As is the case with most college baseball teams, Boston College will enter the 2016 baseball season with only a handful of left-handed pitchers.
Lefties are long known as specialist type pitchers. That's what makes them so special. The ball breaks differently, handcuffs hitters a little bit weirder, has a little bit more spin. MLB franchises are increasingly looking for lefty specialist relievers, guys who can get outs against tough hitters because they're throwing from the inside part of the plate.
Left-handed pitchers are harder to come by because they're a little bit rarer. The Eagles enter the '16 season with only five southpaw hurlers, only one of whom is older than a sophomore.
Senior Jesse Adams appeared in 19 games last season, third most on the BC pitching staff. His 62 innings was also third best, one out less than Mike King. He allowed 46 hits, 25 runs (of which 21 were earned). His 70 strikeouts were second best on the team, and his strikeouts-to-walk ratio was well north of 3:1. A stalwart of the pitching staff last year, he's likely going to be a major factor again in his final go-around in 2016. As a lefty, he also stands a chance to become a hidden gem on draft boards with his performance during the year.
Outside of Adams, though, the Eagles don't have any proven commodities. Carmen Giampetruzzi and Kevin Connor both pitched sparingly last season, appearing in a combined 11 games and throwing a combined six innings. Because of a low number of innings, their stats were totally skewed to the negative, resulting in them having the two worst ERAs on the team. But there's nothing there worth putting a litmus test together on given their lack of appearances, so it'll be really interesting to see what they can do when given opportunity this season.
That means BC will need to find a lefty capable of breaking out or be forced to pitch a right-handed heavy staff during each game. One candidate is undersized hurler Dan Metzdorf, the 26th best recruit out of Massachusetts. Metzdorf is only 5'9", but he was the second-best lefty coming out of the Commonwealth. He was also ranked 251st overall among lefty pitchers, putting him in the top 1,000 recruits. That number might not seem like much, but bear in mind how many athletes are recruited to play for the 300-plus baseball teams in Division I.
Or maybe it'll be Zach Stromberg. A Lafayette, California product, he was part of an Acalanes High School squad that was a two-time North Coast Section champion. He was the 103rd best lefty out of high school in the nation, and the 15th best coming out of California. Capable of throwing into the high 80s, he could be a lefty power pitcher for the Eagles, which will mean he's going to make an immediate impact.
With Adams set to graduate this year, the Eagles will continue building the staff throughout the next couple of years. They'll add at least one freshman for 2017 and 2018, keeping with a tradition of an influx of southpaw arms. It's an arms race that nobody can afford to take off because the position adds so much to a roster. Joseph Walsh joins the team next season, with William Hesslink coming on board in 2018. That'll give the Eagles balance through their classes to keep lefties developing in and out of use throughout the years.
Future Seasons Depth Chart
|Jesse Adams - Sr.||Carmen Giampetruzzi - Jr.||Carmen Giampetruzzi - Sr.|
|Carmen Giampetruzzi - Soph.||Kevin Connor - Jr.||Kevin Connor - Sr.|
|Kevin Connor - Soph.||Dan Metzdorf - Soph.||Dan Metzdorf - Jr.|
|Dan Metzdorf - Fr.||Zach Stromberg - Soph.||Zach Stromberg - Jr.|
|Zach Stromberg - Fr.||Joseph Walsh - Fr.||Joseph Walsh - Soph.|
|William Hesslink - Fr.|