Tournaments | Story | 10/19/2020

WWBA World Championship Impact Prospects

Brian Sakowski         Vincent Cervino         Jered Goodwin         David Rawnsley        
Photo: Brady House (Perfect Game)
Stars being Stars

With the WWBA World Championship serving as the "wrap up" event of the circuit as the last major stop for prospects and scouts alike, several players that came to Fort Myers having already established themselves amongst their peers. At the conclusion of the grueling week of pitted with difficult matchups, these names below continued to stand out, cementing themselves as names to follow very closely heading into next year's draft. 

Brady House, SS, Team Elite/Atlanta Braves Scout Team
After a summer of inconsistency with the bat, the WWBA World Championship was an excellent spot for House to reestablish his stock as one of the best prep bats in the class, and he did just that to the tune of a 1.200 OPS in 15 PA’s. House consistently punished the baseball with 100+ exit velocities and plenty of extra base power, and he’ll be in the top 10 overall conversation next summer if he has a good spring.

Carter Holton, LHP, Team Elite/Atlanta Braves Scout Team
A consistent performer in PG events for years, Holton spent the summer circuit ascending draft boards and establishing himself as one of the top lefties in the prep class. His WWBA outing was strong, running his fastball up to 95 mph and showing the upside of a plus slider and above-average change, as he has all summer. Watch his name on draft boards next spring.

Harry Ford, C/OF, ECB/Padres Scout Team
Ford’s unique profile was on display all summer, as an extremely athletic and twitchy catcher with some power at his disposal, and he showed those tools at WWBA. Ford hit the ball hard consistently and showed off that plus-plus athleticism behind the plate. He’s got the tools to catch and the athleticism to play center field, making him a very unique player to project defensively, and will be a big draw for scouts in the spring.

Roman Kimball, RHP, Canes National/Mets Scout Team
Kimball spent the summer and fall rising up boards as he just consistently dominated every time out, and the WWBA World Championship was no exception. The Notre Dame commit ran his fastball up to 94 mph several times and struck out 8 hitters in 3 shutout innings, dominating with that fastball and again showing flashes of both an above-average slider and above-average curveball.

Peter Heubeck, RHP, Louisiana Knights 2021
Heubeck had a good summer and established himself on the national radar as a projection righty with traits, and he had a strong performance in Fort Myers to wrap up his circuit, striking out 8 over 4 shutout innings. He ran his fastball up to 93 mph and worked low-90s with flashes of a potentially plus curveball, still checking lots of projection and metric boxes and still looking like a guy who could rise up boards in a hurry in the spring.

Thatcher Hurd, RHP, FTB/SF Giants Scout Team
Hurd’s ascent this summer and fall have been well-documented, and he turned in a strong performance at WWBA to cap it. Hurd’s raw spin rate data is off the charts, and he checks starter trait boxes for his operation and command projection as well. He worked up to 93 mph/2700 rpm with the fastball and spun a slider up to 3300 rpm, the best of which were plus hammers. He’s got first round potential in the spring.

Gage Jump, LHP, Canes National/Mets Scout Team
Jump was excellent, as he always is, at the WWBA World Championship. He punched out 13 over 8 innings (2 outings), allowing just 2 baserunners overall. The fastball peaked at 94 mph and his breaking ball is coming along in a huge way, which is what we’ve wanted to see from him on the circuit. His stock is high and rising heading into next spring.

Malakhi Knight, OF, Canes National/Mets Scout Team
A favorite of the PG scouting staff throughout the summer circuit, Knight had another strong performance in Fort Myers as he continues to round into form as a true center fielder with outstanding power projection. He will be perhaps the premier name out of the Pacific Northwest area in the spring, and a name to monitor closely, as he’s established himself in the upper echelons of prep bats.

Marcelo Mayer, SS, San Diego Show
Mayer didn’t have an overwhelming stat line from the WWBA World Championship, but was wholly fine and held his stock steadily high. He showed the same high-level left-handed swing that projects both in terms of hit and power tools, and continued to show solid defensive skills and overall athleticism in the middle infield.

Kahlil Watson, SS, Dirtbags Scout Team
It was no surprise to see Watson continue to perform at a high level in Fort Myers, which he did both defensively and offensively to the tune 1.244 OPS. He’s quickly risen up boards into the first round range on the strength of his overall game and plus athleticism, and the performance metrics are strong as well. He’s in the top tier of prep bats along with a handful of others.

Alex Mooney, SS, Canes National/Mets Scout Team
Mooney performed steadily all summer and really took off offensively in the fall, winning the Perfect Game All-American Classic MVP and having a strong WWBA. He walked a ton and hit for extra base power while playing an excellent middle infield, and it would be hard to think of anything else he could have done throughout the circuit to further raise his draft stock, which is now comfortably in the first round.

