One of the biggest questions facing the Wake Forest baseball team for the 2017-18 is who will replace the starting pitching trio of: Parker Dunshee, Connor Johnstone, and Donnie Sellers. The first two graduated as seniors and are now in the minor leagues, while Sellers was drafted and left school early.
It has become increasingly clear that Griffin Roberts, who served as closer for the Demon Deacons last year, will almost certainly be taking one of those spots, and perhaps the Friday night starting role.
Roberts won the Cape Cod Pitcher of the Week award after his latest two outings:
It’s not just this one start either, as his five starts have been sensational:
Roberts, a converted reliever, has a .88 WHIP through five starts, while opponents are hitting just .202 off of him.— Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612) July 19, 2017
There was an excellent article in the Winston-Salem Journal by Dan Collins today on the transformation of Roberts. I would recommend reading the entire article, but the key part is that Roberts has added two more pitches to round out his repertoire to help complement his devastating slider.
It is obvious that Roberts has some nasty stuff, as he struck out 80 batters in just 53 innings last year, but his control has been suspect in critical situations. That appears to be trending in the right direction, as he has only allowed 4 walks compared to 30 strikeouts so far in the Cape Cod League.
This is excellent news for Wake Forest fans, and I believe Roberts will not only take on the Friday night starting role for the Deacs, but will be one of the best pitchers in the ACC and the nation next season.