Tournaments | Story | 10/25/2015

World Championship: Day 3 Recap

Andrew Krause         Chris King         David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Day 1 Recap
| Day 2 Recap
Day 3 Daily Leaders | Feature: Elite Squad Prime | Feature: Mets Scout Team/Scorpions

Ryan Zeferjahn (2016, Topeka, Kan.) toed the rubber for the Astros Scout Team/FTB Tucci in one of the morning time slots on Saturday. The righty’s start was one of the better attended and more highly anticipated performances of the day, and the tournament to date. While Kansas is not particularly thought of as a baseball hotbed fellow Sunflower State righty Riley Pint is arguably one of the top prep pitchers in the 2016 class, and Zeferjahn showcased an impressive blend of raw stuff and projection that should have crosscheckers and directors making the trek to Topeka as well. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound righty has a large frame and slender, athletic build with broader shoulders, long limbs, and plenty of room to fill out and continue adding strength as he matures.

He showed quality athleticism and balance throughout his delivery, and while he initially scattered the ball within the strike zone in his first inning of work, Zeferjahn really settled in nicely in his second and third innings of work. The righty’s fastball sat between 90-93 mph throughout his outing, and he was able to spot the pitch to both sides of the plate, while keeping it down in the zone consistently. Zeferjahn has a loose, medium-to-extended arm action and he works through a small wrap on the backside with quality armspeed and releases from a three-quarters arm slot.

Zeferjahn’s fastball (and fastball command) provides a nice, stable foundation for his arsenal, and while he did not use his changeup, he has flashed solid feel for the pitch at past events. Instead, Zeferjahn used his slider early and often, showing quality feel for the 77-78 mph offering that flashed above-average potential. At times the pitch lacked depth and featured more sweeping action, but as he threw it more often and got comfortable, the offering flashed good tilt and two-plane depth with late glove-side finish. It is easy to envision Zeferjahn adding more velocity as he matures and gets stronger, and with sustained performances like the one he had on Saturday, he could hear his name being called in the early rounds of the 2016 draft in June.

Alex Kiriloff (2016, New Kensington, Pa.) impressed on the summer showcase circuit, performing well at both Perfect Game National Showcase and the Perfect Game All-American Classic, where the outfielder/first baseman won the homerun derby contest. Kirilloff has a physical and well-proportioned 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame and he has surprising athleticism and footspeed, as he’s been clocked as low as 6.67 seconds in the 60-yard dash. As evaluators have seen more of Kirilloff in the outfield, the more they’ve come to believe that he has a solid chance of profiling at the position (rather than his primary listed position of first base) at the next level. For all of the quality secondary tools, the bat is where Kirilloff stands out. The lefthanded hitter has cut down a bit on his pre-swing movement, but he still uses a nice leg lift trigger and shows good rhythm, balance, and weight shift throughout his swing. He has impressive strength off of the barrel with good bat speed, and a fluid and slightly uphill swing path. He’s able to generate natural loft and carry, and he squared the ball up often in his two games on Saturday. He’s not just a pull hitter either, as he hit the ball with authority to center and left center field, including a double over the center fielder’s head that was measured at 98.6 mph off of the bat by TrackMan. The Liberty commit is one of the top pure hitters in the draft class and he’ll certainly be one of the most watched prep bats in the Northeastern area this spring.

Delvin Perez (2016, Loiza, Puerto Rico) has some of the loudest tools in the 2016 class, and while the shortstop is still rather raw his upside is tantalizing. The lean 6-foot-3, 165-pounder is a tremendous athlete that is full of quick twitch, but questions remain about his hit tool. Perez has struggled at times against spin and offspeed offerings this weekend, but he still flashes impressive juice and strength, and he drove the first pitch he saw on Saturday morning (an 86 mph fastball) for a double into deep left-center field that registered 96 mph off of the bat. There are far less questions about Perez’s defensive acumen, and he was magnificent in the field again yesterday, showing easy range to either side and smooth actions. Additionally, Perez wowed those in attendance by diving to nab a slow roller hit up the middle with the bases loaded and throwing home accurately from the seat of his pants to home plate to cut down the lead runner.

