The massive 100 team Coach Bob National Invitational kicked off in full force today, and while it would have been impossible to cover every team on day one, there were several players and teams that shined in front of the PG staff on opening day.
Gorman rallies from five down in fifth to overcome Boyles, Quartz Hill
The opening game of the 2013 Coach Bob National Invitational featured nationally ranked Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman, winners of eight consecutive state championships. Their opponent wasn't expected to be a pushover by any stretch of the imagination, as Quartz Hill (CA) came in at 7-2 playing in one of the most talent rich parts of the country.
The Ty Boyles (2013 LHP/1B, Quartz Hill, CA) Show got underway almost immediately as the starting pitcher helped his own cause with a two-run homer to left center in the top of the first. He would follow that up with a scoreless frame in the bottom half and touched 91 mph with his fastball. Boyles would add a double to left and a single to right center in each of his next two trips to the plate before being walked in his final plate appearance.
But it was on the mound where Boyles was even more impressive. Boyles limited Gorman to just three runs over five innings, with two of them coming in the fifth when his pitch count had climbed and was at least in part a result of defensive miscues behind him. Boyles worked 87-89 with his fastball, topping out at 91. He struck out 11, and walked six. There seemed to be a lot of adrenaline involved in his delivery in this outing, as he's typically a polished command and pitchability lefty, and there were times when he was in rhythm where he would flash plus command, especially to the arm side of the plate. Boyles' changeup was quality in the mid 70s, topping out at 78 mph with deceptive arm speed and good fading action. His curveball showed depth in the lower 70s (71-73) with 1-7 shape.
At this point, Boyles is still uncommitted, having been a primary 1B until recently, he's seen a big uptick in his velocity. He topped out at 86 mph over the summer as a member of the So Cal Bombers at the 16u WWBA National Championship last July.
But while the story of the game was shaping up to be Boyle's dominance, it turned out to be Bishop Gorman's resilience that stole away what would have been a well deserved headline.
Trailing 6-1 in the fifth inning, Bishop Gorman rallied all the way back, including a four run bottom of the seventh to pull out the improbable victory.
2014 C Mike Blasko continued a big day at the plate by hammering a double to lead off that 7th ining rally to finish the day 3-for-3 with a Home Run, a double and a walk. Following Blasko's double, Gorman's senior captain 2013 OF Kenny Meimerstorf pulled the Gaels to within a run with a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the seventh inning. Finally, pinch hitter 2015 1B Austin Cram stepped in and won it for the Gaels with a fly ball deep to right center for a walk-off hit.
A few quick scouting notes on Bishop Gorman: 2013 OF Jarrell Latham has an athletic swing with looseness and good extension. 2014 MIF Cole Krzmarzick showed quick feet defensively with a short transfer and good release times on his throws from shortstop to go with a quick bat swinging from the left side. 2014 1B/RHP Nick Gates got the start on the mound for the Gaels and topped out at 86 mph, he has a very large frame and showed good strength in his swing.
Scouting notes on Quartz Hill: 2014 MIF Josh Van Dorp showed loose hands at the plate with a direct swing path and a pull approach. He's a solid runner with quick defensive actions in the middle infield and showed range. 2013 MIF Alec Smith showed a well rounded skill set, flashing a mechanically sound swing and solid defensive actions. 2013 RHP Konner Arnold worked 86-88 on the mound with a quick arm and a 73 mph curveball in relief. 2014 RHP/OF Jon Teaney showed good bat speed out of the leadoff spot in the order and is set to take the mound on Tuesday.
Cobb, Tigers survive Lancaster rally
2013 RHP Trey Cobb gives Broken Arrow justifiable confidence every time he takes the mound. While he got off to a slow start and didn't have as much feel for his command early, he eventually settled in and befuddled Lancaster hitters with the plus movement on his fastball.
Cobb worked 88-90 during the majority of his start, before eventually dipping down to 86-88 in the seventh inning. Defensive sloppiness behind him prevented him from finishing off a complete game efffort, as a pair of routine ground balls were botched on back to back plays with one out in the seventh. Cobb would leave the game with a lead, and in spite of some late inning drama, the Tigers bullpen would hold on to give the Oklahoma State commit the win. Cobb used his breaking ball aggressively, often pitching backwards with it. The shape can vary between a sweeping slider and a 12-6 curveball, with every spin direction in between. With his low arm slot, compact arm action and deceptive back turn delivery, Cobb's style of pitching matched Broken Arrow's throwback uniforms. The strike zone seemed to move around on him a bit, and so Cobb issues more walks than he is accustomed to, but his typical high level pitchability was on display and he was especially sharp during the middle innings.
Scouting notes on Broken Arrow: 2013 C Cody Ziegler homered to left field on a line drive that just cleared the 360 foot sign in left center, he's a big physical catcher who posted a 2.07 pop time cutting down a would-be basestealer. His best between innings pop time was 2.03. 2015 C Harrison Whitworth has a physically imposing 6' 1" 205 pound frame, he showed good strength in his swing from the right side, with an aggressive approach in the box and raw power. 2014 SS Nick Roark showed good footwork around the 2B bag and quick actions, he has a short left handed swing with loosesness. 2013 2B Nik Berg showed good speed, dropping down a bunt single in which he got down the line in 4.01 seconds from the right side.
