Dahn Day 2 features: L.T. Tolbert
| Hogan Harris
MYERS, Fla. – Jahmai
Jones is surrounded by athletes in his family.
older brother Tai-ler played wide receiver for Notre Dame and was
recently selected by the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft. His other
older brother, Malachi Jones, is a wide receiver at Appalachian
State. His little sister Jayla, 11, is preparing to try out for the
U.S. Jr. Olympic equestrian team. And Jahmai’s father, Andre, was a
part of Lou Holtz’s Notre Dame team that won the 1988 National
this weekend at the 2014 PG National Showcase in Fort Myers is all
about Jahmai displaying his baseball talent with and against the
country’s best high school players. Jones had already displayed
that talent during outfield drills on the first day, throwing a 92
mph strike from right field to home plate. Jones is listed as the No.
5 overall prospect for the class of 2015 and the No. 2 outfielder
behind top prospect Dazmon Cameron, who also is in attendance at the
PG National Showcase.
said he prepared himself for the National by getting advice from
players who participated last year.
talked to former friends who have been here before, like last year’s
people,” Jones said. “They just told me to stay calm and not to
treat this as something that needs to be high pressured or I need to
put more stress on myself.
I want to move on to the next level, I’m going to be facing talent
like this every day. So it’s not something that I need to stress
about or get worried about. If you strike out, it’s a strikeout.
It’s not the end of the world. They told me to stay calm and play
year at the Jr. National Showcase, where Jones was a participant, PG
scouts wrote the following:
hard and creates good bat speed, ball comes off barrel very hard, has
very high ceiling hitting tools. 6.62 runner, quick twitch fast feet,
plays lighter and smaller than his size on defense. Plays with a high
energy level and enjoys the game.
6-foot, 210-pound outfielder attends Wesleyan High School in Georgia
and has committed to the University of North Carolina, a school that
felt like another family the moment he stepped on campus.
went on a visit and right when I stepped on campus, I kind of knew
there was different feeling than any other college that I’ve been
on,” Jones said. “It was a great experience. I went up there, I
loved the campus, loved the coaches and all the facilities that they
have there. I mean North Carolina is a place I always looked to go to
coaching staff there is amazing and I feel like they’re going to
treat me like family and I can’t wait to be a part of the Tar Heel
mother, Michelle, accompanied him during his visit to Chapel Hill and
said she could tell right away her son wanted to go to UNC.
love them [UNC]. I loved everybody that we met with,” Michelle
Jones said. “The coaching staff is awesome, they’re so nice. They
spent the whole day with us and showed us around, and they really
didn’t have to.”
got in the car and he kept looking at me and I could tell something
was going on,” Michelle said of her son's reaction with a smile.
“He goes ‘this feels like home, this feels right’ and I said
just wait a day. We got in the car on our way home and he says ‘no
this just feels right’ and I said we'll call them then.”
Jahmai, family has been an important value all his life. He said he’s
always been close to all of his family members, a unit that became
even closer in 2011 as they came together for support after Andre
Jones passed away due to a brain aneurysm.
pretty close; we’re a family that has become closer due to certain
events, like my dad passing away,” Jones said. “We became pretty
close from that.”
will take advantage of every opportunity presented to him and not
take anything for granted. He’s grateful to participate in the PG
National Showcase and thanks everyone around him.
a great feeling just being recognized as one of the top 300 players
in the nation,” he said. “It’s just a great honor being able to
showcase my talent and just show everyone around me who I am and how
much love I have for the game. I have to thank everybody; my mom, my
coaches, everybody around me, friends, family and God especially.
Without Him, I definitely don’t know where I’d be.”
the third straight year the Perfect Game National Showcase is
available for everyone to watch online. The live stream to all of the
workouts, batting practice sessions, and games, and the archives for
each if you can't watch them in real time, can be found on iHigh's
dedicated Perfect Game page:
threat of rain and lightning delayed the beginning of Day 2 by
roughly 90 minutes, but things kicked off with a bang starting with
the beginning of Game 4. Three games in total were played on the day,
leading up to teams 7-10 participating in their rounds of drills.
of the better defensive plays of the day was made by Navy shortstop
Carter Hall, who made a nice backhanded play on a ball hit deep to
the hole at shortstop and promptly fired a strike to first to throw
out the runner.
