Tournaments : : Story
Thursday, July 28, 2016

PG World Series Day 2 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Matt Czechanski        
Photo: Perfect Game

Day 1 Notes
13u PG World Series:
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14u PG World Series: Daily Leaders
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15u PG World Series:  Daily Leaders
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16u PG World Series:  Daily Leaders 
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When 2018 Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island, Fla.) committed to the University of Florida last summer it was as a two-way and while he still shows immense talent with the bat, he continues to grow as a pitcher where his future appears to be. Listed at an ideal 6-foot-3, 190-pounds with long limbs and a leaner, projectable build, Denaburg continues to evolve into a top of the class type talent on the mound with his best start to date coming last night.

Opening up in the 90-92 mph range, bumping a 93 to end the first frame, Denaburg’s command was exceptional as he proved capable of moving the ball throughout the zone with intent and angle, throwing all three pitches for strikes. His delivery is very simple with a short side step to start but it helps keep things simple which in turn allows for an abundance of strikes. His arm action is short and rather abbreviated through the back, but also very quick, and comes through the backside clean helping to produce the velocity with relative ease and short life to either side of the plate. When he located down in the zone Denaburg was able to generate short sinking life and carried his velocity very well, still sitting around 90 mph into the seventh while keeping his pitch count to just 69 pitches entering the final inning.

The slider is a pitch that’s continued to develop for Denaburg over the last year and now shows short and sharp tilting life in the 77-80 mph range with two plane shape and tight rotation. The life of both his slider and fastball helped him stay off barrels throughout the game, inducing weak contact more often than not en route to his first complete game victory. Like Brandon Neeck below, Denaburg only showed one or two changeups at 81 mph in the fifth inning which gives him a true three pitch mix.

One of the top lefthanded pitchers in the country, Brandon Neeck (Chappaqua, N.Y.) continues to impress every time he toes the rubber and yesterday was no exception. Listed at 6-foot-1, 165-pounds Neeck has a very youthful overall look but that doesn’t mean you should take him lightly as the stuff he’s able to produce will challenge anybody coast-to-coast. Working exclusively out of the stretch which helps keeps things simple and easier to repeat, Neeck came out sitting in the 88-90 mph range, bumping a 91 early all the while looking as though he was playing a game of catch.

His arm action is very full and fluid, as well as clean, which helps the ball absolutely jump out of his hand with short running life and consistent angle to the bottom of the zone. As the innings progressed his velocity continued to firm up, showing a bevy of 90 mph fastballs late in the contest while still spotting in and out with intent. While there’s undoubtedly more velocity coming with better lower half directionality and physical strength, Neeck already shows a feel for an advanced mid-70s slider with short, tiling life and late bite down in the zone. He does a nice job of mimicking his arm stroke on the pitch and was able to end the second inning with a backdoor slider that froze the hitter for a called third strike. Though he didn’t show it often, Neeck did flashed a changeup for strikes at 81 mph, giving him three pitches moving forward.

At this point in the summer it’s more surprising if 2018 infielder Nolan Gorman (Glendale, Ariz.) doesn’t find the barrel and impact the baseball. A lefthanded hitter whose hands are amongst the fastest in the country, Gorman continues to show off different aspects of the hit tool and yesterday it proved he was capable of barreling up quality lefthanded pitching. Digging in against Neeck, above, Gorman showed no trouble handling a 90 mph fastball as he stayed short and shot the ball back up the middle for a hard line drive single. Given the quickness of his hands, the strength and life off the barrel, the consistent track record, and the fact that he’s lefthanded, Gorman continues to solidify himself as one of the best bats in the country while playing a quality shortstop.

He may only be entering his freshman season but 2020 outfielder/catcher Dylan Crews (Longwood, Fla.) is already standing out at the 15U level and appears to be another young talent for the Orlando Scorpions. An advanced runner who shows the athleticism for either right field or to suit up behind the plate, Crews performed very well with the bat yesterday showing the ability to leverage balls with backspin to either gap. Early in the morning Crews connected for a hard and loud double that bounced up against the left-center field fence showing quick hands and then later in the afternoon drove a ball to the opposite field gap for a triple, showing off both the strength and run tools simultaneously.

