Patrick Ebert -- Sunday, August 11, 2013 -- 8:27 PM PDT
Tyler Kolek set a record at the Classic by peaking at 99 mph
Congrats to the West team for beating the East 8-6 in the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings. Jakson Reetz was named the game's MVP as the West pulled ahead in the 11-year series 6-4-1. Check back later for the full game score.
In the meantime, here are the peak pitching velocities:
Tyler Kolek – 99
Dylan Cease – 96
Touki Toussaint – 96
Grant Holmes – 95
Kodi Medeiros – 95
Brandon Murray – 95
Luis Ortiz – 95
Sean Reid-Foley – 95
Zack Shannon – 95
Justus Sheffield – 94
Joe Gatto – 93
Michael Kopech – 93
Keaton McKinney – 93
Brady Aiken – 92
Cobi Johnson – 92
Mac Marshall – 92
David Peterson – 92
Foster Griffin – 91
Devin Smeltzer – 89
Patrick Ebert -- Saturday, August 10, 2013 -- 1:03 AM PDT
Jakson Reetz peaked at 93 mph during his one inning appearance
Teams workout, East squeezes by West 3-2 in scrimmage
For as powerful message and overall experience it is annually to visit Rady Children's Hospital, and for as powerful of an impressive visiting the Mariners Corp. Air Station Miramar, the players and coaches were anxious to finally take the baseball field on Friday night as part of the event's first team practice and scrimmage.
Each team took batting practice to open the evening, which was conducted at newly (and beautifully) renovated Fowler Park at Cunningham Field, the University of San Diego's baseball field. After BP, each team took infield drills before taking part in a six-inning scrimmage.
Monte' Harrison, who continues to make strong impressions both on and off the field, is a dynamic three-sport athlete that has committed to play for Nebraska for football. For as relatively inexperienced as he is in baseball, he swings the bat incredibly well with great strength in the batter's box, and shines in all aspects of the game (he also made a strong impression during the day's visit to Ray Children's Hospital). Harrison has performed incredibly well all summer long and may be looking at yet another bump up Perfect Game's class of 2014 player rankings after his strong BP performance, and he also added a single that he smoked to right field in the scrimmage.
Trenton Kemp didn't get a hold of any balls during BP, but continually stung the ball hard.
You can see why onlookers are so excited by Marcus Wilson's future. Incredibly slender through the waist, Wilson has very impressive bat speed and very quick hands, giving him the ability to drive the ball a long, long way.
While Bryce Carter didn't put on a dramatic show of power during BP, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better looking left-handed swing.
Alex Jackson and Jon Littell, who hit the in same BP group as Carter, both squared up the ball consistently well and drove it to all parts of the park. While Jackson hit more line drive lasers, Littell showed the ability to use his impressive natural strength to add loft to his swing.
Justin Smith, similar to Trenton Kemp, also his fair share of screaming line drives during BP.
Carl Chester continues to prove that he's much more than just his world-class speed, although him sprinting from second to home in the scrimmage was one of the day's biggest highlights, as he drove the ball high and deep to left field consistently during BP, evidence of his budding power.
Gareth Morgan didn't hit too many right on the screws, but the ones that he did travelled well over the wall in left-center and left the ballpark in a hurry.
Justin Bellinger is a ridiculously large and strong individual for a soon-to-be high school senior. He hit the most balls out that drew the most audible gasps from the crowd.
Ti-Quan Forbes is nowhere near Bellinger in stature with rail-thin yet wiry strong, lanky limbs, but he can put a charge in the ball and it's easy to dream on what he may become once he adds more strength.
Michael Chavis hit the ball consistently hard, adding loft to his quick swing while muscling a few out of the park.
Reese Cooley, somewhat similar to Monte' Harrison, is a strong and physical overall athlete with the ability to put a charge in the ball and send it a long way.
The last batch to take BP was easily the most impressive collectively: Michael Gettys, Greg Deichmann, Braxton Davidson and Kel Johnson.
The ball makes a different sound off the bat of Gettys, and it travels a long, long way. There's an obvious confidence about Getty's swing and overall approach, and he's an extremely fun player to watch in a situation like this, as his incredibly arm strength was also on display as part of the pre-scrimmage infield.
Deichmann's power was well chronicled at the PG National Showcase at the Metrodome, and he continued to show that power stroke through BP.
Davidson is such an accomplished hitter, he makes everyone look easy in the batter's box routinely driving balls hard to right field.
Onto the scrimmage, a contest in which the score really doesn't matter, but one we still keep for the records (and one the players clearly take seriously, as every athlete wants to win no matter what the situation).
Due to the importance of keeping pitchers fresh since they will be taking the mound for one-inning appearances during Sunday's Classic, not a single hurler expected to throw Sunday made an appearance in the scrimmage. Instead, three primary position players from each team went one inning a piece, with one pitcher on each squad (Kiko Garcia and Aaron Pinto) being added to the scrimmage that aren't on the Classic rosters to help give the hitter's more plate appearances. Garcia and Pinto are from nearby Chula Vista and West Covina.
Here's a quick rundown of what the pitchers threw, starting with the West:
Jack Flaherty (inning 1): Pretty easy 88-91 mph heat. Worked quick and added quality 71-73 curveball, using one to freeze Reese Cooley to close out the frame.