Jovani Moran came out firing in Game 4, filling the strike zone 86-88
mph fastballs and mid-70s curves. In his second inning of work he
showed his confidence and aggressiveness, climbing the ladder with an
88 mph fastball to strikeout Brendan Rodgers swinging.
next batter however, Ke'Bryan Hayes – the son of former big league
third baseman Charlie Hayes – laced a base hit to right field and
easily cruised into second base. After Hayes' extra-base hit the
powerfully built Josh Naylor stepped up to the plate and absolutely
crushed a 75 mph curveball that landed just shy of the 420-foot mark
in the park, easily a home run at just about any other field that
wound up being a stand-up triple on this day.
settled back down to strike out the final batter he faced, the
hot-hitting Kep Brown, swinging on another 88 mph fastball.
in the game Brown picked up where he left off on Day 1 by hitting a
double high off of the wall in left-center field and is enjoying a
very solid National Showcase.
outfielder Marquise Doherty ripped a double down the third base line
for a stand-up double in the third inning, although he was quickly
retired by Navy catcher Victor Valentin on a stolen base attempt.
Fortes followed Doherty with a sharp single hit through the left side
of the infield and later hit a double to right-center field in the
seventh. He also threw out a baserunner in the game.
Davis absolutely crushed a ball in the fifth inning that banged hard
off of the Nike The
Future Gets Faster
banner hung at the top of the replica Green Monster.
big hits stood out the most in Game 4, one big righthander left the
most lasting impression of the pitchers that took the mound in this
contest. Derek West, at 6-foot-5, 230-pounds, stood out immediately
for his size alone, employing an old school, roundhouse delivery that
produced easy 90-92 mph heat early in his outing. Although he dropped
to the upper-80s later in the inning, and even threw in the mid-80s
in his second inning of work, his upside was obvious. With a high
waist, long legs and the ease in which he throws, it's easy to
envision him throwing consistently harder with more experience and
focus quickly returned back to the pitchers in Game 5 of the
National, the second game of the day, as Gold starter Brock Love
squared off against Crimson starter Andy Pagnozzi, the son of former
big league catcher Tom Pagnozzi.
threw the ball harder of the two, throwing his fastball consistently
in the 89-91 mph range, with more 91's than 89's. He also mixed in
some big-breaking, slow curveballs as well in the 72-74 mph range,
and offers future promise thanks to his projectable 6-foot-3,
showed his usual ultra-competitive approach, going right after
hitters with his 86-89 mph fastball and power upper-70s curve. He got
hit around a little in his second inning of work, but it's hard not
to admire his polish.
Tucker and Ryan Mountcastle, two of the better hitters in attendance,
provided the offense against Pagnozzi. Tucker, a lefthanded hitter,
laced a double to left field in which he simply flicked his wrists
out to make contact and go with the pitch, slapping it down the third
base line. Mountcastle followed Tucker with a booming shot to
right-center field that resulted in an RBI triple.
Andritsos, a powerfully built righthanded pitcher, who also offers a
powerful swing from the batter's box, pitched innings 3-4 in Game 5
for the Gold squad. With a broad-shouldered, 6-foot-4, 230-pound
build, you can't miss him on the field, and he matches his size with
a power approach that includes a 90-94 mph fastball and upper-70s
curve. Andritsos went right after hitters, attacking them mostly with
his fastball, recording quite a few 93's, and overall looked very
hitting lefthanded hitting catcher Chris Betts, who also showed off
his arm strength behind the dish in the Day 1 workouts, hit a shot to
center field that landed in a similar spot as Josh Naylor's blast
from the previous game, just shy of the 420-mark. That blast also
resulted in a standup triple that would have been a no-doubt home run
in just about any other ballpark. Overall Betts has looked very good
both at the plate and behind it during game action.
a recurring theme of big hits, Connor Kaiser, who also looked good
when he took the mound for his two-inning stint on Day 1, showed off
his two-way skills by hitting a ball hard to left field for a double.
third game of the day, Game 6 overall, welcomed the first pitcher to
top 95 mph, registering 96 numerous times. Beau Burrows was the
hurler responsible for the heat wave, a player that has lit up radar
guns several times since peaking at the same 96 mph last summer at
the 16u WWBA National Championship in Marietta, Ga. He also mixed in
a promising low-80s curveball that has the makings of being a true
hammer with more development.
of the starters for Game 6 also recorded notable radar readings.
Orange starter Dylan Cyphert, a lefthander, pumped in quite a few 92
mph fastballs while sitting at 90-92 during his two-inning stint.
Cyphert is a good looking athlete with a lean build, and initially
was throwing darts with a free and easy delivery before running into
trouble in his second inning of work.
