Dahn Day 4 features: Nick/Tom Gordon
| Gareth Morgan
Rodriguez Day 4 features: Rawlings Home Run Challenge
| Trenton Kemp
– Burly right-handed fireballer Grant Holmes from Conway, S.C. kept
scouts busy today, impressing with his stuff on the mound at the
Perfect Game National Showcase at the Metrodome.
the first pitch, which registered 97 mph on some scouts’ radar
guns, Holmes was the center of attention for the two innings he
6-foot-2, 210-pound pitcher sat at 94-96 mph with his fastball the
first inning. In his second inning of work he sat at 92-94 mph with
the heater. Holmes also mixed in a nasty slider that sat 80-84 mph
and touched 85. His fastball velocity didn’t change from the
who traveled alone to Minneapolis to pitch, enjoyed his short stint
on the bump in the Minnesota Twins’ former ballpark. “It’s
nice,” said Holmes. “It’s much different than just a regular
Holmes isn’t used to throwing in Major League facilities, he is
used to pitching against an elevated level of competition. Holmes
plays travel ball with the EvoShield Canes whenever he gets the
kind of like this,” Holmes said about playing with EvoShield.
“Everybody’s good. Everybody plays together. (There’s) a lot of
good players; a bunch of competition.”
coaches Sebastian Nazabal and Tom Willoughby are in attendance to
support a plethora of Canes players here to display their skills.
you can see kids out here from your organization it’s a good
feeling,” Nazabal said. “When (Holmes) comes out there and his
first pitch is 96 you can hear everybody start talking it feels good
to know that that’s representing your organization and he’s part
national spotlight should serve well for Holmes after his performance
a great opportunity of him,” Willoughby said. “It’s something
that he’s been looking forward to and hopefully more opportunities
become available for him. He needs to be seen a lot more and he’s
gonna do that, hopefully.”
works hard to get better and it is evident to those he plays for and
those who he plays with.
gets after it. He works hard,” Nazabal said. “He works hard off
the field to get ready to be on the field and it shows when he gets
out there to play.
he gets on the mound he’s all business and when he’s down in the
zone, like he was today, he’s gonna be tough to hit.”
just a bulldog. He’s a competitor,” Willoughby added.
coaches praised his work ethic and believe he has a very projectable
pitching style with even better stuff.
has) great velocity,” said Willoughby. “He’s got a lot of
downward movement on his ball, but he throws a heavy ball so he’s
gonna break a lot of bats through his career.”
offered a similar scouting report to Willoughby’s. “He’s 92-93
(mph) down in the zone with some sink on it and he’s tough to hit
coaches tabbed Holmes a “bulldog” on the mound. He definitely
showed scouts some of those bulldog qualities today.
simply put it best. “He’s a guy that you wanna hand the ball to.”
the second straight year the Perfect Game National Showcase is
available for everyone to watch online. The live stream to all of
the workouts, batting practice sessions and games can be found on
iHigh's dedicated Perfect Game page:
taking batting practice toward the end of the Day 3 events, Vegas
Gold and White teams finished the drills portion of the PG National
by running the 60-yard dash and conducting their individual outfield,
infield and catching drills prior to the four games that were played
on Day 4. Detailed notes from the skills portions of the National
Showcase, as well as additional notes on the games, are available in
the drills, the Vegas Gold and White teams took to the field for the
first of four games on the day. Taking the mound for both teams were
several intriguing arms, a recurring theme throughout this event.
Bennett Sousa was the first of these arms, showing easy arm strength
while producing 88-91 mph heat with more expected in the future. He
also threw a promising mid-70s breaking ball and did a nice job using
his stature to throw on a downward plane.
Holmes, as featured above, raised the bar after Sousa, working at
94-96, touching 97 and 93 from the stretch, with his heavy fastball,
and using that pitch to cruise through a very quick and easy first
inning of work. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-hander has a big,
burly frame that should allow him to sustain that velocity through
long innings at the next stage of his career.
big-bodied pitchers closed out the game for both teams. Right-hander
Brady Feigl, at 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, and left-handed Michael
Mediavilla, at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, both have strong, workhorse
frames that makes it easy to believe they'll be throwing harder, more
consistently, from their current upper-80s sustained velocity.
Hurst made a really nice play in center field, ranging back deep
toward the warning track to make an over the shoulder catch.
so much of the focus on pitching over the past several days (and the
overall event), the second game of the day, Game 13 overall, offered
several hard-hit balls.
Hildebrandt stood out at the plate with a pair of doubles drilled
hard to the outfield, the first of which was smoke to the gap in
Kemp, as featured earlier today by Matt Rodriguez (link available
above), ripped a ball down the left field line for a double of his
own in this contest.
Lewis also hit a double, his down the right field line in the seventh
Bryant Jr. came feet short of the event's first home, driving a ball
high and deep to left field that was caught at the warning track.
Kendall continues to make an extremely strong impression at the PG
National, with his game highlighted by his game-changing speed.
After running a 6.49 60 during the Day 2 workouts (and also threw 93
from the outfield), he nearly made it to first base on a routine
grounder to the shortstop. The left-handed hitter has an incredibly
quick step out of the batter's box.
Royal team offered a trio of high-power arms, starting with Jake
Jarvis, who started the game. With a shorter yet athletic frame,
Jarvis has a very live arm with late movement on his 87-89 fastball.
