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High School  | General  | 12/8/2023

Scout Stories: Part 4

Best Game I Saw 


Oilers 18U and East Coast Lumberjacks 2024s went to war at the 18u WWBA Northeast Qualifier in Staten Island, NY. The two teams combined for 10 home runs despite both teams starting right-handers up to 90 mph. The bats were hot and the wind was blowing out at South Shore Babe Ruth. Army commit Robbie Melo led the way for the Lumberjacks with a pair of two-run bombs in the first two innings. Alabama commit Evan Taylor also put two baseballs over the fence for the Oilers. The Lumberjacks had a chance to win it in the bottom of the sixth with the game knotted at eleven. With two outs and empty bags all around, Shaun McMillan jumped on the first pitch that came his way. The 6-foot-3 205-pounder launched that fastball over the right field wall, ending the slugfest in walk-off fashion. 

Best Tournament Performance I Saw 

There are a couple of weekends to pick from when it comes to impressive tournament showings for Julius Rosado. However, the one that really stood out is the four home run performance at the 17u Mid-Atlantic World Series in Staten Island, NY. The physical 6-foot 190-pound right-handed batter turned a lot of heads with loud barrel after loud barrel. He batted .444 with six RBI over the four-game span. Rosado launched four baseballs over the outfield fence, with one of them landing just shy of the Verrazzano. The Rutgers commit put together a dominant summer, finishing with a .438 average and seven long balls in just 12 games. 



Favorite Single Game Moment 


Hands down, the coolest moment of the year for me was watching Noah Yoder toss a no-hitter back in July. He allowed just one walk through seven innings while retiring 16 of 21 batters on strikes. The performance was purely dominant as he had everything in his arsenal working for him. The 6-foot-5 right-hander ran his fastball up to 90 mph, and it was hardly touched by a bat. Yoder has begun to fill out his lean, long-limbed frame and will continue to climb the velocity ladder over the next year or two. The no-no was a fun watch but I wouldn’t be surprised if I catch another one of those performances from the Duke commit next summer. 

Biggest Showcase Breakout Performer 

Ben Pew dominated on both sides of the ball at the 2023 Sunshine Mid-Atlantic Showcase in Virginia. The 6-foot-7 left-hander tossed three perfect innings on the mound, striking out five batters. The fastball showed explosive arm-side life, ultimately peaking at 85 mph. He proved to be a consistent strike thrower, mixing in two variations of his breaking ball while manipulating both speed and shape with them. He landed a firmer, cutter-like version of the breaker that offered an intriguing spin profile and missed several bats. Pew was more than serviceable at the plate, lining multiple baseballs into the gaps for extra bases over the two days of live action. The now Villanova commit is an immensely physical and intriguing prospect with tons of upside as an arm. 

Pick to Click 

Ethan Lee has been lighting up radar guns for a while now, recently topping the heater out at 92 mph in Fort Myers, FL. The fastball shows late life through the zone and is complimented by a sharp breaker with spin up to 2800 rpm. The athletic 6-foot-2 right-hander currently sits at no. 55 in his class and will continue to rise up the rankings if he sorts out some minor command issues, which I fully expect him to do come spring time. Lee has still shown major improvement from last year, dropping his ERA from 2.86 to 1.91. He has a great opportunity at making a case for the best arm in the 2026 class if he can become a more consistent strike thrower. 

-Anthony Gambardella

Best Game I Saw

2023 WWBA South Jupiter Qualifier: PNT Scout Team V. Banditos Scout Team 2025

An electric pitcher’s duel that ended in dramatic fashion. Texas A&M commit Jake Evans went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma commit Jaden Barfield on the hill over five-plus innings of one-run ball. The final blow for PNT Scout came off the bat of Texas commit Matt Scott II in the bottom of the sixth, who took a hanging fastball deep over the right field fence the other way for a game breaking grand slam. PNT Scout would end up winning and advancing to the championship in the final frame, where they won it all.

Best Tournament Performance I saw

Couldn’t get much better to start the summer circuit than seeing Texas Twelve’s Jordan Garza (2026, Corpus Christi, Texas) toss a 14-strikeout perfect game over seven innings. It was a simply dominant performance from the right-hander. He ran it up to 87 mph and had it all working. He spun a tight slider for strikes and missed bats at will. Garza certainly made an impression.

Favorite Single Game Moment

Two swings turned the tide in the championship game of the WWBA South Underclass Qualifier. HP 2025 Greene took the lead in bottom six off a huge swing from uncommitted Austin Glasscock (2025, Cypress, Texas) who launched a two-run shot to pull. But Banditots Underclass 17u didn’t fall in its final frame, as Baylor commit Caldwell McFaddin (2025, Magnolia, Texas) launched a two-run blast of his own to help retake the lead. He closed it out on the bump to cap-off a thriller all in the span of 5-10 minutes.

