Tournaments : : Story
Monday, July 28, 2014

PG World Series recap

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Editor's note: Perfect Game recognizes that there are dozens of standout performers at this year's 15u and 16u PG World Series. The thoughts provided below are first-hand observations from Scouting Coordinator Jheremy Brown during the events' first and second days.

Day 1

Even though the 16u portion of the event only completed the 8:00 a.m. games and began the 10:15 slot, and the 15u event wasn't able to complete during two full slots due to rain, talent was still bountiful in the opening day of the Perfect Game World Series. And with the tournament featuring high caliber teams from across the country, it’s important to get off to a strong start on day one, which means each team sent out one of their top arms to the mound for Game 1.

Although it was only a one-inning look due to the onset of rain, lefthander Jordan Butler (2017, Tampa, Fla.) made his presence felt and would have drawn college recruiters back when he took the mound again. I say “would have” because about two hours after the game Butler announced his commitment to Coach Kevin O’Sullivan and the University of Florida.

Being a rising sophomore it’s easy to say Butler is projectable based on his age alone, but his young face and physicality are also factored in. At 6-foot-1, the future Gator topped out at 89 mph with his best bullet on an 0-2 count low to his arm side. He threw about 8-12 fastballs in his one inning, ranging between 84 and 87 mph, with the majority being either 86 or 87. Butler showed a fast arm with an extended three-quarters slot with the ability to work both east and west on the plate.

Almost as though he knew the rain was coming, Butler flashed his full arsenal on the mound, showing four different pitches for strikes. His slider may be his best secondary, showing tight spin with sweeping life and depth at 77 mph. The curveball showed more 1-to-7 shape at 72 and showed a feel for a changeup at 74 mph.

He may only be a 2017 graduate with three more years of high school baseball, but Weston Bizzle (2017, Lynn Haven, Fla.) has already made a name for himself as one of the most consistent arms on the circuit this summer. A recent Vanderbilt commit, Bizzle goes out on the mound and puts it on cruise control for however many innings he is needed.

With the rain on this day Bizzle was only needed two innings, but he was able show some of the better velocity this summer on his fastball. Sitting at 87-88 mph, Bizzle topped out at 89 mph, continuously pounding the glove-side corner while working extremely quick and efficient on the mound. To complement his fastball, Bizzle showed a sharp curveball in the mid-70s, which like his fastball, he showed a strong feel for with the ability to throw for strikes.

After seeing fellow 2016 Floridian Anthony Molina turn in one of his better performances, I was able to see Austin Bergner (2016, Windermere, Fla.) take the mound, who turned in an equally as impressive performance of his own. Having been one of the top prospects in the 2016 class for over two years now, Bergner has continued to rise to the occasion when all eyes are on him, even if the outings are brief. Limited to a handful of pitches at the Junior National Showcase in Fort Myers over a month ago, Bergner again had his outing shortened by rain, though this time the uncommitted righthander was able to throw four highly impressive innings.

Standing at 6-foot-4, Bergner has plenty of room to fill out but it isn’t a necessity as he not only runs his fastball up to 93 mph regularly, but he maintains his velocity both from the stretch and throughout the outing. Working with a short and quick arm action, Bergner sat in the 91-93 mph range for the majority of the fastballs he threw. As impressive as the velocity was, Bergner’s ability to spot the ball to both sides of the plate for strikes and elevate the pitch with intent was even more impressive. The ball leaves his hand clean and easy with limited effort and features late life to his arm side down in the zone.

Some of the swings Bergner was responsible for from the opposition looked as though he was throwing 98-99 mph. It wasn’t because he was rearing back and airing out on certain pitches, but rather due to Bergner showing three quality pitches and mixing them in at any given count. Throwing it in the 75-77 mph range, Bergner offered a tight 11-to-5 curveball with sharp life and depth, which only improved over the innings. Showing the same arm action on his changeup, Bergner has a strong feel for the advanced offering and it showed with some of the swings. Working in the 81-83 mph range, his first of the game may have been the best as the hitter wasn’t expecting it, nor were the onlooking scouts, and had the hitter way out front, thinking he was going to get a 92 mph fastball on the inner half.

With all that said about his four innings, what stands out the most was the ease of which he was throwing strikes, throwing 32 pitches through three innings and finishing under 50 pitches prior to the rain delay.

Even though the 15u portion of the event is filled with a majority of rising sophomore’s, shortstop Garrett Blaylock (2017, Asheville, N.C.) finds himself playing in the 16u tournament. And he’s not a young player on the bench hoping to get an at-bat, Blaylock is the cleanup hitter for the Dirtbags, splitting time between shortstop and third base. With a long and lean projectable build, the 6-foot-1 Blaylock shows a fluid swing from the left side with natural lift, and as he continues to add strength, he’s going to be able to hit the ball that much further.