Cody Schrier, SS, Canes National/Mets Scout Team
Schrier did a lot of what scouts wanted to see him do in Fort Myers, walking a lot while still taking damage swings and limiting the swing-and-miss simultaneously. He’s got a chance to play several infield spots and hit for serious righthanded power, a commodity especially in today’s game, though he may end up hitting his way through the PAC-12 at UCLA before pro ball.

Ben Kudrna, RHP, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Kudrna’s start at WWBA was an especially important one as a cold-weather prep arm, and he was solid in his outing, working up to 93 mph and showing flashes of above-average secondaries in a slider and changeup. An LSU commit who has been on the rise for over a year now, Kudrna will have an important spring ahead, and with further refinements could rise boards further.

Ryan Spikes, SS, Team Elite/Braves Scout Team
Spikes has always been a consistent PG performer, and he mashed in his final PG tournament to the tune of a 1.255 OPS, including a bomb. Spikes has a solid all-around profile, with athleticism and peripheral tools to go with strong hit tool projection, and despite being undersized, he’s got offensive impact potential with middle-diamond defensive upside as well.

Alex Ulloa, SS, Houston Astros Scout Team
Ulloa hit all summer and always has, performing well with the bat at WWBA in his final PG tourney and showing off some power to boot, something scouts want to see more of. It’s an athletic swing with barrel skills and projectable pop, and he plays a quality middle infield as well. He’s committed to Oklahoma State, and could be a first rounder out of college if he continues performing there as he’s done in his prep career.

Travis Garnett, LHP, North East Baseball National
Garnett has had some problems throwing strikes in spurts this summer and the command projection remains of real concern, but his stuff was as loud as ever at WWBA, working his fastball into the low-90s with outstanding life and showing a nasty slider and changeup as well, missing bats with ease with all three. With more command, Garnett will have a choice to make between pro ball and Maryland next summer.

Jackson Wentworth, RHP, Midsouth Prospects-Platinum
Wentworth had a strong summer and fall on the circuit and finished with an exclamation point in Fort Myers, where he showed off a full arsenal of pitches that at least flash above-average. He was up to 94 mph with the fastball, has plus projection on his curveball, and is advanced in his comfort with and feel for his changeup. He’s definitely a name to watch out of the Midwest in the spring.

Roc Riggio, IF/OF, Milwaukee Brewers Scout Team
Riggio has established himself as one of the better pure hit tools in the prep class and he performed well in Jupiter, finding barrel after barrel and showing continued progression of his power and approach. He’s likely a corner outfielder at the next level but has the hitting tools to be a middle order piece, and he could be an immediate huge presence at Oklahoma State.

Daniel Brooks, RHP, Canes American/Dodgers Scout Team
Brooks enjoyed a very good summer on the circuit which saw him establish his name on national draft radars, and he did nothing but continue that ascent in Fort Myers, punching out 7 over 4 shutout innings, showing an easy, repeatable delivery with a fastball up to 94 mph and a curveball/changeup combo that projects well. There are lots of starter traits with excellent size here, and Brooks should be monitored closely next spring.

Drew Gray, LHP/OF, St. Louis Pirates 2021
Gray headed into Fort Myers coming off a loud summer, and there was some extra buzz surrounding him given how well his development at IMG had gone between the All-American Classic and WWBA. Gray was scattered a bit, but still electric, showing the kind of loose, easy, and extremely fast arm that portends big velocity projection and spinning two very good breakers as well.

Mason Albright, LHP, FTB/SF Giants Scout Team 2021
Albright was very good, as expected, in his WWBA outing; striking out 4 over 3 innings and showing his usual mix of pitches and feel. His fastball reached 93 mph with excellent angle, especially glove-side, and his curveball/changeup combination still flash above-average. The pitchability stands out and Albright is in line for a heavily-scouted spring at IMG, where he’ll have a chance to continue rising up draft boards.

Gavin Conticello, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team
A consistent riser over the course of the summer, Conticello continued that at the WWBA World Championship, slashing .600/.636/1.200 over 11 PA’s. A left-handed hitter with consistent performance to his credit, Conticello has tremendous power projection with the potential to play on the left side of the infield long term, a very sought-after profile in terms of the draft.

Colson Montgomery, SS, Team Indiana
Montgomery continued rising over the course of the circuit and is now, to some teams, one of the best prep bats in the class. His lefthanded stroke stands out for the bat speed and the strength behind it, and he projects for huge power long term while also retaining the athleticism and tools to play the left side of the infield. He’s one to keep a very close eye on next spring.