An early commit to the University of Washington, 2018 righthander Jayson Schroeder (Kirkland, Wash.) was more than impressive during his time on the mound, mixing three pitches for strikes all the while repeating his short and compact arm action. Working from an over-the-top arm slot Schroeder comfortably worked in the upper-80s with his fastball, frequently bumping 88 mph with a quick and clean arm stroke. The plane to his fastball was very consistent and he was able to generate occasional cut action while showing comfort in working to the lower third of the strike zone. His mid-70s breaking ball served as a quality off speed pitch with short depth and 11-5 shape while the changeup worked in the upper-70s and showed short fading life to his arm side.

Though he’s listed as a primary lefthanded pitcher, 2018 Grant Richardson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) is very much a two-way prospect at the next level. Listed at a very projectable 6-foot-2, 179-pounds, the Indiana commit showed off a long and easy swing with a natural feel for the barrel as he tripled in back-to-back at-bats. The bat speed comes easy for the lefthanded hitting Richardson as he tripled to the opposite field gap in his first trip to the plate which he followed up with another triple in his next at-bat, this time coming to his pull side gap. He’s a solid athlete, which is given as he’s committed as a two-way at the next level, and runs well at present with solid acceleration from first to third.

He only faced two batters but 2020 righthander Nolan McLean (Willow Springs, N.C.) more than impressed with his athleticism and overall pure arm strength. Coming out of the bullpen to secure the 1-0 victory, McLean lived very comfortably in the 87-89 mph range and bumped a 90 all with relative ease. Listed as a primary catcher in the program, McLean’s arm action is short through the back as you’d almost expect, but it’s plenty quick and he’s able to generate the velocity with relative ease. Much strong than your typical freshman-to-be at 6-foot-1, 187-pounds, McLean worked exclusively out of the stretch and was able to generate hard and late sinking life when on top of the ball and staying on line towards the plate. He showed only heaters in game but while warming up he showed both a slider and curveball, the slider serving as the tighter of the two with nice future potential.

Getting the start for Marucci Elite last night was recent George Washington commit, 2018 righthander Alexander Kobersteen (Fredericksburg, Va.) and as the innings wore on he appeared to get stronger and stronger. With a loose, middle infield type build at 6-foot-2, 160-pounds Kobersteen showed off a full and quick arm action that helped produce a steady 85-87 mph fastball, bumping upwards of 88 later into the contest. He did a nice job of regularly getting on top of the ball which in turn allowed for consistent plane and quality strikes. The difference maker for Kobersteen and the pitch that helped him go pretty much unscathed through his innings was his changeup, an offering that proved to be a regular swing-and-miss pitch. Thrown in the 77-80 mph range, Kobersteen did an outstanding job of replicating his extended three-quarters arm slot which helped generate short diving life while still showing the same fast, and rather fluid arm action.

It was a quick one inning look that may have required less than a dozen pitches but uncommitted 2018 righthander Jacob Burton (Diana, Texas) impressed nonetheless. Though not overly physical at 6-foot, 160-pounds Burton is full of fast-twitch muscle, something he put on display at the Junior National Showcase, and he bring it to the mound with his delivery and very quick arm action. Living at 88-89 mph with nearly every fastball, Burton showed comfort in moving the ball to either side of the plate with running life down in the zone and solid plane despite his height. His delivery is fairly simple and he did a nice job of repeating it which allowed him to throw his curveball for strikes as well, a 70-73 mph pitch with short depth and tight rotation.

He may just be entering his freshman year of high school shortly but 2020 righthander Mick Abel (Portland, Ore.) already shows the type of stuff on the mound that can intrigue college coaches throughout the country. Listed at a highly projectable (and believable) 6-foot-3, 160-pounds with long limbs and a high waist, Abel opened up in the 84-86 mph range though what was even more impressive than the noteworthy velocity was the ease in which it looked like he was doing so. Long and fluid through the back with his arm stroke, Abel did a nice job of filling up the strike zone and working down with the zone with some whip action upon release. Despite being a young 6-foot-3 righthander Abel did a nice job of showing balance to his delivery and repeating his arm action. He lived more in the 83-84 mph range in the second inning while still showing the same short running life and also showed a nice feel for his slider, a low-70s pitch that feature short tilt and tight rotation out of the hand.

