Last week I watched Vanderbilt’s Jack Armstrong square off against Coastal Carolina’s Anthony Meo. Both rising juniors, they are each regarded as among the best starters in their class. Armstrong was named a CCBL all-star last year and Baseball America named him the top prospect for his class after reportedly hitting 97 mph. Meo led Coastal Carolina to the regionals this past spring while posting a 13-1 record.
Neither pitcher was particularly sharp on this night, although Meo did out pitch his counter part. Meo hit 97 mph in the first inning of the game and sat at 94-95. He also threw a cutter that was 90-92 mph. He did not really feature any kind of off-speed pitches in this outing. He has a simple, easy delivery and likes to work inside to right handed batters. Meo clearly has plenty of life on his fastball but he must develop some off-speed pitches to keep opposing lineups off-balance. If not he could have the makings of a hard throwing reliever.
Armstrong was not nearly as impressive in his start. He walked six batters and really struggled with his command. While very tall (6’6) and projectable he is still just a thrower and not yet a complete pitcher. His fastball was 92-93 mph. He had a solid curve that was 77-78. He also flashed a change that was 80-82 and a type of slurve that low-80s as well. He struggled to locate his fastball and ended up relying heavily on his curve to get strikes.
With strong seasons next year I can see Meo and Armstrong possibly moving into the first round. They both have the raw stuff that attracts serious interest from major league clubs.