-Brian Sakowski

William "Pico" Kohn, LHP, East Coast Sox Founders Club
Kohn might not qualify as a star based on his raw stuff but along with All-American Carter Holton and 2022 ace Dylan Lesko, he has dominated WWBA and high school baseball in Mississippi for the last three years like no other.  What would you expect this championship?  More of the same, of course; a complete game 1-hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks in a must win pool play game.  It’s hard to imagine Kohn not being a dominant SEC pitcher at Mississippi State right away with his command of his upper 80s fastball, sharp late slider and fading change up.
Grant Hussey, 1B, Dirtbags Skrap Pak
The big guy in the middle of the lineup is supposed to produce runs and Hussey did that for the Dirtbags, hitting .400 in five games with seven RBI.  The 6-foot-4, 220 pound left-handed hitter picked up a pair of doubles along with a three-run home run to highlight his power, which will be on display in college at West Virginia. 

-David Rawnsley

WWBA WC Breakout Stars

The WWBA World Championship is the last travel ball event for most prospects heading into their draft spring and it functions as sort of a launching pad to help prospects up their stock heading into their high school seasons. The following prospects were either pop up performers, changed their profiles in a meaningful way, or even guys who saved their best performance for last and gave scouts and evaluators something extra to think about heading into the offseason.

Carson Williams, SS/RHP, GBG Navy
Williams was one of the breakout stars of the event as he crushed baseballs all weekend en route to the MVP award after a championship victory. He’s got all kinds of athleticism that play both within the swing itself and off the mound where he impressed earlier in the week working 90-94 mph with some serious arm speed.

Davis Diaz, SS, GBG Navy
Diaz was a spark plug atop the GBG lineup all weekend as his athleticism up the middle and high-contact offensive approach paid dividends. He’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades type of prospect as he does everything very well, showing sure-handed glove work, a solid arm, and a nice speed and barrel mix that play well at the top of the order.

Dennis Colleran, RHP, GBG Navy
Colleran made waves toward the end of the summer with his big velocity from the right side but he took it to another level in Fort Myers as he functioned as a super-reliever and earned MV-Pitcher honors. He’s got a big fastball that worked up to 96 mph and paired that with a wipeout slider to show he’s got very effective pure stuff.

James Triantos, SS/RHP, Stars Baseball
Triantos recently reclassified from the 2022 class to the class of 2021, and showed out with one of the louder individual game performances in the last couple of years. Triantos worked in the low-90s with a hammer curveball all while going deep in his first two at-bats of the playoff game. We’ve seen Triantos since his 14u days so the jump to the 2021 class posits interesting draft-related potential.

Jackson Baumeister, RHP, 5 Star National Black
Baumeister had shown flashes of his potential with his big arm throughout the summer and he put it all together with a memorable performance at the event. The long-bodied righthander worked in the 92-94 mph range early with a very good changeup and a breaking ball that’s made strides over the last calendar year.

Calvin Ziegler, RHP, Ohio Warhawks
Ziegler reclassified to the 2021 class from the 2020 class following the pandemic and the events he’s been at over the course of the year show a fairly loud profile. Ziegler is a polished righthander with a mid-90s fastball and three pitches that he can throw for strikes highlighted by a slider that looks to be his future out-pitch.

Mason Marriott, RHP, Banditos
Marriott turned in a dominant performance against a strong lineup as he turned in a complete game, one-run performance while maintaining his stuff the entire time. Marriott showed good fire and competitiveness as he worked in the 90-93 mph range throughout the game, showing a very advanced and innate feel to spin and manipulate the breaking balls.

Joshua Stewart, RHP, Padres Scout Team/ECB
Another Texas hard-thrower, Stewart showed a lot of upside and things to like in a brief, two-inning performance. Stewart’s got a whippy fast arm with some serious arm speed and velocity upside given the fact that he already works into the mid-90s at times and has a pair of quality breaking balls that project very nicely.

Martin Gair, RHP, South Charlotte Panthers
Gair is a massive right-handed pitcher at a listed 6-foot-6, 225 pounds and took a velocity spike into the fall as he worked in the 93-95 mph range during both of his outings down in Fort Myers. The fastball velocity is obviously impressive and he’s already got a quality swing-and-miss pitch with his downer curveball; the ceiling is high given the stuff and projection.

Austin Bode, C, Canes Midwest Scout Team
Bode’s long been a name on our radars as he is a PG Select Fest Alumni and he turned in a very strong performance in Fort Myers with a .583 batting average that included three extra base hits. He’s a physical left-handed hitter with advanced bat speed and impact potential and throw in the fact that he’ll provide that offensive upside from behind the plate his draft stock took a jump.

