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2011 Spring Top Prospect Showcase Blogs


Game 4: White vs. Gold >>
Gold defeated White 4-3 in the final game of the Spring Top Prospect Showcase on Sunday afternoon.  Gold scored the tying, and eventual winning run in the top half of the tenth inning.

The game was dominated early on by high caliber pitching.  White team starter Braden Shull (2011/Mount Pleasant/Mount Pleasant, Iowa) worked two perfect innings to get things started.  He sat at 87-90 with his fastball, and mixed in a mid 70s changeup and curveball.  The Kansas State commit will draw some interest this spring, as the 6'6"/215 lefty continues to gain velocity and improve his secondary offerings. 

He was followed by Keaton McKinney (2014/Ankeny/Ankeny, Iowa) who has been mentioned in the blogs throughout the weekend.  He impressed on the mound just as he had at the plate all weekend.  The big 6'3"/200 athlete was 84-86 and showed feel for a curveball and changeup.  For a player his age the sky is the limit from a projection standpoint, and the inevitable debate will be whether he's a better pitcher or hitter.  His two-way talent is very impressive.  His pitching line: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K.

Nebraska commit Austin Christensen (2011/Kennedy/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) then showed what we've seen many times before.  He projects very well on the mound, and was 85-87 with his fastball.  He fills up the strike zone and puts away hitters with his curveball and changeup when he gets ahead.  Over two perfect innings he struck out four, and no ball in play reached the outfield.

Although the White team's offensive effort came up short they did have several notable offensive performances including a pair of multi-hit efforts.  Shawn Hagerty (2012/Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa) was 2-3 with a pair of singles, as was teammate Cale Henke (2012/Hudson/Hudson, Iowa) who also had an RBI.  Henke has a premium athletic build at 6'4"/190 and handles the bat well.  He will be a interesting follow this spring and summer.  Also recording hits were Will Gormally (2012/Fort Dodge Senior/Ford Dodge, Iowa); Matthew Vanden Berg (2010/Grand Rapids Christian/Grand Rapids, Michigan); and Jordan Stroschein (2011/Linn-Mar/Marion, Iowa).

Gold team starter Andrew Hedrick (2011/Ankeny/Polk City, Iowa) pitched the first two innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four.  The Iowa commit combines his 85-87 mph fastball with a wipeout curveball in the low 70s.  He shows a high degree of polish and pitchability on the mound.  LHP David Stagg (2011/Valley/West Des Moines, Iowa) was 82-84 and flashed a good curveball.  Mitchell Moser (2013/Benton Community/Atkins, Iowa) worked the final two innings, allowing one unearned run to get the win.

Gold's offense had recorded just one hit prior to the ninth inning.  They went on to score two runs in the ninth, and followed up with two more in the tenth.  Brayton Carlson (2012/Prarie/Ely, Iowa) lead off the ninth and reached on an error.  Dustin Carlson (2011/Prarie/Ely, Iowa) then singled to advance his brother, and they would both come around to score.  Jacob Dilks (2013/Mount Pleasant/Mount Pleasant, Iowa) recorded an RBI groundout, and Brennan Hammer (2013/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) singled in the other run as a part of his 1-3 day.  The final inning featured hits from Michell Moser and Jacob Pauley (2012/Valley/Des Moines, Iowa) who would both come around to score.  Moser was 1-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases on the day.  Pauley also was 1-3 and stole second and third before scoring the winning run on an error.
Game 3: Navy vs. Red >>
The Red team defeated Navy 5-3 in Sunday's first game.

The Red team received hits from Brandon Kelley (2013/Home Schooled/Evansville, Indiana), who went 1-3 with a run scored.  Mack Mattke (2012/Xavier/Marion, Iowa) was 1-3 with an RBI.  Nick Franklin (2012/Waukee/Waukee, Iowa) turned in another strong showing today by going 1-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Also recording a hit for Red was Jake Cassady (2012/Dowling Catholic/Des Moines, Iowa). 

