Lofty Lefty: Swamp Bat Kirby Could be First Round Pick
By Don Leypoldt
Who says scouting is hard?
At the end of the 2013 summer, NECBL pundits named Virginia lefty Nathan Kirby as the New England League’s Top Prospect. The freshman southpaw sparkled in his time at Keene, striking out 60 in 43 innings and ranking in the top five in both ERA (1.67) and punchouts.
20 months later, the pundits look like Nostradamus. The 6’2” Kirby was lights out as a Swamp Bat and he hasn’t cooled off. He returned to UVa and earned first team All-American honors as a sophomore. MLBPipeline.com ranks the now junior as the #5 prospect in the 2015 Draft.
“Kirby,” wrote MLBPipeline, “has a 90-94 mph fastball that plays up because of its life and angle and his ability to work it to both sides of the plate. He backs it up with one of the better sliders in college baseball, and he also can throw opponents off balance with his changeup.”
Kirby likely will be the 22nd NECBL alumnus taken in the first round- and the 14th since 2008- when UVa’s season ends. And it may not end for a while. The Cavaliers are the defending national runners-up; they opened 2015 with a 12-1 record and a #1 ranking. All systems indicate that the “Hoos” will make another deep run to Omaha.
Yes, scouting is easy (just ask one) and it was child’s play predicting that Kirby, the state Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at James River High School outside of Richmond, would thrive.
Except that it wasn’t.
As good of a prepster as Kirby was, he struggled mightily as a Cavalier freshman. No one could have predicted the success he had in Keene based on his resu
“I think a lot of (success) has to do with the failures I had gone through at UVa,” Kirby reflected. “You can’t appreciate success without failure. I think that everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong in my freshman college season. The way that my pitching coach teaches the game was a big step up for me and the game was moving really fast.” me in Charlottesville.
We are excited to offer a week long day camp this year. The camp will be held the week of July 6th, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to noon at Alumni Field. The cost is $95.00. The camp is open to children ages 5-12 years of age. You can register online. We are requiring health forms this year.
Derek Casey, a sophomore from UVA is on the 2015 Swamp Bat roster as a Pitcher. Derek was in the 22nd draft round, no. 675 overall for the St. Louis Cardinals. Casey attended Hanover High School in Mechonicsville, VA, where his team record was 27-0 and won two state championships.
Casey's scouting report quoted the following: "Among a strong class of high school pitchers in Virginia, he has established himself as one of the best. Casey’s fastball typically sits in the low-90s and has touched 95 mph. His secondary stuff isn’t as well developed as his fastball. His curveball shows promise, while his changeup remains in its nascent stages. He throws strikes with all of his pitches and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters. Casey will need time and innings to develop, but he excites scouts with his athleticism and projectability.” Source
Now your kids can color their favorite Swamp Bat moments! Click on the link to download these fun coloring pages. We would LOVE for you to share the finished pages with us.