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East Coast Professional Showcase


Royals Vs. Astros >>
The second game of the day, another 7 inning affair, is scheduled to begin at about 12:45 pm and will pit the Royals against the Astros.

LHP Jarrett Brown (Conyers, GA) will start for the Astros.  He threw earlier in the event and showed a very loose arm and an upper 80's fastball.

LHP Taylor Guilbeau (Zachary, LA) is the starting pitcher for the Royals.  This will be his first appearance in Lakeland.
Yankees Rally for 4-3 Victory >>
The Yankees rallied with 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to defeat the A's 4-3 in a scheduled 7 inning game.

Aflac All-American catcher Cameron Gallagher tied the game up with a 2 run bases loaded single before 3B Matt Duran drove a ball over the right fielder's head for the walk-off Rbi.

Gallagher had a very strong week in Lakeland, hitting the ball consistently hard and showing the athleticism on a big 6-3, 215 lb frame that impresses scouts so much.  He also looked extremely capable defensively at first base when given an opportunity to play there.

If Duran didn't have the attention of the college coaches before the event he certainly does now.  He had at least 6 hits during the event's 4 games and showed some power along with his hitting skills.

SS Matthew LaNeve >>
A's shortstop Matthew "Zac" LaNeve has opened some eyes this week.  The 6-1, 175 lb Pennsylvania native has shown a nice balance of physical tools and baseball skills in the middle of the field.  A right handed hitter, LaNeve has some strength in his swing and had a solid line drive single off a  92 mph Adam Ravenelle fastball earlier in this game.  His arm strength grades out as solid big league average to a bit on the plus side and he just made a sweet play up the middle in this game to show his range and quick release.  LaNeve also ran a 6.84 in the 60.
RHP Hawtin Buchanan Update >>
Information is a good thing to have.

At the PG National Showcase in mid-June I was very impressed by 6-8, 245 lb RHP Hawtin Buchanan from Mississippi.  Besides his obvious size and what looked to be an athletic and well coordinated approach to pitching, Buchanan was loose and easy and topped out at 91 mph.   Comparisons to Anthony Ranaudo and Jeff Neimann were easy to make.

So I was disappointed when Buchanan came out here this week and was noticeably stiffer and threw at mostly 86-87 mph.  Maybe I'd got a bit too excited back in June.

Last night I found out that Buchanan is a highly regarded high school quarterback and took time off from two a days to come and throw in Lakeland.  When I googled Buchanan and football, the first thing that came up was an article about him participating in a Payton Manning Quarterback Camp the second week of July.  Basically, there is no telling when the last time Buchanan picked up a baseball without asking him and it obviously affected his performance here.
RHP Adam Ravenelle >>
Yankees RHP Adam Ravenelle (6-3, 190 lbs, Lincoln Sudbury Regional HS, Sudbury, MA) has a pretty impressive arm.  His body is loose and projectable and he throws with a long and deep arm circle that is very clean and comes through to an extended 3/4's release point.  Ravenelle has been pitching in the 89-92 mph range and touched 93 mph once.  He's thrown mostly fastballs thus far but flashed a 76 mph curveball with good depth.   Ravenelle has committed to Vanderbilt but he's sure to be a primary focus of scouts in the Northeast next spring.

The A's scored an unearned run off Ravenelle in the 2nd inning and lead 1-0.

60 Times for A's, Astros >>
The 60 times for the last 2 teams have been posted.  Here are the fastest times from the A's and Astros.

OF Roman Quinn (Astros)            6.35
OF Mallex Smith (Astros)            6.41
OF Justin Bianco (A's)                6.65
SS Tyler Greene (Astros)            6.70
RHP Kelvin Singletary (Astros)     6.70
OF Mookie Betts (A's)                6.75
OF/1B Larry Greene (Astros)       6.80
SS Julius Gaines (Astros)            6.83
SS Matthew LaNeve (A's)           6.84
Tuesday Follow Up >>
My apologies for not blogging for the second half of yesterday's evening game.  It turned into a one sided horse race (I think the final score ended up being 13-2) and as a distraction a lively prospect discussion between myself and a couple of scouts broke out.

Today's blogs will be cut short this afternoon for another reason, as I have to catch a cross country flight to Los Angeles to get in position to be at the Area Code Games early tomorrow morning.

Starting pitchers for this morning's game between the Yankees and the A's are:

NYY:   RHP Adam Ravenelle (Sudbury, MA)
A's:     RHP Matt Dolloff (Davison, MI)
Rookie Davis Lights Up the Guns >>
Diamondbacks RHP William "Rookie" Davis has an unusual name that might cause him some temporary grief in locker rooms in the future but he sure has a strong arm.  The 6-3, 235 lb North Carolina native was anywhere from 88 to 94 mph during his first inning of work tonight.  He also threw a 75 mph curveball that had pretty hard spin to it at times.  Davis' delivery can best be characterized as raw in that he has some serious drift in his delivery that causes his arm to rush hard to release and leads to alot of inconsistency but when he stays back and he arm comes through clean it is very clean and fast.
LHP Jonathan Keller >>
The Royals have brought in LHP Jonathan Keller (Maylene, AL) to pick up from Aaron Nola in the top of the 4th.  Keller is a solid 6-1, 200 lb southpaw with a very unusual arm action; it's very compact and tight and lacks what a scout would call normal extension.  But the ball comes out of his hand very easily and he was 87-92 mph in his first inning of work.  Hitters seemed to see the ball easier than I would have thought, as they scored 3 runs to take a 5-0 lead, including a nice single to right centerfield by the previously mentioned Nicholas Howard of the Diamondbacks and a hard 3B to the same spot by slick fielding SS Mikal Hill.  Keller slowed very noticably on both his curveball and change up, which hitter's probably picked up on very quickly at this level.  But a fastball topping at 92 mph isn't something you often see on a left hander.
Nola Update >>
Aaron Nola has allowed 4 hits and 2 runs in his 3 innings of work, including a nice hard single by IF Nicholas Howard that opened my eyes a bit.  But when it came back to the Tobias/Carson/Fisher part of the order, he was at his best again, striking out the trio in order for a second time.  Fisher will have nightmares about change ups tonight as he's completely locked up on Nola's plus change.  Nola also cut an 88 mph fastball to Tobias for strike 3; he's going to end up with a slider at the next level with his release in my opinion but the movement on that pitch cemented that in my mind.