Navy received multi-hit efforts from three different players.  A.J Puk (2013/Washington/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was 2-3 with a pair of singles; Dane Mehring (2011/Xavier/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) went 3-3, with three singles, an RBI, and a stolen base.  Cristian Munoz (2012/Int'l Baseball Academy/Las Piedras, Puerto Rico) has stood out throughout the weekend and did so again by recording a 2-3 day at the plate with a run scored.  Also recording hits were J.T. Sole (2014/Cedar Falls/Cedar Falls, Iowa) and Alex Crowl (2012/Abraham Lincoln/Council Bluffs, Iowa).  Sole is a very capable receiever behind the plate and plays the game the right way.  He will be one to follow in coming years as he continues to develop strength.

Red's Brandon Shulista (2011/Solon/Solon, Iowa) got the start on the mound, producing a line of: 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 K.  Shulista worked from 82-85 with his fastball, and does a good job of keeping hitters off-balance with a curveball and changeup for complimentary pitches.  Ben Cooper (2013/Lexington Christian Academy/Lexington, Kentucky) worked two innings, allowing just two hits and striking out a pair.  The young pitcher looked sharp, and showed a fastball that ranged from 79-81 mph.  Brandon Kelley 2013/Home Schooled/Evansville, Indiana) worked a perfect 9th for Red, striking out two and sitting from 80-83 mph.

Navy's Freese reached 90 in his outing, and Dakota Miller (2012/Kennedy/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) sat at 86-87 while working a perfect frame in the 10th.  He struck out two.   
Freese Touches 90 >>
Dakota Freese (2011/Washington/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was up to 90 with an improved breaking ball this morning at Perfect Game Field at Veteran's Memorial Stadium.  Freese is a well-known commodity at this point, and could have a big spring and summer season.  The LSU-Eunice commit has a very good pitcher's build and throws three pitches for strikes.  His curveball and changeup continue to develop nicely.
Sunday Showdown >>
We will be underway shortly with day two of the Spring Top Prospect Showcase.  Today's schedule features the following two matchups.

9:00am: Red vs. Navy

12:00pm: Gold vs. White

Scout notes to follow.
Game 2: Navy vs. Gold >>
In the Saturday's nightcap at Perfect Game Field at Veteran's Memorial Stadium, Gold defeated Navy by a score of 4-0.

Notable offensive performers for the Gold team included:

Ozzie Adams (2012/Clear Lake/Clear Lake, Iowa) 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R.  Adams is a high energy player, he hustles all over the field.  In addition to his offensive performance he also played very solid defense on the infield for the Gold team.

Brayton Carlson (2012/Prarie/Ely, Iowa) 1-3, 2B.  Carlson showed the ability to take the outside pitch the other way on his opposite-field double in the first inning.

Anthony Gagliardi (2011/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa)  1-2, 2B, R, SB.  Gagliardi is a very good all-around athlete, and may have turned in the best at-bat of the day when he hit a deep double to left-center field.  He has some juice in his bat, and he ran a 6.85 in the 60-Yd Dash - his speed and instincts translate well to live game play.

Brennan Hammer (2013/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa)  1-2, 2B.  Hammer showed the same swing that stood out in the BP session.  Loose and athletic with good batspeed.

Gold pitching held the Navy offense to just one hit over seven innings.  Combining on the one-hitter were: Blake Louscher (2011/Newman Catholic/Mason City, Iowa), Brian Schmiedt (2012/Waukee/Waukee, Iowa), and Jacob Dilks (2013/Mount Pleasant/Mount Pleasant, Iowa).

Louscher started and worked the first three innings, working his fastball in the 79-82 mph range and mixing in a low 70s curveball.  He faced the minimum in each of his three innings, striking out four.

Schmiedt also looked sharp, posting a line of: 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 K.  His fastball sat in the 82-84 range, peaking at 85. 

Navy's David Kerian (2011/Bishop Heelan/Dakota Dunes, SD) continued his big day with a very good defensive effort, showing good balance and body control.  Logan Landon (2011/Lincoln/Sioux Falls, SD) recorded the Navy team's only hit in the top half of the seventh inning.  Landon is a good athlete and has a good approach to hitting.

Navy's arms showed well but were let down by some defensive troubles.  Of the Gold team's four runs, only one was earned.  Brennan Floss (2011/Valley/West Des Moines, Iowa) started and worked two innings, sitting at 81-84 mph with his fastball.  Floss has an ideal pitcher's frame at 6'5"/185 and could be a guy who makes a big jump this spring.  He is a College of San Mateo commit. 