Bransen Kuehl, RHP, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Kuehl made his PG debut down in Fort Myers and the results matched up with the high praise we heard about him prior to the event. He’s a big righthander with a low-90s fastball, projection to the frame, and the makings of a quality slider. South Dakota isn’t a common hotbed for prospects so expect Kuehl to garner some pretty significant attention next spring.

Cole Hansen, RHP, Scorpions Victus Brigade Team
One of the most surprising, and dominant, outings of the event came from the previously uncommitted Hansen who went five innings of one-hit ball with eight punch outs against a quality opponent. Hansen can really spin the ball as he’ll pair a solid slider with a very advanced hammer 12/6 curveball. Pop up performances are always fun at the WWBA World Championship are always fun and Hansen parlayed that dominant start to a Rutgers commitment.

Jack Findlay, LHP, Royals Scout Team
A prep lef-thander from New Jersey, Findlay was coming off a strong fall with some bonkers strikeout numbers and he showed quality command with the stuff to back it up. He’s a broad-shouldered 6-foot-3 southpaw who showed feel for real command of his 87-90 mph fastball with three pitches he can throw for strikes highlighted by his hammer curveball. He’s a pick to click for some potential helium next spring with a velocity jump.

Matthew Rowe, RHP, Team Northeast
Rowe’s got some big time upside with a whippy, fast arm stroke and a fastball that already works 88-92 mph with above average spin rates. The overall operation is a bit unrefined for now but he pairs the big fastball with a sharp slider and that two pitch mix with that arm speed and projection could make him a sleeper pick out of the northeast for next spring.

Erian Rodriguez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team
Rodriguez has some monster upside on the mound with his extremely fast arm and wipeout slider that he’ll deploy with two strikes. He’s got a long and lean frame that’ll hold plenty of strength with a fastball that will work up to around 95 mph but the slider is a difference maker and will play right away at the next level.

Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Mets Scout Team/Georgia Bombers
Cunningham only threw 20 pitches during the event, but the upside is extremely intriguing given his very projectable build, low effort operation, and already impressive stuff. He’s got the makings of a starter at the next level with three pitches including a lively 88-92 mph fastball and works very efficiently as both the slider and changeup show upside.

Michael Sirota, SS/OF, Team Northeast
Sirota turned heads at the Mid-Atlantic Prospect Showcase earlier this summer and came down to Fort Myers showing off his cannon of an arm along with hitting a bomb later in the week. He’s a 6.5 runner with an absolute hose of an arm that plays very well from right field and the impressive bat speed and power upside posit big upside long term.

Mateo Zeppieri, OF, Ontario Blue Jays
All Zeppieri did over the course of the event was mash as the left-handed hitter hit a blistering .533 with three extra base hits. He’s got a loose, violent stroke from the left side with tons of bat speed and strength exuded through contact. He’s also currently uncommitted as his performance against elite competition should leave him with no shortage of suitors heading into the winter.

Lonnie White, OF, Canes American/Dodgers Scout Team
White is an elite prospect in both sports that he plays as he’s also committed to Penn State to play football under James Franklin. After having a pretty good summer he came to Fort Myers and did what he needed to do: hit some balls hard. He’s a physically imposing presence in the box and he hit .350 over the course of the event that included a long home run; his athleticism and offensive upside make him very intriguing for next July’s draft.

Jake Hunter, RHP, South Charlotte Panthers
Hunter had less of a breakout than he did a cherry on top to cap off an outstanding year on the circuit. Hunter seemed to dominate in every start he showed up at over the summer and he did again on the big stage in Fort Myers with a complete game, eleven-strikeout performance at 8 am against one of the favorites in the event. He’s got an impressive repertoire with real feel command as his combination of youth and size could lead to a rise up boards come next spring.

Nathan Deschryver, RHP, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Deschryver is a classic projection right-hander and one of the better prospects out of the Pacific Northwest this spring. He’s got a lean, projectable build with a fast arm that works mostly 90-92 mph now with a quality changeup and slider. He’ll be followed closely throughout the spring as he’s certainly a candidate to click and jump in velocity come next spring’s draft circuit.

Wes Kath, 3B, CBA Marucci
Kath is coming off a strong tail end of the summer as the Arizona native has an easy to like, loose left-handed stroke with already present barrel skill. He’s lean and athletic with lots of room to add strength and posit some serious power upside given the loft of the swing. Kath has a lot of upside and he hit very well in Fort Myers with a .500 batting average and keen discipline as he’s establishing himself near the top of the position group out of the four corners.