Doing the receiving of Abel was another young but very interesting prospect in 2020 graduate Logan Paustian (La Grange, Ore.). It’s not often you find a young receiver with relatively refined skills but that’s exactly what you get with Paustian who showed the type of bounce and flexibility to his actions that you typically find in a player who plays up the middle in the infield dirt. He receives it nicely with soft hands hands and showed not trouble shifting his weight to either side in successful attempts to square sliders in the dirt up with this chest. Though he didn’t get to show it off in game Paustian’s arm strength appeared to be plenty on his throws in between innings, regularly clocking in the low 2.0s with a quick exchange and solid carry to the bag. He’s a switch-hitting catcher who already shows solid size with his 5-foot-11 frame and appears to be a name that’ll be on college coach’s radars in the forthcoming years.

Sticking with the theme of young but ultra-talented prospects, righthander Hank Bearden (Rocky Face, Ga.) came on in relief for the Georgia Jackets and helped bridge the gap with a couple of quality innings on the bump. Listed at 5-foot-11, 156-pounds, the freshman to be Bearden obviously projects with a young look and a lean frame but don’t let that fool you as he’s already bumping 87 mph with his fastball and comfortably sat in the 83-86 mph range. While he remains upright at release at present, as he continues to incorporate additional lower half he’ll see an uptick in velocity though what he’s already showing is more than interesting. His arm action works very well through the back with a full and quick stroke that helped produce the velocity, as well as subtle running life to his arm side. He shows balance to his delivery and is able to repeat it rather well at present, something that will only continue to be refined with additional reps on the mound. On top of the fastball Bearden showed a nice feel for a breaking ball in the 68-70 mph range, offering short depth and 11-5 shape on the pitch.

If the trajectory continues to point upward for the three following lefthanded hitting prospects the the Georgia Jackets will be in business as 2020 outfielder Josh Shuler (Suwanee, Ga.), 2020 catcher Corey Collins (Suwanee, Ga.), and 2019 catcher Cameron Fisher (Knoxville, Tenn.) all have the type of physicality to stand out in a 14U tournament, as well as the talent. Of the three Shuler is present the biggest with a very physical 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame and he’s able to use that size and strength at the plate. In the box his hands are extremely fast and the swing path is short with a direct path allowing for hard carry and jump to all parts of the field. Collins is very similar in that he’s able to generate big jump off the barrel with rather simple contact as he lined a pitch back up the middle for a line drive single. The third of trio, Fisher begins with an upright stance and shifts well into contact, showing solid bat speed and a line drive stroke with a sound stroke for the barrel.

– Jheremy Brown

For The D Las Vegas, outfielder Caleb Jackson (2018, Mich.) impressed with quick twitch athleticism in his swing and in the outfield. In his first at-bat, Jackson showed a short, compact swing through the zone driving a double to the left-centerfield wall. He keeps his hands inside the ball and showed some looseness to flick the ball to the gap. He singled again in his second trip, this time through the right side. Jackson paired his all fields approach with aggressive base running. He took the extra base when available and showed good instincts as well. He turned in a time of 4.19 down the line on a bunt attempt in his third at-bat, an above average time from the right side. In left field he covered impressive ground and got good reads off the bat. He ranged back and made a catch short of the wall on the run.

Coming in to pitch for the Banditos Elite in relief and firing an impressive inning on the mound was uncommitted righthanded pitcher, Hambleton Oliver (2019, Texas). Oliver has a physically impressive frame, already listed at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds with present strength and room to continue to refine it. He threw with from a short, compact arm action from an extended three quarter arm slot with good arm strength. There was very little extension in his delivery, working with a short stride and closed landing down the mound. His fastball worked 84-85 mph very consistently in his stint with good angle towards the lower third. The arm side life on his fastball garnered a pair of swings and misses when low, but saw that life dissipate up in the zone. He showed a 10-to-4 shaped slider as well on the mound with good feel for spin and the ability to keep it out of the zone. The pitch showed late snap and the ability to get swings and misses with its dive away from righthanded hitters.