Ray Gaither (2016, Coppell, Texas) is a high-end two-way player that is currently committed to Dallas Baptist. The 6-foot-3, 220 pounder has showcased very good hitting tools in the past, but on Saturday he was solid on the mound. Gaither has an up-tempo delivery with a side step into his leg lift and a slight hunch over his frontside. While he can work a bit across his body, Gaither flashed decent command of his 90-93 mph fastball. He has good armspeed working through to a three-quarters’s arm slot and there is some deception in his delivery. Gaither also flashed some feel for his breaking ball, a 76-79 mph curveball with quality depth. At times he got too far on the side of the pitch but at its best the offering has hard downer action and finish with 11-to-5 break.

Casey Legumina (2016, Chandler, Ariz.) pitched very well for GBG Marucci. The 6-foot-1, 190 pound righthanded pitcher has flown under the radar, and while he might not possess the loudest pure stuff or an extremely large or projectable frame, the Gonzaga commit has a tremendous feel for pitching and solid command of his fastball and breaking ball. Legumina has some deception in his delivery with a slight pause and drift at the apex of his left lift, and he was able to repeat his mechanics very well throughout his six innings of work. While he came out firing his fastball up to 92 mph in the first inning, he settled more comfortably into the 86-89 mph range for most of his start, and was able to spot the offering to either side of the plate with equal aplomb. He also showcased advanced feel for his breaking ball, which showed more horizontal tilt and sharp glove-side action in the upper-70s and a bit more depth in the mid-70s. Both breaking ball varieties were effective in their own right, and Legumina showed that he could keep the offering down and out of the hitters’ swing paths consistently.

Spencer Van Scoyoc (2016, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is an extremely projectable lefthanded pitcher. The southpaw has been to numerous Perfect Game events, including this past June’s National Showcase, and the Arizona State commit was very sharp when he took to the mound on Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 195 pounder is very loose, free, and athletic in all of his movements and he’s very clean mechanically throughout his delivery. He touched 90 a handful of times with his fastball, predominately working in the 86-89 mph range, and he projects to add more velocity as he gets stronger physically and matures in the next few years. Van Scoyoc also has impressive pitchability, as he showcased very advanced feel of his offspeed stuff for a high school lefthanded pitcher, easily working in a quality 72-74 mph curveball and 79-80 mph changeup and locating both for called strikes throughout his outing.

Ulysses Cantu (2016, Saginaw, Texas) has helped lead the Texas Scout Team Yankees to a perfect 3-0 record in pool play thus far thanks to his advanced feel for the barrel and ability to impact the baseball. The Texas Tech commit has a sturdy 6-foot, 205-pound body and strength in his hands and wrists. The righthanded hitting third baseman stays balanced and measured throughout his swing mechanics and he’s able to match his swing plane with that of the pitch and manipulate the barrel very well. He’s hit a number of balls hard this week, including a double to left field (102.1 mph off the bat) and a home run to left field (93.5 mph off the bat) on Saturday morning.

Kenyon Yovan (2016, Beaverton, Ore.) has a larger frame than Cantu, but they are rather similar players as both profile at the next level as third baseman. Like Cantu, Yovan has considerable strength throughout his body and he’s a well-rounded overall player with solid hitting tools. The University of Oregon commit has solid bat speed and can impact the baseball, showing good lift and strength off of the barrel, particularly to the pull side.

Eric Heatter (2017, Jamesburg, N.J.) was very impressive in earning a complete game win over a loaded Astros Scout Team/FTB Tucci lineup that contains a number of highly-rated prospects. The 6-foot, 180-pound southpaw pounded the strike zone with a solid three pitch mix. In the early going his fastball was up to 88 mph, before settling into the mid-80s for much of his seven inning outing. The Rutgers commit competed extremely well, and it is clear that he knows how to pitch as he did a tremendous job of mixing in his 74-77 mph slider and a low-70s changeup with equal effectiveness and comfort.

