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17u WWBA Day 4 notes

Tournaments : : Story
Jheremy Brown        
Published: Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Editor's note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout performers at this year's 17u WWBA National Championship. The thoughts provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting Coordinator Jheremy Brown during the event's fourth day.

It’s been a big transformation for Jeff Belge (2016, Syracuse, N.Y.) from last summer to this summer, as his frame has become more physical and he has begun to use his lower half better in his delivery, resulting in more velocity. In last year’s 16u WWBA National Championship, Belge was working in the 84-85 mph range with his fastball. Reports from this past spring out of Syracuse indicate that Belge had been topping out at 94 mph.

In yesterday’s start the first pitch to leave the lefthanded Belge’s hand was a 93 mph fastball, and he worked between 89-92 mph throughout his two-inning stint. The ball comes out of his hand cleanly and projects for more velocity, especially as he continues to add strength to his 6-foot-6 frame. In yesterday’s outing Belge was working across his body a bit which led to inconsistencies in his release point, causing him to miss high and out with his fastball.

Once he becomes more on-line with his delivery and gets over his front side to establish his fastball for strikes, the St. John’s commit will be able to use his off-speed pitches more effectively, both of which showed potential. He threw his changeup at 83-84 mph with fade from the same arm slot and worked it low in the zone. When he stays on top of his curveball it showed nice 1-to-7 shape with depth, but like with his fastball, he would occasionally pull it across his body, causing it to lose it’s shape.

With the ease in which Belge is able to generate velocity and maintain it, he will be that much more effective once he irons out his lower half, and projects for even more velocity in the future.

Andrew Baker
(2016, Tavares, Fla.) is a quick-twitch athlete that has the potential to make an impact as a freshman as a true two-way player should he get to college. Yesterday he impressed with his defense in center field and on the bases. To get the scoring started for Chet Lemon’s Juice, Baker had a successful attempt of stealing home on a straight steal after noticing the pitcher was working from the wind up with two outs. It’s that same speed which allows Baker to cover vast amounts of ground in center which plays up even more so as he gets good reads and jumps on the ball off the bat.

Alex Kirilloff
(2016, New Kensington, Pa.) showed a natural feel for the barrel last October in Jupiter and has continued to do so in yesterday’s game. Batting in the middle of the order for Baseball U, the Liberty commit went 4-for-4, with contact to all parts of the field. Rather than trying to do too much with the bat and roll over an outside pitch, Kirilloff would extend his arm and drive the ball the other way, which he did for two of his hits, including a double that even got over Andrew Baker’s head in left-center field for a stand-up double.

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