-handed. Has good plate discipline and gap-to-gap power. Good Student.


Videos

10.7.18 TCU vs. McLennan JC

(3/6/16)

Player News





Caleb Sloan

Class of 2017 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2017
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Regis Jesuit
    State: CO
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 215lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
97
Max FB
94 - 96
FB
72 - 73
CB
86 - 86
CH
83 - 84
SL
Position
80
INF Velo
88
Exit Velo
4.19
H-1st

Scouting Report

3-15-17

6-foot-3, 210-pound right hand pitcher stands tall and stays tall through his delivery.  He gets good lower leg drive and extension out front on his pitches.  Body stays in-line and stays square on his follow through.  Arm is over the top with good speed on all pitches. Sloan has been on the national summer circuit which included a performance in the Under Armour All-American Game in Wrigley, the Area Code Games in California, and recently pitching in the Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Florida. Sloan has a strong frame with a developed upper half and his fastball this summer and fall has been consistently 92-93, touching 95 late in the summer. 

4-11-16

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound right hand pitcher who stands tall and stays tall through his delivery.  He gets good lower leg drive and extension out front on his pitches.  Body stays in-line and stays square on his follow through.  Arm is over the top with good speed on all pitches. Sloan was dominant through 4 innings only giving up 1 hit and striking out 6 with 3 walks against one of the better teams in the state. Sloan worked at 88, but touched 92. Curveball was 72-73 with tight 11/5 tilt. Motion is pretty effortless and fastball bores on you. On the season has a 1.76 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 8 innings.

2-28-16

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound right hand pitcher who stands tall and stays tall through his delivery.  He gets good lower leg drive and extension out front on his pitches.  Body stays in-line and stays square on his follow through.  Arm is over the top with good speed on all pitches.  His session consisted of a 91 MPH fastball that is thrown on both sides of the plate, a 73 MPH curve with 11/5 break and a 76 MPH change that works away from the right hand hitter.  He finished with a 77 MPH slider that has good back door break to a right hand hitter.

 


1-25-15

Athletic frame, strong limbs, 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, has a highly projectable frame. Square delivery, athletic rhythm and balance, easy effort, closed landing, repeats well. Arm action is clean, long arm action, high ¾ slot. Can get even more out of lower half which could add a few more mph. Fastball has slight run, controlled the zone well, 88-89 mph, Showed improved velocity from the winter camps we saw him at (86-87 mph). Curveball has 11/5 plane, slurve action, landed for strikes, good control, 73-74 mph. Changeup has sink, good control and feel for the pitch, 75-76 mph. Weiss showed excellent three pitch feel, high ceiling projects well at the next level, can pound the zone with multiple pitches and change speeds. As a hitter Sloan has legitmate raw gap to gap power backed up with an 88 mph exit velo off the tee. Sloan is a little tight in his load, but swing is level through the zone with good extension through ball. A little bit off balance at times in lower half, and like pitching has more untapped potential with legs. Projects as a solid clean-up or 3-hole hitter as he continues to polish himself up. Also was the fastest runner at the event with a 4.19 home to first time from the right side.

 

12-2-14

6-2, 180 pounds. Sloan is already strong physical pitcher who is still growing into his body. Caleb has reached 88 mph on multiple occasions this winter during Slammers Arm Velocity Camp. Caleb also plays football and is a quarterback for Regis. As he gets back into baseball shape for the spring and with his frame he projects to potentially be lower  90's by end of his sophomore year.  On pace to be very elite pitcher and quarterback for Regis Jesuit.


Videos

10.7.18 TCU vs McLennan JC

(3/6/16)

Player News





James Notary

Class of 2017 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2017
    Commitment: Texas Christian University
  • Primary Position: RHP
  • High School: Broomfield
    State: CO
  • Summer Team: Colorado Rockies Scout Team
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 205lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
90
Max FB
89 - 90
FB
74 - 76
CB
73 - 74
CH
Position
88
OF Velo

Scouting Report

4-19-17
6-foot-3, 205 pounds. On the mound stands tall. Long legs, high hips. Arm wraps back, over the top arm slot. Attacks hitters. So far the most dominant performance of the year against an undefeated Mountain Range Team. Had a perfect game with one out left to go but lost it. Fastball was consistently 90-91 touching 92 6 times. Still was 92 in the 7th. Throws a very hard curveball that at times touched 80 mph with 11/5 shape and very late break. Hitters couldn't touch it. Just falls off the table. Struck out 14 in the game. Works at a very fast pace. Attacks hitters to both sides of the plate. Game lasted only an hour and twenty-five minutes. To see video of performance click here. In Notatry's previouis start he only gave up 2 hits and struck out 12 against Rock Mountain. On the season Notary is 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA. In 32 innings Notary has only given up 13 hits and has struck out an impressive 63 batters. 

3-1-17
6-foot-3, 205 pounds. On the mound stands tall. Long legs, high hips. Arm wraps back, over the top arm slot. Tilts to get to over the top slot, if stayed square would be 3/4 which might create more movement. Lands in line then falls at times towards 1B. Power fastball that sat 88-89 mph touching 90 a couple of times. Good down angle. Curve ball has 12/6 shape with some late break at 74-76 mph. Change thrown at same arm speed as fastball at 75 mph. One of the top pitching prospects in our state.  

2-26-17

6-foot-3, 205 pounds. On the mound stands tall. Long legs, high hips. Arm wraps back, over the top arm slot. Tilts to get to over the top slot, if stayed square would be 3/4 which might create more movement. Lands in line then falls at times towards 1B. Power fastball that sat 88-89 mph touching 90 a couple of times. Good down angle. Curve ball has 12/6 shape with some late break at 74-76 mph. Change thrown at same arm speed as fastball at 75 mph. One of the top pitching prospects in our state.  

8-21-16

6-foot-3, 205 pounds. The Texas Christian Commit was very sharp today against a good Slammers Zavaras team. In 5 scoreless innings only gave up 1 hit and struck out 7. Fastball touched 89 in the first inning and settled in at 87-88. Slammers could not stay off a sharp 12/6 breaking ball at 71-72 mph. Comes from an over the top arm slot, and is uphill in the start of his delivery, but then has good led drive towards home that produces  good down angle and extension. To see video from today Click Here

8-8-15

6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Bats and throws right. Notary was the most dominating pitcher at the event. Was voted best 2017 prospect at the event. Notary has good mechanics with a square, in-line over the top delivery that brings a 85-86 mph fastball to the plate. That was up from 82 mph last January.  Good led drive towards home that produces  good down angle and extension. Curveball was 12-6 shape with good tight spin at 71 mph. Change had some fade at 72. We did notice at times will slow down arm motion to throw both of those pitches. Projects to be a 90 mph thrower, and high prospect to watch.

1-25-15

Very projectable right-handed pitcher, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, but you see how much his upper body is still going to grow. Tall delivery and at times falls to first base. Has easy effort, good balance throughout, bu sometimes lands slightly opened, keeps everything in line and closed, high front side, athletic finish, can get more extension. Arm action is long, clean, high ¾ slot. Controls fastball at 82-84 mph, good action. Breaking ball has gradual action on 11/5 plane, near fastball arm action, 72-73 mph. Changeup is sat at 73-74 mph. Showed feel of three pitches, Notary is a highly projectable, and as his frame continues to fill out he could see a high velocity jump in the future.


Videos

(2/26/17)

Player News