RHP Logan Jernigan Impresses as Well >>
RHP Logan Jernigan (6-3, 190, Four Oaks, NC) has been pretty impressive for the Diamondbacks as well.  He doesn't resemble Aaron Nola at all in mechanics or arm action but the stuff is very, very good.  Jernigan is throwing 89-92 mph from quick compact arm action and high 3/4's downhill release point.  He's shown a big and hard mid to upper 70's curveball that looks like a potential plus pitch too.
RHP Aaron Nola >>
RHP Aaron Nola was extremely impressive in his first inning of work for the Royals.  The Louisiana native struck out Josh Tobias, Shon Carson and Derek Fisher on 13 pitches and Fisher fouled off 3 of those with an 0-2 count.  Nola pitched at 91-92 mph and had a nasty, nasty 81 mph change up that was the best change up I may have seen all summer for a short look.  He tossed in a 73 mph curveball against Tobias that was workable but not sharp but the combination of his deceptive delivery, command (12 of 13 pitches for strikes) and that change up were eye catching.

The fact that Fisher fouled off 3 pitches (after Nola doubled up on 2 change ups to get to 0-2) was noteworthy. 

60 Times From Royals and Diamondbacks >>
The official 60 times from the Royals and Diamondbacks have been posted.  Here are the highlights.

IF T.J. Costen (AZ)                            6.62
OF Derek Fisher (AZ)                          6.65
OF Shon Carson (AZ)                          6.67
IF A.J. Cole (KC)                                6.70
OF Jo-El Bennett (KC)                         6.70
RHP Chase Davis (KC)                         6.70
3B Connor Castellano (KC)                   6.78
IF Bradley Roney (KC)                         6.80
IF Josh Tobias (AZ)                            6.81

Derek Fisher's time is very noteworthy, as he is 6-3, 205, hits left handed and is one of the best hitter's at this event and perhaps in the country.

Josh Tobias' time is not noteworthy at all, as he ran 6.35 at the PG National Showcase in June, ran 6.61 at the PG World Showcase (on thick FL outfield grass) in January and ran 4.07 home to first from the right side this week.  He has plus speed.

T.J. Costen is a player.  He ran 6.60 at the PG National and 6.41 at the 2009 PG Junior National and can play shortstop at a high level.

Shon Carson has the best "impact" speed here and probably in the 2011 draft class.  He ran 6.35 at the PG National and has stole bases at will here already.  His first step is not Ricky Henderson/Carl Crawford type electric but after a couple of steps he is flying.
Rain Threat Delay >>
A large storm cell is passing just to the south of Tigertown at the moment and while it might clip us (the tarp is on the field), it looks like we'll escape any serious rain by a couple of miles.  The start of the 6:30 pm game will be delayed for some time. 

The major "entertainment" with the weather is actually the heavy winds that are accompanying the cell, as they just blew the tarp cylinder from shallow centerfield to very close to its proper position along the fence beyond the third base dugout.
Bichette Breaks Up No-Hitter >>
Dante Bichette Jr. broke up the Yankees collective no-hit bid, lining a triple up the left centerfield alley off RHP Matt Pirro with 2 out in the bottom of the 6th inning.  Dan Vogelbach then got everyone's attention with a very high fly to the right field warning track for the 3rd out.

RHP Ryan Meyer on the mound now for the Tigers.
Norwood/Cote Update >>
John Norwood just knocked a 2-out double to right centerfield to drive in 2 runs and give the Yankees a 4-1 lead in the top of the 5th inning.  Norwood now has 3 Rbi's on the afternoon.

Jordan Cote added a hitless 4th inning to his previous three innings of no-hit ball.  Falling far short of an Edwin Jackson no-hit attempt, Cote has been replaced by RHP Matthew Pirro to start the 5th inning
Marlette a Rally Killer >>
Playing station to station baseball might be the best bet for the Yankees while Tyler Marlette is behind the plate for the Tigers.  The first two Yankees hitters  in the 4th inning singled off LHP Javier Reynoso and the Aflac All-American catcher from Oviedo, Florida, threw them both out at second base attempting to steal with perfect, on the bag tag throws.
Cote Wears On Tigers Hitters >>
RHP Jordan Cote (Winnisquam HS, NH) has thrown 3 no-hit innings to start the game, although a walk and a first inning error accounted for a Tiger run.  The 6-5 Cote is pitching in the 84-87 mph range but has done a good job moving the ball around the zone while throwing from a tall high 3/4's release point.
CF John Norwood >>
John Norwood has the fastest 60 time of the two teams on the field now as noted previously, a 6.50 that is pretty impressive in context of being hand timed on the thick Florida outfield grass.  That might translate to 6.30/6.35 on turf with the laser timer.

Norwood has been very impressive in the outfield with his range and his throwing arm grades out to solid ML average from centerfield.  He swings the bat pretty well and just singled in a run to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd inning.

A quick look in the PG database showed that we had Norwood, who attends Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey and plays for Farrah's Builders in the summer, as a primary right handed pitcher.  That has been updated and Norwood should take a place in the national PG rankings when they are next updated.
60 Times >>
The ECP people have been slow to post the official 60 times, with the explanation being they wanted to post the 60's at the same time as they post the "official" heights/weights of the players.  The first two teams that have been posted are the two teams that are playing now, the Tigers and the Yankees.

The top times from these two teams include:

OF John Norwood (NYY)                6.50
SS John Leonard (NYY)                 6.65
OF Brandon Downes (NYY)             6.80
3B Alex Santana (Det)                  6.80
OF Christopher Medera (NYY)         6.80
OF Mike Papi (NYY)                       6.90
SS/OF Gabriel Rosa (Det)               6.90

All times were hand held.
Pitching Tall Order in 2 PM Game >>
Starting pitchers for the 2 PM game between the Tigers and Yankees are:

LHP Eric Skogland (6-6, 180) for the Tigers
RHP Jordan Cote (6-5, 205) for the Yankees.

6-5 RHP Ryan Meyer will be the first pitcher out of the bullpen for the Tigers.
Astros Win 12-6 >>
Tigers and Yankees scheduled to begin at 2 pm.
Rally Prediction Proves Prophetic >>
The Astros did indeed rally for 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th (as predicted) to take a 8-6 lead.  The sloppy start to the inning continued for the A's as they added a dropped throw at first base and a wild throw by the catcher to their inning's miscue list.   Duane Underwood accounted for one run with an Rbi single up the middle.  Mallex Smith had a double to right field but he and Underwood were stranded when Dwight Smith uncharacteristically grounded out to end the inning.
A's Lead 6-5 in Bottom of 6th >>
The game has hit a smooth rhythm with pitcher's (Marc Frazier and Joel Seddon) throwing strikes and players making the plays on defense.  It didn't hurt that Seddon walked Dwight Smith his last time up.

