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Wake Forest
James River (HS) • VA
6' 3" • 215LBS


2018 National

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2015 State

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5/16/18 - Athletic, aggressive righty with swing/miss stuff and a plus slider as his feature pitch. Labored through four innings as he navigated a veteran Wolfpack lineup and a floating strike zone. Maybe he was rusty due to a bye week for final exams and not pitching last weekend, or maybe it was just one of those nights, but Roberts found barrels much more than he normally has this spring. Inefficient with his pitches as he ran deep counts on nearly every batter while throwing a total of 96 pitches in four innings. For the evening he allowed five runs on five hits with five walks. He did strike out eight batters to improve his already elite strikeout rate for a starting pitcher to 12.8-per-9 and continued his streak of striking out eight or more batters in all 12 of his starts this season. From a low three-quarter to sidearm slot at times, his fastball ranged from 90-94 mph, sitting mostly 92-93. At times, it showed 80 life with vicious arm side action and no chance of a hitter making contact. In particular, his 1-1 two-seamer to Wolfpack shortstop Will Wilson in the third inning had me shaking my head in amazement as it broke so hard and late at 92 mph with Wilson swinging well over the top of it as it fell from his thighs to his ankles within the last five feet of the plate. Also showed the ability to elevate his fastball, generating two of his eight strikeouts with fastballs up in the zone. For the most part, he repeated his 81-83 mph slider and threw it to both sides of the plate. Four more strikeouts came on backdoor sliders to left-handed hitters for called strike three. Occasionally the pitched backed up on him, but that will naturally happen from his low arm slot. Third pitch was an above average changeup thrown at 84-87 mph with fastball arm speed and late sink. It generated a couple swing/misses, but he did not throw it too often. Surprisingly, there was very little scouting heat to see Roberts for this mid-May start. A few area scouts and one or two cross-checkers is all that were present. He’s a lower risk pick with a reliever-type delivery and plus stuff. It’s control over command, but his swing/miss stuff plays at every level. He will likely be sent out as a starting pitcher and has the floor of a multiple inning reliever. Roberts should be selected towards the end of Day 1.

Side note: Next season the ball will continue to be in good hands on Friday nights for the Demon Deacons. Sophomore righty Morgan McSweeney started Saturday night’s game. He’s a 6’4/210 righty with a super quick arm and a sinking fastball up to 95 mph from a high three-quarters slot. He compliments his heater with an above average 83-87 mph tight slider and 86 mph straight changeup. With continued good health and normal development, expect McSweeney to be considered for the first round next June.

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