note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout
performers at this year's 16u WWBA National Championship. The
thoughts provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting
Coordinator Jheremy Brown during the event's sixth day.
thrown earlier in the week, righthanded pitcher Austin Bergner
(2016, Windermere, Fla.) worked two innings yesterday and cruised
through them, showing three above average pitches for strikes.
from a low effort, quick three-quarters arm slot, Bergner sat in the
90-92 mph range, repeats his mechanics well and is able to get some
run and sink on the pitch. The uncommitted Bergner worked downhill to
his glove side repeatedly, inducing ground ball contact when put in
play. He showed a good feel for his 11-to-5 curveball, keeping kids
off balance with sharp break and depth at 77 mph. Although he only
threw one, his changeup showed big potential at 84 mph with late
fading action while maintaining his arm action and speed.
relative unknown on the national scene, righthanded pitcher Graham
Ashcraft (2016, Brownsboro, Ala.) made a splash last week
participating in a USA event in North Carolina. From what I was able
to gather at the game, Ashcraft didn’t pitch too much this spring
and has steadily been gaining velocity throughout the early part of
made his Perfect Game debut on Wednesday and didn’t disappoint,
showing a quick arm from a lower three-quarters slot, helping to
create late run and sink to his fastball. Sitting in the upper-80s,
touching 90 mph, Ashcraft recorded a majority of his outs via ground
ball contact, with eight of the first 12 outs staying on the ground
in the infield. With a strong 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame, Ashcraft
showed impressive arm strength, and as he continues to polish his
mechanics and keep his front side closed a bit longer he will develop
even more velocity.
also showed a sinker at 84-85 mph with hard, late life to it from a
lower arm slot, but like his fastball, he showed the ability to work
it to both sides of the plate. To round out the three-pitch mix,
Ashcraft showed an upper-70s slider with tight spin and depth at
times. The arm strength with Ashcraft is obvious showing a quick arm
and will certainly be one to follow as he cleans up his mechanics and
is able to repeat consistently.
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