Carlos Rodon pitched well over the latter half of the college baseball season, and he's showing no signs of letting up this summer. He's been outstanding while pitching for the Collegiate National Team; he got a couple of starts against Cuba and played well both times, Tuesday in Durham especially:
"I love this ballpark," Rodon said with a smile after his performance Tuesday, when he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out 11 in a dominating shutdown of Cuba.
And this was after Cuba had already seen him. By all accounts, he had great command of his fastball and slider, and when that happens, well, good luck.
Tuesday, they did it behind Rodon, who was in such command that N.C. State coach Elliott Avent, who was in attendance, said it was likely the best Rodon ever had thrown. The lefthander hit 96 mph on the stadium radar gun and sat at 93-95 mph with his fastball, commanding it more than usual. He also had excellent command of his power slider, which regularly hit 87, and his 89-90 mph cutter. Rodon added a changeup that Avent said was the best he's ever thrown.
This is only making me miss college baseball season that much more. We have the top pick of the 2014 MLB draft on the team for one more year, and if you've never seen the kid in person, go. Go go go. Make whatever excuses that are necessary. Take this opportunity while it's there, because this sort of thing doesn't happen real often around these parts.