Newcomb's strong start attracting attention

While some of the top college pitchers struggled Friday night, one shone on Saturday. Hartford began its weekend series against Binghamton with a Saturday doubleheader, pushing ace Sean Newcomb's start back a day.

Newcomb, ranked No. 17 on's top 50 Draft prospects, pitched well in a 3-0 victory. In eight scoreless innings, he struck out seven batters and allowed four hits and three walks. Five starts into the season, he has yet to give up an earned run, and he has 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.

Pitching at Hartford in the America East Conference, Newcomb doesn't face the same level of competition as some of the other top college pitchers. Regardless of his opponents, the big left-hander's stuff stacks up well with anyone in the country. He throws his fastball in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in a biting slider, curveball and changeup. All of his pitches have a chance to be average or better.

Newcomb doesn't have an extensive track record, in part because he was sidelined for a month by a bout of mononucleosis while pitching in the Cape Cod League last summer. Scouts who have had the chance to see him, however, have been impressed.

"He wasn't on the radar the way he could have been if he had been healthy all summer," one scout said. "His stuff's going to play, whether he's pitching in the America East or not."

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.