DeSoto Central Day 1 Feature | Kennesaw Mountain Day 1 Feature
first two games Thursday at the 2015 Perfect Game High School
Showdown weren't necessarily artistic baseball masterpieces but they
certainly didn't lack for drama, as each went down to the final
pitch. The Venice Indians, behind a route going performance by
righthander Cole Kragel, edged the Magnolia Heights Chiefs 2-1,
escaping a one-out, runners on second and third jam in the bottom of
the seventh. The Houston Mustangs upset the DeSoto Central Jaguars
4-3 in the other game, surviving their own bases loaded, no-out jam
in the seventh.
is a fairly unique prospect. He's every bit of his 6-foot-8,
215-pound listed build with proportionately long arms and legs. The
senior throws from a true submarine release point and does an
outstanding job of repeating his delivery and release point. He
threw only 91 pitches over seven innings, mostly working with a 84-87
mph fastball that he spotted to both sides of the plate, and issued
his only walk of the game (versus nine strikeouts) to lead off the
Virginia Tech signee throws a pretty straight fastball for his
release point however, something that he'll have to work on at the
next level. He threw about 80 percent fastballs, mixing in an
occasional slider and changeup.
Heights starter Riley Self threw well for 4 2/3 innings but took the
loss. A Mississippi State signee, Self pitched in the 86-90 mph
range with an upper-70s slider that showed very good potential.
Cental will still be one of the most watched teams at LakePoint this
week but will not be playing for the championship as many had
speculated. They started 6-foot-3, 205-pound righthander Dallas
Woolfolk on the mound, and while Woolfolk had powerful stuff, the
Mississippi recruit didn't mix his pitches effectively and Houston
hitters began to get around on his 89-92 mph fastball with
regularity, putting DeSoto down 4-0 early. Woolfolk has thrown a
low-80s slider in the past but only threw a handful of mid-70s
curveballs this outing.
Game All-American Austin Riley had a strong game for DeSoto Central.
It looks like he's firmed and trimmed up his extra strong 6-foot-3
build since last summer and that showed on defense and on the bases.
Riley even played shortstop for a few innings after Woolfolk moved
from the mound to Riley's third base position and started a slick
double play with a quick feed from the hole. Houston pitched very
carefully to Riley, walking him twice, but he was able to crush one
pitch hard up the right-center field gap for a triple.
in the Academies side of the High School Showdown, 2015 lefthander
Sixto Torres started Faith Baptist's second game of the day with a
generous number of scouts watching. Torres, who is ranked 111th in
the PG 2015 class rankings, showed very good stuff, topping out at 91
mph and pitching at 88-89 to go with a big breaking curveball. He
struggled with his delivery and release point, however, and ended up
walking seven hitters in 2 2/3 innings, although he allowed only two
runs in Faith Baptist's 3-2 win over SBO Puerto Rico.
pair of 3:00 p.m. games lacked the last pitch drama of the first time
slot on the high school side of the bracket, as the Kennesaw Mountain
Mustangs run ruled the Columbia Wildcats 13-3 in five innings and the
Parkview Panthers did the same to the Murfreesboro Central Tigers
12-1. Those one-sided contests did allow a number of talented
position prospects a chance to shine, however.
Mountain centerfielder Reggie Pruitt is listed at 6-foot-1,
168-pounds and about two-thirds of that length appears to be in his
legs. He is a gorgeous runner to watch with very long and graceful
strides and instant acceleration. Pruitt led off the game with a
bunt single, stole second, went to third on the wild throw and scored
on a wild pitch, which is assuredly not the first time he's created a
run in that manner. He finished the 3-for-4 at the plate, with three
runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Pruitt also ran a 4.18
home-to-first from the right side while letting up in his last
at-bat. The only correctable flaw in Pruitt's game today was that he
had a chance to make plays on a couple of runners from the outfield
but rushed his throws from a lower arm slot than he would usually
outfielder Terence Norman plays in right field beside Pruitt and may
have a higher ceiling. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he doesn't have
Pruitt's speed but he is very projectable and already has present
hitting tools and bat speed. His hitting mechanics are very smooth,
with a good shift into contact and a very noticeable but still low
effort explosion of his hands towards contact. He crushed two line
drives to left-center field, one for a triple, that measured in the
upper-90s off the aluminum bat. He's currently ranked 288th in the PG
Class of 2016 rankings but it's not hard to see that ranking moving
up significantly during the late spring and summer.
third Mustang, catcher Tyler Stephenson, also had his chances to
shine. A Georgia Tech signee who is ranked 103rd in the 2015 class,
Stephenson is as strong as his teammate Pruitt is fast. He hits
righthanded with a crouched stance and a very short and crisp swing
for a 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete. He shot one double down the left
field line and into the corner and later rocketed a line drive up the
middle at an even 100 mph off the bat that sent both the pitcher and
the field umpire jumping out of the way. Stephenson has a big arm
behind the plate and looked very accomplished at framing balls on the
corners with his strong hands.
player on Columbia we'll have to follow closely the next two days is
2015 outfielder Bryson Medious. Medious is a quick-twitch athlete
who flashed very good bat speed.
infielder Daino Deas, an Auburn signee and the 294th player in the PG
class rankings, had a near perfect day for Parkview, going 3-for-3 at
the plate to go with a walk, three runs scored and four RBI. One of
Deas' hits was a triple into the right field corner and he showed his
speed running a 4.25 from the right side to beat out an infield hit.
