Cleats Sports Classic Invitational
McClellan, RedlandsEast Valley hammers Cactus Shadows:
-Redlands East Valley 2012 RHP/1B Jackson McClelland continued to impress. after topping out at 93 on Monday in a loss to Seton Catholic, McClelland took the mound again today and dominated Cactus Shadows with at least five shutout innings. His fastball sat 88-92 and topped out at 94. His big slow curveball with a lot of depth registered at 70, his changeup showed big fade action up to79. Last pitch of the 5th inning was a 91 mph fastball in the bottom corner for strike three. Also showed off offensive ability by hitting a 2-run Home Run to the opposite field.
-REV 2012 MIFs Ryan England and Frank Alvarez each homered for the Wildcats. Alvarez also showed good instincts on the basepaths and both showed solid all around tools.
-REV 2012 SS/3B Hakim Haynes showed very good raw athleticism, at the plate he showed quick hands and runs well. Chance to develop into quality hitter, has the tools.
-REV 2012 OF Brian Chaparro continued to hit the ball hard this tournament, he creates big separation between his upper and lower halves to generate good bat speed with a long swing with the ability to drive the ball consistently.
-REV 2012 1B/LHP Justin Jancome drove a ball 94 mph off the bat to right center field, he projects to add power as he fills out his long lanky frame.
Saguaro overpowers Arcadia to advance to Cleats Invitational Championship
Boxscore via GameChanger
-Saguaro 2012 OF Austin Anderson tagged a deep Home Run to right field that clanked off of the sign commemorating the Sun Devils retirement of Barry Bonds' #24 jersey in Arizona State's Packard Stadium.Anderson finished the game 3-for-4 with 2 Runs and 2 RBIs and stole a base.
-Saguaro 2012 OF Zach Gibbons showed off his well rounded skillset as per usual, but his baserunning instincts were especially evident as he stole bases at will, going 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts.
-Saguaro 2012 OF Chris Akmon went 3-for-4 on the day and was a Home Run shy of the cycle.
-Arcadia 2012 C Max Schuman went 1-for-3 with an RBI double that registered at 94 mph off the bat.
-Arcadia 2012 OF Drew Butler smoked a line drive back up the middle that registered at 90 mph off the bat...but Saguaro SS Matt Morris reacted quickly, moved to his left to snag the liner and double off the runner at first for an inning ending double play. Morris went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Chaparral rallies toknock off Houston Christian to earn title game berth
box scorevia GameChanger
-Chaparral 2012 OF Dylan Cozens went 1-for-4 at the plate but was the hero of the game. Cozens came to bat with two on and two out and the game tied in the fifth inning. After going 0-for his first three ABs, Cozens smashed a screaming line drive to the left center field gap that registered at100 mph off the bat. Cozens showed good speed for his massive size (6' 5"230) to get three bases on a ball hit to left field. Cozens hit a pair of Home Runs in Chaparral's win over Cactus Shadows yesterday.
-Houston Christian 2012 RHP Brian Triegloff threw a complete game for the Mustangs, his fastball topped out at 92 mph and he hit 91 on each of his three final fastballs of the game. While he took the loss he showed a lot of heart battling against a strong Chaparral lineup that features five power hitting lefties at the top of the lineup. Triegloff also hit a 2-rundouble down the line in right field, making a good adjustment after seeing three changeups in the same at bat.
-Chaparral 2013 LHP/1B Dillon Bigcrane Jackson nailed down a three inning save for the Firebirds. His fastball sat 84-87 and touched 88 with short arm action and downhill plane when he managed to stay tall in his delivery. His sweeping 1-7 curveball showed big 2-plane break and he also worked in a pair of mid 70s changeups. Bigcrane also just missed hitting a 2-run Home Run, settling for an RBI double that hit off the top of the fence in right center.
-Chaparral 2012 LHP Nick Diamond, an ASU commit, made himself right at home in Packard Stadium. Diamond struck out 11 over four innings to pick up the win. His fastball sat 83-86, he took advantage of a wide strike zone, painting the outside black with a fastball that featured hard tailing action.
-Houston Christian 2014 MIF Devon Wilson showed a quick fluid swing and very good speed, stretching a sharply hit single to left into a double.
-Houston Christian 2012 SS Jonathan Bravo had the defensive gem of the night, leaping to rob a single and then throwing off his back foot to double off the runner at first for an inning ending double play. He would also come around to score after being conspicuously slow to get out of the way of a breaking ball on the inner half, which is an example of the many little things that Bravo does to help his team win.
Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, TN) rolled Bowie (EL Paso, TX) in the early game 10-0 in five innings:
-MBA swept their doubleheader with a 24-16 win over Central(Grand Junction, CO). I think this is the most runs I have ever seen at a live baseball game, although I am racking my brain of the hundreds of games I’ve seen to make sure.
-MBA has a number of interesting underclass players led by IF William Penn Murfee (2013). Murfee played 2B in the first game and then 3B, showing good tools at both positions. He showed more feel at 3B and he projects for that position with his long, lean frame and arm strength. Murfee took good swings in the first game but didn’t square anything up. He showed off in the second game with a long HR to left center field, and hits to both right and left field, showing his plate coverage and ability to adapt to where pitches are thrown.
-C Tristan Chari (2014) is a young backstop to watch. He has an athletic frame and very good receiving skills. His body is still young and his foot quickness and arm strength figure to improve as he gains additional strength. He is a switch-hitter with loose, easy bat speed from the left side,driving the ball up the middle. Facing all right-handers, Chari did not get a chance to swing it from the right side.
-OF Will Campbell (2012) is a very good top of the order bat with a left-handed stroke with very good contact. A good athlete he runs and has pop in his bat and seemed to be one base about a dozen times over the two games. It is a possibility with the MBA offensive explosion in the second game.
-The bright spot for Bowie was RHP Danny Soto (2012) a lean,loose athlete who played shortstop for a few innings before coming in and throwing 84-86 on the mound with good feel for a 72-73 mph slider. His arm action is long but smooth and he could easily add 2-3 mph with more strength.He is currently unsigned and would be a very good arm for a Texas/New Mexico/Arizona juco.
Grand Junction (CO) standouts:
-Grand Junction HS (the second Grand Junction team in as many games) is one of the better overall teams I saw this week. It would have been interesting to see how they matched up against Houston Christian, Saguaro and Chaparral in the National and American Divisions.
-The top four hitters in the Grand Junction lineup could match up up with most teams in the Western half of the country.
-Leadoff man Sean Rubalcaba (2012) is a Northern Colorado QB and a very good prospect on the diamond as well. He has a long and strong build with quick twitch athleticism, running a 4.05 home to first on a leadoff bunt, also ripping base hits to the left side in his next two at bats.
-#2 hitter Marcus Wirth (2012) is a small compact build athlete with a quick bat and lots of speed. A true burner, Wirth is committed to Coppin State and doesn’t get cheated at the plate with bat speed. He looks to drive the ball and does have pull pop in his bat and is a above average CF defender with his speed and quick release.
-#3 hitter Casey Burns (2012) is the best position prospect of the group and is committed to St Mary’s. A long 6’3, 190 Burns brings to mind a slightly shorter version of Sacramento Jesuit and Texas Sun Devil SS Zach Green. Burns is athletic and very smooth at SS with strong actions and loose arm action with plenty of strength across.
-Cleanup hitter C Tyler Gastineau (2012), a Scottsdale CC commit, has one of the best bodies of the tournament with a muscular 6’1 185pound frame. He moves well and is a good defensive catcher with arm strength and a power bat at the plate.
-Steve Baldwin connected on a long HR to left field a good25-30 feet over the wall that was an estimated 350 feet away. It is always good to see a pitcher with athleticism that can hit.
Baldwin was 86-88 on the mound, throwing strikes with a quick arm and some effort in his delivery. He gets out front and downhill with his motion and uses his lower half well. He also showed very good feel for a74-75 mph slider with some downer break and good arm speed.
Here is video of Baldwin in the third inning Friday night.
Saguaro Offense Stands Out
-Austin Anderson (2012) is a player with a strong build and aggressive left-handed stroke with pop in his bat. Also, a good athlete who can run and plays the game hard.
-Matt Morris (2012) is a good defensive shortstop with quick feet and solid actions. He also has a compact swing with good bat control at the plate, spraying line drives to all fields.
-Zach Gibbons (2012) has the most bat speed of the Saguaro hitters and has a power approach at the plate with a wide base and lots of extension. He is a good defensive CF and showed arm strength. He has been up to87 on the mound at PG events.
-Chris Akmon (2012) projects the most physically of the Saguaro seniors with a long, lean frame. He shows a smooth swing with good contact skills and the ability to drive the ball to all fields.
-Desert Ridge SS Riley Unroe (2013) is one of the best underclass prospects we have seen this week. A lean athletic SS, he has quick feet and athleticism with very quick hands and very good feel for the SS position.He is a switch hitter, but swung from the right side in his first three at bats Thursday against a pair of Saguaro southpaws. He has quickness in his bat with bat control, a very good approach at the plate and the ability to drive pitches on the inner half to left field.