Isaiah Kerns (2016, Lewistown, Pa.) is listed as a primary third baseman, but the West Virginia commit showcased some interesting arm strength on the mound in a brief appearance on Saturday morning. Kerns, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound righty worked in the 90-92 mph range with his fastball. Kerns has a compact arm action and it is clear that he’s still a bit raw as a pitcher, but he flashed a low-80s changeup and a mid-70s breaking ball and it would be interesting to see him for a more extended period of time rather than a dozen or so pitches.

Andrew Krause

Calvin Greenfield (2017, Chicago, Ill.) on Day 3 of the WWBA World Championship, the nation’s second ranked catcher in the 2017 class proved he’s every bit deserving of that ranking by showcasing some loud tools on both sides of the field. Defensively, Greenfield sets the tone with high energy and a take charge mentality. At 6-foot-1 and 190 lbs, Greenfield plays light on his feet and displays efficient footwork whether he’s dropping to block or popping to throw. His slow squat position allows him to stay balanced when receiving and his strong hands and wrists keep the glove quiet. When he does pop to throw, the Florida commit has a quick release and throws on a line to the bag. If he’s working with a pitcher who’s somewhat quick to the plate, it will not be easy to run on him.

At the plate he sets up with his hands high, but is able to load quickly and quietly with solid timing. The barrel drops into the zone quickly before he puts a short, compact swing on the ball. The swing plane stays level through the zone and allows him to spray line drives to all fields. With his already solidly built frame and big broad shoulders, Greenfield has the space to add more strength where he can start to develop more in-game power.

On the same East Coast Grays/Chain Baseball squad as Greenfield were a few other guys that stood out. Outfielders Garrett Hodges (2016, Guyton, Ga.) in right field and Dalton Griffin (2016, Guyton, Ga.) roaming in center. Both guys showed some skills at the plate. Hodges possesses some serious bat speed and barrel control which was evident on a ball that left his bat at 96 mph. Hodges was also heads up on the bases where his natural instincts took over allowing him to be aggressive. Griffin Showed a good idea of the strike zone and really impresses in centerfield with a lightning quick first step and direct routes to the ball. He looked completely comfortable tracking the ball while going back which isn’t something you see everyday at this level.

Ole Miss landed two very impressive players at premium positions with Dulin Dodgers teammates, shortstop Grae Kessinger (2016, Oxford, Miss.) and catcher Thomas Dillard (2016, Oxford, Miss.). Kessinger stands 6-foot-2, has long and lean limbs making him look even taller. His body is still projectable and his upper body should fill in nicely. Body aside, there are some very loud tools here. The bat speed is legit and it allows him to turn on just about any inside pitch with authority. He has a very good feel for the barrel and controls it well. There was some loud contact off of his bat, especially on his well struck double to leftfield. Kessinger keeps his hands inside the ball so well that he was looking to pull everything, which is fine as long as it’s working. His swing path gets a bit long at times, but the bat speed is able to make up for it. There is some natural uppercut in his swing and when he gets stronger, the power potential is going to be very real.

Defensively, Kessinger uses his long limbs to his advantage. The long strides he gets allows him to range very well to his right or left, but he looks very comfortable going left and using a smooth backhand to get balls deep in the hole. His actions are quick and smooth as are his transfers. There is plenty of arm on him and he will have no problem playing on the leftside of any infield. He stays loose and athletic on every play and plays with a very high baseball IQ.

With Kessinger locking things defensively up the middle of the infield, Dillard does the same from behind the plate. Built like a rock at 6-foot and 215-pounds, Dillard has thick and sturdy base that suggests he will be a durable backstop for the foreseeable future. For as strong and physical as he is, Dillard moves better than I anticipated behind the plate and also on the bases where he was 4.5 runner down the line. He showed a quick pop out of his crouch and is ready to throw. There is plenty of arm strength to keep opposing running games in-check. He was consistently right at or just under two seconds on his pop times, with his best being a 1.91.

Dillard was dangerous today with a bat in his hand as well. The switch-hitting backstop smoked an opposite field double batting from the left side with a hard, but controlled swing. I didn’t get a chance to see him from the right side, but as a lefty, he was relaxed, balanced, and swings with purpose.