Santino Panaro, OF, CBA Marucci
Panaro had a great week although he’s undersized, he swings it well and seemed to find the barrel every at-bat. He’s got excellent top-of-the-order tools with a quick, compact stroke from the left side and the speed to disrupt on the base paths. Panaro also covers an ocean’s worth of ground patrolling centerfield as he looks to be a dynamic asset near the top of any lineup.

-Vinnie Cervino

Jay Woolfolk, RHP, Baseball U
Between the Pandemic and his status as a three-star dual purpose football quarterback who is committed to playing both sports at Virginia, Woolfolk hadn’t pitched at a PG event since the summer of 2019.  He threw twice in Fort Myers, showing a very fast and clean arm action that produced a fastball up to 95 mph to go with an upper-70s breaking ball.  His lack of repetitions on the mound shows itself at times but the potential with more innings is obvious. 
Carson Williams, SS, GBG Navy 2021
Williams came into the championship as the 148th ranked player in the 2021 class with a ride to California but took his game, and likely his ranking, to the next level by winning the MVP for the champion GBG team.  Williams hit .417 in eight games with four extra base hits, eight runs scored and 10 RBI.  To highlight his all-around tool set, he also picked up a three inning save, working 91-94 mph with his fastball to go with a low to mid-80s slider while throwing 73% strikes.
Davis Diaz, SS, GBG Navy 2021
Diaz is a talented enough defensive shortstop to push his MVP teammate Carson Williams over to second base, which gave GBG an extremely talented and athletic middle infield.  But Diaz's most impressive abilities came in his leadoff role in the GBG lineup, where he posted a .565 on-base percentage, hitting .444 with five walks and seven runs scored in seven games.  The right-handed hitting Vanderbilt commit isn’t a singles hitter, either; he knocked out three doubles and a home run among his eight hits.
Greysen Carter, RHP, Trosky National 2021
The 6-foot-4, 218 pound Carter last appeared at a PG event in August, 2019 at the All-American Underclass Games in San Diego, where he made the Top Prospect List.  He was an unknown enough prospect that at least one team this scout talked to didn’t even have Carter on their follow list for the event.  He will be now.  Carter was 92-96 mph for three innings with big downhill angle and heavy sinking life down in the zone, not a complete surprise as he topped out at 93 mph 15 months ago.  The big surprise was the 78-80 mph hammer curveball he showed with a spin rate around 2,700 rpm, a pitch he definitely didn’t have at the AA Underclass.  The future is bright for the Vanderbilt commit.
Christopher Bernal, C, Premier Baseball Scout Team
Bernal, a Texas State commit, has always been known as a top-level defensive catcher with a plus arm and he certainly was that in Fort Myers.  But he’s always been held back a bit by his offensive game.  That wasn’t the case over the course of five games in Fort Myers, as Bernal knocked out seven hits in 11 at-bats (.636), showing a well-controlled aggression in the box that resulted in repeated gap to gap line drives.

-David Rawnsley

There were few that were as accurate with the barrel and produced as much frequent power in Fort Myers than Carlos Pena (2021 Bayside, NY). The left-handed hitter, who is young for the ’21 class, consistently banged balls over outfielder heads to all fields. He connected on four extra base hits, one of which was a long homerun to the pull side. His .500 average and 1.655 ops left little doubt about the run-producing potential of the New York native.

The sum of the parts that Noah Miller (2021 Fredonia, WI) possesses make him one of the highest-floor middle infield prospects in the country. That’s not to say his 6-foot, 180 pound frame and solid peripheral tools doesn’t still give him a solid ceiling too, because there is plenty of upside remaining. Miller finished off an impressive summer hitting his way to a .444 clip at the WWBA World Championship. He belted two doubles, showed his hit tool from both sides of the plate, and played solid defense from start to finish. The performance is pretty much what we have come to expect from the switch-hitting shortstop.

-Jered Goodwin 

The Next Wave

Though the WWBA World Championship serves as a platform of newly tabbed seniors to show out on the circuit one last time prior to the spring, the event also allows scouts an opportunity to see the next wave of talent who'll be at the forefront of next summer's crop. Some named below have stood out and rank among the best in their class already while others seized the opportunity presented and put themselves on the map in a loud way. 

One of the most sure-handed shortstop prospects in the class, Cole Young (2022 Wexford, PA) took the platform that is the WWBA and starred. The combination of instincts, actions, body control and ability to improvise gives him the entire skill set needed to stick long term at the shortstop. The left-handed hitter also possesses one of the better hit tools in the class. Now he has gained noticeable strength and we saw an uptick in power as he launched a ball out of Terry Park’s massive stadium.