Recent Nebraska commit, shortstop/righthanded pitcher, Spencer Schwellenbach (2019, Mich.) continued to make a name for himself on the national scene playing for the Motor City Hit Dogs. Not pitching today, but Schwellenbach continued to impress at shortstop as well with smooth actions to the ball and a very strong arm. His hit tool at the plate also stood out with a simple, line drive swing plane with good separation. He created leverage with good strength in his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame and drove the ball easily off the barrel. After walking in his first at-bat, Schwellenbach roped a double to left field in the second. The ball came off the barrel loud, and more importantly he showed intent to drive the ball even in his takes. The highly touted two-way talent will take the mound Thursday evening for the Hit Dogs.

What turned into an impressive pitcher’s duel, the SY Titans sent out uncommitted righthanded pitcher Javier Felix (2019, Cali.). Felix stands with a medium build at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds with strength throughout his frame and long limbs. Felix used a short, compact arm action with an up-tempo delivery on the mound. He swung the gate some in his lower half, landing slightly closed and over his front side. He started with a slight tilt in his spine and threw from an extended three quarter arm slot with good arm strength. Felix threw his fastball up to 89 mph and worked it routinely at 85-88 mph with good arm-side life. The run on his fastball was best when he worked on top of it, allowing the heavy life to play up in the lower third of the zone. Everything Felix threw in his two innings was around the zone, but he often left pitches over the middle of the plate. Felix’s top secondary offering was a hard 10-to-4 shaped slider up to 77 with good late snap. The feel for spin was impressive given his age and once he learns to keep the ball low it will give him a swing and miss pitch with two strikes. He also showed a changeup on the mound, dropping his slot slightly up to 78 mph with slight arm side fade.

One of the top remaining uncommitted arms in the 2018 class belongs to lefthaned pitcher, Justin Wrobleski (2018, Ga.). Wrobleski stands with a smaller frame on the mound, but still shows room and the ability to handle additional weight. His delivery has a good bit of effort in it, starting with a slight UVA-esque perch. He uses a crossfire element with his short, compact arm action that worked quickly through his arm circle. He landed over his front side and had some recoil as well at landing. His fastball impressively opened up at 85-87 mph and hit 88 mph on the last pitch of the first inning. The pitch generated occasional arm side life with good angle when getting on top. Wrobleski also used a trio of secondary pitches on the mound, the best being his changeup. He’s shown better feel for the pitch in previous events, but thrown in the mid 70’s, the pitch shows good fade to the outer third and could be developed further into a swing and miss weapon. He also showed a very hard slider up to 80 mph with short break and above average spin. The final of his secondary pitches was a 1-to-7 shaped curveball that he slowed his arm for. The pitch was clocked in the low 70’s with softer bend and depth. Wrobleski’s struggle during the game was with his command, striking out six batters, but walking five. The progress will continue to come for the uncommitted lefty, who won’t remain that way for long.

Backing Wrobleski up out of the bullpen was Vanderbilt commit, third basemen/righthanded pitcher Ryder Green (2018, Tenn.). Green has never been lacking arm strength and that is exactly what he showed in Wednesday’s action. His fastball worked and held at 89-91 mph and hit 92 mph after his first batter. The pitch showed good arm side life with heavy overall action. He showed a short, compact arm action with well above average arm strength. He collapsed his backside some on the mound and started with a deeper hip coil and threw from a high three quarter arm slot. There was not a breaking ball thrown while I was in attendance as Green just peppered the zone with fastballs in his outing.

Outfielder Parker Meadows (2018, Ga.) looks to be recovered from an illness and delivered one of the loudest hits through the first two days. The recent Clemson commit is highly projectable at 6-foot-5, 185-pounds and the ability to play centerfield. Meadows has good looseness in his wrists with easy ability to flick the ball off his barrel. He has above average bat speed and torques well through his lower half to the ball. In what was a 2-0 game, Meadows cut the lead in half with a deep home run to right field that one hopped a maintenance tent.

