Showcase : : Story
Monday, June 16, 2014

PG National: Day 4 recap

Patrick Ebert         Chris Real        
Photo: Perfect Game

Jeff Dahn Day 4 features: Father's Day with the Camerons/Shumperts | Kyle Dean

JetBlue Park has become a place of familiarity for outfielder Daniel Reyes.

Reyes was at JetBlue Park less than a month ago when his high school baseball team, Mater Academy Charter, played for the Florida state championship. In that game, he drove in his team’s, and the game’s, only run as Mater Academy Charter won the state championship. But instead of taking credit for the win, Reyes was humble when he credited the win to teammate, and starting pitcher, Kevin Fuentes.

Everything goes out to Kevin Fuentes, he pitched his butt off. But it was a great experience to dog pile here,” Reyes said.

Now Reyes returns to JetBlue Park as a participant in the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase. Having the showcase in the same ballpark he was in just less than a month ago has familiarized him with its dimensions.

Definitely knowing the ballpark,” Reyes said when asked if playing at JetBlue before has helped him. “Having the feel of playing in such a nice and beautiful stadium, that definitely helps and goes a long way. Other than that, it’s a great experience,”

That familiarity of the ballpark helped Reyes when he took batting practice on the second day of the National Showcase. Reyes electrified the crowd with three consecutive monster home runs over the Green Monster in left field.

I hit three over the Monster,” Reyes said about his batting practice display. “I was just feeling good. The coach was throwing them right there and they were just going and it felt great. Hearing the crowd and everybody, it was fun putting on a little show.

Having the crowd and the oohs and ahhs, it gets exciting and you’re seeing the balls go. They [the crowd] have a big part in how things go.”

Something that helps Reyes concentrate before stepping into the batter’s box is a ritual he does before every pitch.

Every time I step out of the box, I hold my bat out in front of me and I say a few words that I say every time I go out on the field,” Reyes added. “I give my prayers to the Lord and I thank my grandfather for being where I am today. I do that every time I step out of the batter’s box and coming in.

It relaxes me, I feel confident. I know if they’re with me and I give my best, everything is going to get taken care of.”

Along with a solid batting practice, Reyes put up good numbers in outfield drills and the 60, putting himself in the top group of players in attendance. He ran a 6.72 second 60-yard dash and threw 88 mph from right field to home plate, something that surprised himself.

I feel great, I really wasn’t expecting that,” Reyes said. “I’ve been really working on my arms, doing my bands, doing my things and just trying to keep the ball down. It came out and I’m really happy about that.”

Another thing Reyes is excited about is playing for the University of Florida next fall.

I’m very blessed and excited to go to Florida come next fall,” Reyes said. “It’s an amazing university and I’m blessed to say that I’m going to be a Gator one day.

The first day I visited, the facilities, the coaches, you know everything was just beautiful. There’s a great atmosphere, it’s where I want to go.”

What has helped Reyes prepare himself for playing at the next level has been playing with the South Florida Elite Squad, one of the top prep travel teams in the country. Including Reyes, 10 South Florida Elite Squad players have committed to colleges. Those colleges include Miami, Vanderbilt, Duke, Louisiana State, Florida Atlantic and Stetson, respectively.

Reyes appreciates being surrounded by talented teammates who push him to play his best and are good to be around off the field as well.

It’s a blessing playing for the South Florida Elite Squad, having guys like Elih Marrero, Julian Infante, Romy Gonzalez, Dom DiCaprio. We are loaded and it’s fun playing with top guys everyday and going out and performing,” he said.

With the National Showcase wrapping up tomorrow afternoon, Reyes hopes he can put together some good at-bats and have another batting practice type scenario during a game.

I definitely want to put together some good at-bats, not necessarily get a hit or anything, but put together some good at-bats and maybe square up a ball here and there. And definitely show these guys I can play in the All-American game in the future.”

Chris Real

Live Streaming

For the third straight year the Perfect Game National Showcase is available for everyone to watch online. The live stream to all of the workouts, batting practice sessions, and games, and the archives for each if you can't watch them in real time, can be found on iHigh's dedicated Perfect Game page:

Day 4 workouts

After lightning delays and the threat of rain pushed back the third round of batting practice until Sunday morning, the Vegas White and White teams finally got a chance to take the field. With BP getting pushed back, PG officials decided to run the drills as they normally do, running the 60-yard dash first followed by the infield and outfield drills before getting a chance to see the players hit.

In the drills portion of the Day 4 workouts catcher Dametri Evans showed off a very strong arm, popping 1.83 while recording 83 mph velocity from behind the dish. Evans also looked strong in BP, consistently hitting balls on a line to center field.

Vegas Gold lefthanded hitter Ethan Paul showed one of the better swings in the batter's box, showing nice balance and weight transfer in his swing and a sweet line drive oriented approach. He quickly showed that his talents played well in games as well, hitting a standup triple in the first game of the day shortly after batting practice had concluded.

Cameron Montgomery showed the most impressive power in batting practice, driving the ball with authority to left-center field.

View all of the results from all three portions of the PG National workouts in the event's scout blogs:

2014 PG National Showcase scout blog

National Impressions

Five more games were played on Day 4, Games 12-16 (of 18) overall of the event.

Two hits stood out in the first game of the day, the first being a hard hit single through the hole on the left side of the infield by Jeremy Eierman. That may not sound very exciting, but Eierman was hustling from the moment he left the batter's box, rounded first and dove into second base for an opportunistic double.

