25 Jun

draft auditions

Eric Cerantola, who did not make Mississippi State’s travel roster for Omaha, headed to Cary, N.C., instead to work out in the MLB Draft Combine. According to mlb.com’s Jim Callis, it was a worthwhile trip. Cerantola reportedly hit 96 mph four times and registered the highest spin rate among 13 pitchers who threw in a Thursday session. Cerantola, a big righty from Canada, was considered a potential first-round pick headed into 2021 but had a poor year for the Bulldogs. After starting the season in the rotation, he wound up appearing in just 10 games, posting a 5.71 ERA. He struck out 24 in 17 1/3 innings but walked 11, hit six batters and threw four wild pitches. Callis writes that Cerantola “has some stiffness in his delivery that makes it tough for him to locate his pitches.” Rated No. 248 by MLB Pipeline, his work at the combine might entice an MLB club to take a chance on him. … Braden Montgomery, the star of Madison Central’s state championship team, is showcasing skills as both a hitter and pitcher at the combine. “I picked up pitching more recently, but I’ve always been a hitter,” he said in a recent interview on MLB Network. “So, there are some days where maybe I’ll turn out a poor pitching performance, but I’ll hit well and feel like I won’t have to pitch anymore or turn out a really good pitching performance, and I don’t hit well at all. So, I enjoy them both.” The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Montgomery is a switch-hitting outfielder and righty pitcher. He had nine hard-hit (95 mph-plus) balls in a BP session this week; the top number in that session was 15. He broad-jumped 11.04 feet and scored 11.31 on the agility drill, both among the best scores in his groups. He is a Stanford signee who’ll go high in the draft. He is ranked No. 65 by MLB Pipeline, just four spots behind Ole Miss’ Doug Nikhazy.

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