Hawkins, Gallo, Fried Provide Highlights
Three Perfect Game All-Americans were the talk of Thursday’s National High School Invitational. Carroll RHP Courtney Hawkins dominated a 1-0 win over Gulliver Prep with both his arm and his bat. Allan Simpson has the story here
Hawkins threw 5+ innings working 89-91 with his fastball, topping out at 93. His curveball was a solid compliment at 76-79 and he also flashes a changeup at 80-82. The big story was Hawkins at the plate.
After popping up on a changeup in his first AB, Hawkins delivered in his 2nd plate appearance. He drove a long homer on an 86 mph Ivan Paleaz fastball just to the left of the center field batters. The ball got out quickly and carried well. The scary thing is Hawkins probably didn’t even completely square it up. His bat speed and strength are very evident at the plate.
Gallo took the mound at 1:15 and showed the hardest velo of any pitcher that has taken the mound so far in Cary. Rumors of Gallo’s top velo flew around the USA Complex as soon as he walked off the mound. Here is what my gun showed. Fastball comfortably 91-93, two 94s, one 95. He was 91-93 from the stretch, also throwing a 74-76 mph curveball and 79-81 mph slider. His curveball was his out pitch as Gulliver hitters handled his fastball very well.
Fried’s start had a ton of buzz and the lean, lanky Cali lefty lived up to it. He allowed a pair of first inning runs to a very good Parkview but bore down and was impressive the rest of the way. He sat comfortably 89-91, but showed the ability to reach back and get a little more when needed, hitting a number of 92 and 93s and a few 94s. The most impressive part might have been his 94 mph velo in the 5th and 92 in the 7th. Fried’s curveball was a solid out pitch with 12/6 downer break with average sharpness. He controlled it well and kept it low in the zone, mostly using it with two strikes. He also showed a usable changeup at 78-80 with some arm side run.
Here is video of Fried from Thursday
Random Notes and Observations
-Hawkins bomb was not the only homer of the day. Ty Moore went deep on the stadium in Mater Dei’s thrashing of Carroll and Matt Olson took Fried deep in the 4th inning. No surprise that these players are considered the top bats in their restrictive states.
-Mater Dei pounded out 12 runs on 16 hits in their win over Carroll. Other than the top prospects in attendance, the biggest storyline continues to be Mater Dei’s offense. The approach, bat speed and strength up and down the lineup is the best I’ve seen from a HS team.
-Gulliver’s bats are for real. They were completely unfazed by Gallo’s low to mid 90s heat. Two underclassmen stood out at the plate. RF Henry Hernandez and 3B Joe Dunand. LF Eric Neitzel is strong and loose with the bat and has looked very good at the plate, and C Chris Chinea and SS Adrian Marin are two of the most talented and steadiest players in the state.
-American Heritage may have the most complete team here with a combination of hitting ability, power, speed, defense and pitching. Domenick Mancini was very impressive on the mound sitting 88-90 with an arm that works very well. They still have Florida commit RHP Shaun Anderson and LHP Brandon Diaz, a Stetson commit available for the next two days. Anderson figures to get the start tomorrow, and Diaz threw an inning of impressive relief yesterday and two more today.
Best of Thursday
Best Pitcher: Max Fried, LHP Harvard-Westlake
Best Hitter: Counrtney Hawkins, Carroll
Most Impressive Win: Mater Dei 12-0 over Carroll
A Look to Tomorrow
Semifinal matchups are Sarasota vs. Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake vs. American Heritage. Both semifinals will be streamed live on MLB.com.v Heritage, Mater Dei and Westlake have been the consensus three best teams so far.
Parkview vs. Russell County and Columbus vs. Gulliver are two very intriguing matchups, as is Bishop Gorman vs. Carroll.
All the top pitching has thrown so scouts will zero in more on the top position prospects in action. @PGbcollman for updates throughout the day