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Tournaments : : Story
WWBA World 2010 College Standouts
Patrick Ebert        
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Arguably the most highly anticipated scouting event on the calendar, the amount of individual talent that participates in the WWBA World Championship on an annual basis is well chronicled.

Look no further than likely National League Rookie of the Year and former PG All-American Jose Fernandez, who drew one of, if not the largest scouting crowd at a single field during the history of the event just three years ago. Fernandez' electric fastball was on display, peaking at 97 mph while sitting 92-95 while mixing in his dominant low-80s breaking ball pitching for FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout Team.

Jose Fernandez
FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout Team, 2010
Fernandez wasn't the only player that didn't take much time to reach the big leagues since standing out on the big stage Jupiter offers. Baltimore Orioles rising star Manny Machado performed at a high level for the Royals Baseball Club in 2009, while two more of the game's brightest young stars, Mike Trout (Tri-State Arsenal) and Bryce Harper (Braves Scout Team), did the same in 2008.

This talent has also been on display during the MLB playoffs. St. Louis Cardinals righthander Shelby Miller (Braves Scout Team) and Tampa Bay Rays 3-hole hitter Wil Myers (Dirtbags) also starred in Jupiter in 2008. Pittsburgh Pirates emerging young ace Gerrit Cole did the same for the Braves Scout Team in 2007.

With an impressive collection of young talent, the top high school players in attendance represent the bulk of the talent eligible for the 2014. In addition, a large handful of the top college draft-eligible prospects also participated at the WWBA World Championship.

Below I have assembled a team of players currently playing at the D-I level in college that previously attended the WWBA World Championship in past years, most of which did so as high school seniors in 2010. College standouts that have made this list in past years include young MLB superstars such as Harper, Cole, Buster Posey and Stephen Strasburg as well as rising young stars Mark Appel, Kevin Gausman and Kris Bryant.


Catcher

Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State
(Team Elite 2009-10)

Although Pentecost participated in the 2010 National Showcase, as well as playing in Jupiter with the Georgia-based Team Elite squad for two straight years, he was somewhat of an unknown commodity at the college level prior to this past summer. That changed quickly as Pentecost put up big numbers at the plate swinging a wood bat in the Cape Cod League on his way to not only being named the league's MVP, but also Perfect Game's Summer Collegiate Player of the Year. Even though he opted to honor his commitment to Kennesaw State, he was one of the highest drafted players in the 2011 draft that didn't sign (Rangers, seventh round). Equally adept at the plate as he is behind it, should Pentecost continue to carry his success from last summer into next spring, he is a factor to be selected among the top 10-15 overall picks next June.


South Carolina's Grayson Greiner (Diamond Devils 2009-10), who served as the Collegiate National Team's primary backstop last summer, would provide valuable depth off the bench.
Max Pentecost
Team Elite, 2009-10


First Base


Sam Travis, Indiana
(Cangelosi Baseball 2010, Bo Jackson Midwest 2009)

Hailing from Orland Park, Ill., Travis played for a pair of Chicago area travel teams in back-to-back years, Cangelosi Baseball and Bo Jackson Midwest, in 2010 and 2009 respectively. Drafted by the Reds in the 40th round of the 2011 draft, Travis took his talents to the University of Indiana, where he enjoyed immediate success at the plate in college on his way to being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He hit .316-10-57 with 22 doubles as a sophomore helping to carry the Hoosiers to their first-ever appearance in the College World Series, the first Big Ten team to make it to Omaha since Michigan did in 1984. Travis also served as Team USA's primary first baseman last summer, and factors into the top 3-5 rounds of next year's draft.