Of course, just as I type this in the bottom of the 6th, three A's defenders conspired to let an infield pop up drop between them and Seddon walked the next hitter.  Sounds like rally time.
Smith Rips Rbi Triple >>
Astros OF Dwight Smith ripped an Rbi triple up the right centerfield gap to score a run and later scored on a wild pitch, moving the score to 5-4 in favor of the A's after 3 full innings.  Smith is now 5-6 with a walk, 2 triples and a double over the last game and a half.
Astros Hit the Ball Hard, Only Get 2 Runs Back >>
The Astros hit the ball much harder than the A's did in the first inning but only had 2 runs to show for hit.  They lined four hits (Austin Slater, Javier Baez, Tyler Greene, Mallex Smith) but a fifth hard line drive by Larry Greene happened to go straight at the shortstop with baserunner Dwight Smith (walk) on the move for an easy double play.

Like his fellow starter John Taylor, A's starter RHP Jared Ruxer showed pretty good stuff, pitching in the 89-91 mph range, touching 93, and throwing a big breaking 79-81 mph slider. 
A's Score 5 Runs in First Inning >>
The A's scored 5 runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by 2-run singles off the bats of SS Matthew LaNeve and OF Justin Bianco.  In all fairness to Astros starter John Taylor, he was forced to get at least 6 outs in the inning as his infielders booted one ball outright and threw 2 pretty standard double plays into the stands.  Taylor didn't help matters by walking 2 hitters and throwing exclusively fastballs but he did show a loose arm and a fastball that touched 91 mph.
Congratulations To Jeremy Hellickson >>
I'm sure there will be things all over the PG website today about Iowa native Jeremy Hellickson's very successful Major League debut last night for Tampa Bay.  Being very close to Tampa here in Lakeland (and having spend a week in St. Petersburg earlier in the summer), I can definitely say that there is plenty of talk and excitement about the Rays in this part of Florida.  Hopefully Iowa native Hellickson can be a big part of the future excitement.
Astros Vs. Athletics >>
Welcome to Day 3 at the East Coast Professional Showcase.  We have the Astros and the A's playing the first game under almost perfect (albeit a bit warm) conditions in Lakeland, Florida.

RHP John Taylor on the mound for the Astros, RHP Jared Ruxer on the hill for the Athletics.
Dwight Smith Rakes >>
Hudson Boyd was cruising to a smooth 3 innings until Dwight Smith came up with one out in the 9th.  Smith got on top of a 91 mph Boyd fastball and lined it hard down the left field line for a double.  Smith is now 4-5 on the night, all against very high caliber pitching.
RHP Jake Burnette, Astros >>
Between Tigers RHP Hudson Boyd and Astros RHP Jake Burnette, this game might roll very quickly to its conclusion.  Burnette is a slender 6-5, 175 lb'er from Georgia who is throwing 89-90 mph with a very nice change up that he has great confidence in and a passable mid 70's curveball.  He gave up a long double to Dante Bichette with 2 out in the bottom of the 7th but got Dan Vogelbach to weakly ground out, which is an achievement in itself.  Burnette's change up is a real weapon.
Very Easy 7th Inning for Boyd >>
Hudson Boyd had a very easy 7th inning for the Tigers.  The 6-0, 235 lb right hander threw 90-94 with little effort and has the ability to spot his fastball, especially low in the zone.  He struck out 2 of the 3 Astros hitters and threw about 10 pitches.
Tigers Edging Back >>
The Tigers have slowed edged back to only be down 8-5 going into the 7th inning.  Dan Vogelbach now is 2-2 with 2 runs scored and Sean Trent had a key single in the the Tigers 3 run 6th inning.  Justin Shafer had an Rbi triple up the LCF gap as well.

RHP Hudson Boyd is now on the mound for the Tigers.
Nuss Settles The Tigers Down >>
RHP Garrett Nuss has come in and settled the Tigers down, throwing 3 shutout innings to keep the score at 8-2 going into the bottom of the sixth.  Nuss hasn't shown the velocity he has in the past, where he's been up to 92 mph, but has pitched at 86-88 mph and got into a very good rhythm with his sharp breaking mid 70's curveball.  Nuss also throws a nice change up and projects as a 3 pitch starter who can pitch with a fringy big league average fastball and two solid off speed pitches.
Astros Carry 8-2 Lead Into B5 >>
The Astros lead 8-2 going into the bottom of the 5th inning in a game that has lost a bit of crispness since it got to 8-0.  Some highlights:

Dwight Smith is 3-3 and has squared the ball up hard every time up.  I've seen Smith hit at least 30 times in the last 6 weeks and he's probably squared it up at least 20 of those times and maybe 25.  That's what he does.

Julius Gaines has outstanding instincts at shortstop and all the tools to pull it off.  He plays for the same summer team, the Atlanta Blue Jays, as 2008 #1 overall pick Tim Beckham and is a better defensive player with better defensive tools.

Dan Vogelbach hit for the first time in the bottom of the 4th inning and promptly lined a hard single to right field.  That's what he does, too.
Heddinger Moves into B3 >>
RHP Josh Heddinger moves into the bottom of the third inning having only allowed 1 hit and no runs.  He's been pitching in the upper 80's and touched 90 mph.  The 6-5, 220 lb righty has thrown some good curveballs at around 74 mph but threw a nasty plus breaker to close the bottom of the 2nd inning at 78 mph.  If he can consistently harness that spin and velocity.....that's a serious strikeout pitch.
Things Unwind for Kelly >>
A bases load ground rule double by Tyler Greene and a hard single up the middle by Dwight Smith have put the Astros up 7-0 against Michael Kelly.  Both notably hit high fastballs in the 90-91 range, not the hard sinker down in the zone that is Kelly's signature pitch.

Greene also had a couple of double's in yesterday's game.
Astros Go Up 3-0 Against Kelly >>
Michael Kelly is ranked #3 in the PG 2011 class rankings and it is well deserved.  But it is instructive how 2 of those runs scored.

Kelly has been 90-94 mph on his fastball and has outstanding command and movement on the pitch.  However, the first Astros run scored when Dwight Smith, one of the most polished hitters in the country, lined a curveball hard into right field for a triple.  Their second run scored when Aflac All-American Austin Slater lined a curveball deep up the LCF gap for a triple.  Two top hitters who both jumped on curveballs left over the plate.

