Tournaments | Story | 7/20/2016

15u WWBA Day 5 Scout Notes

Matt Czechanski        
Photo: Perfect Game

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CHAOS baseball, featured in an article here, moved to 6-0 on Tuesday afternoon by way of a 9-2 victory over Team Elite 15’s South. They did so with a good combination of patient, timely hitting and quality pitching.

Colton Frank IV (2018, La.) started for Chaos and was solid, working in the 78-82 mph range from the left side, peaking at 83. The arm definitely works, and despite a raw delivery, his athleticism allows him to repeat the delivery well and maintain command/control for the most part.

Shortstop Myles Simmons (2018, La.) had a strong day at the plate, knocking in three of the nine CHAOS runs on a two-run single and then later on a SAC fly. He also showed a strong arm across the infield with good zip out of the hand, and the body definitely projects well to add strength while maintaining athleticism.

First baseman and rising freshman Kellum Clark (2020, La.) has been written about before in these recaps due to his prowess with the bat and the power he generates, despite not having played an inning of high school baseball yet. He didn’t get the chance to show off that power in this game, as he walked twice, but those walks did show an advanced approach, as he recognized spin early and laid off those breaking balls, and didn’t expand the zone, even on borderline pitches.

Second baseman Tommy Biggs (2019, La.) had one of the big hits of the day, a triple up the opposite field (left-center field) gap, going with a fastball on the outer third of the plate and driving it deep on a line, and then showing good speed once underway. Outfielder LaMarcus Jones (2019, La.) more or less put the cherry on top of the CHAOS victory by homering deep to left field in the sixth inning, capping an impressive victory.

An absolute future superstar, rising sophomore shortstop and righthanded pitcher Bobby Witt, Jr. (2019, Texas) has every possible tool an evaluator could want to see, and the whole package comes with the bloodlines and natural instincts of the progeny of an ex major leaguer. He’s a very good defender at a premium positions (shortstop), with range and athleticism to both sides, easy hand actions at the ball, ideal footwork and more than enough arm across the infield with accuracy and carry. He’s also an outstanding pitching prospect, striking out the side on Tuesday night on 12 pitches, working 88-91 mph to close out a combined no-hitter for D-BAT.

Where he stands out above all the rest, however, is at the plate with the bat in his hands. He went 2-for-2 on Tuesday with a double, home run, three RBI, and two walks, reaching base every time he came to the plate. His first at-bat resulted in the double, a ball he didn’t even get on the barrel fully, but still drove a back-spun fly ball off the wall in center field.

Something that is undersold from an evaluative perspective is how a player takes pitches. Does he just stand there and watch the ball go by or is he locked and loaded and ready to swing, only to stop himself at the last moment? Witt is definitely the latter prospect, taking pitches with intent. As a coach once told me: “You should take pitches with the mindset of ‘oh, I was going to hit that pitch 500 feet, but he threw a ball.’” Witt takes pitches like that, and then swings the bat like that as well. The hand speed is tremendous, the path is ideal and clean, and his innate feel for the barrel is off the charts. This is a future superstar in every sense of the word.

Kadon Morton (2019, Texas) started for D-BAT and was impressive, working in the 82-86 mph range with his heavy, sinking fastball and showing advanced feel to spin the baseball, spinning his curveball as high as 2600 RPM per TrackMan. The mechanical profile, arm speed, physical projection and feel to spin the ball all speak to a future high-level righthanded pitching prospect.

The hitter who gets the advantage of hitting in front of Bobby Witt is Logan Britt (2019, Texas), a long and lean, highly projectable outfielder. The body is outstanding, with athleticism throughout and ideally projectable, with plenty of room to continue filling out and adding strength. His swing is very clean as well, with plenty of bat speed and a clean hand path, resulting in excellent plate coverage with good loft through the path, and he’ll have some pretty impressive power as he continues to fill out physically.

Colton Bowman (2019, Texas) relieved Morton, and the young lefthander is yet another high level, projectable arm from the state of Texas. He’s very loose through his arm action and the delivery is very easy and repeatable. He worked 84-87 mph in his quick two innings, striking out all six batters he faced on only 24 pitches, showing advanced feel to work to both sides with his fastball, extending well, and mixing in a sharp 1-to-7 shaped curveball.

One field over from D-BAT another Texas team was earning a victory, as the Dallas Tigers-Nutt club won 10-1 over So Cal NTT MaxBP. Closing out the run rule-shortened victory was righthander Elijah McCormack (2019, Texas), a rising sophomore who attends Coppell High School, a noted powerhouse in the Dallas area. McCormack worked the final two innings for the Tigers, striking out a pair and holding opposing hitters hitless. He ran his fastball up to 90 mph, settling in at 87-89, rearing back and throwing smoke right by those opposing hitters. There’s some violence and effort in his delivery, which can inhibit command (he did walk three), but the body is extremely projectable and the arm speed is very advanced, and it’s therefore easy to project that he’s going to throw even harder in the future than he already does.

