CLARENCE, N.Y.-Whenever Clarence righthander Mark Armstrong pitches he attracts a crowd. While family and friends are there so are large numbers of baseball scouts.
Armstrong has hit the mid 90's on the radar gun. Most high school pitchers are in the 80's maybe the mid 80's. That explains why scouts from the Red Sox, Cubs, Royals, Brewers, Rockies, Reds and others are closely following every move the big righthander makes.
Right now Armstrong is committed to playing baseball at the University of Pittsburgh. There is speculation he will be drafted anywhere between the first and fourth rounds. If that happens there's always the chance he will decide to turn pro and not pitch for Pittsburgh.
While the fastball is his best pitch there much more to Armstrong than just velocity. He told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar "I have four pitches. I try to throw the fastball as much as I can but I feel confident I can throw each pitch over the plate for a strike." Clarence head coach Dave Smith told Stu"His mechanics are sound. His control is impeccable. And for a guy who throws as hard as he does that's one of the things that makes him super super tough." Armstrong recently had a stretch where he went 22 innings without walking a batter.
Ray Fagnant is the Boston Red Sox Northeast Regional Scouting Director. He told Stu "the radar gun sometimes is overrated because we'll see kids throwing especially hard they get hit but on days where he doesn't have his best velocity he can pitch. His fastball's got life and he can miss bats and he gets swings and misses."
Looks like whether he chooses to turn pro or to play at Pitt, its a win win for Mark Armstrong.