Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, July 13, 2014

16u WWBA Day 2 notes

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Editor's note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout performers at this year's 16u WWBA National Championship. The thoughts provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting Coordinator Jheremy Brown during the event's second day.

Standing at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, Max Kranick (2016, Jessup, Penn.) isn’t done growing and projects well as he will continue to add strength to his frame. Already committed the University of Virginia, Kranick made his first start of the summer at a Perfect Game event yesterday and surely didn’t disappoint.

Showing a live, loose arm with balanced, repeatable mechanics, Kranick filled up the strike zone with a three-pitch mix, throwing whichever pitch he wanted to for strikes in any given count. More impressive than that though was his ability to consistently locate knee-high to either side with his fastball that sat 89-91 mph, topping out at 92, early on before settling into the 88-90 range. Aside from one inning in which his command slipped up, the future Cavalier pounded the lower quadrants of the strike zone.

His slider was his go-to out-pitch, showing sharp, late break up to 78 mph and used it to record several of his strikeouts. Maintaining the same arm action as his fastball was key, as hitters were not able to pick it up out of his hand until it was too late. Like his fastball, Kranick rarely missed high with his slider and also flashed a couple of changeups through his time on the mound, showing some fade at 80 mph. With everything low in the zone, you could imagine him inducing a lot of ground ball contact and that’s just what he did.




Coming in to close it out after Kranick was 6-foot-5, 200-pound lefthander Jeff Belge (2016, Syracuse, N.Y.) who was equally effective and worked a clean 1-2-3 sixth inning.

After an outing last week with which he struggled with his command, Belge did a much better job of staying online with his delivery and keeping his front side closed, not falling toward the third base dugout. With his delivery cleaned up, Belge was able to establish his fastball for strikes early in the count, which in turn allowed him to throw his slider, something he wasn’t able to do last outing.

Generally working in the 89-91 mph range, Belge showed a little extra on an 0-2 count to the first batter, running his fastball up to 94 mph and was locating well to the glove side corner. His slider showed sharp life up to 80 mph, and like Kranick, he used it as his knockout pitch.





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