An infield error contributed significantly to the third run, which Kelly, whose heavy sinker will induce countless groundballs, will have to suffer through occasionally.
Michael Kelly vs. Dwight Smith >>
After RHP Michael Kelly mismatched the first 2 hitters of the first inning (92-94, plus downhill), striking them out on 6 pitches, Dwight Smith lined a hard single to right field off a hanging curveball.  The right fielder missed a dive for the ball, which rolled to the right field wall.  Smith would have held up at third but the ball was bobbled by the second baseman, enabling Smith to come all the way around to score.

RHP Michael Kelly Starting for Tigers >>
RHP Michael Kelly is the starting pitcher for the Tigers in the 7 pm game. 

RHP Josh Heddinger will start for the Astros.
Castellano Triple Leads to Royals 3-2 Lead >>
The Royals have taken a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the 7th inning, scoring 2 runs off  A's LHP Bo Weir.  IF Connor Castellano led off the inning with a triple up the right centerfield gap and, after a walk, came into score the tying run on a double steal.  The lead run later scored on a fielder's choice.
A's IF Max Kuhn >>
A's infielder Max Kuhn is quickly proving himself to be one of the more accomplished hitters here in Lakeland.  The 5-11, 180 lb right handed hitter from Zionsville, IN, was mentioned in yesterday's blog a couple of times for his swing and he's backed that up today.   In Kuhn's first at bat he lifted a long fly ball to the left centerfield warning track.  In his second at bat in the bottom of the 5th inning, he took the loft out of the ball and lined an Rbi double off the left field fence to score Mookie Betts with the A's second run.
Roney Blasts First ECP Home Run >>
IF Bradley Roney hit the first home run of the East Coast Pro Showcase, connecting off RHP Jerrick Suiter to tie up the ball game in the 5th inning at 1-1.  Roney, a 6-2, 180 lb shortstop with nice defensive actions, had shown himself to be a straight pull hitter during BP and in previous at bats and that's what he did against Suiter, pulling a long fly ball to left field that just cleared the fence at probably about 365 feet.
Still 1-0 After 4 Innings >>
RHP Chris Ellis of the Royals just breezed through a 7 pitching in the bottom of the 4th to keep the score 1-0 in favor of the A's.  Ellis walked the first hitter in the third but has quickly settled down after that.  He throws in the upper 80's from a hard downhill angle and touched 90 mph in the first inning.  His 78 mph change up is a nice secondary pitch with good arm speed at release and he's registered a few outs with it already.
RHP Jerrick Suiter, A's >>
RHP Jerrick Suiter of the A's is on in the top of the 4th inning.  Suiter is a big and strong 6-3, 215 lb athlete who showed some power in batting practice and also worked out both behind the plate and in the outfield yesterday.

He throws from slow paced, under control delivery and gets very good downhill plane on an 88-91 mph fastball while mixing in both a mid 70's curveball and 76-78 mph change up.

Suiter did allow the Royals first hit of the game in the fourth, a clean single by OF Terrance Magee.  Magee is leaving a good impression today, as he has a quick bat and an aggressive line drive swing that has produced a couple of hard hits against top level pitching.
Wisler Nearly Perfect After 3 Innings >>
A's RHP Matt Wisler has faced the minimum 9 hitters through 3 innings of work.  One hitter reached on a passed ball third strike but after a fielder's choice the runner on first was erased on an attempted steal.  Wisler has been up to 91 mph with his fastball but the most impressive thing about his performance might  be the command he has of his hard curveball, as he's consistently pounded the strike zone with both pitches and worked ahead in counts.

RHP Chris Ellis is now on the mound in the bottom of the 3rd inning for the Royals.
1-0 A's After 1 Inning >>
The first two hitters in the the A's line up, OF Mookie Betts and IF Max Kuhn, opened the game with doubles to give the A's and early 1-0 lead.  Betts hit the first pitch of the game from RHP Hawtin Buchanan down the right field line and hustled out a speed double.  Kuhn then a drove a fastball up the RCF gap to plate the speedy Betts. 

Buchanan worked in the 86-89 mph range with his fastball and settled down nicely after that, spotting a 73 mph curveball effectively.  He's a bit more mechanical than I remember him from June but that's not surprising in a 6-8, 240 lb young athlete.

A's RHP Matt Wisler was very impressive in striking out 2 out of 3 hitters in the first inning.  He was 88-90 mph but froze hitters with a very big and sharp 75 mph curveball.  Wisler has some wrap in his arm action but he has an athletic, well paced delivery and works through it well.
Game #3: A's Vs. Royals >>
Game #3 from the East Coast Pro Showcase is getting ready to get underway.  The game is scheduled for 9 innings but that is open to question as the game scheduled for 7 pm is going to be broadcast regionally on TV and has to start on time.  So there will be a "drop dead" time that the event organizers aren't sharing.

6-8 RHP Hawtin Buchanan is starting on the mound for the Royals and I'm looking forward to seeing him throw, as he was very impressive at the PG National, a young Anthony Ranaudo in my opinion.

RHP Matt Wisler from Bryan, OH is starting for the A's.
Duran Picks Up 3rd Hit/2nd Rbi >>
Yankees 1B/3B Matt Duran (New Rochelle, NY) has picked up his third hit of the day and his second Rbi with a 9th inning single.

The Diamondbacks had plenty of cushion, however, and ended up winning the game 7-4.
Nobody Taps the Keg >>
Big RHP Karl Keglovits was just as impressive in the 9th inning as he was in the 8th, again getting a couple of outs on strikeouts.  He has a compact arm action and hitters don't appear to see the ball very well.  He was 89-91 again in the 9th.  What he's going to do for a breaking ball in the future will have to evolve, as his arm action isn't conducive to the soft curveball he's presently throwing.
RHP Jeff Zona, Diamondbacks >>
6-4, 200 lb RHP Jeff Zona Jr. has thrown 2 pretty easy innings for the Diamondbacks, including a 1-2-3 8th inning that included 2 strikeouts.  Zona has been throwing in the 85-87 mph range with good command but his 2 most effective pitches have been a big breaking 70 mph curveball that has very good depth and a short 82-83 mph cutter that he's worked off the outside of the plate to right handed hitters.

