The Perfect Game World Uncommitted Showcase featured sixty high school seniors in Fort Myers, Florida for the January 3rd/4th weekend. The players came from all over the continent including four from the Canadian province of Ontario and one from the Dominican Republic.
Though none of these players has made a commitment at this time, we expect a good number to play somewhere at the next level. The players in the Top-10 are the ones we deem to have the most potential to play Division I.
Essentially every position is represented as we have four primary pitchers (all righthanded), four infielders, an outfielder, and a catcher.
The rankings are based primarily on their projected value to a college, not necessarily on professional prospectus. I was assisted by my Perfect Game staff colleagues in compiling this list:
1. Vince Howard, OF, Sikeston HS (Mo.) 5-10, 185 S/R
Howard hit the ball hard all weekend including an opposite field triple from the left side. He showed the compact swing(s) to handle good D1 pitching and also ran a laser-timed 6.64 60 yard-dash. With improved footwork, he should have a center fielder’s arm and also good range for a D1 program.
2. Beau Buckler, 3B/RHP, Norcross HS (Ga.) 6-3, 190 R/R
Buckler has the most upside of the group. A very athletic and projectable-bodied 6-3, Buckler was very smooth defensively and showed a solid-average major league arm. Despite below-average MLB speed (7.3 60 yd), Buckler’s feet work well at third base. The stick is slower to come along, but he generates some bat-speed and has good balance at the plate. The raw tools are there to become a good draft pick out of college.
3. Dillon Cordell, RHP, Cardinal Mooney HS (Fla.) 6-1, 185 RR
Cordell threw consistently in the mid-80s with a sharp downer curveball. But what stood out most was his pitchability. Cordell carved up opposing hitters and yielded nothing but grounders. His delivery was sound and athletic, with fluid arm-action going over-the-top. Cordell can help a small D1 or high-D2 immediately and there’s enough projection to make him a potential draft in 2012 or 2013.
4. Phillip Steer, SS/2B, Father McGivney SS (Scarborough, Ont.) 5-9, 160 R/R
The live-bodied middle infielder played with high energy and was a pesky out. Steer showed a quick bat and ran a solid 6.8 60 yd. He projects as a plus defensive second baseman at the high-D1 level with the possibility of playing shortstop despite a long release on his throws. Steer could turn into a #1/#2 hitter in the lineup.
5. Israel Hernandez, SS, Brito Miami Private HS (Fla.) 6-2, 185 R/R
The long, lanky Hernandez showed body control and a future average major league arm for the infield. His mature approach at the plate gives him a chance to become a solid high-D1 hitter as well. With a body that’s screaming for projection, Hernandez will get stronger in the coming years. He ran a 7.02 60 yard-dash.
6. Jacob Dameron, RHP, Bartlett Yancey HS (N.C.) 6-0, 188 R/R
Dameron showcased a heavy 81-86 MPH fastball that opponents couldn’t hit in the air. He’s a very good athlete with a smooth delivery. Dameron’s second pitch, a curveball, should also become quality for mid- or high-D1. His easy arm-action gives him a chance to throw harder down the road.
7. Ian Graham, C, Greater Atlanta Christian HS (Ga.) 5-10, 190 R/R
The best catcher of the group, Graham played hard and showed he can more than handle the backstop defensively for a big school. Graham showed good hands and popped in the 1.9s during the workout. Graham also hit well over the weekend and made adjustments at the plate.
8. Kyle Robertson, RHP, Granite City HS (Ill.) 6-4, 230 L/R
The large-bodied righty worked quickly and threw 81-85 MPH with good sink. He also showed a downward curveball that will improve to a quality D1 pitch. Robertson will have to watch his weight with age, but he’s plenty strong and likely durable for the long run.
9. Nate White, 1B, Osborne Park HS (Manassas, Va.) 6-3, 203 R/R
White showed the most hitting upside of the group. With a long, lanky, projectable body, White also generates good bat-speed and the potential for power in the future. His actions are long in the field and he’ll have to work hard to become a solid defender at first.
10. Andre Colon, RHP, Pope John Paul II HS 5-10, 185 R/R
A strongly built 5-10 righty, Colon doesn’t project so much to pro scouts but he has the present-day stuff and pitchability to win quickly for a small or mid-D1 college. He’s very athletic for a pitcher with a strong core and lower half. Colon located his 85 MPH fastball to all quadrants and could also spot his curveball.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)
Nick Albano, SS/2B, Lake Mary HS (Fla.)
Steven Ball, RHP, Blacksburg HS (Va.)
Jeff Birkofer, INF/RHP, Oak Hills HS (Oh.)
Seth Greene, RHP, Deep Run HS (Va.)
Marco Hernandez, RHP, Cenapec HS (Santo Domingo, DR)
Stephen Howell, RHP, Park Vista HS (Fla.)
Travis Isensee, 2B, Fort Myers, HS (Fla.)
Zeke McGranahan, C/RHP, Riverside HS (N.C.)
Scott Robinson, RHP, Seminole HS (Seminole, Fla.)
Nathan Schickling, Pleasant Valley HS (Ia.)