Tournaments : : Story
Monday, July 07, 2014

17u WWBA Day 3 notes

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Editor's note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout performers at this year's 17u WWBA National Championship. The thoughts provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting Coordinator Jheremy Brown during the event's third day.

Standing at 6-foot-3, lefthanded pitcher Kevin Smith (2015, Dunwoody, Ga.) started the game for the 6-4-3 Jaguars with a strong crowd of scouts looking on. The Dunwoody native and University of Georgia commit came out early showing three pitches for strikes and still projects given his lean, athletic frame.

Working from a low three-quarters arm slot, Smith worked in the 86-88 mph range in the first inning, topping 89, with some sinking action on his fastball given his arm slot. As the game progressed, Smith settled into the 83-85 range, still showing the ability to work his fastball to both sides of the plate with late run.

Even with his arm slot Smith was able to show some quality off-speed pitches early, throwing both a changeup and a curveball for strikes. Throwing his changeup between 76-78 mph, Smith showed a feel for the pitch, getting late fading action with the proper spin to his arm side on it. His curveball features tight spin with sharper 1-to-7 life at 75 mph, though he does drop his elbow on the pitch from time to time.

Last year at this time Smith was topped out at 81 mph in the 16u WWBA and he should continue to develop and keep making strides with the looseness of his arm action and his athleticism.

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Even though he is 6-foot-5, catcher Chris Cullen (2015, Cummings, Ga.) shows sound defensive tools. which will allow him to stay behind the plate at the next level. And if the next level is the University of South Carolina, where Cullen in committed, the Gamecocks will be ready for him as they just had their 6-foot-5 starting catcher Grayson Greiner drafted in the third round. Cullen shows light actions on his feet and recovers well off pitches in the dirt, showing an easy arm action down to second base with strength and carry on his throws.


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