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Tournaments | Story | 11/3/2015

Jupiter Impact Players

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WWBA World Championship Daily Recaps: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

While the 2015 WWBA World Championship concluded over a week ago Perfect Game's scouting staff takes a look at some of the prospects that stood out the most during the five-day event in Jupiter, Fla. From players that are already ranked among the top players in their respective classes to those that made the most of their opportunities to elevate their current rankings, once again there was plenty of talent on display at the premier scouting event in baseball.

The players as listed below are broken down into five categories – Stars on Display, Hidden Gems, Bats Stepping Up, Arms on the Rise and the Next Wave of Talent – and are listed alphabetically within each of those categories.

To read more about the players that stood out during the 2015 WWBA World Championship be sure to read the individual daily recaps as linked above.



Stars on Display

The players below are well-known commodities on the scouting scene and did nothing but cement their status as the top prospects eliglble for the 2016 MLB Draft.

Carlos Cortes, 2B/OF, Mets Scout Team/Scorpions
Carlos Cortes hitting the ball hard is far from a shock as it happened with regularity throughout the summer. While he hit .583 during the event perhaps the most impressive aspect of his showing were the five innings that he suited up as a catcher. Viewed as an offensive second baseman, Cortes moved well behind the plate and blocked most dirt balls and even threw out a runner by a full three steps, which only adds to his already unique profile.

Rian Haire, LHP, EvoShield Canes
Haire continues to improve every time he takes the mound, and in Jupiter he delivered a strong, impressionable start. He refined his balance and rhythm working heavily off his fastball early in the contest while painting to either side of the plate. He maintained his velocity exceptionally well at 89-91 mph while touching 92s throughout, including one in the fifth inning, and when its at its best his mid-70s curveball showed hard, downward bite.

Cooper Johnson, C, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Johnson is exceedingly well built, with the body type and strength that is nearly the picture perfect build for a catching prospect. With a plus-plus arm, lightning quick transfer and excellent side-to-side agility and blocking actions, Johnson is quite easily the best defensive catcher in the country at this point. How far along he comes with the bat, however, will be what ultimately determines his draft stock.

Nolan Jones, SS/3B, Team Elite Prime
Jones’ performance at the WWBA World Championship may have been the talking point of the tournament. The Virginia commit was extremely active this summer, appearing at seemingly every big event, but he took his game to another level in Jupiter with more strength and physicality in his athletic 6-foot-4 frame and hit the ball hard in seemingly every plate appearance. While he may still profile better at second or third base, Jones’ combination of athleticism, strength and high-level hitting tools has vaulted him into first-round consideration.

Charles King, Dallas Tigers
Charles King, RHP, Dallas Tigers
Texas breeds hard-throwing righthanders, and King is the next one up who could get into the first round of the 2016 draft on the strength of his power three-pitch mix. He’s certainly long and loose with an arm that works very well, and though there are some mechanical inconsistencies he needs to straighten out, he’s got the raw stuff and projection that scouts look for early in the draft.

Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Baseball U Bonsall Bat
Kirilloff was very busy this summer, and while he’s listed as a primary first baseman, evaluators have been impressed with Kirilloff’s defensive chops in the outfield as well as he displays quality athleticism and foot-speed (6.67 60-yard dash). At the plate, Kirilloff has seemingly simplified his swing mechanics without sacrificing any of his high-end bat speed and power—which may be the best lefthanded raw in the entire prep class—and he showed a polished, mature and disciplined approach throughout the tournament.

Matt Manning, RHP, EvoShield Canes
A couple of scouts have expressed their issues with Manning's lower body mechanics, which feature a cross-body release. However, he does possess functionally the best fastball in the 2015 class when you incorporate life and command with the velocity. Good hitters don't take good swings against Manning's 92-94 mph heat.

Delvin Perez, SS, Astros Scout Team/FTB Tucci
Perez has been well known for some time now due to his impact tools, pretty much across the board. Make no mistake, Perez has the tools and athleticism that usually translates to a first-round pick, but what has held back his profile a bit is that the game seems to move a bit too fast for him at times. Scouts were packed deep behind home plate every time Perez played looking to see if the tools were catching up to the speed of the game, and in Jupiter they certainly appeared to be doing so.