Second Base

Joey Pankake, South Carolina
(Royals Baseball Club 2010, Carolina Cyclones 2009)

After being selected by the Rangers in the 42nd round of the 2011 draft, Pankake was part of a talented recruiting class in 2010-11, and made an immediate impact for the South Carolina Gamecocks during his freshman year. He served as the team's everyday shortstop on their way to finishing as the runner-up (Arizona) in the 2011 College World Series after finishing as college baseball national championship each of the previous two years. Known best for his versatility and his steady glove in the middle of the infield, he added offensive firepower to his game as a sophomore, hitting .311-11-42 while finishing second on the team in each of those categories.


Third Base

Alex Bregman, Louisiana State
(FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout Team 2011)

A 2011 Perfect Game All-American, Bregman would have been drafted much higher than the 29th round (Red Sox) in 2012 if it weren't for a broken finger that essentially ended his senior year in high school. Prior to the injury, Bregman was part of a loaded FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout Team at the 2011 WWBA World Championship that included fellow PG All-Americans Albert Almora, David Dahl and Jesse Winker. At the time Bregman was considered the best pure hitter of the four, and laid claim to that by hitting .369-6-52 while powering Louisiana State to another CWS appearance during his freshman season. He was also named Perfect Game's Freshman Player of the Year and figures to be one of the first players selected in the 2015 draft.


Nevada's Austin Byler (Rays Scout Team 2010) would provide depth at both infield corners.


Trea Turner
Palm Beach PAL, 2010
Shortstop

Trea Turner, NC State
(Palm Beach PAL 2010)

Although Carlos Rodon (listed below) received more attention for the dominance he displayed during his freshman year at NC State, Turner proved to be equally effective, and was an asset defensively, offensively and on the basepaths. The fleet-footed shortstop swiped 57 bases in 61 attempts, adding another 30 steal in 36 attempts as a sophomore. He has also hit .351 (171-for-487) collectively between his first two seasons for the Wolfpack prior to manning shortstop for the Collegiate National Team last summer. Should he continue to display his well-rounded skills and overall productivity, Turner factors to be taken in the top 10 overall picks of the 2014 draft.



Outfield

Derek Fisher, Virginia
(Royals Baseball Club 2010)
Austin Cousino, Kentucky
(Midland Redskins/Kansas City Royals Scout Team 2009)
Mike Papi, Virginia
(Baseball U 2010, East Coast PG Gray 2009)


Fisher really made a name for himself in Jupiter three years ago, and is named to this team for the second straight year. He is joined by his Cavaliers teammate Mike Papi, and while Fisher is the more known commodity in regards to his pro talent after being selected in the sixth round by the Rangers in the 2011 draft, Papi has been more productive during his collegiate career. Papi, who was drafted by the Angels in the 30th round of the 2011 draft, led the ACC in batting (.381) a year ago. He also finished second in the nation in on-base percentage (.517), and both Fisher and Papi have returned to campus to lead a loaded Cavaliers lineup and overall team.  Fisher hit .293-7-48 as a sophomore prior to being named the No. 4 prospect in the Cape Cod League this past summer, as compared to Papi's (who was named the No. 6 prospect in the Northwoods League) .381-7-57 line.

Patrolling center field in between Virginia's corner outfield duo is Kentucky's Austin Cousino, who led the Wildcats in hitting (.319) during the team's upstart 2012 season in which they finished 45-18, yet were bumped by the equally upstart Kent State team in Regional play. Cousino didn't have as productive as a sophomore year (.249) yet still managed to make his presence felt by getting on base at a .383 clip while leading the team in runs (42) and swiping 14 bases in 15 attempts after going 15-for-16 on the basepaths his freshman year.


Utility

Dylan Davis
Texas Scout Team Yankees, 2010
Dylan Davis, Oregon State
(Texas Scout Team Yankees 2010)

Although Davis has seen more time at the plate as a sweet-swinging outfielder, his two-way talents have long been known. Taking the mound at the 2010 WWBA World Championship for the Texas Scout Team Yankees, Davis threw 89-93 mph heat, touching 94 a handful of times after posting a personal best 96 mph at the 2010 PG All-American Classic. Although he has thrown only 10 1/3 innings for the Beavers collectively the last two years, his fastball has flirted with triple digits. At the plate Davis led Oregon State to Omaha with a .335 batting average, hitting 22 doubles and five home runs while driving in 61 and playing sound defense in the outfield.



