Nick Vander Tuig flashes his potential for the UCLA Bruins.
Nick Vander Tuig, SP, UCLA
With their sixth-round pick (193rd overall), the Giants selected Oakdale native Nick Vander Tuig. As a starting pitcher with UCLA in 2013, the right-hander went 12-4 with an impressive 2.37 ERA.
Despite the shiny peripheral numbers, Vander Tuig—who underwent Tommy John surgery in high school—didn’t dominate college competition, striking out only 81 batters in 114 innings pitched. But he was still hard to hit, as he held opponents to a .237 batting average and managed a 1.02 WHIP.
A 6’3” righty, Vander Tuig sits at 91 MPH with his fastball, which has good tailing movement. He also throws a slurvy slider and a changeup—both of which project as major league average pitches. He’s confident in his ability and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters.
If all goes well for Vander Tuig, he could eventually reach his ceiling as a No. 3 starter. If not, he profiles as a decent reliever.
Vander Tuig is very reminiscent of Atlanta Braves starter Kris Medlen; he’s not a hard thrower, but he has good movement on all of his pitches. He locates his fastball well and knows how to use his changeup. Like Medlen, Vander Tuig could find himself being juggled between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
If that’s the case, the Giants would be quite happy. Any sixth-round pick that forces his way into a club’s plans is well worth the selection.
Catch UCLA as they battle LSU in the College World Series. The matchup begins on June 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
Ty Ross, C, LSU
In 2013, the 6’2” right-hander hit only .215 with three home runs in 200 at-bats. Ross does possess some power, and the Giants are hoping to see more of it as he progresses through the minor leagues.
In all reality, Ross will exceed expectations if he ever reaches the big leagues as a backup catcher.
Watch Ty Ross as his LSU Tigers take on Nick Vander Tuig’s UCLA Bruins in the College World Series.
The series kicks off on Father’s Day, June 16, at 8 p.m. ET.