Will Proctor, MIF, GBG Marucci
It has been written a couple of times in the past few months that Proctor is one of the most improved prospects in the 2016. That is due to his very aggressive approach and newfound power on inside half fastballs, aspects of his game that were on display when he rocketed a home run to open up a pool play game. A loose comp might be the Orioles J.J. Hardy.

Nicholas Quintana, IF/C, EvoShield Canes
Quintana had an excellent tournament, which is not especially newsworthy in and of itself with his talent level. Two things are worth mentioning, however. First is that Quintana has made significant adjustments to his swing that really work; he's eliminated lots of the hand action that triggered his swing and left his timing and ability to make adjustments to off-speed pitches inconsistent at best. Second, and this wasn't in play in Jupiter, only talked about, is that Quintana has reportedly been working hard this fall on converting to catcher. That's a position for Quintana that has long intrigued scouts due to his below average straight-line speed.

Joe Rizzo, 3B, EvoShield Canes
Rizzo hit .364 in 22 at-bats as he continues to employ an all-fields approach creating line drive contact from foul pole to foul pole and showed his strength with a couple of long and lofted fly balls that were recorded for outs. He also showed well on defense, and one play that stood out was a diving stop to his right during pool play in which he quickly popped to his feet and showed enough arm strength and carry to finish the play with a strong throw to first.

Hudson Sanchez, SS/3B, Texas Scout Team Yankees
There's no hesitation in calling Sanchez the best position prospect in Texas right now and a potential top two-round pick. He's always been very athletic but his transformation from a contact approach to a much more aggressive mentality at the plate has been noteworthy and exciting. If he shows scouts that he has a chance to stay at shortstop that will raise his stock even more.



Hidden Gems

This group consists of players that weren't necessarily on the national scouting map prior to their appearance at the WWBA World Championship but most assuredly are now.

Drew Gillespie, RHP, Rays Scout Team
It is often difficult for players from New Mexico to get exposure but Gillespie certainly opened some eyes last weekend in Jupiter. The University of New Mexico commit has a lean, athletic frame and some deception in his delivery which helps his 87-91 mph fastball play up. Additionally, Gillespie flashed feel for both an upper-70s slider and a changeup, and while he’s more projection over polish at this point he should certainly have area scouts from the Four Corners checking in on Albuquerque this spring.

Andru Summerall, Twins Scout Team/Scorpions South
Isaiah Kearns, 3B/RHP, Mid-Atlantic Rookies Baseball
While Kerns is a primary third baseman with good present strength and feel for the barrel, he’s also an intriguing prospect on the mound as he ran his fastball up to 92 mph in a brief relief appearance. While he’s understandably raw as a pitcher and will need to clean up his delivery, with his arm strength it will be interesting to see how he develops as a prospect during the spring and possibly in Morgantown as a West Virginia recruit.

Christian Long, OF, Texas Drillers
Long wasn't ranked in the PG 2016 class rankings prior to Jupiter but he's a quality prospect with an impressive righthanded bat. Wake Forest recruited him out of the Houston area and found themselves a good one.

Dustin May, RHP, Texas Scout Team Yankees
While the look at the 6-foot-6, 180-pound righthander was much too short – only 23 pitches – it was very impressive. May's fastball was comfortable between 90-93 mph with fairly calm and directional mechanics and his curveball flashed power and tight spin. He's very intriguing and will be an early spring priority for area scouts in Texas.

Andru Summerall, 1B, Twins Scout Teams/Scorpions South
College coaches often bemoan the lack of power in the college game, so when an uncommitted 2016 with strength and bat speed strings together some good at-bats against good pitching, including a no doubt home run into the wind, it's notable. Summerall isn't especially athletic but the power and hitting skills are there.



Bats Stepping Up

While this group of position players certainly were far from unknowns, each one used the big-stage opportunity in Jupiter to improve their already lofty standings in the eyes of scouts.

