Pitcher Rob Kaminsky has created enormous buzz in New Jersey the last two seasons.
The St. Joseph's high school senior has shown to have a mixed bag of skills, as a centerfielder and pitcher, but, finally, as he approaches his senior year at St. Joseph's (Montvale, New Jersey), he will be on the mound every 5th day. He felt strongly enough about still playing the outfield, that he chose to sign a letter of commitment to the University of North Carolina.
But as his big league dream moves forward, he'll be pitching. And he's already proven a lot when taking the ball.
The Star-Ledger named the lefty 2012 Player of the Year after a brilliant run, in which he went 8-2 and threw three no-hitters for the Green Knights. He also struck out 103 batters, and in 53 innings, allowed just 12 hits. When decision time came, he ruled out Louisiana State and Florida State, before settling on UNC. That was after fielding offers from over a dozen colleges.
He's been developing into a more solid pitcher since junior year, and learning how to use what Jeff McKay was quoted as saying in Baseball Digest, as “power arm potential”.
Scouts reportedly clocked his fastball at 93 mph, even hitting 96 at one point on several radar guns.
He's armed with possibilities, in what could be a MLB Draft full of high-upside pitching.
The native of Englewood Cliffs had this to say about his breakout year as a pitcher and what the future might hold....
On the 2012 season: "Everything clicked. I was able to make pitched on both sides of the plate. I got the fastball to jump up."
P/OF: "I always threw hard. But in the past I was a centerfielder that happened to pitch."
Strongpoint: "I got stronger and quicker. My command was good. I located my fastball inside. All of that made a difference."
On MLB possibilities: "It's my dream. But I've committed to UNC and we'll see what happens in June."
On being a pitcher, not a position player: "I think pressure is good in a way. But if I pitch for the Yankees or St. Joseph's, I'm going to play the same."
Strategy: "I know what hitters are thinking. I want to mess with them a little bit. Because of my experience hitting, I it helps me know what they're going to do."
Approach: "I'm more of an attack pitcher. I try to get you out on one or two pitches. I'll thrown any pitch in any count."
The key: "No matter what you're doing, you just want to be confident. That's the most important thing for a pitcher."
You can follow Rob on Twitter @Kaminsky21.