Prospects In Person: Princeton University

March 31, 2024

An Easter Sunday visit to Clarke Field at Princeton for a classic Ivy League matchup yielded more than expected.

Freshman Tigers starter Sean Episcope popped early in a mostly impressive outing, one in which he walked just one and struck out seven while getting through 6 2/3 innings of work at 104 pitches. 6-0, 195-pound freshman RHP who was touching 93 miles per hour with his fastball, and relied on a secondary mix of a changeup (83-85) and curveball (74-77) to get through a pretty strong Yale lineup multiple times. Did miss some spots, which led to the majority of the damage against, but that’s likely one of the more projectable freshman Ivy arms you’ll see this year. Pro future possible here, especially with being given that amount of length in an outing this early in his career, but will need to continue to refine command and perhaps add a few more ticks in velo as he develops, which would help him separate himself from others with a similar profile.

If you were just looking at a few names you’d likely want on your radar heading into Sunday, Jake Bold would have been one. Princeton’s regular catcher, Bold served as the designated hitter against Yale, and showed why he’s one of the team leaders in OPS with a long home run that was his only hit of the day. Six-foot, 190-pound righty with an impressive 23 walks compared to just 24 strikeouts this season on the heels of a strong freshman campaign. Name to watch moving forward to possibly emerge on the pro/2025 MLB Draft radar. Would like to see defensively.

Jordan Kelly. Lefty bat, very lanky, long, athletic frame at six-foot-four and 195 pounds. Missed last year due to injury, but impressed on Sunday as the only hitter to solve Yale starter Colton Shaw twice with two singles. Would be a big upside play with the athleticism, but needs to cut down on K rate (26 in 68 AB’s) for someone to take that chance. Isn’t much to point to in the way of sustained performance thus far in his career. Likely average runner, but covers some ground in corner outfield spots and could likely handle center if needed, although hasn’t at Princeton. Played some third freshman year.

A somewhat sparingly used six-foot-one, 200 pound catcher, Kaden Kram showed some upside at the plate with a pull side homer. He also reached on what was generously scored a hit on another hard hit ball that skipped past the third baseman earlier in the game. Kram flashed a 2.28 in-game pop-time to second base on Sunday. Well, sort of. The throw down came on a called ball four, so there’s no telling whether that’s a truly accurate measurement of what’s in there, but it’s the only attempt we got. Hard to see a pro future here given historic performance, but would at least like to see again to better evaluate defensively.

Mike Ashmore
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