Day 2

Coming out of the bullpen for the Indiana Prospects, Sean Mooney (2016, Marmora, N.J.) came out popping the catcher’s glove, showing velocity in warmups that transferred over into game play. Listed at 6-foot-1, the St. John’s commit showed a long, fast arm action, which produced a fastball that sat at 87-90 mph from a low three-quarters arm action. His arm action allows Mooney to generate arm-side life to his fastball, giving him two pitches that are not straight once they leave his hand. The other is his tight spinning slider at 77-78 mph with late 10-to-4 break which he commanded well to his glove side.

Like Bizzle above, righthanded pitcher Altoon Coleman (2017, Sanford, Fla.) has made a name for himself on the national scene already, despite only playing one season of high school baseball. At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Coleman is hard to miss with his physical build, as is his fastball when it pops into the catcher’s glove.

After playing catch with the catcher at the beginning of the inning, Coleman flipped a switch once the ump said “play” pumping a fastball in the consistent upper-80s, needing only three pitches to bump 90 mph. With a short arm circle in the back, the uncommitted Coleman throws with a very easy arm action with life to his arm side while working down in the zone. Showing a lot of 90’s on the radar gun in the first inning, Coleman topped out at 91 mph, only to outdo himself in the second, touching a 92. With a simple and repeatable delivery, he is able to maintain his velocity from the stretch, and as he continues to incorporate his lower half, the velocity will continue to climb.

While he has the big fastball and showed a feel for a 12-to-6 curveball, his off-speed is still a bit of a work in progress. Throwing his curveball primarily in the upper-60s, climbing as high as 72, the pitch shows depth and will continue to develop once he maintains his arm speed on the pitch.

He may only be an incoming freshman, but second baseman Alec Sanchez (2018, Jacksonville, Fla.) has already shown off his lefthanded swing at multiple Perfect Game events. With a big leg raise timing trigger, Sanchez shows an exceptional feel for the barrel, along with fast, loose hands and seems to consistently square the ball up, just as he did in today’s action.

Ben Brecht
(2016, Wilmette, Ill.) stands head and shoulders above everybody else on the Elite Baseball Training Chicago team, literally, checking in at 6-foot-7. Along with his lean, projectable frame, Brecht is lefthanded, giving him two attributes that college recruiters covet in young pitching prospects.

He may not light up the radars guns just yet, working in the 83-86 mph range while peaking at 87 on Sunday, but Brecht showed other things to indicate the velocity may be on its way. Throwing with little effort from a three-quarters arm slot, the uncommitted Brecht consistently worked low in the zone with a quick arm action while creating angle to his fastball. The more time he spends on the mound, the more fluid his delivery will become, allowing for his arm to work even easier and produce more velocity on his fastball. His curveball may only be 65-66 mph right now, but he is able to generate nice tight spin and create depth, two things that aren’t generally associated with softer breaking balls.

Brandon Reitz
(2016, Ocala, Fla.) has pitched in a handful of Perfect Game events this summer and has shown the same high quality stuff each and every time he takes the mound, with yesterday’s outing being no different. The Florida State commit pounds the lower quadrants of the strike zone while showing a fast arm from a three-quarters arm slot.

With a fastball that topped out at 89 mph over the course of his seven innings, Reitz showed an advanced feel for his plus slider, showing the ability to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate. Just when hitters thought they were going to get an upper-80s fastball, the future Seminole would locate a tight slider somewhere in the 77-79 mph range. And just to show the full arsenal, Reitz brought out a changeup in the second half of the game, throwing it at 81 mph while maintaining his arm action and showing the same late, arm-side life as his fastball.

Two weeks ago at the 16u WWBA National Championship, righthander Austin Bodrato (2016, Northvale, N.J.) took the mound at LakePoint and made a strong impression, topping out at 91 mph with fastball while working exclusively from the stretch. Jump to the 16u PG World Series and Bodrato has begun to work out of the windup. As one may expect it isn’t a finished product as he will need to lengthen his stride a bit and stay over his front side, but for the first time working out of the windup Bodrato did well. He worked in the mid- to upper-80s, topping out at 89 mph, while showing the same loose and easy arm action he did in his start prior. To go along with his fastball, the uncommitted Bodrato showed a nice feel for a sharp 11-to-5 curveball with big depth at 75 mph. For a frame of reference, the video below shows Bodrato working out of the windup and the video of his last start out of the stretch can be found here.

Zach Linginfelter
(2016, Sevierville, Tenn.) has a well built 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and attracted many of the college recruiters in attendance to his start early yesterday. Although he was only able to work three-plus innings due to a lightening delay, the uncommitted Linginfelter was able to show off plenty, including a three-pitch mix, all of which he could throw for strikes.