Another player on this Dodgers team that made an impression was Drake Frix (2016, Plainville, Ga). Fritz doubles as a catcher and infielder and today played a solid game at third base and swung the bat very well. Fritz, who is committed to College of Charleston, showed a simple and balanced approach the plate. He didn’t try to do too much and put a consistent level and quick swing on the ball. He showed a good eye and a disciplined feel for the strike zone. By properly using his fundamentally sound game, Fritz was able to rack up at least three hits today while playing under the weather. I respect his desire to play on the Jupiter stage.

Blair Henley (2016, Fort Worth, Texas) Henley is committed to stay close to home and attend the University of Texas. The 6-foot-2 175-pound righthander has a projectable frame and a three pitch mix. His delivery is quick and balanced and his arm gets through with good speed even with a slightly inverted arm action. Coming from a high three quarter slot, Henley was able to stay consistent with his release point and throw strikes with all three pitches. His fastball was sitting 86-88 mph most of his outing while touching 89 a few times. The fastball was at it’s best up in the zone where it was more lively and explosive out of the hand. His go to breaking ball is a bat missing slider that he throws anywhere from 77-79 mph. It has good tilt and he is able to locate for a strike or get batters to chase it as it sweeps down and away from righthanded hitters. The future Longhorn will throw it in any count and isn’t afraid to double-up on it. His third pitch was a slower spinning 73 mph curveball. He didn’t throw a whole bunch of them, but there was enough shape and feel to suggest it has potential to develop.

Riley Self (2016, Coldwater, Miss.) is committed to play at Mississippi State and the 6-foot-4 righty showed he’s got the arsenal to get outs in the SEC. His arms whips through with excellent speed and comes straight over the top. The arm stays free and easy all the way. Self has a fastball that sat 87-89 most of the day, but ran a few up to the plate as high as 91 mph with some very effective late tail and sinking action. He uses his tall frame well by staying on top and pitching downhill, making the sinking fastball even more effective. To go along with his heater, Self mixed a deep and deceptive changeup in the 81-82 mph range. Getting it deep is always a positive trait, but there was some horizontal movement on it that made it even more nasty. It isn’t a finished product yet, but there is the makings of a nasty pitch here. His third offering in his bag was a decent 82-83 mph slider. There wasn’t consistent action on it, but when it’s right, it’s a late sweeping pitch that generates some very awkward swings. Self sequenced well, and the future Bulldog was able to get into an early rhythm and cruised most of the way from there.

Chris King

Friday night was the first time in a little over a year that righthanded pitcher Nate Brown (2016, Hartland, Wis.) appeared in a Perfect Game event and he picked the biggest stage to do so. With a long and loose whip-like arm action the University of Florida commit came out pumping the strike zone and turned in arguably one of the more impressive performances to this point of the tournament as he needed just 59 pitches to work five scoreless against a talent Florida Burn squad.

A native of Hartland, Wisconsin, Brown certainly looks the part as he toes the rubbers standing at a strong and well proportioned 6-foot-2, 185-pounds and still has room in both his upper and lower half to fill out with additional strength. Brown came out and immediately impressed running his fastball up to 92 mph early on while sitting in the 88-91 mph range all the while pounding the strike zone as he started 18 of the 20 hitters faced with first pitch strikes. The future Gator continued to fill up the strike zone after he got ahead in the count and worked to either side of the plate showing complete command of the zone as he repeated both his delivery and arm action exceptionally well.

Brown shows very god arm speed coming through the zone and with late whip was able to produce both the previously mentioned velocity as well as late running life that he used on more than one occasion to spill back over the outer half to a righthanded hitter for a called strike. The other aspect that makes Brown such an interesting prospect is the feel for both his slider and changeup which give him a full starting arsenal.

Thrown consistently in the upper-70s and touching 80 mph Brown exhibited a consistent feel for his slider, a pitch that featured late tilting life and gave him a pitch to go in the opposite direction of his heavy, late running fastball. The pitch would occasionally back up on him later in the outing and gave the pitch more depth and look of a curveball but when it was on it showed the potential to be an above average pitch. A groundball pitcher, Brown flashed only a couple of changeups but they were quality with late fading life at 78-79 mph and he even showed one on a 3-2 count that just missed for his lone walk of the outing. When you put all the ingredients that Brown brings to the mound he’ll certainly be an eye to keep close tabs on throughout the spring and as the June draft approaches.

