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Tournaments : : Story
16u WWBA Day 6 notes
Jheremy Brown        
Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Editor's 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.

Having 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.

Throwing 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.

A 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 the summer.

Ashcraft 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.

He 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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