Anthony Kay, a junior left-handed starter for the Huskies, started against a Tulane team that received 24 points the latest USA Today Coaches' Poll. The Green Wave were in Storrs for the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams, and the scouts and writers flocked to see how Kay fared against the competition.
There were more scouts and national writers in attendance this past Friday when UConn took on No. 30 Houston. Kay delivered another spectacular performance in the UConn win.
Writers from D1baseball.com, Fangraphs and Baseball America were there, and multiple scouts were hanging out with radar guns and stopwatches, much more than at a normal game.
Kay took a perfect game into the sixth against Tulane, losing it after retiring the first man up in that inning. He sat the first 16 men he faced in order and wasn't doing it by giving up fly balls or taking advantage of his defense for good plays. Through his entire seven-inning outing, only two times did a Tulane batter really hit the ball hard, and those were the two hits that Kay surrendered.
Unfortunately, one of those times the bases were loaded, and it left J.O. Christian Field for a grand slam, but that didn't put a damper on the way he was attacking the zone and getting strikeouts, tallying eight for the day.
Against Houston, he added seven more strikeouts to his total, bringing it to 61 on the season. He only surrendered one earned run, and only allowed six hits through his 8.1 innings of work. He retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.
Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America came to watch Kay's outing against Tulane and saw strong pro potential.
"We're talking about a guy who is a left-handed pitcher, throwing a plus fastball, sitting at 93-94 [miles per hour] through the early innings," Belinsky said. "[He has] just a dynamite change-up, it's one of the better change-ups in this class."
Kay used both of those pitches to his advantage last Friday. He was blowing guys away with his fastball and was not afraid to use his change up with a full count, using it to strike someone out with the count full at 3-2. He was attacking hitters with those two pitches, and through the first five innings, only had two three-ball counts.
Outside of its two hits, Tulane didn't hit the ball into the outfield. Kay drew a lot of ground ball outs, forcing Tulane to pound the ball into the ground.
Belinsky also talked about Kay's chances of getting drafted in the early rounds of June's MLB First Year Player draft.
"As far as where he fits, he's probably towards the back of the first round, into the second round a little bit," he said.
Kay is drawing serious attention from professional scouts and flashing first round potential against the best competition on UConn's schedule. If he continues to play this well, he will certainly hear his name called in the first round this June.