Along with being perhaps the most physical catcher in the 2016 class, Perfect Game All-American Ben Rortvedt (2016, Verona, Wis.) has continued to show the tool set to match and justify his lofty ranking of 21st in the nation. Listed at 5-foot-10, 190-pounds Rortvedt is able to retain looseness in his defensive actions which complement his catch and throw skills. The culmination of both were put on display and helped the Arkansas commit produce a sub 2.00-second pop time in game with above average arm strength and accuracy to the glove. The offensive tools are there as well as the lefthanded hitting catcher shows a long and fluid swing that keeps the barrel in the zone while showing premium bat speed to the ball.

Another Perfect Game All-American catcher who hasn’t really done a whole lot of catching prior is Carlos Cortes (2016, Oviedo, Fla.), one of the more highly regarded hitters in the entire country. A both-handed thrower who typically plays second base for the Scorpions throughout the summer, Cortes will take his reps in the outfield lefthanded and of course suited up behind the plate yesterday righthanded. While the bat will ultimately be the carrying tool if Cortes is able to stick behind the dish it’ll certainly add to his overall value come June and he didn’t look out of place by any means for not frequently suiting up this summer. It speaks to his overall athleticism as he did a nice job of both receiving and moving laterally to block balls in the dirt. The game didn’t appear to speed up for him either as he delivered a strike to second base on the first attempted theft to get the runner by three steps while putting an immediate end to the opposition’s running game.

Jordan Roberts (2016, Euless, Texas) began to make some noise this summer when reports of a big, hard throwing Texas lefthander surfaced prior to the 17u WWBA National Championship. Those reports proved to be true as Roberts worked in the 88-91 mph range and shortly thereafter committed to the Arizona State.

While his mechanics were a bit raw at that point of the summer the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Roberts has continued to refine his mechanics and now shows better fluidity and balance with a deliberate tempo and measure leg lift to begin his delivery. The stuff the lefthander is able to produce is just as impressive as his physical build as Roberts held 90-93 mph on his fastball over his three-plus innings on the mound all while showing little effort and sound athleticism. Despite still spinning around a harder front leg at release, Roberts did a nice job of continuously working on top of the ball from his high three-quarter arm slot which then allowed for consistent downhill plane to either side of the plate.

He proved to have a feel for the running game as well as he’d switch up his looks out of the stretch and twice picked runners off showing the comfort to hold his leg lift a little longer or give multiple looks before driving to the plate. It’s not hard to envision more velocity on its way for the Texas native as he continues to incorporate additional lower half, especially considering how easy the velocity comes to him now. Roberts pitched almost exclusively off his fastball though he did flash a changeup or two in the upper-70s that showed some fading life and a curveball between 76 and 79 mph that served as a chase pitch to elicit swings and misses.

With the type of resume that outfielder Connor Capel (2016, Katy, Texas) has amassed throughout his Perfect Game career it’s not too much of a surprise to see Capel continuing to swing a hot bat just as he had at the WWBA South Qualifier. A highly athletic University of Texas commit, Capel has always been able to find the barrel of the bat from the left side and did so again yesterday putting a couple of his tools on display at all once. Not only did Capel detect spin out of the pitcher’s hand but he was able to stay back and then through his swing as he lined the outer-half curveball into left field for a two base hit, rounding first in 4.39 seconds.

Miles Sandum (2016, Apple Valley, Calif.) has a couple of things that scouts look for in that he’s big, strong, throws hard, and is lefthanded. He was handed the ball to begin the game for the Marlins Scout Team and certainly didn’t disappoint as the University of San Diego commit opened the gates sitting in the 90-93 mph range with his heater. Showing present strength throughout his long 6-foot-3 frame Sandum works from a high three-quarters arm slot and uses his length well to get on top of the ball and generate solid downhill plane. Out of the stretch Sandum showed a bit more running life the fastball while still working over his front side with extension out front at release. He settled into the 88-90 mph range as the innings continued on but still showed sharpness and late depth to his curveball at 73-74 mph, a pitch that featured 1-to-7 shape.

