seems to have become a trend over the last month or two where a
pitcher in the 2014 class takes his game to the next level without
much forewarning. And with the Northeast teams beginning their season
with trips to Florida, Salisbury Prep righthander Austin DeCarr
(2014, Foxboro, Mass.) is doing his part to continue the rise.
to two weeks ago, before the word of DeCarr hitting 93-95 mph spread,
Perfect Game perhaps saw a glimpse of things to come at the East
Coast Professional Showcase last summer where DeCarr worked at 90-93
with his fastball, a slight improvement from the velocity he showed
throughout the summer.
the opening day of the Perfect Game High School Showdown, in front of
a large contingent of scouts, cross-checkers, and scouting directors,
DeCarr made all the right numbers pop on radar guns that everybody
was looking for. In the first inning the Clemson recruit came out
working his fastball in the 92-95 mph range from a three-quarters arm
slot and much easier arm action than last summer.
he was missing high on occasion with the higher velocity, he began to
pitch to his spots and work both inside and out very effectively.
After showing the big velocity in the first, DeCarr sat 89-92 with
his fastball over course of the next five innings with two pitches
that stood out. The first was the fastball DeCarr threw to end the
fifth inning, in a 3-2 count he came inside to a righthanded hitter,
freezing him with a 93 mph fastball called third strike. The second
was merely a testament to his off-season training and adding muscle
to his 6-foot-4 frame as DeCarr popped a 94 mph fastball in his final
inning of work, especially impressive for a Northeast pitcher still
getting warmed up.
good as the fastball was for DeCarr, his curveball was equally
effective, and when he stayed on top of the pitch it showed true plus
potential. When thrown in the upper-70s the curveball shows hard,
late 11-to-5 break with nice depth to it. He got under the pitch at
times causing it to lose its shape, but for the majority of the
outing DeCarr showed two well above average pitches. He also mixed in
a two-seam fastball with life to his arm side in the 88-90 range and
flashed a changeup in warm ups which showed fading life at 85 mph.
John Toffey has a few interesting bats in his lineup, led by his
younger brother and Vanderbilt commit Will Toffey (2014,
Barnstable, Mass.). A lefthanded hitter, Toffey – like most of the
Salisbury lineup – was shifting his weight to his front side early
with the velocity they were facing and were hitting off their front
foot a little bit. Toffey was still able to show his strength to all
fields, flying out deep to the left-center field gap and hitting a
ground rule double in his last at-bat to right-center field.
George Hewitt (2015,
Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Ryan January
(2016, Swampscott, Mass.) are both players who are intriguing
and will draw attention over the next two years. January shows quick
hands and a fast bat from the left side while Hewitt has the athletic
frame scouts can dream on as he continues to add strength.
Morgan (2014, Toronto, Ontario) may not have filled up the box
score or hit the long ball like some were hoping, but positive things
did come out of the Ontario Blue Jays first game for the North
Carolina State commit. Last week when Perfect Game saw the
All-American in Arizona he was taking himself out of at-bats early in
the count by swinging at first pitch curveballs in the dirt, giving
all the leverage to the pitcher the rest of the way. Morgan took some
healthy cuts yesterday but they were on his own terms as he laid off
several close pitches and ended up drawing three walks in his four
Zachary Pop (2014, Brampton, Ontario) also delivered a
stronger performance than when we saw him last week in Arizona, where
he was still fine by all means. But in the Florida weather with a
later start in the afternoon, Pop came out firing, topping 93 mph
with his fastball once early on, and consistently worked his fastball
90-91 with a handful of 92's popping up regularly. His arm action is
very loose, and despite throwing from a lower arm slot, Pop is able
to command both sides of the plate extremely well. I saw one changeup
– although I was bouncing from field to field at the time – at 80
mph low in the zone and didn’t see a slider, although he threw the
pitch in the 78-80 mph range in Arizona.
Freure (2015, Burlington, Ontario) came on to close the game for
the Ontario Blue Jays and did just that, retiring three straight
batters to seal the victory. Freure sat at 88 mph with his fastball,
once dropping to 87 and once climbing up to 90. He has a strong and
mature 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame with a short arm action in the back.
Freure creates nice angles while working downhill with slight run to
his arm side. The last pitch he threw to end the game was his first
off-speed pitch, a slider at 77 mph that showed some 10-to-4 break.
Sixto Torres (2015, Jacksonville, Fla.) has a strong 6-foot-5
frame and ran his fastball up to 89 mph yesterday for Arlington
Country Day. It appears as though Torres has reclassified to the 2015
class as well.
top 50 player in the 2015 class, righthanded pitcher and third
baseman Austin Riley (Hernando, Miss.) put on a strong
performance on both sides of the ball last night in DeSoto’s
opening night victory. At a very strong 6-foot-3, 227-pounds, Riley
would blend into any elite level college program, or any minor league
team for that matter.
the game on the mound, Riley came out throwing 89-90 while touching
91 mph with heavy and late arm-side run on his fastball, which he
commanded well to both sides of the plate. His arm action is short
and compact with a slight wrap in the back. The ball comes out of his
hand clean and he repeats his balanced delivery well. Riley
maintained the 89-91 velocity throughout the entire game, and touched
92 in the in the fifth. When Riley kept his fastball low in the zone,
he was unhittable given the combination of command and late life on
also mixed in two off-speed pitches very well. His go-to pitch was a
12-to-6 curveball with nice depth and tight spin, and he showed the
ability to locate the pitch to the glove side extremely well and with
intent. The Mississippi State commit also showed a changeup at 75-77
mph with slight fade to his arm side.
was just as impressive with the bat, showing excellent bat speed by
turning on an inside 88 mph fastball and drilling it down the left
field line for a double.
Casey (2014, Southhaven, Miss.) of DeSoto Central and Luke
Bonfield (2014, Skillman, N.J.) of IMG Academy both attracted
scouts to the night game at JetBlue Park and showed some positive
things. Casey displayed a patient approach at the plate, drawing two
walks in his first two at-bats before staying on a fastball and
lining it up the middle late in the game. That shot came off the bat
at 93 mph. He stole second base in 3.34 seconds, showing off his
speed and newly transformed body, shaping his football muscle into
lean baseball muscle.
Bonfield manned right field for the Ascenders and looked good doing
it, tracking fly balls well with proper routes. His arm wasn’t
challenged but it looked good in pre-game warmups and showed strength
on all his throws in, clearly aware of the contingent of scouts
than run through each player on the DeSoto roster, it would be
easiest to describe them as a team rather than individually, as each
player is strong and uses that strength in their swing. They don’t
try to do too much with the ball and use the simple approach “hit
it where it’s pitched….HARD!”