He also showed good command of a very sharp upper-70s breaking ball,
and changed speeds between the two pitches and hit his spots well.
Ryan Avidano's name on the list among the plentiful projectable
pitchers. At 6-foot-7, 215-pounds Avidano has broad shoulders and a
high waist, with the ability to get good sink on his mid-80s fastball
that should add velocity over the 2-3 years as he matures physically.
He also throws a promising low-70s curveball.
Hill entered the game for the Royal squad after Avidano, with a much
different overall profile as a 5-foot-11, 175-pound righty. He, like
Jarvis, creates good arm speed that generated 91 mph fastballs up in
the zone. Hill employed an aggressive approach going right after the
saw several promising Virginia recruits on Day 4 of the National
Showcase, including Sousa, Derek Casey and Sean Collins.
Game 14 starter for the Red squad offered yet another Cavaliers
commit, and the most promising of those that took the mound so far,
in Tommy Doyle. Doyle, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-hander is yet
another pitcher with an exciting combination of future projection and
current stuff and pitchability. His fastball sat at 89-91 early,
hitting the corners with his 91 fastball for strikeouts, while mixing
in a promising power breaking ball in the upper-70s.
Kopech, currently ranked ninth in the high school class of class of
2014, started opposite Doyle and showcased one of the more exciting
power arms at the National. Built tall and strong with a still
projectable frame, Kopech threw his first pitch at 92, his next at
94, and worked in the 89-94 range during his two innings of work. He
also threw a sharp 74-76 mph breaking ball. In his first inning of
work he recorded a pair of strikeouts on 91 fastballs thrown at the
knees, and another on a 92 fastball up in the zone. Kopech added
three more punchouts in his second inning of work, one on a wild
pitch, as the only ball put in play against him was a weak grounder
to the shortstop.
Perfect Game All-American Mayky Perez, who will be eligible to sign
as a free agent with the beginning of the July 2 International Free
Agent period, followed Kopech to the mound for the Vegas Gold squad.
Perez, who was the first player from the Dominican Republic selected
to play in the Classic, has shown significant improvement since the
last time we saw him at the WWBA World Championship last October.
With great size, Perez creates create leverage on his fastball, which
peaked at 92 mph and sat at 91 during his first inning of work,
striking out the side in that frame. His velocity sat in the
upper-80s during his second inning, and he continues to show
improvement with his upper-70s slider.
DeCarr, the last pitcher to take the mound for the Vegas Gold squad,
also showed considerable promise. His first pitch recorded 91 on the
radar, peking at 92 and making quick work of the opposing batters.
He uses his tall, strong frame well, getting full extension on his
delivery as the ball explodes in on batter's hands. He also threw a
mid-70s curveball that look as though it could become a power
offering with more experience throwing it.
base-runners go at will at an event like this, it makes it even more
notable when a catcher guns them down. Ryan McCullers, younger
brother of 2011 National participant Lance McCullers, threw out a
would-be runner at second base in the second inning of this contest,
showing a really strong arm and quick release.
Walker, who showed a short, powerful stroke in batting practice
during batting practice on Day 2, showed a nice approach at the plate
going with a pitch and driving it deep the other way to left field
for a double.
Shannon also just missed a home run on Day 4, showing his incredible
power potential by taking a pitch the other way down the right field
line, hitting just inches from the top of the wall just feet away
from the 327-foot mark for a double.
next batter Bryce Carter, who participated in the Rawlings Home Run
Challenge the night before, didn't miss, hitting a bomb off the right
field baggy-less bleachers, thus ending the home run drought.
the same inning, center fielder Steven Wells made a really nice play
snaring a ball before it hit the turf by racing straight in to make a
diving catch on a sinking line drive.
right-hander Jacob Nix took the mound to begin the fourth and final
game of the day, Game 15 overall with three more to be played on
Monday. Nix warmed up at 91-92 mph, and touched 93 during his first
inning of work, showing a live, quick arm. His low- to mid-70s
curveball looks to be a little new to him at this stage of his
career, but it's a pitch that appears to be heading in the right
direction once he becomes more comfortable with it.
White team ran another impressive big-bodied right-hander after Nix
in Turner Larkins. Larkins is built country strong with a 6-foot-3,
215-pound frame, throwing on a pronounced downhill plane while
pounding the lower half of the strike zone with 88-91 mph heat. He
also threw a big overhand curve in the low- to mid-70s.
Alexander was yet another big righty for the White team, following
Larkins in the pitching order, and also similar to Larkins, Alexander sat in the 87-91 range with
• Josh Pennington was a pleasant surprise from the Steel team, a late addition who flew to Minneapolis from New Jersey earlier in the day to take part of the National. With a lean, wiry-strong frame, his arm strength is obvious, peaking at 92 and sitting 90-91 in his first inning of work. He also threw a potential power breaking ball at 77 mph that fooled a handful of batters, and also mixed in a low-80s changeup. He also made a really nice defensive play on the mound, quickly pouncing on a ball hit to his right while firing to second base, and not first, to gun down the lead runner.
• Michael Mediavilla, who pitched earlier in the day, smoked a double that short-hopped the wall in left field, showing his two-way talents.
to McCullers as noted above, both Aaron Rzucidlo and Tommy Pincin showed off their arm
strength and releases by gunning down runners at second and third base respectively in the
last game of the day.