Jakson Reetz (inning 2): Not only does he have one of the strongest and most accurate arms as a catcher, but he also pumped easy 91-93 mph heat with a sharp 79-81 mph slider. He would have great success in college, should he honor his commitment to Nebraska, if he went to campus and was allowed to perform both as a pitcher and as a position prospect.
Scott Hurst (inning 3): Surprising stuff for a smaller athlete, working at 88-91 with is fastball and mixing a pretty effective if not sharp 74-75 mph curveball.
Kiko Garcia (innings 4-6): Pitched 85-87 with his fastball and a slow 73 mph curve.
The East pitchers:
Nick Gordon (inning 1): No stranger to pitching, Gordon continued to show his electric arm strength by sitting at 899-92 with his fastball while dropping in his usually sharp 74-77 mph curveball, striking out a pair of batters.
Braxton Davidson (inning 2): Davidson also struck out a pair of batters, and was surprisingly effective with his 83-86 mph fastball from sneaky a low three-quarters delivery. He looked comfortable lulling hitters to sleep with his slow, upper-60s curveball before busting them up with his fastball.
Reese Cooley (inning 3): Cooley was mostly 85-87 mph, touching 88, with his fastball and also threw a fairly impressive upper-70s changeup.
Aaron Punto (innings 4-6): Using a 82-84 mph fastball, you could tell Punto was a little nervous facing the talent-laden Classic roster. That said, he did a nice job overall, recording three strikeouts in his three innings of work.
Some quick hitters from the rest of the scrimmage:
All-Americans get a “Top Gun” taste at Miramar
Montes de Oca happy to be part of program
SAN DIEGO -- The biggest player on either the East or West teams' rosters for Sunday's 11th annual Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings won't throw a pitch, swing a bat or field a ground ball at all this weekend.
But Lawrence (Kan.) High School senior and University of Missouri commit Bryce Montes de Oca is determined to make the most out of the PG All-American Classic opportunity that he has been presented with, even if Tommy John surgery performed in early April will keep him from competing.
"I'm very excited to be a part of this," Montes de Oca told PG after adding his autograph to All-American Classic posters, bats and balls and being fitted for his West Team uniform on Thursday afternoon.
"It's a great honor to be named to this team and even though I'm still hurt it's an honor to be able to come down here and attend the game," he said. "I'm going to do as much as I can, whatever that will be; I'm just happy to be here."
Montes de Oca, a right-hander listed at 6-feet-8 and 265 pounds, suffered ligament damage in his elbow while pitching in a high school game on April 4 and had the Tommy John surgical procedure performed on April 11. He is currently undergoing physical therapy that is set to be complete by the first week of September when he'll start a throwing program that will run into next February.
His surgeon was Dr. George Paletta, the head team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals' sports medicine department. Dr. Paletta's surgical techniques and rehab program have been successful with many major league players and Montes de Oca swears by him.
"I'm sticking with what (Paletta) tells me to do and I think that's the right thing to do," he said.
The rehab has involved a lot of band work and a lot of movement work in an effort to get his range of motion back. The process can be tedious at best at times, but Montes de Oca has persevered.
"It was frustrating at first, just trying to get use to not being able to play baseball," he said. "After awhile, probably the first few weeks, you just kind of learn how to deal with it and I've tried to find the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm trying to get something good out of it. I'm just working hard and trying to get better."
Montes de Oca was a little bit of an unknown on the national scene until he joined the Midland Redskins at last October's PG WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. He impressed the hundreds of scouts in attendance with a fastball that sat 93-95 mph complemented with a 78 mph curveball. He accomplished that despite coming off a less severe elbow injury the previous summer.
"I went down there and did well and that's when I kind of got (better) known," Montes de Oca said. "After that I was kind of progressing and working hard and just pitching; just doing what I can. And then the (high school) season came around and I got hurt, and I was back to square one."
"Square one" isn't as lonely of a place as it once was. Hundreds of you players at every level --position players and pitchers alike, from high schools, colleges and the professional ranks -- have come back stronger than ever from the Tommy John procedure. Montes de Oca is confident he will join the ranks of success stories.
"I know I will," he said when asked if he felt like he could be among the success stories. "I've worked very hard and I'm going to keep on doing that. Other people have had the surgery and they've either come back the same or even better and I'm determined to come back better than I where I was."
Montes de Oca has committed to the University of Missouri from the Southeastern Conference, noting that the Tigers were the first NCAA Division program to every contact him and stuck with him when he first experienced some elbow discomfort in the summer of 2012.
"That loyalty means a lot to me," he said. "They're progressing in the SEC and I have confidence in the coaches and everyone in the organization that they'll make the best decisions for me and for the team."
MLB scouting departments will follow Montes de Oca's recovery closely. His 6-foot-8 frame, previous velocity and even his smarts (he carries a 4.0 GPA at Lawrence High) will be hard for any MLB general manager to take a pass on in next June's First-Year Player Draft. Montes de Oca has memorized his best-case scenario time frame.
"I'm very confident that I will be 100 percent by (the draft)," he said. "My 10th month is my technical end to my surgery (recovery period) and that's when I should be 100 percent, but people know that it takes longer to get the feel (for pitching) back. By the time of the draft it will have been 13 or 14 months (since the surgery) so hopefully I'll be where I want to be ability-wise.
"I'm just doing what I can right now and I can't control what's going to happen; I can only control what's going on right now."