Zona's father, Jeff, is a national crosschecker with the Washington Nationals.
2012 RHP Karl Keglovits >>
2012 RHP Karl Keglovits pitched the top of the 8th for the Yankees.  At 6-5, 230 lbs it will be easy to guess what nickname "Keg"lovits may have or have in the future.  He certainly has the arm strength.  The Nazareth, PA native pitched steadily at 89-91 mph from a high 3/4's release point and hard downhill angle and got 2 of his outs on strikeouts on 91 mph fastballs at the bottom of the zone.
Diamondbacks Up 7-4 Going to B7 >>
RHP Benton Moss (Diamondbacks) and LHP Andrew Chin have moved smoothly through the middle innings with consistent stuff and solid defense.  Both pitchers are working in the 85-88 mph range and pitching inside well.
Carson Helps DBacks Steal 6-3 Lead >>
OF Shon Carson speed on the bases has helped the Diamondbacks to a 6-3 lead going into bottom of the 5th inning.

Carson has four stolen bases thus far and has scored twice.  He reached once on an infield error (running 4.27 while getting out of the box slowly) and again on a hard single to left field.

Grayson Atwood and Derek Fisher both have 2 hits for the Diamondbacks thus far.
Diamondbacks Score 3 runs in 4th >>
The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the bottom of the 4th off a tiring RHP Kevin Comer to take a 5-2 lead.

Held to 1 hit over the first three innings, the Diamondbacks opened the inning with singles by Derek Fisher and Grayson Atwood.  Grayson Greiner then followed with an Rbi double down the left field line to plate the first run.  Atwood scored on a ground out by Jake Cave before Greiner scored on a single by Hunter Cole.

Greiner is having quite a day after throwing out 2 runners in the first innings as well.

RHP Benton Moss is now on the mound for the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the 4th.
Guerrieri Gets the Hammer Going >>
RHP Taylor Guerrieri got the feel for his curveball going in the third inning and threw some nasty plus breaking balls up to 81 mph in striking out 3 hitters (one reached on a passed ball) and getting a weak ground out to shortstop.   He was also still 90-93 mph on his fastball. 

One thing we noticed about Guerrieri during his two starts in Marietta last month is that he maintains and even improves his velocity during the course of a game.  That's something that is definitely not lost in the scout's evaluations.

RHP Kevin Comer is out for a fourth inning for the Yankees.
Diamondbacks Tie Score at 2-2 >>
The Diamondbacks scratched 2 runs off RHP Kevin Comer in the top of the second inning, spurred by a 2-out walk to SS Giovanny Alfonzo.  Alfonzo then stole second base and come home to score on a single by C Kevin White.  An infield error and passed ball accounted for the second run.  Comer has maintained his stuff well and topped out at 92 mph in the third inning.
Yankees Score 2 off Guerrieri in B2 >>
The Yankees took advantage of a leadoff walk and an infield error to score 2 runs of RHP Taylor Guerrieri in the second inning.  Yankees 1B Matt Duran has the only hit of the game thus far, a hit and run single that plated the first run.  C Grayson Greiner hosed another runner with a second perfect tag throw to second base.

Guerrieri's stuff has remained very firm in the 90-93 mph range, although he hasn't shown much command over his off speed pitches.
Guerrieri Matches Comer >>
RHP Taylor Guerrieri matched Kevin Comer's first inning, retiring the side while facing only 3 hitters with the help of catcher Grayson Greiner.

The Yankees leadoff hitter reached base on an infield throwing error but Greiner gunned him down with a perfect tag throw.  Guerrieri retired the next two hitters on a fly ball to centerfield and a strikeout, the last pitch a 93 mph fastbball that painted the black on the outside corner.  He also showed a hard 77 mph curveball with very good depth.
Cromer Cruises Through First >>
RHP Kevin Cromer made quick work of the Diamondbacks in the first inning, getting Shon Carson, Josh Tobias and Derek Fisher (all top hitting prospects) on a strike out, weak 4-3 ground ball and a strike out respectively.   Cromer pitched in the 89-91 mph range from an easy effortless delivery and mixed in a nice 78 mph curveball and change up while throwing to spots.
Diamondbacks Vs. Yankees >>
Another very promising pitching match up for the second game of today's quadruple header.

South Carolina RHP Taylor Guerrieri will be starting for the Diamondbacks against New Jersey's RHP Kevin Comer.

I was extremely impressed by Guierrieri at the WWBA 18U and 17U National Championships last month when he pitched with the Diamond Devils and I'm not sure he might not be among the top 6 to 8 high school right handers in the 2011 class.

Comer, who is ranked #71 overall in Perfect Game 2011 class rankings, threw very well at the National Showcase than again at the 17U's.  He topped out at 91 mph at Tropicana with a very good 78 mph curveball.
Yankees Win 2-1 >>
The Royals came back against John Magliozzi in the bottom of the 7th inning, scoring 2 runs to pull off a 3-2 victory.

OF Kyle McDorman led off the inning with a single to right field.  OF Mason Robbins then followed with a deep double down the left field line to put runners on 2nd and 3rd.  OF Terrence Magee then followed with a firm single up the middle off a 92 mph Magliozzi fastball to score both runners and give the Royals their first lead of the game.

After Josh Laxer threw 3 shutout innings for the Royals, RHP Chase Davis came in to pitch 2 more scoreless frames to get the win.  Davis overcame a rough start to settle down and retire the last 6 hitters he faced, including striking out the side in the 7th.  Davis pitched in the upper 80's with an effective changeup/curveball combination.
Magliozzi on the Mound for NYY >>
Aflac All-American RHP John Magliozzi retired the Royals in the bottom of the 5th inning as the Yankees retained their 2-1 lead.  Magliozzi pitched in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball with his customary deceptive 80 mph change up.  Magliozzi tends to lower his release point a bit on his change up but it is a very effective pitch with very good late life down in the zone.  The diminutive right hander still needs work on a soft curveball.

3B Connor Castellano did hit a double off Magliozzi up the left centerfield alley with 2 out but was promptly picked off second to end the inning.
RHP Josh Laxer >>
RHP Josh Laxer, a 6-1, 190 lb pitcher from Madison, MS, has been very sharp for the Royals in retiring 6 out of 7 hitters in the 3rd and 4th innings.  Laxer throws from a compact delivery with a high 3/4's release point and has some deception to his release.  He pitches at 88-90 mph with good sink low and dominated with his 81 mph slider.

