Lerner: Kaminsky shined bright this season
The numbers don’t lie. Instead, depending on which ones you choose to dissect, they only seem to add to the lore of Rob Kaminsky.
If you want to break down his junior year at St. Joseph Regional, you can weigh his 8-2 mark, 0.20 ERA and 103 strikeouts in just 53 innings to get an idea of how dominating he was.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover he was touched for just 12 hits and two earned runs all spring, that he tossed three no-hitters – including two back to back – yet, that still doesn’t do the left-hander enough justice.
What are perhaps the most telling numbers are the ones that continue to escalate on the radar guns of the college and major-league scouts who perch behind the backstop at nearly every one of his starts.
The fastball that was consistently in the high 80s to low 90s has increasingly soared, peaking at 93 miles per hour this past weekend at the Perfect Game Showcase in the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
But, hold on. The heater is accompanied by a biting curveball, one delivered with the kind of power that for an instant can appear like his fastball until it reveals itself by vanishing of its traveling plane with a dramatic downward spin. When you can mix in that kind of breaker, which happens to flirt with 80 mph and an underrated changeup, well, it becomes almost unfair for high-school hitters to have to contend with.
And, it’s all generated from a powerful 6-0, 190-pound frame that torques and fires with an effortless motion. The only thing in his arsenal that can match the value of those pitches is the poise in which their offered.
That composure can be easily overlooked when matched against the velocity that Kaminsky, who was named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, possesses but it was just as important as his precise location.
Yet, it was the control of his emotions, coupled with the control of his pitches that made him so good.
All the attention he draws for his accomplishments on the hill tend to shroud a well-rounded game that isn’t lauded enough. Kaminsky is also an exceptional center fielder as well as an accomplished hitter who batted .398 (33 for 83) with 24 runs and 18 RBI.
Gregg Lerner covers baseball for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @gregglerner