After a summer that Nolan Schubart (2022 Durand MI) did not miss a stop on the circuit, the time off to put some strength back on his gorgeous 6-foot-5, 201 pound frame he came to the WWBA fresh and ready to go. The left-handed hitter with legit light tower power raked to a tune of .429 with a 1.286 ops, capping things off with a majestic homerun. As the body fills out his ability to repeat his long levers is coming hand-in-hand with the strength.

When you draw the 8 am start after a long travel day you sometimes get a mixed bag from both a stuff and production standpoint. Brock Porter (2022 Milford, MI) didn’t care he drew that start. He opened up mostly 92-94/5 mph in the first inning and sported a changeup that already flashes plus in the mid-70s. He threw five innings and struck out eight batters during a spectacular outing. This was one of the loudest performances of the weekend, regardless of class.

The obnoxiously strong Xavier Isaac (2022 Kernersville, NC) was locked in from start to finish in Fort Myers. He hit in the three-hole of a loaded and explosive Canes Prospects lineup and produced a litany of 100-mph exit velocities. Isaac hit .375 with a. 1.024 ops on the week. His ability to impact the ball to all fields was on display throughout the event and he is already proving the power plays in game. He is a better athlete than he gets credit for, as well.

It was a pretty big statement for Maxwell Clark (2023 Franklin, IN) is his first Perfect Game event. The smooth 6-foot outfielder has a clean and effortless left-handed stroke. The eye-hand coordination is exceptional and the whip, plane, and length through the zone will help the power show up consistently. It was the advanced approach and pitch recognition that may have impressed the most, however. One of the younger players at the event, he hit .375 with a couple doubles while also working six walks. The ceiling is sky-high.

The physical projection in the 6-foot-3, 200 pound frame along with the arm speed of Andrew Dutkanych IV (2022 Indianapolis, IN) gives one plenty to dream on. He opened up in the 90-93/4 mph range before settling in at 88-91 mph. The secondary offerings, a slider and changeup, are both advanced for his grade year. The righty threw 3+ innings and struck out seven, giving him plenty of swing and miss potential. There is still growth potential from his already firm arsenal.

This is how you draw up a potential big-time starting pitcher. A flawless 6-foot-3, 180 pound frame and loads of athleticism. Hayden Murphy (2022 Chula, GA) is listed as a primary short stop and the actions and twitch suit that just fine. His fastball-slider combination cannot be ignored, however. He ran the heater up to 93 mph and threw and flashed a hard slider in the low-80s that should collect a ton of swing and miss as he develops. As he adds strength and repetitions over the next year, the command will surely come and he will be a must-see for pro scouts next summer.

It has been a busy three weeks for Walker Jenkins (2023 Oak Island, NC) as he has competed in all three WWBA’s during that span. The left-handed hitter seems to have gotten better as the competition improved each week. He smacked it around the yard in Fort Myers, hitting .353 for a playoff team. Jenkins hit in the four-hole and helped solidify a loaded lineup. The mix of power/speed/patience give him one of the most attractive offenses profiles in the ’23 class. He also made a handful of plays in centerfield, with good speed, that showed he can cover a ton of green to round out a tremendous tool set.

With one of the more impressive two pitch mixes in the 2023 class to date, Chance Mako (2023 Salisbury, NC) was solid on a big stage in the playoffs. He sat 88-90 mph and touched 92s early on. The low 3/4 slot produces some run/ride and his upper-70s slider plays well off the heater. His high waisted 6-foot-5 frame and whippy arm almost assure that the stuff will continue to tick up as he physically matures. Mako has been very consistent and held his stuff over his WWBA runs.

The development on both sides of the ball that Ben Barrett (2022 Orlando, FL) is showing has been exciting to watch. The 6-foot-4, 190 pound frame just looks the part of a high level prospect. The velocity is starting to come as he peaked at 91 mph at the WWBA. He spins the breaking ball hard and now peaking in the low-80s, as he repeats his delivery and release point the firm stuff will play up big. The bat is coming along as well, as Barrett hit .429 with some gap power in Fort Myers. He also made some spectacular defensive plays at third base.

Devin Taylor (2022 Cincinnati, OH) continues to show an advanced approach. It was a solid week in which Taylor hit .300 against older competition. But the quality of the at bats and loud outs seemed to come in bunches. The left-handed stroke is loose and whippy and his timing allowed him to square up just about anything thrown around the zone. His wiry frame has not even begun to fill out yet and the power will come as the strength does. His foot speed plays perfectly in centerfield and the potential profile give him plenty of time to strengthen his arm.