Akil Baddoo, OF, Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks
Baddoo's combination of running speed and power/strength is very interesting and he maximizes his tools with an aggressive approach to the game. Georgia-based scouts probably aren't growing weary of the long line of toolsy outfielders that have been coming through their state high school ranks.

Andrew Baker, OF/LHP, Chet Lemon's Juice
There’s little denying the athletic ability of Andrew Baker, a legitimate two-way talent whose upside is a little greater as a position prospect at the professional level. He was named to the event's All-Tournament team for his two-way exploits, tossing a complete game, one-hit shutout in which he struck out 15 while hitting .364 with a pair of triples. A fiery and fierce competitor, the fast-twitch Baker is able to create next-level bat speed thanks to his quick hands and shows gap-to-gap strength.

Nick Derr, Mets Scout Team/Scorpions
Ulysses Cantu, 1B/3B, Texas Scout Team Yankees
Cantu was one of the best and most productive hitters at the Area Code Games in August and he was the same in Jupiter. Along with his strength and bat speed, Cantu has outstanding barrel-to-ball skills and will be a low strikeout hitter. His long home run off a low and inside curveball was a textbook lesson in how to keep your hands back on an off-speed pitch. Scouts won't love the 6-foot righthanded hitting profile but it's one of the better pure bats in the class.

Nick Derr, SS, Mets Scout Team/Scorpions
Derr has made huge strides as a hitter and the athletic ability has always been there. His swing is very short and direct and the bat speed is very real. Derr had a four-hit game in Jupiter and also put on a batting practice show on Thursday morning. Look forward to a big spring from the righthanded hitter.

Kyle McCann, C, East Cobb Yankees
While any relationship between Kyle McCann and Brian McCann is unknown at this point in time, the similarity doesn't stop at the name and the state of Georgia, as Kyle is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound lefthanded hitting catcher with bat speed and power. Scouts aren't likely to sleep on him either after last year's East Cobb Yankees catcher, Tyler Stephenson, blew up as a first rounder last spring.

Bryant Packard, 1B, EvoShield Canes
On a talent-laden Canes team it was Packard, ranked 381st in the 2016 class prior to Jupiter, who had one of the stronger performances over the weekend. The overall swing is short and plenty loose to the ball with big bat speed and strength off the barrel that plays to all parts of the field. After connecting for balls that came off at 103 mph in each of the first two games, Packard delivered one of the bigger blows of the entire event with a standup triple to the opposite field gap.



Arms on the Rise

Similar to the Bats Stepping Up as listed above, this group of pitchers really stood out on the fields at the Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter.

Nate Brown, RHP, Chicago Scouts Association
The overall talent in the Midwest in on the rise and Brown is a big part of that. He has the talent to make noise this spring and jump to the top of scouts' follow lists given his size, athleticism, looseness, command and repertoire. Brown attacks hitters with a fastball that topped at 92 in Jupiter and a tight 80 mph slider and is able to work either side of the black while staying off barrels and missing bats.

Mason Cole, RHP, Dallas Tigers
A very tall, very long righthander, Cole’s arm works very well with lots of looseness and easy velocity projection. Already working comfortably in the mid- to upper-80s, Cole’s combination of projection and arm speed could certainly lead to a velocity jump as soon as the spring arrives, which could in turn send him flying up draft boards.

Cal Coughlin, RHP/3B, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Coughlin and the Dallas Tigers Ray Gaither might as well be the same player, as their tools and profiles as two-way players overlap precisely. Coughlin touched 94 mph in Jupiter and was comfortable working in the low-90s. His curveball is solid when he throws it hard and he flashed a nice changeup as well. Coughlin is young on the mound but the talent is there to really develop.

Davis Daniel, RHP, Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks
Daniel was one of the most impressive righthanded pitchers in the tournament, and his appearance on opening night was watched closely by many scouts, crosscheckers and directors. The lean and athletic righty threw his heater in the 91-94 mph range, proving that his velocity jump in the later part of the summer was sustainable, and he also showed good feel for a sharp upper-70s breaking ball and pounded the strike zone consistently.