Desert Mountain Cruises over Houston Christian
-Desert Mountain RHP Cody Erickson (2013), who has stood out as an athletic SS, was the story as he took a perfect game into the sixth and a no hitter into the 7th innings, ending with a one-hit shutout. He sat 83-86, touching 87 in the early innings. He worked his fastball to both sides of the plate and showed very good feel for a 75-78 mph changeup and 74-75mph curveball. A quick worker with a quick tempo delivery, Erickson rolled thru the Houston Christian lineup, rarely needing more than 15 pitches in an inning.
-Erickson also showed bat speed at the plate and the ability to square up pitches and drive the ball.
-Ben Rodriguez (2013) is a big, strong player who definitely looks the part. He moves well for his size and is a good defender around the 1Bbag. He projects for big power and currently drives the ball to right field.When he develops the ability to pull the ball with power he has a chance to do a lot of damage.
-David Greer (2013) is a lean, projectable athlete who projects very well. He is a bit raw at the plate but has a quiet approach and can hit the ball to all fields. He is a very good defender at 3B with soft hands, quick actions and a very good arm with easy carry.
Cozens Power Chaparral
-Chaparral 2012 RF Dylan Cozens flexed his massive muscles in the Firebirds route of Cactus Shadows. Cozens crushed a 2-run Home Run that clanked off of the scoreboard behind the fence in left center field in the first inning. After drawing a walk in his second at bat Cozens stole second and came around to score. In his third trip to the plate he tagged a first pitch fastball over the fence in right, before grounding out hard to first base in his final trip to the plate. Cozens generates power with a direct swing path and is able to drive the ball without having to elongate his swing to create bat speed thanks to his physical strength.
-Cactus Shadows 2012 3B Eduardo Castro stood out during the pre-game warm-ups for the way he carried himself. Though he had a quiet day struggling to stay back against lower velocity pitchers who were called up from the JV to eat innings, Castro showed good bat speed and all-around strength. He plays the game with good energy.
Notes and Observations from Cleats Day 2
-There are games going on all around the valley this weekend as HS and colleges are on spring break. Basha HS from Chandler was in action taking on Westview HS.
-Basha RHP Gavin Hall (2012) was the storyline of the game, coming within a strike of a no-hitter before giving up a hit and eventually two runs as Westview tied the game.
-Basha IF Jaime Westbrook (2013) had the day off but pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th, drilling at RBI double of the base of the right center field wall to drive in the winning run. Westbrook is currently a shortstop with good athleticism. The bat is his best tool as he shows bat speed and strength to all fields. His swing has a line drive plane but he can backspin a ball and showed gap to gap power. He is a similar in build and athletically to 2012 draft prospect Timmy Lopes.
-Gary Sheffield Jr. (2012) son of the All-Star OF of the same name is another good athlete who showed the ability to run and good defensive actions. He has a pull approach with some bat speed at the plate.
-Another Basha OF to watch is LF Devon Reed (2012), a medium build athlete with strength and quick twitch athleticism.
Chaparral Comes Back to Beat Marcos de Niza
-Marcos de Niza jumped out to an early lead, but Chaparral came back late for a 6-5 win.
-Chapparal starter LHP Alec Zeidler (2012) is a long lefty with loose arm action. Fastball sat 82-84, big breaking slurve at 66-67. His slot varied a bit with low ¾ being the most common.
-RHP Michael Diamond (2013) came in and picked up the win, sitting 82-83.
-The standout athlete for Chaparral is RF Dylan Cozens, a hulking 6’5, 240 pound athlete who will play football at Arizona State next fall. Tim Esmay probably wouldn’t mind if Cozens swung the bat before spring practice gets going. He is crude as a baseball player but his strength and bat speed are some of the best in the area. Guys who can hit the ball a country mile are highly sought and Cozens can do just that.
-Dillon Bigcrane Jackson is as solid as they come as a defensive 1B and has a smooth stroke with bat speed. He is very rarely fooled and is very consistent with his swing mechanics. He also excels as a 84-87 mph lefty on the mound with movement and feel for three pitches. One would assume he will throw in the coming days.
-Jeremy Wolf (2012) put a very solid swing on a ball in the bottom of the 6th, driving it to the LCF wall, Nick Diamond (2012) had one of the hardest hit balls of the day, muscling a fastball to the wall 390 feet away in dead CF.
-Marcos de Niza offense was highlighted by a Daniel Zepeda (2012) who muscled a homerun over the LF fence. Strong kid, all pull approach, gets thru ball well, power is calling card.
-Ben Ayala (2013) has some growing into his body to do but has loose arm action and easy arm strength. A good defensive SS with deceptive athleticism he excels around the 2B bag and making plays on the move.