Starting Pitchers

Carlos Rodon, NC State
(Royals Baseball Club 2010)
Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
(NY PG Dark Green 2010)
Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt
(Canes 2009, Farrah Builders 2008)

Aaron Nola, Louisiana State
(Marucci Elite 2010)

This marks the second year in a row that Rodon appears in this feature thanks to his standout college career. Considered the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2014 draft for over a year thanks to a mid- to upper-90s fastball and wicked mid- to upper-80s slider, Rodon threw a more modest 86-90 peaking at 91 as a member of the talent Royals baseball Club in Jupiter at the 2010 WWBA World Championship. While he wasn't considered to be the same kind of prospect in high school that he is now, his talents were still well known, and he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 2011 draft, but would have been selected higher if he wasn't considered a near-lock to honor his commitment to NC State.

Although he has been slower to develop as a premium prospect, East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman has enjoyed a similar rapid emergence after his standout summer season on the Cape. Still ultra-projectable, Hoffman stood at 6-foot-3 and 160-pounds at the 2010 event, where he threw 82-86 with his fastball peaking at 89 mph. He obviously was just starting to scratch the surface on his potential while playing for the NY PG Dark Green squad.

The third power arm to man this staff of college all-stars is Tyler Beede, a 2010 PG All-American who was selected in the first round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, but turned down first-round money to attend Vanderbilt and further his career as a student-athlete. Beede actually didn't play in Jupiter during his senior year in high school, but did so during his sophomore and junior years with the Canes and Farrah Builders in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Built tall and projectable, Beede continues to add strength to his frame while also adding velocity to his mid-90s fastball, which sat in the low-90s in high school yet frequently peaked at 93-94. Also armed with a polished changeup, Beede looks to make the final tuneups between now and next June where he is expected to be selected among the top 10-15 overall picks.

Nick Burdi
Rangers Midwest Scout Team, 2010
Following a trio of starters that frequently sit in the mid-90s while touching several ticks higher, Nola's game is predicated off of his command and ability to carve up opposing hitters by hitting his spots and changing speeds. That's not to suggest that he's a soft tosser, as the LSU Friday ace sits in the upper-80s to low-90s with his fastball, dialing it up to 93-94 on occasion. Nola was essentially the same pitcher for Marucci Elite three years ago in Jupiter, where he pitched off of his 87-90 mph fastball while mixing in both a low-80s changeup and mid-70s curveball to keep hitters honest.

Chris Ellis (Ole Miss, Royals Baseball Club 2010), Luke Weaver (Florida State, Chet Lemon's Juice 2009-10), Dillon Peters (Texas, Midland Redskins/Kansas City Royals Scout Team 2009-10, Royals Baseball Club 2008) and Daniel Mengden (Texas A&M, Houston Heat 2008-10) add proof to the depth of talented pitching the WWBA World Championship boasts on an annual basis.



Closer

Nick Burdi, Louisville
(Rangers Midwest Scout Team 2010, Marucci Elite 2009)

Burdi's profile is perfect for the role of closer, with two dominant pitches that were on display for the Rangers Midwest Scout Team three years ago. Then, Burdi threw 94-96 with his fastball and also dialed his slider up to 91. Now Burdi regularly peaks at 100 mph, sitting in the upper-90s, while mixing in his slider that is virtually impossible to hit when thrown as well as he can. He posted video game type numbers during his sophomore season at Louisville, posting 16 saves with a microscopic 0.76 ERA. In 35 2/3 innings he allowed only three earned runs while striking out 62 hitters. Burdi's younger brother Zach, who will also be attending Louisville, threw in the 86-90 range at last year's WWBA World Championship pitching for the Chicago Scouts Association.



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