James (Alex) Haynes, RHP, Northeast Baseball
Of the 15 pitchers who touched 94 mph or better in Jupiter Haynes might be the least known of those, partially since he didn't do the full summer circuit. Even still, Haynes was ranked within the top 300 prospects heading into Jupiter and did nothing but elevate stock as he lived in the low-90s over his couple of innings and did so without much effort. With an extended three-quarters arm slot Haynes was able to live down in the zone with comfort to locate to either side while mixing in a low-70s breaking ball for strikes.

Nate Brown, Chicago Scouts Association
Trevor Holloway, RHP, Florida Burn
Holloway hadn’t been recognized as of one the Sunshine State’s premium arms but he may have changed some scouts’ minds the past few weeks. He was impressive at the Florida Diamond Club Showcase a week prior to the WWBA World Championship, and in Jupiter he flashed his low-90s fastball and the ability to throw his breaking ball for strikes with an easy arm action that should bode well for further velocity as he matures physically.

Easton McGee, RHP, Marucci Elite
McGee has long been one of the more projectable arms in the 2016 class and he’s taken the first of what could end up being a couple of velocity jumps while in Jupiter. With a previous top velocity of 91 mph, McGee mixed in several 92's and a couple of 93's early in the contest before finishing his complete game gem with a 90 mph fastball on his 100th and final pitch. He also flashed both a slider and curveball, both of which became more prevalent in the later innings.

Miles Sandum, LHP, Marlins Scout Team
Sandum threw in front of a throng of scouts and the southpaw certainly gives evaluators plenty to think about. At 6-foot-4, 215-pounds he has present strength with a quality frame that projects, and he also has good arm speed and raw arm strength, running his fastball up to 93 mph in the early going of his brief Jupiter appearance. Projectable high school lefties with that kind of velocity don’t grow on trees, meaning Sandum will certainly be watched closely during the spring by Southern California area scouts.

Skylar Szynski, RHP, Reds Midwest Scout Team
Szynski is poised for a big jump in the rankings after dominating in his three-inning Jupiter appearance. He threw mostly 90-93 mph fastballs, peaking at 94 during that time, allowing just one hit while fanning five. Although there's some effort in his delivery he has a strong, athletic frame and could be the next Indiana prep pitcher to creep into the early round conversation between now and next June.

Connor Thomas, LHP, Team Elite Prime
Mark it down, Thomas is going to win lots of games at Georgia Tech. He's a sub 6-foot lefthander who scratched 90 mph in Jupiter, so he isn't likely to excite the scouting community right now but he has a very good true slider that has depth in the low-80s and outstanding command of the lower part of the strike zone. When he adds a workable changeup, he'll be a weekend ACC starter.

Spencer Van Scoyoc, LHP, Iowa Select
Van Scoyoc may have the most diverse arsenal and advanced pitchability in the 2016 class outside of any lefthanded pitcher not named Jesus Lazardo. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native has good command of a fastball that he ran up to 90 mph and feel for an impressive array of quality secondary offerings including a curveball, slider and changeup.

Nathan Walker, RHP/C, San Diego Padres Scout Team
Although he shows solid defensive skills behind the dish, Walker is most intriguing to evaluators on the mound. At 6-foot-4, 185-pounds he has an ultra-projectable frame, and as he gets stronger he should continue to add velocity to his present 88-90 mph fastball. While his secondary offerings are still developing he generates significant downhill plane and a tough angle for opposing hitters and he has the ability to throw quality strikes with his lively heater.

Bo Weiss, RHP, Mountain West Slammers
Weiss has always intrigued scouts thanks to his lean, projectable pitcher’s build and bloodlines. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound righty has taken the velocity jump that many saw coming, working more consistently in the low-90s this fall (and touching 94) after showing an 87-90 mph fastball for much of the past calendar year. Perhaps even more encouraging for evaluators Weiss showed improved command and crispness of his secondary offerings.