Biggest Showcase Breakout Performer

Now a 2023 PG Select Fest member, George Ferguson (2027, Abilene, Texas) first popped for us at the Sunshine South Showcase in Tomball, Texas. Ferguson was a big two-way force with advanced arm talent for his age and size. He was 84-86 with life out of hand and snapped off a sharp two-plane breaking ball with big arm speed from a physical 6-foot-4 build. Safe to say he impressed that weekend.

Pick to Click

Going with Brayden Stevenson (2026, New Waverly, Texas) out of New Waverly High who has the traits of a true power Texan arm. He didn’t get a ton of time on the hill in 2023, but the physical ability on the hill shines at points. He’s all of 6-foot-5 with ample projection left, was up to 88 mph for us this year and it jumps a bit out of the hand. Stays inline and controlled with good intent to the arm. Can spin a good breaker and flash feel for a changeup, as well. Traits are all there to click next year.

-Isaiah Burrows

Best Game I Saw 

This one was a no brainier…. The Division 1 Championship Game of the Southern Section matched up two teams from the Trinity League, Santa Margarita Catholic and the reigning D1 champion J Serra.  It was truly a heavyweight battle of two teams from arguably the best league in the country, and the game didn't disappoint.  Both teams were built around pitching and defense, so a pitching duel was expected. I love to watch good pitching and I was served a great one.  The teams went about it in different ways, with Santa Margarita riding their horse, Collin Clarke, in to extra innings of a scoreless game, with JSerra going to the pen to bring in Matthew Champion after Ben Reimers tossed 4 shutout innings (1 hit, 5 K’s).  Champion immediately pitched himself in to a bases loaded jam, but got a double play ball to escape unscathed.  Both teams were loaded with Division 1 commitments, but the hero in this one was one of the few uncommitted players in JSerra’s Dmitiri Susidko, as he came up clutch to drive in the only run of the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with two outs as he plated Jackson Summers from second base.  It was one of those games you didn’t want to end, I just wanted the pitchers to keep throwing up zeros, but JSerra came through to give head coach Brett Kay back to back CIF Championships. 

Best Tournament Performance I Saw 

More know for his prowess on the mound where he is the top RHP in the country, Seth Hernandez (2025, Corona High School) had himself a tournament at the Ultimate Baseball Championship West  when he had the third most hits during the tournament and tied for the lead in RBI with 6 for BPA giving him the second highest offensive score (39.66) for the tournament.  Not only did he have the second highest offensive score, but he also put up the top pitching performance, doing what he does on the mound.  11 strikeouts over 6 innings allowing just 2 hits and a walk for the Vandy commit in a dominant outing.  Just an extremely impressive tournament on both sides of the ball . 

Favorite Single Game Moment 

I think I cheated last year here by going to the PG All American Home Run Derby when Ralphy Velazquez put on a show in winning the Derby for the west squad, and this year I’ll do the same, just because the power and physicality of these high school kids continues to impress, and it seems to continue to evolve as some of these guys can hit the ball freakishly hard and far.  Seeing this evolution at a Major League field makes it even more impressive.  So I’ll go to Cade Arrambide’s final round of the derby, when he took home the title by blasting one about one foot to the left of the batters eye, it wasn’t the longest blast of the derby, but winning it to the big part of the field when most of the kids are going pull side (up to 491 feet) is something we didn’t haven’t seen much of in the past. 

Biggest Showcase Breakout Performer 

The recruiting process has changed, so 2027’s cannot commit for a few years, but Kaden Paris (Freedom High School) attended his first PG showcase (The Fall NorCal Showcase) about a week ago and really opened eyes.   The younger brother of Kyren Paris, a 2nd round draft pick by the Angels in 2019, Kaden already has an inch or so over his brother standing at 6’1” with a very projectable and athletic frame.  It’s easy to dream on the future of the young outfielder.

Pick to Click 

Sticking with an athlete from the Fall NorCal showcase, Chase Lewis (2025, Armijo High School) has a compact 5’10”/165 pounds.  He feels a little more physical than the 165 we have listed with strength in the lower half.  Lewis gave us a good look in the workouts, showing off a solid toolset with a nice swing and bat speed.  The swing translated in to game action as he barreled multiple balls  sending a couple to the gap and to the wall for extra base hits.  Showed a good stride in stretching these hits in to extra bases. 

-Steve Fiorindo