Logan Landon followed Floss and pitched at 80-83 with his fastball, showing a good mix with an upper 60's curveball and low 70s changeup.
Game 1: Red vs. White >>
White picked up a 5-2 win over the Red team in the opening game of the Spring Top Prospect Showcase.

Team Red's pitching effort was lead by starter Joe Erickson (2012/Dowling Catholic/Urbandale, Iowa).  Erickson showed good armspeed and command working his fastball in the 84-86 mph range and mixing in a low 70s curveball and changeup.

White was lead offensively by Keaton McKinney (2014/Ankeny/Ankeny, Iowa) and Connor Keating (2011/Kettle Moraine/Dousman, Wisconsin).  McKinney turned in a 2-2 performance at the plate that included a double, RBI, and run scored.  Keaton shows advanced offensive tools at this stage and projects very well.  Will Gormally also contributed, going 1-2 with a run scored.  Keating was also 2-2 with a run scored.  Austin Christensen (2011/Kennedy/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) went 1-2 with a run scored and squared the ball up in both at-bats.
Red's bats were quiet before pushing their two runs across in the top of the fourth inning.  Ben Cooper (2013/Lexington Christian Academy/Lexington, Kentucky) leadoff the inning with a double, and Jake Gallu (2012/Cedar Falls/Cedar Falls, Iowa) followed with an RBI single.  Gallu would then come around to score on a single by Arturo De La Parra (2013/The Oakridge School/Arlington, Texas).  Philip Warner (2011/Eastdale CVI/Oshawa, Ontario) showed good offensive tools at the plate with a quick bat.
Workout Results >>
Workout Results from this afternoon:

OF Velocities

Dakota Miller                 90 mph
Austin Christensen         89
Derrick Loveless             89
Nick Day                       89
Logan Landon                88
Anthony Gagliardi           87

IF Velocities

Dakota Miller                 88 mph
Nick Day                      86
Brad Weatherman           85
Yoonjae Nam                 84
Taylor Ostrich                82
Jason McMurray             82
Brandon Kelley               82

1B Velocities

Jake Tuttle                  83 mph
A.J. Puk                       80
Brennan Hammer            80
Jacob Dilks                    79

Catcher's Velocities

Keaton McKinney           79 mph
Dustin Carlson               77
Cristian Munoz               76
Brian Schmiedt               75
Jacob Stenberg              75

Catcher's Pop Times

Dustin Carlson               1.90 seconds
Cristian Munoz               1.90
Jacob Stenberg              1.97
Nick Franklin                  2.07
Brian Schmiedt               2.09
60 Yard Results >>
Top Times From the 60-Yd Dash:

Tanner Unkel (2011/Jefferson/Cedar Rapids, Iowa)                         6.55
Yoonjae Nam (2012/Francis Howell North/St. Charles, Missouri)        6.58
Nick Day (2011/Solon/Solon, Iowa)                                             6.61
Manuel De Jesus (2012/Ocoee/Winter Garden, Florida)                    6.61
David Kerian (2011/Bishop Heelan/Dakota Dunes, South Dakota)       6.66
Anthony Gagliardi (2011/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa)                        6.70
Jordan Stroschein (2011/Linn-Mar/Marion, Iowa)                            6.73
Cristian Munoz (2012/Int'l Baseball Academy/Las Piedras, PR)           6.73
Derrick Loveless (2011/Solon/Solon, Iowa)                                    6.77
Anthony Gagliardi (2011/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa)                        6.85
Jake Cassady (2012/Dowling Catholic/Des Moines, Iowa)                 6.87
Shawn Hagarty (2012/Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa)                         6.93
Brayton Carlson (2012/Prarie/Ely, Iowa)                                        6.93
Will Gormally (2012/Fort Dodge Senior/Fort Dodge, Iowa)                 6.97
Dustin Carlson (2011/Prarie/Ely, Iowa)                                          6.98   
White BP >>
The White Team had several notable performances.  A pair of lefties with similar swings took a good round.  Bryce Grimm (2014/Xavier/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Shawn Hagerty (2012/Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Iowa) have simple balanced swings and make hard line drive contact.

