Apr 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; The glove of Philadelphia Phillies right fielder John Mayberry (15) lays on the grass during batting practice prior to playing the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Usually when an article starts talking about a big prospect that has a lot pressure on him, it continues with the fact that the player has been a bust. 22-year-old Sam Selman from the Kansas City Royals organization is anything but. Selman dazzled his critics on Saturday by throwing no-hit baseball for eight innings. In his longest career start, the second round pick from last years draft struck out 11, while only allowing no his and only two walks in eight innings. Selman was pulled after the eighth because of a pitch count of 97.
Selman dominated his opponents, The Potomac Nationals, with his high velocity fastball and wicked slider. Selman even had a perfect game still going in the fifth inning until the Nationals’ Kevin Keyes reached first base on an error. Selman has had a pretty solid season with a 3.52 ERA in Class A baseball this season. In 120 innings with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, he has amassed an impressive 120 strikeouts while holding the opposition to a .200 average. Selman posted an extraordinary season at Rookie Ball last year when finished with a 2.09 ERA. These numbers show that Selman’s near no-hitter was no fluke and we should expect more of this from him in the future.
What was so strange about Selman’s masterpiece was that he did not get the win. When he was removed from the game after the eighth, the game was still scoreless. Selman was dueling against Potomac’s Blake Schwartz who happens to be Selman’s close friend from their playing days together over the summers in college. Schwartz himself threw a masterful game with nine scoreless innings. Wilmington eventually scored in the 10th inning and went on to win the game 1-0. If someone has a no-hitter for eight innings and winds up with a no decision; it’s safe to say that that was a good game to watch.