Friday, July 15, 2011

Round 37: Derrick Bleeker, RHP, Howard College

Arkansas Official Site

One sentence analysis: Bleeker needs to make up his mind about whether or not he wants to start his career as a full-time pitcher, but that is his professional future.

More analysis and notes:
The Nationals grabbed #1 (Goodwin), #4 (Stubbs) and #9 (Bleeker) from Baseball America's pre-season top 20 JuCo/Small College prospects list. Bleeker started out at Arkansas but apparently transferred for playing time concerns. He is currently committed to play at UNC next season.

From Brian Howell of the Longmont Times-Call, 6/8/11:
"Bleeker was a relief pitcher at Howard, compiling a 2.84 earned-run average and two saves in 12.2 innings of work. He struck out 14 hitters and walked just two. Also an infielder, he hit .318 (21-for-66) with four home runs and 19 RBIs."

From Howell, 6/7/2011:
"During a fall tournament, Bleeker took the mound for Howard threw a 97-mph fastball and an 87-mph slider. 'None of the scouts here had seen him before," (Howard coach Britt) Smith said. 'They were blown away by him as a pitcher immediately.' Like many others, however, Smith believes Bleeker is destined to be a pitcher. 'Ultimately, bottom line is, he's going to be a pitcher at the pro level,' Smith said. 'He can play a position (in the pros), but I think his upside is going to be further on the mound than it is as a position player. I don't think he fully understands how hard it is to make it as a position player.'
"'I still love pitching. But, if I had to choose, it would be hitting.' Of course, the Nationals could change that with a lucrative offer and give Bleeker something to think about. 'Yeah, I really would (have a tough choice),' he said. 'It's hard because North Carolina is such a great baseball school, but to know your dream (to play pro baseball) is right there in your hands, it would be really hard.'"

From UNC's official site, 4/29/2011: "Good two-way player...On the mound his fastball sits in the low 90s...Possesses a closers mentality...Has a pitcher's body with room to grow."

Bleeker has not signed with the Nationals

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