Markus Ramos (2017, Ewa Beach, Hawaii) came as far as any prospect in the entire tournament and though just a junior he impressed in his couple of innings. Already committed to the University of Oregon, Ramos came out and sat in the 86-88 mph range with an extended three-quarter arm action and did a nice job of commanding the zone with some riding life out of his hand despite his front side opening early. His curveball was a true swing and miss offering in the low-70s showing sharp break and big depth to go along with the 12-6 shape and has the potential to develop into one of the better breaking balls in the 2017 class. While he worked mostly fastball-changeup, Ramos did flash a changeup at 77 mph to give hitters a third different look.

There are certain players who you can go watch and pretty much know what you’re going to get regardless of who they are playing. Vanderbilt commit and shortstop Xavier Edwards (2018, Wellington, Fla.) is one of those players and ranks amongst the top defensive players in the country in the sophomore class despite not being one of the biggest or most physical. Full of fast-twitch muscle and highly athletic instincts Edwards shows loose and balanced actions at shortstop where his hands are incredibly soft and fielding a ground ball is second nature. There were a couple of ground balls where Edwards came charging in to make an on the run throw though it was the play that he completed to begin a double play turn that stood out. With a runner on first and a slow chopper up the middle Edwards came across the middle, gloved the ball and then shoveled it to the second base with a simple glove flip to get the lead runner.

The son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, Indiana University bound Jacob Matheny (2016, Weldon Spring, Mo.) put his mark on the Marlins quad yesterday, literally. Ranked No. 224 in the class of 2016 Matheny was able to turn the barrel through the zone on an inner half fastball which he drove high and deep to left field, eventually clanking loudly off the scoreboard.

Righthander Garrett Acton (2016, Lemont, Ill.) looks to be one of the key pieces to St. Louis’ 2016 recruiting class and certainly grabbed the attention of the scouts who were on hand. With a strong and durable 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame Acton came out working in the 88-91 mph range rather comfortably, touching a 93 with an up tempo throughout his delivery. Acton uses a short and quick arm action to help generate solid arm speed and remains balanced through his delivery helping him fill up the zone with a three-pitch mix. While he’s able to miss bats on the strength of his fastball and show riding life up in the zone, Acton frequently mixed in an 11-to-5 curveball in the low-70s and a late fading changeup in the 79-81 mph range.

Jheremy Brown

If ever a single position player won a game for a team and potentially saved their playoff chances, it was centerfielder Akil Baddoo (2016, Conyers, Ga.) for the Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks on Saturday. Down 1-0 in the third inning to a talented Sandlot Scout Team and playing without a lot of spark, the Warhawks put a runner on third base with two outs. Baddoo, spurning traditional baseball strategy in that situation, bunted up the third base line from the left side and ran a stunning 3.65 to first base to barely beat the throw and drive in the runner. With the game still tied in the sixth inning, Baddoo led off the inning with a booming triple up the right-center field gap and later scored on a sacrifice fly. It was a very impressive performance for the Kentucky commit, both in his athletic combination of speed and strength and in his obvious enthusiasm for the game. He reminds this scout of a lefthanded hitting version of another Georgia high school outfielder from about 25 years ago, Rondell White.

The Warhawks were able to stay in the game and set the stage for Baddoo's heroics due in part to two innings each of no-hit relief by righthanders Owen Griffiths (2016, Aiken, S.C.) and Peyton Henry (Pleasant Grove, Utah). Griffiths, a Clemson commit, worked in the 90-93 mph range with his fastball with lots of 93's early. He threw a 75-77 mph curveball that showed hard spin and bite when he was on top of it and picked up a strikeout with a nice 78 mph change up. Henry is a primary catcher with the prototypical short catcher's arm action and came right at hitters with a 91-92 mph fastball and mixed in an occasional big-breaking 76 mph curve. He ranks 159th in the PG class rankings but does not presently have a college commitment.