Scouting notes on Lancaster: 2013 MIF Julian Tejeda showed a quick swing and projectable strength with a chance to develop as a hitter as he continues to add strength. 2013 C Curtis Summers showed a solid arm behind the plate and strength in his swing.
Heart attack for O'Connor as Harte nails down Save
The back and forth afair between Edmond Santa Fe (OK) and Sandra Day O'Connor (AZ) saw plenty of scoring on both sides, and it looked as though Edmond Santa Fe had a chance to pull out a comeback.
But 2014 RHP Degan Harte managed to overcome the defensive miscues behind him to help the Eagles hold on for a 9-8 win in their opener. Harte has a strong lean athletic build at 6' 2" and 205 pounds. His arm is quick and works well with good downhill leverage. He was much more polished from the windup than the stretch, which became an issue after the leadoff hitter reached on an error by the third basemen. Harte's fastball sat 87-89 from the windup with good sinking action and he kept it down in the strike zone. He didn't get as much use from his lower half from the stretch and was 84-86 with less command as a result, but he did bare down and execute pitches when he needed to. Once he learns to utilize his lower half better he has a chance to really take off, as the arm and the body are both the caliber of ingredients scouts look for in young pitching prospects. He showed a deep slider at 74-76 that Edmond Santa Fe had a lot of trouble with as well.
While the game overall featured a good amount of sloppy play, there was one play that stood out as the best of the day of any of the games the PG staff witnessed. Edmond Santa Fe 2013 MIF Daniel Costello popped up into the bermuda triangle down the left field line a few strides past the infield dirt. O'Connor 2014 SS Greg Saenz made a tremendous play running down a ball that was nowhere near his area with a diving catch. The runner on third, Edmond Santa Fe 2014 MIF Xavier Sundman had the wherewithal to see the what was developing as Saenz charged hard toward the ball, he got back to third and tagged up. Sundman runs well and he broke hard and immediately as Saenz caught the ball. A heads up player himself, Saenz knew the runner would likely be going, so after laying out and making the diving catch he immediately popped up and fired the ball towards home plate, it was a pretty strong throw considering he was on the ground, but the ball was just a bit offline and Sundman was able to score on a big league calliber play.
Scouting notes on O'Connor: The Eagles have a very good defensive middle infield, as not only is Greg Saenz a talented shortstop, 2013 RHP/MIF Jade Billbrey who played 2B in this contest, is a very heads up defender with good instincts. He saved a run on a fly ball to shallow right where the outfield made a diving attempt coming in and missed, typically in high school baseball that ball rolls towards the wall in right field all by itself while the runners circle the bases freely, but Billbrey gave chase at full speed the entire time and as a result was able to run the loose ball down quickly and prevent the runners from advancing further. Billbrey showed a lot of hustle throughout the game and that one play was completely in line with his overall performance. 2013 OF Copper Gray showed a quick bat and sound swing at the top of the Eagles order and made consistent hard contact.
Scouting notes on Edmond Santa Fe: The Wovles have a lot of infield depth, as new addition 2014 MIF Xavier Sundman shows a lot of all around potential. He's still physically immature, but projects for a lot of added strength given the amount of room his athletic frame has left to fill. He has good bat speed from the left side and very good lateral agility in the infield. He has good bat speed from the left side and showed good instincts on the bases as mentioned above. Sundman joins 2014 SS Quinn Walbergh, a nationally ranked prospect, and 2013 MIF Daniel Costello in a very strong group for the Wolves.
Future looks bright for Tulsa Memorial, but present belongs to Apollo
Tulsa Memorial (OK) features a very young lineup. Their leadoff hitting shortstop is a sophomore, and their third hitter in the order is a freshman, while underclassmen occupy several other starting spots on the field. As you might expect from a team with such little experience, sloppy play did them in during their opener against host Apollo (AZ) high school.
Tulsa Memorial 2016 IF/RHP Trevor Boone showed a lot of promise, collecting a multi-hit game with projectable tools all around. He smashed a line drive that ricocheted off the top of the mound and bounced into center field, where a misplay and his solid speed combined for an unusual triple. The ball left the bat at 91 mph, it was his third consecutive hit of the night. He also got on with a sharply hit ball down the left field line, and a swinging bunt in which he got down the line in 4.41 seconds. Boone also came on to pitch in relief, and touched 86 mph while working 82-84 from a high three quarters arm slot. The 6' 1" 175 pound freshman has a lot of work left to do to develop into a legitimate prospect, but he has the potential to do just that over the next few years.
2015 MIF Michael Smith has a small frame right now but he's a quick twitch athletic player with good all around ability. Defensively he shows aggressive high energy actions at short, attacking the baseball and taking decisive routes with a quick first step. At the plate his swing is short and compact with good hand acceleration, and he profiles to be a quality table setter.
Apollo 2013 SS CJ Lovato countered Smith with strong play of his own at short, with quick actions and good footwork to get his momentum behind his throws with solid arm strength.