SEATTLE -- I caught two USC Trojan games this weekend in their away stand with Washington. USC sophomore RHP Ryan Cook (Brewster), freshman infielder Grant Green (Y-D) and true freshman catcher/RHP Robert Stock (Cotuit) saw action this weekend. The Trojans took 2-out-of-3, losing Sunday's matchup. Cook went eight innings on Saturday and got the win. He hit 92 on the USC gun. He was sharp for the several innings I watched him pitch. He kept the ball down but didn't have much movement on the ball. Despite giving up just two runs, I thought he missed a lot outside. He walked four and struck out one.
At 16 years-old, Stock chose to skip his senior year in high school and enroll at USC. He was Baseball America's Youth Player of the Year in 2005 at 15. I thought he looked young but seemed mature enough to be a freshman. After the game Sunday, his grandfather and a large group of family friends waited to have photos taken with him before boarding the bus. CodBall managed to snap a quick photo with his Cotuit Kettleers baseball cap, and we will try to arrange a CodBall Conversation later on.
Stock will be one of the more interesting players to see this summer on the Cape. He is a strapping young catcher in one of America's best baseball programs.
I managed to sit with a former USC baseball player who went onto play in the major leagues. I asked him to watch Stock behind the plate. We agreed that he has some work ahead of him. He blocks the plate well and has a strong arm.
Stock failed to throw out two runners at second and my friend analyzed why. He appeared a little flat-footed, setting up late and then jumping just as the pitcher winds up. Most experienced catchers will position their legs ahead of time to get off a quick throw down to second but Stock seems not be well positioned with a runner on first.
Stock hit the ball hard in the 7th but right at the center fielder. He went 0-4, grounding out three times to the second baseman (all three ground-outs on a 2-2 count).
At 6'3", Green is a striking presence at shortstop. During batting practice on Saturday I saw him drive the ball to all fields. In the first inning on Saturday I saw him work the count full in the three-hole but strike out looking. Sunday he was in the two-hole, where he was 1-for-4 with a single, a base on balls and two fly balls to center field. He drilled the Huskies pitcher to lead off the 4th and then appeared to injure an ankle on his stolen base at second. He stayed in the game.