Kyle Dean's double in the sixth was more of the conventional nature, a drive deep to the gap in left-center.

DeMarcus Evans stood out on the mound in Game 12, in both stature (6-foot-4, 245-pounds) and stuff (88-92 fastball). He used his size to throw on a downhill plane, getting great extension on his pitches. He threw mostly fastballs in his two inning outing, mixing in a handful of mid-70s breaking balls.

Game 13 featured some very big arms, the biggest of which threw innings 7-8 for the Royal squad. Luken Baker, with a huge, broad-shouldered 6-foot-4, 240-pound build that looked even bigger, threw on a pronounced downhill plane making his sinking 93-94 fastball look that much harder. He peaked at 95 and showed the ability to mix in a slider and a changeup to keep hitters honest, both of which were thrown in the 81-83 range.

Austin Riley, one of the most talented two-way players in the class, started the game for the Royal squad and looked much like he did two months earlier at the PG High School Showdown. He threw his fastball downhill at 90-91 while mixing in a hard overhand curveball at 75-77 mph.

Riley did get some help from his teammates, as third baseman George Hewitt robbed an extra-base hit in the first inning with a leaping stab, while right fielder Ryan Shinn snared a would-be base knock with a hard charging dive to open the second.

Nick Neidert started opposite Riley, showing his long and lean, 6-foot-1, 185-pound projectable frame and loose, live arm. He held his velocity consistently on his 90-92 mph fastball and his sharp 76-77 mph curveball.

Anthony Molina, currently ranked No. 1 in the class of 2016, was the second pitcher to take the mound for the Texas Orange team, and despite getting knocked around in his first inning of work, quickly showed why he is ranked as high as he is. Built tall and incredibly lean, he's just starting to scratch the surface on his potential, and the current product is already plenty good with a 91-93 fastball and sharp 73-74 mph curveball.

The Royal team hit four consecutive base hits off of Molina, the loudest of which came off the bat of Austin Riley, who clubbed a double hard off of the highest point of the Green Monster.

Nick Shumpert not only is one of the fastest players in this class, but he also has some of the most usable speed, routinely flying down the first base line.

Speaking of flying, Daz Cameron is an incredibly fun player to watch, but I think most everyone already knows that by now. He plays the game with such electricity it looks so graceful and easy for him. His bat speed matches his foot speed, with an incredible first step out of the box. He caught up with a quality fastball in Game 14 and laced it to right field for a single, hustling out of the box and rounding the first base bag hard before deciding to advance to second when the fielders hesitated to make a throw.

Cameron patrolled the outfield for the Red team, a team that at one point in time fielded an infield of Isiah Gilliam at first, Cadyn Grenier at second, Alonzo Jones at short and John Aiello at third. That's a potential all-star infield at nearly any level, and elicited questions wondering what the over/under was on how many of that group plays in the big leagues.

Parker McFadden wasn't overly imposing at 6-foot, 175-pounds, but he displayed a live arm, working in the 90-92 range peaking at 93. He also threw a 85 mph changeup and a low-80s slider.

One of the biggest higlights of the day occurred at the end of Game 15, the fourth game of the day, when a tall, incredibly lanky righthander named Tristan McKenzie took the mound. With very long limbs and a smooth, balanced delivery, McKenzie opened eyes by commanding a 90-92 fastball, a low-80s change and a sharp 75-77 mph curveball. He's listed at 6-foot-5, 160-pounds. One scout noted he peaked at 89 mph just last week, as it's easy to envision him enjoying rapid velocity gains given his extreme projectability.

Two-way talent Dallas Woolfolk took the ball to start Game 16, the third and final game of the day, for the Red team. At 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, Woolfolk has excellent size, and is one of the more notable two-way players in attendance, joining DeSoto Central (Miss.) teammates Austin Riley and Keegan James. Woolfolk showed well in batting practice on Friday night, and also looked sharp on the mound. He threw his fastball easily and consistently in the 89-91 mph range, touching 92, while also throwing a 77 mph curveball.

Brandt Stallings continues to look extremely good at the plate during this year's National. After smoking a triple off of a Joe DeMers 94 mph fastball last night, he drilled another triple in the last game of Day 4, rounding the bases quickly to cruise into third standing up.

Elih Marrero, who showed extremely well in drills by popping 1.82 and throwing 80 mph from behind the plate, as well as running a 6.90 60-yard dash, got to show off his speed and overall savvy late in Game 16 after singling up the middle. On the very next pitch he stole second base, and he proceeded to steal third base on the pitch after that, coming home to score on a mishandled throw.

Alonzo Jones almost got to display his world-class speed after running a 6.17 second 60-yard dash earlier in the showcase. Jones bloopd a base hit down the right field line and bursted out of the batter's box, quickly rounding first base with his eyes set on third before the ball bounced into the stands for a ground rule double.

Similar to how Day 3 ended, another California armed wowed late on Day 4 when lefthander Patrick Sandoval took the mound. A well proportioned, athletic pitcher, Sandoval displayed excellent arm speed in producing lively 89-91 heat from an easy delivery. The ball exploded out of his hand, with his best pitch being a low-80s hard slurve that he commanded extremely well.

The final pitcher to take the mound in the final game of the second to last day of the National was Tekwaan Whyte. A two-way talent with promising all-around athletic tools, Whyte easily pumped 90-92 mph fastballs to go along with a breaking ball that hovered right around 80 mph with a live, loose arm.

Read more about all of the game action from Day 4 in the aforementioned PG scout blogs as linked above.

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