Ivey was the starter for the Black team, and stood out instantly
thanks to his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. He's especially projectable
thanks to his long and lean, well-tapered frame with an easy, live
and loose arm. There was some added deception to his delivery which
had some extra parts moving to it, working in the low-90s with a low-
to mid-70s curveball.
LeGrant, playing shortstop for the Orange team, made a nice diving
stab of a line drive to his glove side, getting up to flip the ball
to his second baseman to complete an inning ending double play.
noted above, teams 7-10 reported to the PG National on Day 2 of the
event, taking part of the workout drills in addition to batting
practice to close out the day.
this day the catchers in particular stood out, with numerous players
recording POP times right around 1.80 seconds.
DiCarprio's arm strength stood out of this group, and while his 78
mph throw was plenty good, it was his 1.78 POP time that really
caught people's attention with his quick release and online, accurate
throws to second base.
Gilliam threw 91 mph from first base, just a few ticks below Josh
Naylor's all-time event record of 93 mph from the day before. Wesley
Rodriguez matched Brendan Rodgers' 93 mph infield throw for the best
velocity at this year's event, and Luke Eigsti joined the 95 mph club
from the outfield.
players from this group posted 60-yard dash times better than the
collective efforts of the first group from Day 1, with speedster
Alonzo Jones once again wowing observers by running the dash in 6.17
seconds on the outfield grass, which caused his running mate and the
No. 1 prospect from the 2015 class, Dazmon Cameron, to seemingly pull
up from his own impressive run in amazement.
Zech (6.39), Lucius Fox Jr. (6.41), Deacon Liput (6.51) and Nicholas
Shumpert (6.52) posted the next four best times.
Red team took batting practice first among the four teams that
reported on Day 2, a roster full of wiry strong, slender athletes
that put on surprising displays of power.
they don't fall under the category of wiry strong, slender athletes,
John Aiello, Bryant Harris and Isiah Gilliam put on the most
impressive displays from the batter's box from the Red squad, a team
that is likely to display some offensive firepower once their games
begin on Saturday.
currently ranked No. 3 in the high school class of 2015 player
rankings, is an impressive overall athlete with power from both sides
of the plate. He routinely smoked the ball, both in the form of hard
line drives to all parts of the field and towering drives to the
gaps. Already strong with a physique that resembles those you see at
the big league level at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, it's easy to envision
Aiello getting even stronger as he matures physically.
also a switch hitter, showed two completely different yet equally
powerful swings from each side of the plate. He looks to be a better
pure hitter from the right side, and the ball made a different sound
off his bat as he routinely smoked the ball to left and left-center
field. From the left side of the batter's box he added more loft and
pure pull power down the right field line, hitting a pair of balls
well over the wall in right field.
situation is unprecedented, as he was unexpectedly named eligible for
the 2014 draft this past spring, was taken in the 23rd round by the Cubs in the draft last week, and still opted to attend
this year's National.
was one of the strongest athletes to take the field today, with very
good present strength and easy power. The ball jumped off of his bat
as he too hit the ball consistently hard and is one of the better
pure hitters in his class.
Pickett of the Steel team also stood out for his obvious natural
strength and overall power potential. He, like Harris, looks like a
he was born to hit the ball hard, routinely peppering the gaps with
towering shots as a lefthanded hitter.
trio of hitters from the Texas Orange squad stood out, starting with
catcher Elih Marrero, who also shined with strong throws behind the
plate during the infield drills. Marrero packs some serious juice in
his compactly strong, 5-foot-9, 190-pound frame. He also switch hits,
showing exciting power potential from both sides of the plate, and
was recently named the MVP of the 18u WWBA East Memorial Day Classic
by posting video-game type numbers for the event co-champion Elite
Squad 17u Prime.
Shumpert, yet another highly ranked shortstop in the high school
class of 2015 – a strength that is going to be discussed at great
lengths between now and next year's draft – also shined in the
batter's box. He crushed one ball out and over the replica Green
Monster in left field, and also displayed nice opposite field power
to the gap in right-center.
most impressive display in batting practice may very well have been
by outfielder Daniel Reyes, who generates excellent extension from
his well built 6-foot-2, 200-pound stature. He consistently hit the
ball hard, with the ball making a different sound off of his bat than
almost all of the other hitters that took the field on this day. He
crushed three balls well out and over the Monster, and also posted
solid workout results with an 88 mph throw from the outfield and a
6.72 second 60-yard dash during drills.
view detailed game results and results from the Day 2 workouts please
visit the PG National scout blogs:
2014 PG National Showcase scout blog