Sandlot outfielder Conner Uselton (2017, Oklahoma City, Okla.) is ranked 13th in the PG 2017 class rankings and the 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthanded hitter has a very high offensive ceiling. His swing is loose and low effort with lots of bat speed and he hits relaxed and calm. Uselton squared the ball up hard twice in three at-bats, lining a hard single to left centerfield and flying out deep to left centerfield. He also ran a 4.39 on a ground ball out.

Team Elite Prime clinched a playoff berth with a game left in pool play with a 4-0 win over the Royals Scout Team behind the efforts of lefthander Connor Thomas (2016, Omega, Ga.), who threw six shutout innings, allowing only three hits and a single walk while throwing only 68 pitches. Thomas, who is listed at a very optimistic 6-foot, 155-pounds, is the type of pitcher who won't excite pro scouts out of high school but will win a significant number of games at Georgia Tech, where he's committed. He touched 90 mph early and worked at 87-88 mph much of the game, with most of those fastballs at the knees. The southpaw liberally mixed a high quality slider that got up to 83 mph early and spotted that hard biting pitch very well in the same lower quadrants of the zone.

After watching a couple of power-armed relievers in previous time slot watching Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks, the radar guns sparked again at the conclusion of this contest. Team Elite brought out 6-foot-3, 220-pound righthander Austin Franklin (2016, Laurel Hills, Fla.) to close and he did so effectively with a 91-93 mph fastball and a hard breaking upper-70s curveball. Franklin is a Samford commit.

I watched Team Elite shortstop Nolan Jones (2016, Langhorne, Pa.) play all over the country this past summer, which concluded for Jones at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. I hardly recognized him on Saturday. The Virginia commit has added what looks to be 15 pounds of muscle to his long 6-foot-4 frame and is now listed at 200 pounds. That extra strength is really going to help the lefthanded hitting Jones at the plate and he had a nice game Saturday, driving in one of the Team Elite runs with a firm single up the middle.

A tip of the PG cap goes out to Chattanooga Cyclones shortstop Cade Evans (2017, Hixson, Tenn.). The Cyclones had no problem scoring runs during their four games of pool play that concluded Saturday, putting 22 runs on the board. Unfortunately, they allowed 27 and finished with a 1-3 record. Evans, a switch-hitter who batted leadoff, went an eye-opening 10-for-14 at the plate with five stolen bases and five runs scored. As of 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, those 10 hits were four more than any other player in the tournament.

Marucci Elite righthander Easton McGee (2016, Hopkinsville, Ky.) is a veteran of summer/fall circuit and I've seen him pitch numerous times in the past three years and he always seems to save his best efforts for Jupiter. That was certainly the case last night as the Kentucky commit threw a complete game five-hit shutout in 5-0 Marucci win over the South Charlotte Panthers. The 6-foot-6 McGee topped out at 93 mph early and was still at 90 mph on his 100th and last pitch of the game. He threw 80-percent fastballs, mixing in an occasional slider and curveball, and was in complete command the entire game. If he repeats that type of raw stuff and endurance during the spring high school season, his stock could shoot up the draft charts with his athleticism and projectability.

Jupiter Trivia: In 2014 there were 199 pitchers who threw 90 mph or more at the WWBA World Championships. Through the end of play on Saturday, 165 pitchers had reached that mark, putting the 2014 standard well within reach with a day and a half of action left.

David Rawnsley

Righthanded pitcher Charles King (2016, Coppell, Texas) enjoyed a successful summer, including appearances at both PG National as well as the PG All American Classic. Unlike most of the arms, King has seemingly gotten stronger as we reach into late October, and that was on display early Saturday. King started out very strong, working 93-94 with consistency and scraping 95, all from a loose and extended three-quarters slot. The arm action is clean through take back into the arm circle, and very quick through release, showcasing plus arm speed. The looseness of the arm, when combined with his projectable body and arm speed, certainly suggests that there is even more velocity remaining in his future. He mixed in a shorter, quality slider that can flatten out some, in addition to turning over a few well-placed changeups in the mid-80s.

