SCOUTING: Italy’s Bocchi Relieves for Longhorns

Scouting Report by Eric Bynum with editorial assistance from Gabriel Fidler. Image copyright FIBS.

Many of you have been following our updates on European baseball players at American universities and high schools. One of this list of more than five dozen athletes is the University of Texas’ Matteo Bocchi, who we introduced in our first edition of these players [link]. The native of Parma is in his third year at university after transferring from Odessa College after the 2017 season and is a product of the International Stars’ College Showcase. The big right-hander has appeared in three games this year, starting one, with his most recent appearance coming in relief against No. 7 Stanford this past Sunday.

Our colleague at Baseball de World, Eric Bynum, attended Sunday’s showdown and was able to provide us with a detailed scouting report of the Italian hurler. Unlike roughly a third of our list, Bocchi did not appear in the Under-23 European Championship in 2017, so this is our first look at one of Italy’s top exports. Bocchi allowed a run on two hits and a walk, striking out one, raising his ERA to 3.68 and WHIP to 1.50 in 7 1/3 frames.

Matteo Bocchi is a hard-throwing right-hander that has the ability to miss bats as long as he can find the strike zone. Bocchi sat around 89-90 with his fastball topping out at 91 on a cool windy Sunday. 

Working only an inning against a hot-hitting Stanford team, Bocchi started off great getting two quick groundouts. However, his control started to waver and a 2-out ringing double to left into the wind might have gotten to him. He fell behind the next hitter, walking him, and then gave up a run on a solid single to centre. Bouncing back he showed the ability to miss bats by striking out the Stanford DH.

Control could be an issue as he has walked 6 in 7.1 innings so far this year.  He does have a nice differential between fastball (sitting 89-90) and off-speed pitches (usually around 80), which only makes his fastball that much harder to hit. He has the height (6’4″) and size (listed at 205) to become a nice solid pitcher, and he is definitely in a good spot to learn the art of pitching as Texas has had quite a few pitchers over the years drafted (10 in the past 3 years).

Updates from previous appearances by Bocchi are available here [link].

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
This entry was posted in Europe, Europeans in US Education, Italy, Scouting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to SCOUTING: Italy’s Bocchi Relieves for Longhorns

  1. fred johnson says:

    Interesting. IMO, this is the way for Europeans to go: get to a junior college, then decide to come home after 2 years or go on to a 4-year.

    He climbed the ladder at Odessa (6 ERA, then a 4 ERA) and got a shot at Texas. At 89-91, he will need movement and location because that velocity isn’t special for a pitcher in a major NCAA D-1 conference.

    I wonder what he did in the last 2 summers. Did he play collegiate summer ball in the US, or did he go back to Europe? Staying in the US would have much improved his performance.

  2. I agree. I think this will become a more popular route and, indeed, it certainly has been this year. The fact that he even landed at Texas is a major coup that will help others get into lower schools. I am fairly certain I recall that Bocchi pitched in Bologna last summer, though it must have been for a farm team. He could probably only get into a lower tier summer league here.

  3. fred johnson says:

    This trend started in earnest, did it not, with the Jorst (sp?) kid from France who, a few years ago went to a TX junior college and ended up being drafted?

  4. Pingback: 2019 European Championship Roster Preview | Extra Innings

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