Simply, Tristan Smith (2022 Chesnee, SC) may have the best pure arm talent in the entire 2022 class. Smith threw three innings, firing lightning bolts out of his left hand. The heater was up to 94 mph with plenty of carry on the pitch. Smith has no reservations going to his hard biting, two-plane slider that collects empty swings regularly. Though he can get out of whack and is still trying to learn the nuances, and more importantly be able to repeat his fast moving parts, the lefties pure stuff will never be in question.

Jackson Ferris (2022 Mount Airy, NC) has been busy in the summer and fall as he has shown up and performed at every stop along the circuit. The left-handed pitcher has produced some monster outings along the way and was on course to do so at the WWBA World Championship’s. He had a short outing in pool play where he dotted the corners peaking at 93 mph with his fastball and dropped in a low-70s curveball as well. The long outing didn’t happen, but the stuff and consistency Ferris provided leaves a great last impression heading into next year.
One of the guys that got his innings extended at the WWBA was right-hander, Tucker Biven (2022 New Albany, IN). A super athletic two-way prospect who swung it fine in Fort Myers. It was his six innings masterpiece that will be remembered. He opened 90-92 mph and finished 87-91 mph nearly 80 pitches later. He gets arm side life on the heater and showed potential for two above average off -peed offerings in his slider and changeup combination. There is even more to come as the arm speed and athleticism continue to take shape.

There was a lot of hype around Robert (Chase) Shores (2022 Midland, TX) after the WWBA Underclass a week prior to “Jupiter”. Shores provided plenty of promise to confirm the hype should be real. The uber projectable 6-foot-8 frame should not have the timing or body control at this age that the right-hander already yields. The arm speed is a bit faster than you would expect and helps you think he can reach his massive ceiling, and Shores seems to be inching closer. He threw four-plus innings with four strikeouts and competed through the outing showing grit and savviness. All huge positive signs for the young Texan that has already produced mid-90s heat with his fastball.

Cam Collier (2023 Austell, GA) capped off an incredible year in Fort Myers. The left-handed hitter hit .400 with a home run, thumped a 1.200 ops, and struck out six opposing hitters while touching 91 mph on the bump. Collier is strong and very accurate with the barrel as he is relaxed and direct with his process. His mature approach continues to stand out and he does not have any problem handling older pitching or velocity. Collier had an outstanding 2020 year and his two way potential may be the best in the country, regardless of class. The WWBA was just another reminder of that. 

Capping off a huge fall at the WWBA World Championship was shortstop Jackson Holliday (2022 Stillwater, OK). The young left-handed hitter continued to hit for power and draw walks in Fort Myers. He has three extra base hits including a no-oubt homer to right-centerfield. He also worked six walks to help produce a .997 ops at the event. His defense is steadily improving and he has good body control allowing him to make all required plays at shortstop. The middle infield profile to go along with the sweet left-handed swing is pretty enticing to say the least.

Another loud outing from a young power arm came in the form of Pacific Northwest righty, Ian Ritchie Jr. (2022 Bainbridge Island, WA). There is real twitch in the body and helps to produce mid-90s heat as Ritchie peaked at 96 mph. He settled into the low-90s in the second inning and already keeps the hand speed going while spinning his low-80s slider. The quality of strikes will need to continue to develop, but Ritchie threw 71% strikes in his outing so there is little doubt that command is on the horizon.

The long and high-waisted frame of Luis Rujano (2022 Orlando, FL) will catch the eye. The right-handed pitcher is beginning to harness the levers and repeat his delivery, helping the increase in pure stuff. He topped out at 94 mph at the WWBA showed massive development with his low-70’s breaker. Rujano continues to get better each time out and seems like he has another jump in the tank.

