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Tournaments : : Story
Florida Qualifier Day 3 notes
David Rawnsley        
Published: Monday, October 07, 2013

Here’s further proof that pitchers' raw stuff can improve at any point and often for no discernible reason. The Orlando Scorpions 2014 lefthander Colton Campbell threw in his 20th Perfect Game event last night. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound southpaw topped out at 82 mph at this event last year and was still only topping out at 84 mph at the WWBA 17u Memorial Day tournament. Scorpions coach Matt Gerber says he was solidly in the mid-80s all summer for the Scorpions. Last night Campbell was 87-91 for four innings to go with a mid-70s breaking ball and an 80 mph changeup. Gerber says there are big name schools scrambling to try to open up scholarship money in advance of the November signing date.

A couple of young 2015 Scorpions pitchers showed solid arms while I was watching. Lefthander Nick Swan has a polished delivery and good arm action and was up to 85 mph with a sharp breaking curveball. Righthander Ryan Welsh is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound classic projection right hander with a present mid-80s fastball and a loose, easy arm action.

Watching highly ranked 2015 shortstop Brendan Rodgers hit is always a pleasure as it seems to come so easily to him. He looks like he’s grown some in the last few months and is stronger to go with it.

Scorpions third baseman Cody Brickhouse attends Sarasota High School but was playing for the Scorpions at this event, which created some light hearted moments when he faced up against his Sarasota High School teammates in the Scorpions/Sarasota quarterfinal matchup. Brickhouse is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound righthanded hitter with very good strength and power and is definitely a young prospect to keep an eye on.

Jacksonville Warriors first baseman and outfielder Keenan Bell is listed in the PG database as a 2015 but we’re told he is actually a sophomore at Stanton College Prep. He’s also listed at 6-foot-1, 210-pounds but appears to be closer to 6-foot-3 at first glance. What is known for sure is that the young lefthanded hitter has a nice swing with tons of power potential. He blasted a triple off the right field wall at the Twins complex Sunday morning and consistently takes a strong, full swing.

I neglected to mention a precocious young freshman righthander I saw Saturday morning in yesterday’s notes. Robert Touron attends Gulliver Schools along with the rest of his South Florida Raiders teammates. He’s a slender and projectable 6-foot-1, 170-pounds and has a loose, easy arm action that accelerates quickly through release. He was up to 84 mph Saturday and showed a mature three-pitch mix, with a very nice 73 mph changeup and a curveball that flashed hard spin but was a bit twisty out front at times.

2015 shortstop Jose Rivera from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy Yellow team showed nice actions at shortstop with soft, quick hands. He made a couple of difficult plays look routine Sunday morning against the Scorpions with advanced footwork that put him in perfect position to make quick, accurate throws.

I didn’t see him pitch but our Perfect Game field scout told me about a 6-foot-7, 180-pound righthanded pitcher on CBC 16U Riverhawks who is a player to watch. Jack Becker is a 2015 from Mandarin High School in Jacksonville; he topped out at 85 mph with good downhill plane, a good arm action and solid overall mechanics to build on.

One of the more interesting young pitchers I saw all weekend was 2016 lefthander Andrew Baker from Chet Lemon’s Juice and Haines City High School. Baker isn’t very big at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds but he has a very fast arm that produced a fastball that was consistently 85-87 mph with frequent sharp cutting action. His breaking ball was a 75-78 mph slider that was nasty at times as well. I couldn’t help thinking of former MLB southpaw Chuck McElroy when watching Baker throw four solid innings.

One of the first players I mentioned in the scout notes on Friday was FTB Chandler 2015 first baseman and righthanded pitcher Jason Heinrich, so I might as well finish up with him as well. Heinrich slammed a pair of home runs in Chandler’s first playoff win Sunday afternoon and the one I saw was a no-doubter to deep left centerfield on Brett Field at Terry Park. I’m also told he was up to 89 mph on the mound in a pool play game. He’s an exciting young prospect.



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