-OF Nick Fatica (2012) stood out again with his aggressive approach to the game and athleticism. He is very aggressive and runs the bases very hard. Smooth stroke at the plate and good OF defense.
Houston Christian (TX) sweeps doubleheader with Seton Cathloic (AZ) & Redlands East Valley (CA)
-SS Jon Bravo (2012) earns the best makeup of the day award for his high energy, aggressive style of play. Bravo shows a solid well rounded tool set and does just about everything on the diamond well. But his approach to the game allows him to play beyond his tools, he plays at 100% at all times and his attitude is infectious. He went 3-for-3 at the plate in the Mustangs win over Redlands East Valley.
-RHP Brian Trieglaff (2012) nailed down a five out Save for Houston Christian against Redlands East Valley. The TCU commit retired all five hitters in order and was very efficient with his pitches. He topped out at 92 mph.
-The Treu brothers, 2012 LHP Hayden and 2014 RHP Hudson combined to go 2-0 on the day. Hudson made his first start of the season and threw a complete game shutout, while his older brother threw well in the second game while also hitting third in the order.
-OF Gavin Vanderhider (2013) ended the first game with a walk-off run-rule inducing two run Home Run in the first game and showed interesting hitting tools and athleticism throughout the day.
-OF Cullen Cosco (2013) showed a fluid swing and doubled home a run against Redlands Valley East and is an interesting underclassmen to follow.
-RHP/CIF Kevin Stephens (2012) showed two-way ability for Redlands East Valley, sitting 84-87 on the mound in spite of inconsistent lower half mechanics, and showed promise with the bat as well.
-CF Brian Chaparro (2012) had what should have been a pair of RBI doubles, though the lead runner stumbled coming around third on the second one, but his big day at the plate and good reads and routs in CF stood out.
-LF Casey Sheehan (2014) continues to flash very interesting future potential. His quick bat and smooth athletic actions suggest that he could develop into a high level player over the next few years. His progress bares watching.
Desert Mountain fends off Fort Collins 3-2
-SS JD Hammer (2012) showed good all around ability today. He not only doubled home a run and showed projectable hitting tools, but he also made a very impressive defensive play ranging far to his right and making a long off-balanced throw to nail the runner at first.
-C Austin Orth (2012) squared the ball up hard every time at the plate, he only went 1-for-3 but the big physical catcher showed a live bat with the ability to drive the ball with authority.
-2B Ryan Schmidtbauer (2013) homered to RF to tie the game at 2-2 to lead off the 6th inning by pulling a hard line drive that cleared the fence.
-3B Tyler Nesby (2012) showed a compact swing path with efficient mechanics and good carry on his throws.
-SS Cody Erickson (2013) continued to open eyes, his defensive play at SS was equally impressive to his showing on the mound last night. But his offensive ability is what stood out most, Erickson does everything on the diamond well and should draw interest from Division I schools.
-1B Ben Rodriguez (2013) didn't produce much at the plate today for Desert Mountain, but he sure looked good. The physically built junior showed plus bat speed and good raw power, though he was unable to make good contact against high 70s/low 80s pitching today.
Notes and Observations on the Teams and Players from Day 1of the Cleats Invitational Classic
Desert Ridge Cruises to an Easy Win Over Marcos de Niza
-SS Riley Unroe (2013) is an interesting follow from DR. Good athlete with easy defensive actions and solid arm strength, smooth overall player.
-Other interesting prospects from Desert Ridge: Caleb Rodriguez (2014), listed 6’4, 220 and looks it. Strong with athleticism, power bat with power to come. Keaton Cenatiempo, long rangy build, showed quickness in bat and smooth swing, more to come as body fills out. CF Jordan Mesa, good athlete with defensive tools, quick actions and solid online arm action.
-Marcos de Niza RF Rashad Baker (2012) hit the hardest ball all day, driving a pitch to the base of the left- center field wall an estimated 375-380 feet away at the cavernous confines of Marcos de Niza HS.Good, looking athlete with strength, power looks to be his calling card.
-MdN OF Nick Fatica (2012), Central Arizona CC commit. Quick twitch athlete who can run. Quickness in bat, hustles player who plays very hard. Interesting follow.
Arcadia posted a come from behind 4-3 win in 8 innings over Desert Mountain.
-Arcadia RHP Gary Cornish (2012) threw well. FB 76-78, lot of strikes, good feel for 68-70 mph slider. Lean build, loose arm action.