– Brian Sakowski

EC Sox Prime Snopek took the field early this morning with both shortstop Armani Larry (2019, La.) and catcher C.J. Willis (2018, La.) making an impact offensively and defensively. Larry impressed with his glove up the middle, making a nice ranging play to his left with a quick first step. He ranges well and gets in a good position to throw with a strong arm – albeit with some gather before he throws – and a smooth transfer. At the plate, he slapped a triple to the opposite field with a compact hand path. Working the opposite field plays well into his approach with a linear swing with some hand quickness through the zone.

Willis comes armed with a far more physical frame at the plate and got tested defensively in Tuesday morning’s action. He’s a highly athletic catcher behind the dish with good lateral movements and blocking ability. His arm, that he showed off on the mound yesterday, works very well behind the plate paired with a quick release. The carry his ball has to second base with accuracy was also impressive, routinely turning in sub 2.0-second pop times between innings. The Ole Miss commit was a standout at the dish as well. He cranked a triple to center field in his first at-bat letting his barrel and hand speed drive the ball quickly though the zone. The hit notched his third to go for extra bases in his last two games.

On the opposite quad, an impressive pair of Chain National arms stood out in separate games. Pitching for the Jones version was long and lean righthander Wyatt Scotti (2020, Mass.). Scotti showed a long arm action through the back with a slight hook through his arm circle. There was some head waggle at release of the ball with recoil at landing, working over his front side. He projects very well, listed already at 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, and will continue to add strength and velocity through maturity. His fastball worked in the low-80s and touched 84 mph on the mound with some late wiggle. It did however straighten out up in the zone. He was around the zone with his fastball throwing over 60-percent of his pitches for strikes. His curveball was very raw, with soft spin working in the low-70s with slight depth and 11-to-5 shape. He did generate five strikeouts in his four innings on the mound allowing only three hits. The fastball command for his age was very impressive and helps with his projection moving forward.

On an adjacent field, uncommitted righthander Aaron Wainwright (2019, Ga.) tossed for Chain’s Moss team, striking out seven batters in six innings. Wainwright has a medium frame with broad shoulders and present strength listed at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. He threw from an over-the-top slot with a long and mostly loose arm action on the mound that slowed through the back. He created lots of plane to the lower third of the zone and that’s where he worked best. His extension down the mound was also a strong attribute continuously registering over seven feet. There was a drop-and-drive element to his delivery with good drive from his lower half. His fastball worked 83-85 mph and topped out at 87 over his first few innings with hard tailing action. Wainwright struggled with his command to start, running into trouble in the first inning, but impressed with his ability to bounce back. He was missing with his fastball low early on, then began locating it in the lower third. He showed some feel for his changeup at 79 mph that showed fade. He also featured a pair of breaking balls with a sharper slider with 10-to-4 shape that showed some swing-and-miss quality. The curveball was 12-to-6 to shaped as he slowed his arm and struggled keeping the ball low in the zone. With three pitches at present that showed quality, Wainwright should be a prospect to watch closely.

Chain’s opposing starter for the Missouri Gators was 6-foot-4, 240-pound Joshua Plohr (2019, Mo.). The big-bodied righthander showed impressive arm strength on the mound for his age working his fastball at 80-84 mph and hit 85 with arm-side wiggle. There was a good bit of effort in Plohr’s delivery with a sharp falloff towards first base, working across his body. He threw from an over-the-top arm slot with good extension down the mound, landing open as he swung his front leg. His arm action was long through the back with a stab at the end of the circle. He showed a very slow curveball in the mid-60s with some depth and 12-to-6 shape.

Following up a strong outing of relief the other day, Austin Thomas (2019, Fla.) turned in another quality outing, this time as the starter. The long-limbed righthander has tons of projection in his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. He had the same long arm action with slight stab pounding the lower third of the strike zone. He repeated well from his extended three-quarters arm slot with good arm speed. Thomas created a ton of angle and downhill plane. His fastball worked 86-88 mph and hit 89 routinely over his 4 2/3 innings with good arm-side life. The breaking ball feel will continue to develop with time for the Hurricanes commit. His curveball currently showed 11-to-5 break with good depth in the low-70s.