Showing a long, loose arm action, Linginfelter has a little wrist wrap in the back, but that doesn’t seem to deter his strike-throwing ability, as he pounded the zone with his 87-90 mph fastball. Coming out of his hand clean and easy, Linginfelter was most effective with the pitch when he was able to get it low to glove side, knee high, something he often did in his outing, throwing a majority of the fastballs at 90 mph. Even with the velocity he shows now and has shown – he was up to 93 at the 16u WWBA National Championship – the Tennessee native projects for more velocity over the next two years.

He featured two off-speed pitches, both of which he showed a feel for and the ability to throw for strikes. The stronger pitch of the two his upper-70s slider which shows late bite and tilt from the same arm action as his fastball. Throwing his changeup in the 80-82 mph range, it’s not quite as advanced as his slider, but the pitch does show proper spin with occasional late dive to it down in the strike zone.

Although listed as a primary shortstop, Aaron Schunk (2016, Decatur, Ga.) showed well at third base yesterday, proving that his athleticism can play all over the field. A quick-twitch 6-foot-1 rising junior, Schunk showed some range to his backhand, picking a hard hit ground ball and alertly delivered a strike to home as the runner was off on contact, helping to preserve the scoreless game.

Working a little more than an inning to close out the game for the Georgia Jackets, righthander Tanner Burns (2017, Decatur, Ala.) made an impression on the mound that will have coaches coming back for more. With a strong, 6-foot-1 build, Burns showed a very easy and compact arm action which produced 86-88 mph fastballs down in the strike zone. His fastball shows occasional arm-side run, although the life of the pitch was a bit irrelevant as hitters couldn’t see the ball out of his hand and were taking swings as though he were throwing 102 mph. He pounded the strike zone during his time on the mound, missing bats with his fastball while flashing a hard, late sweeping slider at 81 mph to pick up one of his strikeouts.

The last time I reported on Drake Fellows (2016, Plainfield, Ill.), roughly 2-3 weeks ago, the Vanderbilt commit was consistently throwing 90-93 mph fastballs. Like most young pitchers at this late stage of the summer circuit, Fellows’ velocity was a bit down yesterday, topping at 90 mph while working in the upper-80s. Despite not having his best heater, what Fellows did do on the mound was compete and give his team an opportunity to win. While working low with his fastball, Fellows used his slider effectively over the outing, throwing it between 76 and 78 mph with late break, coming out of his hand looking like a fastball which made it hard for hitters to recognize.

Perhaps it’s a family thing or maybe it’s to keep everything simpler, but Bo Weiss (2016, Castle Rock, Colo.), like his cousin Bodrato above, worked exclusively out of the stretch when he came in to save the Slammers game last night. The last time I saw Weiss was back in January, where he was topping out at 84 mph, sitting comfortably in the 80-82 range. It’s safe to say a lot has changed in those six months for the righthander as he came into the game and sat 87-90 mph, bumping a 91 in his 1 1/3 innings of work. He has begun to fill out his long 6-foot-2 frame, and throwing from a high three-quarters slot, he uses his long levers well to get on top and work downhill very well with his fastball. As he begins to incorporate more of his lower half and stride out a little farther, Weiss will be able to create more extension and will continue to gain velocity. He also flashed a few 12-to-6 curveballs, all of which were at 67 mph, showing a feel for the pitch with some depth.

Most Viewed Related Articles
World Championship Pool Preview
Pool-by-pool the teams, and talent, of the 2017 WWBA World Championship are previewed, as Will Banfield will look to emerge a... READ 
2017 Underclass World Bracket
Bracket READ 
Handicapping top Jupiter teams
Extremely talented two-way player Joseph Charles hopes to lead the Central Florida Gators to a championship at the 2017 WWBA ... READ 
Underclass World Day 1 Notes
Jack Washburn, son of former big league lefty Jarrod, enjoyed a strong showing to open the 2017 WWBA Underclass World Champio... READ 
Recent Related Articles
Freshman World on deck
The 5th annual WWBA Freshman World Championship starts on Friday in West Palm Beach, Fla., boasting some of the nation’s top ... READ 
WWBA World keeps rolling on
2017 PG All-American and No. 12-ranked 2018 national prospect Kendall Simmons will lead the East Cobb Yankees into play this ... READ 
Sophomore World All-Tourney
The All-Tournament Team from the 2017 WWBA Sophomore World Championship, held Oct. 13-16 in Fort Myers, Fla., and includes ev... READ 
Ways To Play All-Tournament
The All-Tournament Team from the Ways To Play Powered by MLB & PG event is now available and includes event MVP Anthony Seigl... READ 
Jupiter College Standouts
Clemson outfielder Seth Beer shined on the fields in Jupiter at the 2015 WWBA World Championship just a few months prior to d... READ 
Handicapping top Jupiter teams
Extremely talented two-way player Joseph Charles hopes to lead the Central Florida Gators to a championship at the 2017 WWBA ... READ 

About Perfect Game :: Contact us :: Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Site Map :: Testimonials
Copyright 1994-2017 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.