Playing for a relatively anonymous high school, in a relatively anonymous part of Florida, Patrick Schuster has made a name for himself. Monday night, the senior left hander from Mitchell (Trinity) High School pitched his fourth straight no-hitter, defeating Pasco, 5-0. Schuster, a Florida signee, struck out 17 of 21 possible outs, allowing a walk and hit batsman. Schuster is 8-0, with 110 strikeouts this season, leading the Mustangs to a 19-3 record. Schuster last allowed a run on April 3rd, the first of his no-hitters, a 2-1 victory over Land O' Lakes.
Schuster would be very valuable for UF as a southpaw with a fastball, change, curve, and a nice slide piece, which Schuster used to earn his final out last night. Watch the video; the ball starts inside off the plate and comes across at the last second. The arm angle resembles Randy Johnson's slider. Of course, Schuster can become the next Scott Kazmir, going from high school to minor league phenom with a high pitch count. Schuster, since he is striking out everyone, threw 105 pitches Monday, a number high enough to be noted by his mother.
As nice as it would be to have Schuster as a Gator, going to the pros would be the best thing. An organization will take the time to teach him to cut his pitch count by throwing more ground ball pitches (adding a sink to his fastball and change), which won't happen in college. UF baseball coach Kevin O'Sullivan has done great things with his pitching staff, but he can't put in the time and effort the Rays, Red Sox or Marlins can do. If Schuster drives up I-75 and stops in Gainesville for at least a few years, it would be huge for Florida. It will rival David Price at Vandy, and that turned out very well for everyone. But look at Price now, too. Everyone believes he is a can't miss kid, but the Rays put him at Triple-A Durham to work on a changeup and his slider. This is the same guy who had a four-out save to beat Boston in Game 7 of the ALCS. Teams with an embarassment of riches, like the teams I mentioned, plus teams with a recent history of building young arms (A's, Twins, Giants), will gladly hold back a stud to make him into a throughbred. That is the best thing for Schuster.