The Next Wave

This category is dedicated to the underclassmen that performed at a high level at the 2015 WWBA World Championship and represents the future wave of talent we expect to play at a high level through this time next year.

Nick Allen, SS, CBA Marucci
We at Perfect Game have long been big fans of Nick Allen, and for very good reason. Despite being a bit undersized, Allen is arguably the best defender in his class at a premium position. He’s very advanced offensively as well, with beyond-his-years ability to command the strike zone and recognize spin. Add all that to a quick bat that already sprays liners to all fields and developing extra-base power, and it’s quite easy to see why Allen is held in such high regard throughout the baseball community.

Cooper Davis, OF, Ontario Blue Jays
Davis may be the next high-round Canadian draft after the country had an outstanding 2015 class. He led Jupiter with seven stolen bases and has 6.3 speed in the 60-yard dash according to Blue Jays GM and Manager Dan Bleiwas. Davis isn't a slap-and-run prospect either as he has strength in his lefthanded swing.

Russell Smith, LHP, Dallas Tigers
Smith is a different prospect than fellow 2017 6-foot-9 southpaw Mitchell Stone, aside from the obvious vertical similarities. He's almost strictly a fastball pitcher at present with a loose and fast arm that produced an 86-88 mph fastball that is hugely projectable. The two things that stand out about Smith is his athletic and repeatable delivery, which enabled him to pound the strike zone, and his obvious positive emotion on the mound. He has the type of projectability that makes scouts dream.

Nick Allen, CBA Marucci
Mitchell Stone, LHP, Astros Scout Team/FTB Tucci
As a 6-foot-9 southpaw with a similar stature and tantalizing upside as the same stage of their respective careers, Stone will inevitably hear plenty of A.J. Puk comparisons. He has remarkable body control and feel for repeating his mechanics, and he showcased improved fastball velocity, working consistently in the 87-89 mph range. Stone’s mid-70s curveball projects to be a legitimate out-pitch at the next level which makes him a fascinating player to watch develop over the next 18 months.

Alejandro “Alex” Toral, 1B, Elite Squad Prime
The No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class is the type of hitter who will stop all conversations and draw all eyes to the lefthanded batter's box when he steps to the plate, and he rewarded onlookers with two monsterous home runs in Jupiter. If there is a point to quibble with in Toral's approach it's that he can appear too patient and selective at the plate at times. Of course, that quibble might just be because scouts like to watch him swing more than take.

Cole Turney, OF, Texas Scout Team Yankees
Turney has a very close comp in 2013 Oakland A's first round pick Billy McKinney, now one of the top prospects in the loaded Cubs system. Their profiles as lefthanded hitters who are athletic enough for some centerfield duty but are long-term corner outfielders are identical and their tools similarly matched. The difference is that Turney has significantly more power potential than McKinney and impacts the ball harder at the same age.

Connor Uselton, OF, Sandlot Scout Team
Uselton still has another year on the summer/fall circuit which doesn’t bode very well for the opposing teams that will have to face the potential five-tool outfielder. His overall skill-set still projects despite already standing out physically, and his swing is loose and fluid with present strength. And the performance backs up his tools, as six of Uselton's eight hits went for extra bases, including a long home run in which he kept his weight back on a curveball and connected for a 400-plus foot towering shot.

Mark Vientos, SS, Elite Squad Louisville Slugger
Vientos is one of the most well-rounded players in the 2017 class. The Miami commit has been a known entity in South Florida circles for some time now, and with his projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, present feel for the barrel and top-notch hand speed in the batter’s box, it is easy to understand why he’s currently the fourth-ranked player in the 2017 rankings.

Steven Williams, OF/C, Team Elite Prime
Williams can impact the ball as hard as any 2017 in the country. He tends to get too opposite field oriented at times, which lessens his bat speed and ability to drive the ball, but that will come with time. Due to the depth of catchers in the Team Elite Prime program it's not easy to see him log time behind the dish, but he's certainly athletic enough to stand out there.

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