Playing center field for the Scorps was uncommitted outfielder Judson Fabian (2019, Fla.). Fabian is highly athletic, listed at 6-foot, 170-pounds, with the range and first step to remain in center ield. However, what he did to stand out on Tuesday was at the plate. He creates above average bat speed with a linear plane through the zone. His strength allows the balls to be driven over the infielders for base hits, but with additional strength and leverage they’ll turn into extra bases. His hands work quickly through the zone with a barrel that looks like it’s in the hitting zone for an eternity. He has a simple rhythm and weight shift into his swing with feel for timing and firing his hips through the ball with intent. Fabian’s feel for the barrel and ability to continuously make hard contact to all fields and stick in center will have him off of the uncommitted board soon.

The starting pitcher for Phenom Signature was lefthander Kyson Stein (2019, Utah) who showed a quick arm on the mound from a deceptive slot. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Stein worked quickly on the mound with a long, mostly loose arm action from a low three-quarters arm slot and crossfire element. He worked hard over his front side with some head jerk and recoil at release. Working so hard across his body he struggled to generate consistent life to his fastball, which worked with mostly true action through the zone. He showed a big, sweeping 10-to-4 shaped curveball with good depth that offered a swing-and-miss option for two strikes around 70 mph. Stein also showed some feel for a changeup at 77 mph with slight fade, also slowing his arm for the pitch. He had a basic understanding of sequencing his pitches, setting up his curveball with fastballs around the corners of the zone. Impressively, Stein struck out five batters in 2 2/3 innings and garnered seven swings and misses.

A player doing it all for Phenom Signature on Wednesday was uncommitted shortstop and righthanded pitcher Mateo Gil (2018, Texas). Gil hit third for Phenom and quickly, and loudly, made an impact at the plate. He smoked a pull-side double down the left field line with easy bat speed. His rhythm and timing at the plate are advanced with a simple approach and explosive hands through the ball. Gil is a highly athletic player with it showing up in every facet of the game. In the field he moves effortlessly to the ball with a smooth transfer and sound footwork around the bag with a well above average arm from the left side. On the bases he is a threat to steal and take the extra bag on any given play, disrupting the pitcher’s timing. When Gil entered the game on the mound in relief, he came in showing off his arm working 88-90 mph with short life. He used a very short, quick arm action with little to no lower half drive and landed closed. He showed an 11-to-5 shaped curveball as well, but the pitch was more a show-me offering than anything else. Getting back to his athleticism, on a play at the plate with the ball away from the catcher, Gil dove towards the ball just to the right of the plate and made a sweeping effort to tag the runner. The run scored despite the effort, but the level of baseball IQ and ability to even make the play close was astonishing.

An Oklahoma State recruit took the mound for the Dallas Tigers Nutt in righthander William Osmond (2019, Okla.). Osmond has a very lean, slender frame on the mound with long limbs and tons of room to continue to fill out physically. He used a shorter, compact arm action on the mound with a slight drop-and-drive element and threw from a three-quarters arm slot. His stride to the plate was very short with a closed landing despite swinging his lower half very open. His fastball consistently worked 85-87 mph on the mound and hit 89 in the first inning. His fastball was flat working through the zone with late arm-side run that worked in tough on righthanded hitters. Osmond had trouble getting out of the middle of the zone, finding a good bit of barrels in the second inning. When his fastball was working well, it generated weak groundballs and additional weak contact in the lower third of the zone. As for secondary offerings, Osmond showed a very big, slow curveball at 70 mph. The pitch was often left up in the zone and he did not show much feel for it. The Cowboy commit also flashed a slider in the low-70s with better snap than the curveball, but still developing overall feel.

Helping round out the night’s action was a matchup with ripe playoff implications between the Kentucky Prospects and the Memphis Tigers Green. The Prospects sent out lefthander Lane Diuguid (2019, Ky.) who shoved accordingly as he fired seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts allowing only three hits. The slightly built lefthander is listed at 5-foot-9, 135-pounds, but is slightly bigger than listed with more physicality. He started with a deep hip coil and bigger leg kick before driving to the plate. What stood out most about his delivery was the impressive, almost eight feet of extension he was generating. He threw from an over-the-top slot with a short, compact arm action and good arm strength for his size. His fastball worked in the low-80s and topped out at 83 mph on several occasions with subtle, late wiggle. What was again impressive was that his fastball garnered so many swings and misses up in the zone. With his extension, the perceived velocity of his fastball was closer to the 85-87 mph range and it jumped on hitters. Diuguid mixed in a 1-to-7 shaped curveball from the same high slot with good depth and the ability to get it over for a strikeout. There was some head waggle in the delivery with recoil over the front side, but Diuguid held his velocity over eight innings and racked up 11 swings and misses.

– Matt Czechanski

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