One of the more polished arms toeing the rubber in today’s action was righthanded pitcher Benjamin Specht (2018, Fla.). Specht worked quickly on the mound and was around the zone, very economically with a trio of pitches in his four shutout innings for the Florida Burn. The Florida Gators commit threw from an extended three quarter arm slot with deep hip coil through and a crossfire element. He landed closed and worked over his front side with good arm strength. He repeated his short, compact arm action well and repeated his slot for his three pitches. His fastball worked 85-87 mph and hit 88 mph throughout the first three innings. He generated plus extension on the mound routinely getting over seven feet. The pitch showed occasional arm side life when working on top of it. Specht also showed good feel for spin with a big breaking curveball. The pitch showed well above average spin with the ability to get it over for a strike. At times he would pull it even more across his body and would give the pitch a slurvy look up to 77 mph. Specht also showed feel for his changeup that showed good fade. He was not afraid to use the pitch against righthanded hitters and the pitch remained effective. He threw 68 percent of his pitches for strikes over his four innings and allowed only one hit, with lots of the contact coming weakly of the bat.

Following up an impressive performance at PG Junior National was shortstop Emilio Rosas (2018, Calif.). The projectable up the middle talent showed off his quick first step and strong arm from the left side frequently in Team California’s matchup. Rosas moved very well to the ball, charging and ranging to both sides and was always in a good position to field. He showed the ability to change arm slots with strong transfer skills and a quick release.

Pitching for the 15U Evoshield Canes team was Clemson commit, lefthanded pitcher J.D. Brock (2019, N.C.). Brock stands at 6-foot, 170-pounds with good physical projection remaining in his frame. He utilized from a longer arm action with slight wrist wrap and stab in the back of his arm circle. He threw from a higher three quarter arm slot and generated good wiggle to his fastball that worked in the low 80’s and topped out at 86 mph in both the first and second inning. His fastball worked best when low in the zone and when he got downhill. When he left his fastball up, hitters drove it easily, or it missed high and outside. Brock also used a 1-to-7 shaped curveball on the mound showing some depth, but breaking up out of his hand. The effort level for Brock was a concern as well, there was some head violence at release, and it caused him to struggle to throw strikes.

Moving in to the nightcap slate of games, it was hard to find someone who impressed more than LSU commit, catcher Raymond Torres (2019, N.C.). Torres most likely has the most advanced catch and throw actions of anyone in the 2019 class. He gains ground exceptionally well behind the plate with a very quick release. His arm strength could possibly be considered plus even at such a young age with accuracy and carry to the bag. He gunned down a pair of would be base runners in the first inning with pop times of 1.99 and 1.93 respectively. Both runners were out well before they got to the bag.

A staple of Perfect Game events is righthanded pitcher Nolan Crisp (2019, Texas) taking the mound at some point. He did just on Wednesday for Team Elite working with the same up-tempo delivery and short, compact arm action. Crisp has a very short stride to the plate, cutting off his extension with a harsh recoil over his front side, causing him to pop up after he lands. He does have a very quick arm that opened up the game sitting 88-90 mph and hitting 91 mph and flashing big-time run on his fastball. The two-seam action for Crisp would be big if he can repeat his release and continue to stay on top of the ball. Crisp held his velocity very well in his outing, sitting 87-88 mph in the 6th inning with the same high level of intent. He continued to show the 12-to-6 shaped curveball with good depth up to 80 mph and snapping consistently in the upper-70s. He also showed a changeup up to 78 with short arm side fade, which was used in rare instinces. Uncharacteristically, Crisp did not miss many bats in his 6 innings on the mound, relying on weak contact off his fastball and curveball. He allowed only one run over his six innings on two hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Another uncommitted arm pitched, this time for the Scorpions in the last game slot. Righthanded pitcher Dalton Baker (2018, Fla.) opened some eyes early on with a good combination of size and arm strength. He opened the game pumping upper 80’s fastballs and hitting 89 mph showing big time sink. When he worked on top of it the pitch came out of his higher three quarter slot with tremendous angle and plane. With Baker’s longer arm action and stab, he struggled to repeat that release point and routinely missed very high, or very low. He settled in on the mound working in the 82-85 mph range with the heavy life and getting more pitches over for strikes. Baker showed a very raw curveball on the mound as well in the low 70’s with soft, inconsistent break and he should continue to work on developing the pitch. Baker did battle well on the mound and kept the Scorps in the game. His 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame projects large on the mound with room to continue to fill out. Given his arm strength and physical presence, Baker is one to keep an eye on.

– Matt Czechanski

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