The Yankees lead 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th.  Tyler Beede is still on the mound for the Yankees and cruising in his fourth inning of work.
2-1 Yankees After 2 innings >>
2012 SS Gavin Cecchini drove home C Evan Powell with a 2 out single in the bottom of the second inning to give the Royals their first run.  Cecchini has looked outstanding in all aspects of the game thus far.  He is positioning himself as one of the best position prospects in the 2012 class.
Typical First Inning >>
In what is becoming a trend down here in Lakeland, the first inning lasted 25 minutes and saw a combined 5 walks issued by 2 pitchers who are usually pretty polished for their age.  The surprise is that it is only 1-0 Yankees and that run scored on an infield error.

RHP Tyler Beede topped out at 93 mph and pitched at 89 mph and looked like he was going to cruise through his part of the first inning, retiring the first 2 hitters on 5 pitches.  He showed an excellent change up but didn't command his fastball well.

RHP Carson Baranik, like Beede, didn't command his fastball well but almost escaped his 3 walks except for the error.  He pitched at 86-88 mph with a big deep slider.
Great Pitching Match Up >>
Great pitching match up to start the day.   Tyler Beede starting for the Yankees, to be followed by John Magliozzi, two Aflac All-Americans.   Carson Baranik starting for the Royals.
Monday Schedule >>
Sunday's East Coast Pro activities were eventually suspended by persistent rainfall and the realities of the clock shortly before 10 pm last night after a rather rushed and lackluster batting practice by the Yankees team.  The defensive drills and scheduled game between the Royals and the Yankees was postponed until 8 am Monday morning and will thus push the regular schedule for Monday back by about an hour to an hour and a half.

The Yankees will play a double header to open the day, as they play the Diamondbacks in the regularly scheduled 10 pm game.

The weather forecast if virtually the same today as it was for yesterday, high in the mid 90's (heat index in the 108 area) with a 50% chance of rain. 
Royals Batting Practice Highlights >>
Batting practice for the final game of the day between the Royals and Yankees restarted about 8:20.  That means we should be starting the final game around 9:45-10:00, weather permitting.

One of the best BP's of the day was taken by a 2012.  SS Gavin Cecchini was outstanding earlier in Marietta in mid July at the WWBA National championships and he picked up where he left off here.  He showed very good bat speed and solid pull power while squaring up almost everything in his BP.

OF Mason Robbins is one of the most polished hitters in the country.  He has a very smooth left handed swing with little tension and very good extension out front.  I can see him developing some serious power in the future as he continues to get stronger.

SS Daniel Lockhart may have squared up every ball he saw, driving the ball hard to all fields with a very quick and short line drive swing.  He opened up a couple times and showed that he could reach the right centerfield fence as well.  It will be interesting to see him in games as his balance and shortness to the ball should translate well.

IF A.J. Cole had a nice line drive swing for the first two rounds of BP and then opened it up in the final round, hitting what were probably the longest 2 home runs of the Royals round.  That is one advantage of the "pro style" batting practice, hitters have the opportunity to make adjustments or take different approaches during different rounds.
Diamondbacks Win 9-4 >>
The Diamondbacks ended up winning game 2 by the score of 9-4.  The game was actually called due to lightning with 2 outs and a couple of runners on in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Lakeland has been very fortunate with the weather today, as there is heavy rain across much of Central and North Florida today that has so far spared the immediate area.
LHP Carlos Rodon >>
6-2, 210 LHP Carlos Rodon was very impressive in his one inning of work, the top of the 7th.  The Holly Springs, NC native of the Diamondbacks mowed down the Astros in order, throwing 88-92 mph from an effortless high 3/4's release point.  He only threw one curveball but it was a very sharp 78 mph offering.  Rodon is currently ranked #294 in the Perfect Game class rankings but that's going to change substantially when the rankings are next updated.
Greene Doubles Again >>
Tyler Greene now has 2 doubles, having just driven in a run with a double down the right field line against LHP Andrew Faulkner.  Greene, who fouled off a number of pitches in his first at bat, fouled off at least 10 pitches, many of them with a full-count, before connecting.
Harsh/Hill Speed Up the Game >>
The Diamondbacks lead 5-3 after 4 complete innings in a game sped up by 2 players.

Astros RHP Nathan Harsh, a 6-6, 220 righty from Georgia, cruised through the Diamondbacks roster in short order for 2 innings.  Harsh pitched in the 86-88 mph area with a deep mid 70's curveball and pounded the lower part of the strike zone.  His arm is long and loose and he projects very well.

For the Diamondbacks the lynchpin has been shortstop Mikal Hill, who has been both very busy and extremely proficient at shortstop, making a variety of plays flawlessly.
Diamondbacks Lead 5-1 in Third >>
The Diamondbacks have only one hit and that rolled about 40 feet but they lead 5-1 going inot the bottom of the third.

RHP Adam Griffin pitched a scoreless top of the 3rd with the help of a slick double play by his middle infield.  Griffin touched 93 mph on his fastball and could add command perhaps even some velocity with one simple mechanical adjustment.  Griffin lands on his heal out front and spins off it on release, sending his momentum off direction as the ball is leaving your hand.

Diamondbacks Take 2-1 Lead >>
It looks like offense might be the story of the second game as well, as the Diamondbacks scored twice off RHP Luke Crumley in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead.  They did so without benefit of a hit, as the first three hitters reached by walk or hit by pitch and a wild pitch accounted for one of the runs.  OF Derek Fisher drove in a run with a high and deep bases loaded sacrifice fly to centerfield.  It really looks like this young man can hit.
Cave Comes Out Firing >>
Aflac All-American Jake Cave showed his arm strength in the first inning pitching for the Diamondbacks.  The Virginia native touched 93-94 mph a couple of times and also showed the ability to cut his fastball at 88-89 down to the gloveside a couple of times. 

Unfortunately for Cave, he got change up happy to Astros shortstop Tyler Greene after Greene fouled off some of his better fastballs and Greene hit a hanger up the left centerfield alley to score Roman Quinn, who had walked to start the game with a walk.  The Astros lead 1-0 going into the bottom of the first.
Astros Defensive Drills >>
Highlights from the defensive drills for the Astros included:

C Connor Lynch was as impressive as any catcher on the first four teams.  He was very quick and compact in his actions and was locked into 1.84 to 1.87 on his throws, showing very consistent mechanics and footwork.

C/OF Chase Griffin actually didn't  show much arm strength from the outfield but had a hose behind home plate.  His somewhat long release kept his pop times in the 1.89 to 1.95 range but he laid every throw right on the bag with little rush.