Deas' at-bats were very similar in that early the count he took a big
and ineffectual swing, he then worked the count patiently and ended
up hitting the hard late in the count with a much shorter swing than
he opened his at-bat with.
catcher Austin Biggar also had a productive day at the plate batting
in the cleanup hole behind Deas, going 2-for-3 with a booming double
to center field included, plus driving in three runs. Biggar, who
already has a verbal commitment to Georgia, has a loose and smooth
power swing and plenty of strength at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds to create
real bat speed.
Panthers didn't need it but did received a very efficient and
business-like outing from senior righthander Ryne Inman. The Georgia
State signee threw 49 pitches in four innings, allowing two hits, no
walks and striking out six Tiger hitters. Inman worked in the
upper-80s, touching 90 mph a couple of times and showed a solid
three-pitch mix with a hard spinning mid-70s curveball and a nice
was only one game during the 6:00 p.m. slot Thursday but that game
featured the No. 2 ranked team in the country in the IMG Academy
Ascenders facing off against the Collierville Dragons, the 2013
Tennessee state AAA champions. For more background on the Ascenders,
read PG writer Jeff Dahn's story on the program here.
started the game off quickly, scoring three runs in the first inning
and adding another in the second. Third baseman Ryan Karstetter, the
144th ranked player in the PG 2015 class rankings, keyed the scoring
with a hard double into the left field corner, part of a 2-for-3
evening with a walk added in for the Virginia signee.
starter Alex Hicks settled down after that and started mixing in his
nice slider more frequently and effectively and those would be the
only runs IMG would score for the game.
five innings it looked like all IMG would need would be one run with
southpaw Logan Allen on the mound. Allen has been one of the most
successful pitchers in Perfect Game history, having made eight
All-Tournament teams as part of the EvoShield Canes over the past
three years. Allen showed over those first five innings that he has
taken another step forward as a prospect, working in the 90-92 mph
range and touching 93 mph a few times. He didn't use his power
curveball much and didn't need to, as he finished those first five
innings throwing only 59 pitches, 70 percent of them for strikes,
without issuing a walk or allowing a hit.
eventually got tired and lost the vertical command of his fastball in
the sixth inning and hadn't established feel yet for his curveball
and just barely survived a two-run Collierville rally, with Hicks
driving in both the runs with a bases loaded single. IMG hung on to
is ranked 76th in the PG rankings and is signed with South Carolina.
That ranking is based on his being a very successful lefty with a
long resume and a upper-80s fastball with a highly advanced ability
to pitch. If he established this spring that he is now a consistent
low-90s pitcher while keeping the pitchability, it puts him in a
different prospect category. A cross-checker coming in for a look at
Allen tonight who was familiar with him from last summer and fall
could easily put a second-third round evaluation on him.
final set of games in the 8:00 p.m. time slot both proved to be
pitcher's battles under the Lake Point lights.
unofficial hosts of any tournament at LakePoint, the Cartersville
Hurricanes, kept their legion of loyal fans at the park until late in
the night as they had to play 10 innings before edging the Houston
Mustangs 1-0. The Concordia Lutheran Crusaders pulled off a minor
upset, if a team with two players ranked in the top 60 in the 2015
class can be an underdog, blanking the defending champion Sarasota
101: When you take a look at the lineup of a very good team, pay
special attention to see if any premium position players or
middle-of-the-order hitters are sophomores or freshmen. When you
find them – and it is rare – it probably means they are very
incredibly starts freshmen at both shortstop and second base and bats
the precocious pair second and third in their lineup. 6-foot-1,
185-pound switch-hitting shortstop Devin Warner has a big physical
presence on the field and looks like he will outgrow the middle
infield at some point in the near future. The locals are already
talking in glowing terms about his present and future power at the
plate and he is said to put on an impressive display in batting
practice despite his age.
it was the incredibly versatile freshman Anthony Seigler that was the
star of the game. Seigler is listed as a switch-hitting,
switch-pitching catcher/lefthanded pitcher in the program. He started
the game at second base, then moved to the mound in the seventh
inning. He ended up collecting two hits, not including the game winning RBI on a fielder's choice in
the 10th inning, while throwing four scoreless innings on the mound,
topping out at 83 mph, while striking out six and not walking a
hitter. Imagine the athleticism of playing six innings at a position right handed, then coming in and pitching effectively for 4 innings left handed, although Seigler has thrown three innings right handed this year as well.
Sarasota, the youngster is sophomore shortstop Alex Arauz. Like
Warner, Arauz is an already strong 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete but it
looks like he has the chance to stay in the middle infield with his
athleticism and quickness. He batted leadoff in the Sailors lineup
and showed very good present bat speed a couple of times.
prospect notes from the last two games:
Lutheran third baseman and PG All-American Ke'Bryan Hayes hit what
might have been the hardest ball of the day, a line shot up the
middle that just sounded different, even coming off an aluminum
barrel. He also just missed on another ball, lining out to deep
center on a curveball. Hayes' approach at the plate is extremely
polished and he looks very confident as well.
teammate, catcher Garrett Wolforth, did his thing defensively,
coaxing 6 1/3 shutout innings from starter Thomas Altus before Hayes
closed the game, throwing out the only Sailor attempting to steal and
regularly popping 1.8 to 1.9 between innings.
starting pitcher, southpaw Elliot Anderson, threw six shutout
innings, allowing only four hits and striking out six. He topped out
at 89 mph while depending heavily on a power curveball that reached
as high as 76 mph. One thing about the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Anderson
that stands out is his athleticism and energy on the mound. He turns
into a ninth defender the moment he releases his pitch and is both
fast and almost hyperactive about backing up bases and being in the
right spot on the field when a play is made. That's something you
love to see in a young pitcher.