-Arcadia C Max Shuman (2013) continues to prove he is one of the top hitters in the state. Leaner and stronger physically than last time PG saw him. Very good idea at plate with advanced approach. Showed versatility at plate, able to pull off speed pitches into RF, take outer half fastballs to LCF, and stay back and drive pitches in wheelhouse. Singled to RF, flew out to deep RF, tied game in 7th with opposite field double to left-center. Good athlete who runs well.
- Arcadia RF Andrew Naderer (2012) long, loose athlete with lots of smoothness to his game. Bats R, Throws L. Swing plane is good with easy extension, arm works well with looseness. Hoping to see on mound.
-Arcadia 1B Drew Butler (2012) provided the highlights with a walk off solo HR in the 8th inning to left-center field. Strong compact build with leverage in swing. Good bat speed, ball comes off very well.
-Desert Mountain is a strong team with an interesting future as many of their top players at 2013 and 2014 grads.
-DM SS Cody Erickson (2013) stood out with his all around play. Good athlete with compact build. Short, line drive swing at the plate with good bat speed and strength. Excels as defensive SS, very good going to 5.5 hole and starting double play. Feet quick, has body control. Arm plays at both SS and 3B. Pitched in relief 84-86. Very interesting follow.
-DM RF Keaton Boysen (2012). Strong athlete with smooth swing that produces line drives. Ball comes off the bat well and is able to backspin balls. Moves well in the OF, arm works. Player to be watched closely. Gateway CC commit.
-DM 1B Ben Rodriguez (2013). Big strong player with power right-handed bat. Solid athlete who fields position well. Good approach at the plate with good pitch recognition. Can hit the ball a long way.
-RHP Matt Lewis (2012). Fastball 80-81, lots of strikes, repeats well, online with mechanics. Very pitchable. Good feel for 70-71 mph change.
Saguaro Hangs on for 6-4 Win over Rival Chaparral
-Chaparral 2012 3B/RHP Chance Adams was 85-87, touched 89, 73 slurve, 80 change. Athletic kid, has arm speed, works heavily off of slurve, CH has some life with fade. Settled in after 1st and didn't give up another run in his 4 innings of work.
-Chaparral 2012 RHP Tyger Tulley was an easy 87-89 with more in there, wipe out 82 slider, solid 80 mph change. Carved up Saguaro, struck out 7 of 9 hitters he faced in 3 perfect relief innings.
-Chaparral hits 5 straight lefties at the top of their lineup, was an effective strategy against Saguaro 2012 L3/4 RHP Daniel Akmon,who was 81-84 with some funk. Righties struggled; lefties hit some balls hard, lot of loud outs.
-Chaparral 2012 CF Austin Singer showed easy bat speed,direct path, ball comes off pretty well, has some pop and is athletic. Realnice player.
-Chaparral 2013 1B/LHP Dillon Bigcrane Jackson has good raw power, wore out both foul lines, hit the ball hard a few times.
-Saguaro 2012 1B/OF Reed Austin has good raw tools, can hammer a fastball.
Ruggiero No-Hitter Wins Nightcap for Seton
-Seton Catholic RHP Troy Ruggiero (2012) threw a complete game no hitter, striking out ten, walking five and hitting a batter. The big righty sat 84-86, touching 87 and has been up to 88 at past PG events. He also flashed three off-speed pitches, a 75-76 mph slider, 70 mph curveball, and 73-74 mph changeup.
Here is video of Ruggiero from Monday night.
-While Ruggiero was impressive the biggest story of the night was Relands East Valley RHP Jackson McClelland. The big righty is a physical specimen at 6’5, 235. He sat 90-92 up to 93 twice in the first inning.He is imposing and throws with short arm action, working downhill. The ball comes out easy and there is not much effort in his delivery. McClelland has all the makings of a draft pick and will have to tighten up a curveball that was 69-71. He showed a straight changeup in between innings. McClelland’s body, arm action, and velocity were extremely impressive. Below is video from Monday night.
-Other position prospects of mention were: Redlands East Valley OF Casey Sheehan (2014) a young athlete to follow, Redlands East Valley DH Blake Braun (2013) who showed strength and bat quickness, and CF Brian Chapparo (2012) and SS Frank Alvarez (2012) both of who showed quality defensive actions and athleticism.
-Redlands East Valley LHP Justin Jacome (2012) is a long, lean arm to dream on. He sat 82-84 and touched 85 multiple times, backing it with a 66-68 mph curveball and will gain velocity as his body adds strength. He already shows quickness in his arm and is committed to UC-Santa Barbara.
-Seton 3B CJ McGrady (2012) showed a quick bat and good plate coverage with pop in his bat, and SS David Garlid (2013) has good arm strength and athleticism and showed power to right-center field.