Aflac All-American Javier Baez showed the best actions and tools in the infield.  He has very quick hands at the ball (just as he shows with a bat in his hands) and can make plays on the move and stay balanced and quick.  In an earlier blog I labled Baez as a third baseman, which is probably a mistake to do so prematurely.  Time will tell what infield position his quickness and arm fit best at.

OF/SS Roman Quinn didn't have advanced footwork at either position but he showed athletic actions and a very good throwing arm when his feet were  beneath him.
Diamondbacks Defensive Drills >>
The shortstops really stood out for the Diamondback team during defensive drills.

In fact, T.J. Costen looked very good all through the drills.  He ran a 6.51 on my watch during the 60, swung the ball very effectively with quick hands and some surprising pop during BP and then was extremely clean through the ball with plus arm strength during infield.  I would have given Costen either a 9.5 or 10 for his infield drill performance.

SS Giovanny Alfonzo wasn't far behind Costen either.   He doesn't have the pure arm strength that Costen has but is very, very smooth through the ball and has an extremely quick release.

SS Nicholas Howard is 6-3, 205 lbs and looks every bit of it so I quickly went "Third Base" in my mind when it was his turn, but Howard was light on his feet and got rid of the ball very quickly with nice carry on his throws.  He was especially smooth moving to his left.  He
 had a very nice BP as well, with a line drive pull swing with present bat speed, so I'm going to have to bear down on him during  games.

SS Mikal Hill is another smooth fielding middle infielder on the DBacks team.

With Josh Tobias and Hunter Cole (who showed a + to ++ arm in infield as well) on the team, that's quite a set of infield prospects.

Astros Batting Practice >>
Mercifully, the Astros have one of the shortest rosters here, so their BP was somewhat shorter.

Some highlights:

Aflac All-American 3B Javier Baez has lightning quick hands and loves to pull the ball.  You can almost see his bat speed increase when he gets a pitch he can pull and lift.  He hit one ball down the left field line that came within feet of clearing the berm completely and landing in the picnic area well beyond the fence.

Another Aflac All-American, OF Larry Greene, doesn't have the smoothest swing in the world (one scout compared him to Vlad Guerrero in that regard) but he sure is strong at  6-2, 235 lbs.  He hit one ball off the top of the scoreboard and added a couple other bombs.

SS Julius Gaines has a very nice fundamental swing but just lacks the strength to consistently drive the ball.  When his hands get stronger, he could really develop as a hitter.

The ball jumps hard off OF Dwight Smith Jr.'s bat.  But that's not really news.
Diamondbacks Batting Practice >>
The Diamondbacks have a huge roster, which means that after this round of BP, drills, etc we're only going to be about an hour behind out here.  The pro style batting practice really lengthens things out.

That notwithstanding, some of the Diamondback hitters stood out.  They certainly hit far more balls out of the ballpark than the first two teams combined.

6-3, 210 lb left handed hitting OF'er Derek Fisher (Pennsylvania) may have been the most impressive, wearing out the right field fence (and occasionall the building behind it) early in BP, then tightening up his swing for some solid mid field line drives.

3B Hunter Cole, the Most Valuable Player at the WWBA 17U National Championship, opened up his own swing during the final round of BP and hit some monster shots, including one off the base of the 420 CF wall and another half way up the berm in left centerfield.

C Brett Austin impressed from both sides of the plate.  His swing from the right side is very quick and short to the ball and he squares up everything.  He's a bit longer and smoother from the left side but just as effective.  The 2011 class is loaded with good catchers and Austin's name belongs among the top group.

Aflac All-Americans 2B Josh Tobias and OF/LHP Jake Cave both showed their tools.  Cave, who didn't pitch at the PG National Showcase, is scheduled to be the starting pitcher for the 3:30 (ahh, 4:30?) game.

A's Win 9-7 >>
The A's scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to beat the Tigers 9-7.  Games on the first day of the ECP are 7 innings to allow time for 60's and drills, games the next 3 days will be 9 innings.

A double into the right field corner off the bat of C Jimmy Pickens was the key blow in the inning.  OF Jacob Moody drove in the lead run with a bloop single over a drawn in Tigers infield.
Offensive Fireworks Continue >>
You usually don't expect wood bat games between top prospects on big league size fields to end up as horse races but that's the case here.

C Maxwell Andresen, who impressed earlier in the game by throwing out 3 runners at second base, delivered a bases loaded double off the RCF fence, missing a grand slam by just a couple of feet, to tied the score up at 7-7 going into the 7th inning. 

CF Jacob Moody also had a run scoring double for the A's during their 4 run outburst.  OF Justin Bianco picked up his second solid hit of the game as well.

The 2 teams have combined for 22 hits.
Bichette Now 3-3 >>
Dante Bichette is now 3-3 on the day, as the Tigers have taken a 7-3 lead in the 6th inning.

Bichette's first 2 hits were of the soft serve variety out to right field but his third hit was a ringing triple over the centerfielder's head. 

More on RHP Mark Biggs >>
Kentucky RHP Mark Biggs allowed 5 runs in the top of the 5th inning, some of it of his own doing, some of it his infield's.  He allowed a couple of walks that came into score but also suffered from a couple of 2 out errors by his infield that would have cut the inning short.  Biggs also allowed soft singles to Dan Vogelbach, Alex Santana and Tyler Marlette that each scored runs.

Biggs will be an interesting evaluation for scouts over the next year.  His mechanics and veloicty are inconsistent but he has a very fast arm and will throw 92-94 frequently enough to show you it's there.  His change up flashes some promise but his curveball is non-existent at the moment. 

The Tigers now lead 6-2 in the bottom of the 5th.
C Maxwell Andresen Stymies Tigers in 4th >>
RHP Mark Biggs had a nice 1-2-3 inning courtesy of his catcher Maxwell Andresen.

The hard throwing Biggs (6-3, 185, Warren East HS, KY) hit a batter and saw another reach on a wild pitch strike 3 but Andresen erased both runners while stealing with perfect tag throws in the 2.0 area.

Biggs mostly worked at 87-89 mph but touched 92 a couple of times and hit 94 mph once.  His off speed pitches were very raw but he has a very quick arm.
Kuhn Continues Solid Hitting >>
SS Max Kuhn carried over his good batting practice into the games, lining a clean single up the middle to give the A's a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning.

RHP Luke Weaver  struck out the side for the Tigers despite allowing the run.  He topped out at 91 mph and showed good sink/run on his upper 80's fastball.  His best off speed pitch was a nice upper 70's change up.
1-1 After 2 Innings >>
The A's and Tigers are tied at 1 after 2 complete innings.