-Jered Goodwin

Ethan Anderson, C, Baseball U
Anderson is the fifth ranked catcher in the 2022 class and the Virginia commit did nothing to hurt that standing, hitting a solid .500 for Baseball U and squaring the ball up hard on a number of his outs to further highlight his barrel skills.  A switch-hitter, Anderson also looked very comfortable from both sides of the plate.  At a chiseled 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Anderson has an outstanding combination of strength and athleticism on defense and also has the ability to play a solid third base.
Malcolm Moore, C, Canes 17U Prospects
If Canes 17U Prospects had emerged as the champions, Moore likely had an inside track on the MVP award given his two big home runs in the playoffs, including a titanic shot off the right field light tower in the semifinals.  The Stanford commit doesn’t only have big left-handed power (he also picked up three doubles over his seven games) but he’s a strong defensive catcher with all the tools to stay at the position for a long time.
Oliver Santos, LHP, BPA 2021
This scout has seen Santos three times in the last two months and saw a different pitcher each time, which in context is not a bad thing at all.  The first time, in Texas, Santos showed a plus breaking ball at times with power and depth.  At the Underclass All-American Games in Georgia last month, he showed a present plus change up that abused hitters even when they knew it was coming.  In Fort Myers, still pitching at his normal 87-89 mph, Santos showed over the top outstanding command, striking out 14 hitters without a walk in an 84-pitch complete came.  Neither the breaking ball nor the change up was the quality he’s shown but he threw all three of his pitches pretty much exactly where he wanted them.  Bring all these elements together with an easily projectable fastball and you have something special.
Paxton Kling, OF, Canes 17U Prospects
The multi-talented Kling has a chance to be one of the elite outfielders in the 2022 class, especially if he can add more strength to his projectable 6-foot-1, 185  pound build.  He already shows plus range in centerfield, helped by his 6.45 speed, and plenty of right-handed bat speed.  A Louisiana State commit, Kling is also a .444 career hitter at PG tournaments over 42 games the past three years. 
Roman Anthony, OF, Canes 17U Prospects
Anthony’s offensive ceiling is impressive.  The 6-foot-3, 195 pound left-handed hitter still has plenty of room to get stronger and the ball already comes off his bat as hard as anyone in the class.  His opposite field 350-foot double in the semifinals was as impressive a swing as this scout saw all event for the carry that Anthony created on the ball.  It needs to be noted that the Mississippi commit is also very young for the class and will barely be 18 years old at the end of his senior year.
JD Thompson, LHP, Canes 17U Prospects
Big time pitchers are supposed to step up in big games and that’s exactly what Thompson did on Sunday night in the quarterfinals, throwing five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out ten St. Louis Pirates hitters.  Thompson consistently worked in the upper-80’s, touching 90 mph, to go with an effective slow curveball and nice change up and had a feel for mixing his speeds that made his fastball velocity play up.  The 66th ranked player in the 2022 class, Thompson doesn’t presently have a college commitment.
Jayson Jones, SS, Dallas Tigers 2021 Hernandez
The 2022 class is full of very impressive young hitters and Jones, who is ranked seventh in the class, is among the elite of the elite.  He hit .429 with a pair of walks and a home run in Fort Myers, which leaves him hitting .490-2-20 with a 1.348 OPS in 21 WWBA games in 2020.  The 6-foot-2, 195 pound right-handed hitter and Arkansas commit passes the eye test and he definitely passes the performance test.
Gavin Kilen, SS, Chicago Scouts Association
Kilen was only one of two underclassmen on the Chicago Scouts Association team that went undefeated in pool play and reached the second round of the playoffs.  But youth was served as Kilen, the ninth ranked player in the 2022 class, knocked out four extra base hits at the championship, including a double and a home run during the playoffs.  The Louisville commit is already known for his plus hit tool and seeing big game power to go with that hitting ability was impressive.
Julius Sanchez, RHP, Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black
Sanchez was a relative unknown before last week, fitting for a player who was working in the 81-84 mph range a year ago and didn’t rank among the top 300 players in the 2022 class.  No longer.  Sanchez dominated in his three-inning, no-hit outing, working in the 90-96 mph range and reaching back and grabbing 95-96 mph whenever he wanted it.  The Illinois commit worked to both corners with precision and there is no reason not to project him as a potential plus command hurler.  A very good athlete with 6.85 speed and two-way potential, Sanchez doesn’t fit the initial professional profile as a six-foot right-hander but his raw stuff is elite.
Tyler Gough, RHP, Canes 17U Prospects
There is no questioning Gough’s arm strength, as he topped out at 96 mph in a one inning outing on Friday and came back and worked 91-93 mph with pretty good command under pressure in Monday’s semi-final round.  He can also spin the ball well, with his upper-70s breaking ball having good tightness and depth.  Gough’s challenge moving forward will be making his mechanics on the two pitches more similar, as he has noticeably more effort and body speed on his fastball than his breaking ball.
Noah Schultz, LHP, Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black
Schultz has to rate as one of the most uncomfortable at-bats for any hitter in the country, especially for a left-handed hitter.  The 6-foot-8, 205 pound Vanderbilt commit works from a mid to low-3/4’s arm slot that with a bit more extension would match Randy Johnson’s slot.  He threw three no-hit innings over two outings, working 89-91 mph with his fastball to go with a darting 78 mph slider with close to 3,000 rpm spin rates. 
-David Rawnsley
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