Matthew Vanden Berg (2010/Grand Rapids Christian/Grand Rapids, Michigan) showed serious batspeed and good pullside pop during his session, squaring several balls up hard.  His swing is longer, but he has the batspeed to make up for it and gets good extension.

Austin Christensen (2011/Kennedy/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is another player we have been fortunate to see many times in recent years.  He took a very impressive BP today, and to put it simply - the ball just makes a different sound coming off of his bat.  The Nebraska commit has a very relaxed approach to hitting.  His swing is quiet and easy, and he generates very good leverage from his 6'6"/210 frame.  He has very high level hitting tools.

Josh Martsching (2012/Davis County/Bloomfield, Iowa) showed a very nice lefthanded swing, generating hard line drive contact.  Martsching is an Iowa commit.

Keaton McKinney (2014/Ankeny/Ankeny, Iowa) also really impressed.  The young player is already well built and physically strong at 6'3"/200.  He has a relaxed and simple approach to hitting and sets himself up well at the plate.  His swing is longer but his batspeed more than makes up for it.  The ball exits hard off of his bat.  He is a high level follow.   
Red BP >>
The Red team's BP session was highlighted by Josh Crosby (2013/City High/Iowa City, Iowa) and Mack Mattke (2012/Xavier/Marion, Iowa).  Crosby has a strong physical build, and swings the bat aggressively.  He generates good batspeed and takes his hands to the ball well.  He has good hitting fundamentals to continue to develop, and drives the ball when he squares up.  Power projects.

Mattke is a player we have seen a number of times in recent years and he continues to improve his offense.  He has a simple and balanced swing for a player standing 6'6"/230, and drives the ball well to all fields.

Jason McMurray (2011/Dowling Catholic/West Des Moines, Iowa) showed a line drive approach and put the barrel on the ball consistently in his session.  McMurray is a Notre Dame commit.
Navy BP >>
The Navy Team's BP session was highlighted by David Kerian (2011/Bishop Heelan/Dakota Dunes, SD).  Kerian has a lean athletic build, and is a switch hitter.  His lefthanded swing stands out and places him at the top of the batspeed category for this weekend's event.  His hands get through the zone quickly and the ball exits hard off of his bat.

Derrick Loveless (2011/Solon/Solon, Iowa) also showed well during his BP round.  The Iowa commit looks to have made some serious physical strength gains over the last few months, and it has translated well to his swing.  He shows increased batspeed and better overall balance in his swing.  Very impressive athlete.

J.T. Sole (2014/Cedar Falls/Cedar Falls, Iowa) shows good hitting tools, and he will be one to watch as he continues to add strength.

Christian Munoz (2012/International Baseball Academy/Las Piedras, Puerto Rico) has a quick left-handed swing with very good overall hitting tools.  Makes it look easy in BP.

Dakota Miller (2012/Kennedy/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) has very good physical strength, and the ball exits hard when he squares up.  He has solid hitting fundamentals to continue to develop.

A.J. Puk (2013/Washington/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is a standout prep quarterback that also possesses high-level baseball skills.  The athleticism speaks for itself, but the 6'3"/185 Puk handles the bat very well.  Displaying quick hands and good balance from a very easy swing.  The ball exits hard off his bat, and he has some very good power potential as he continues to gain strength.
Brennan Hammer >>
Brennan Hammer (2013/Prarie/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) took a very good batting practice.  Hammer displayed a loose athletic swing and good bat speed.  He takes his hands to the ball well and squared up everything in BP, showing the ability to drive the ball on the outer half to the opposite field.  He has a good bat path through the zone that generates line drive contact.  He will be one to keep an eye on throughout the spring and summer season.
Spring Top Showcase Underway >>
Due to this morning's weather conditions we have moved into the indoor facility here at PG Headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the batting practice portion of the showcase.  All teams will hit inside and we will continue to assess the weather throughout the morning to determine the schedule for the remainder of the day.  Schedule updates will be posted to as soon as they are available.

Please look here for notes from the BP session, as they will be blogged here throughout the morning.