LHP Daniel Norris allowed a run scoring single to Dante Bichette Jr. to the Tigers run.  Norris' raw stuff dropped noticably in the 2nd inning  in the searing Lakeland heat (mid 90's, about 105 heat index) as he pitched in the upper 80's and lost power on his curveball.

The Tigers LHP Corey Stump allowed a triple down the right field line by OF Bo Vazquez.  The 6-4, 210 lb Vazquez ran an impressive 4.57 turn on the hard grounder down the line.  He later came into score on an infield error.  Stump had to leave the game at that point with a blister on his pitching hand.  RHP Luke Weaver came in from the bullpen to work out of a 2nd/3rd, 2 out jam.

Left Handers Open 1st Game >>
Two southpaws, Daniel Norris and hometown prospect Corey Stump (Lakeland Christian HS, FL) opened on the mound in the Tigers/A's game.  Both settled down after rough starts to make it through scoreless first innings.

Norris hit the first batter and walked the second before getting Dan Vogelbach to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.  Norris was 92-94 mph in the first and struck out the final hitter of the inning on a sharp 74 mph curveball.

Stump, who will gain inevitable comparisons to former Lakeland product Chris Sale (2010 1st rounder out of Florida Gulf Coast), allowed hits to Parker Wormsley and Mookie Betts to start the game but struck out 2 of the next 3 hitters.  Stump works in the 87-90 mph range and likes to backdoor right handed hitters with a low 70's curveball.
Tigers Defensive Drills >>
While they do batting practice differently, the ECP scouts run infield drills in a virtually identical way to the way Perfect Game does at their showcases.  In fact the only real differences are the lack of scouts and camera's out on the field with the players.

Having seen so many of the Tigers players throughout the summer it wasn't surprising who some of the standouts were.  Aflac catcher Tyler Marlette was consistently in the 1.8's on his pop times with on line tag throws.  SS Tommy Williams looked smooth at shortstop and his throws had very good carry across the infield.  3B Alex Santana was very quick and polished taking  infield at shorstop, with a very quick release that didn't sacrifice any accuracy or carry on his throws.  Dereck Rodriguez showed his hose from the outfield, I'm not sure there are many better defensive outfielders in the 2011 class than the son of 12 time Gold Glove winner Pudge Rodriguez.
Tigers Batting Practice >>
Calling it the Tigers batting practice sounds a bit strange, as it would fit better calling it the Orlando Scorpions/FTB Mizuno batting practice, since so many of the Tigers players, who all hail from Florida, play for those two top summer programs.

It's always fun to see big Dan Vogelbach hit the baseball.  Interestingly, Vogelbach is listed in the ECP program as 5-11, 270 lbs, whereas he's 6-1, 240 in the Perfect Game event programs.  While I suspect the truth is in the middle ground, Vogelbach has shown scouts this summer that it really doesn't matter.  The ball explodes off his bat like few, if any, other hitters in the 2011 class.  He hit a bomb over the scoreboard in right centerfield to puncuate one of his BP rounds.

It should be noted that Joker Marchant Stadium, spring training home of the Detroit Tigers, is gigantic.....340 down the lines and 420 to straight away centerfield.  There won't be many balls hit out during the games this week.

SS Tommy Williams, 3B Sean Trent, OF Gabriel Rosa and IF George Gugino.  Rosa, a Puerto Rican native, was especially impressive as a loose 6-4, 175 lb athlete.  He has very good bat speed and some present pull power.  Williams hit very well at the PG National and has nice loft and extension in his swing that's really going to start coming into play when he gets stronger.
A's Batting Practice Highlights >>
The ECP does batting practice differently from Perfect Game showcases; they do it "pro style" with 3 rounds of BP swings and the batting cage on the field, so it takes a bit of getting used to.  I personally don't like the cage as it makes it much more difficult to see what a hitter's lower half is doing during his swings.

There were a number of players on the A's that I hadn't see yet this summer that looked good in batting practice.

C Jimmy Pickens (Brother Rice HS, MI):  Big left handed hitter (6-2, 205), big time power stroke, can get long at times but ball travels well off the barrell.

MIF Max Kuhn (Zionsville Community HS, IN):  Quick hands, hard LD contact to all fields, good bat speed, good balance, good looking young hitter.

C Maxwell Andresen (Penn HS, IN):  Like Pickens (LHH, 6-2, 205), big power, not quite as much bat speed as Pickens but a very good power projection.

OF  Justin Bianco (Peters Township HS, PA):  Left handed hitter, quick line drive swing, short and quick to the ball, has bat speed, turned on a few and lifted them, too.

SS Parker Wormsley (Webb School, TN):  Short quick swing, squares everything up, shows some gap power, very polished hitter.

OF Boo Vazquez (Cardinal Mooney HS, OH):  Big 6-4, 210 left handed hitter, multipart load will have to be calmed down but is ++ strong, lots of loft in his swing, good bat speed.
A's Loaded with Left Handed Pitchers >>
The A's team that is playing in the first game is loaded with top pitchers, including Aflac All-American southpaws Daniel Norris and Philip Pfeifer, along with top 2012 prospect, LHP Matthew Smoral.  I've been told that Norris, the top ranked prospect on the Perfect Game 2011 list, will be the starting pitcher in the first game.
Good Morning From Lakeland, Florida >>
The East Coast Pro Showcase starts this morning in Lakeland, Florida.  The event, which was held in Wilmington, North Carolina for many years before moving to Lakeland in 2007, is organized by Major League scouts and annually features some of the best high school talent from the eastern part of the United States.

Approximately 150 players, predominantly 2011's with a scattering of top 2012's, are divided up into 6 teams that are assigned to geographic regions as follows:


ASTROS– GA, Florida from Orlando North (Eastern Time Zone)

TIGERS – Florida from Orlando South through the Keys, Puerto Rico

ANGELS – Eastern PA, NJ, NY, CT, VT, MA, ME, RI, NH

A’s – TN, KY, IN, OH, MI, WV, Western PA, Midwest

PADRES – LA, MS, AL, AR, FL Panhandle (Central Time Zone)

Along with going through a myraid of standard workouts (BP, infield, 60's, MLSB testing), each team will play one full game a day for the next four days.  Today the A's play the Tigers at 11 am to start things off.

Perfect Game will have full scouting notes on this blog throughout the event, so check back often.

--  David Rawnsley