2017 lefthanded pitcher Dylan Gentry (Danielsville, Georgia) opposed King’s Dallas Tigers team, and the underclassman lefthander and University of Georgia commit showed both impressive present stuff and an overall high ceiling. Gentry, standing 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, is broad-shouldered with good present build throughout his body but projects to continue getting stronger as well. Gentry generates excellent plane to both sides of the plate by getting on top of the ball from a high three quarters slot and driving downhill well, despite slight horizontal trunk tilt, and really gets online with his hips and shoulders. The delivery is clean with only mild effort, and the overall mechanical profile is impressive. He worked in the 86-89 mph range with his fastball and certainly projects for more.

The Ohio-based Midland Redkins took on the PRBAHS team out of Puerto Rico, in an entertaining game featuring plenty of Division I caliber talent. Outfielder Francisco Del Valle (2016, Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico) showed off plus raw power potential with a short, powerful lefthanded stroke that creates strength off the barrel with very good backspin. He’s well built and physically strong, built for an outfield corner with the ability to hit for both power and average.

Outfielder Nick O’Day (2018, Coatesville, Pa.) is highly ranked in the 2018 class, and for very good reason. He has highly advanced bat speed with a clean, leveraged path, and has a case for some of the best righthanded raw power in his class. O’Day’s teammate, shortstop Cal Conley (2018, Loveland, Ohio), is a very quick0twitch athlete with quality defensive actions and leftside infield projection. He’s a switch hitter with feel for the barrel from both sides of the plate, and more than enough arm to continue profiling at the shortstop position.

Elite Squad Prime is absolutely loaded top to bottom, making them the pick of some to win this year’s WWBA World Championship. They’ve cruised through pool play so far, on the backs of outstanding pitching and a lineup that just won’t quit.

Catcher Michael Amditas (2016, Boca Raton, Fla.) is a highly cerebral, intelligent player with game-managing abilities behind the plate to go along with professional projection in both his bat and glove. Shortstop Colton Welker (2016, Coral Springs, Fla.) may project best to third base at the professional level, but you’d be hard pressed to find a safer bet amongst the prep bats in the 2016 class. He projects to at least major league average both with his hit tool as well as defensively at third base, giving him potential high round potential in the draft.

Righthanded pitcher Evan McKendry (2016, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) started this game for Elite Squad, and was as impressive as this scout has ever seen him. With a clean, fast arm action that generates lots of plane, he stays on balance and online through his delivery and repeats it well. He came out sitting 91-92 with his fastball, showing control of the pitch within the strike zone as well as some command to both sides of the plate, complete with quality arm side life. His favorite secondary pitch was a hard, tight slider in the low-80s. It’s a bit shorter than a traditional slider, but the spin is very tight and he gets two-plane tilt with the pitch. He showed feel to spin a curveball as well in the low- to mid-70s, and the pitch got better as the game wore on, with good depth and that same ability to generate spin. He mixed in the occasional changeup, mimicking his fastball arm speed well and getting some fading action when he really pronated the release.

Righthanded pitcher Anthony Molina (2016, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came on in relief, and showed quite differently than he has in the past. He’s now throwing from a very low slot, very nearly sidearm, though maintaining the low-90s fastball velocity and solid arm side life that has endeared him to scouts for several years now.

Third baseman Rylan Thomas (2016, Winter Garden, Fla.) is one of the more physical players on the field whenever he steps onto it, and he’s usually one of the players with the best bat speed on those fields as well. He went 100-plus mph off the bat on a hard single to left field, then showed his advanced barrel control by keeping the barrel in the hitting zone just long enough on a fading changeup to hook it down the left field line for a double.

Fellow third baseman Joe Skinner (2016, Heathrow, Fla.) is a plus runner with a large, still-projectable frame, and the lefthanded hitting third baseman has begun to show flashes of all five tools, making him extremely intriguing to follow into the spring and eventually the draft in June.

Outfielder Anthony Gonnella (2016, Riverview, Fla.) is playing for FTB Mizuno in this event, and the still-uncommitted physical specimen is showing big time thunder in his bat to go along with projectable defense either at third base or in an outfield corner. He launched a towering, deep fly ball 101 mph off the bat in Saturday’s action that carried all the way to the batter’s eye in centerfield, clocking a hang time of 6.34 seconds, and really making scouts drool over the type of power he can create.

Brian Sakowski

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