Tournaments : : Story
Saturday, July 30, 2016

PG World Series Day 4 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Matt Czechanski        
Photo: Perfect Game

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With playoffs occurring throughout the complex Friday afternoon and evening, several teams were able to bring back some of their top arms, or for the teams who have plenty of depth some made their first appearance, and it made for an interesting night with plenty of talent. Pitchers appeared to be in charge for the most part, as per the norm on the first day of playoffs, and the college coaches who were in attendance were lucky as several of them remain uncommitted.

In terms of delivery, 2018 uncommitted righthander Logan Jarosz (Mebane, N.C.) may have the best one of the tournament and it’s probably the best one I’ve personally seen all summer. And the old school big rock step with a full hand path over the head prior to a high leg kick and load on his backside is certainly not a gimmick and rather speaks to the overall athleticism possessed by Jarosz.

Listed at 6-foot, 160-pounds, Jarosz opened up the game sitting almost exclusively in the 89-91 mph in the opening frame and continued to hover around there through the entirety of his start, still sitting 88-90 mph in the fifth inning. Of course with a delivery such as the one Jarosz shows, it’s very timing oriented as he works to a near over the top arm slot which if he’s not on time (though his arm action is fast enough that he was for the most part) it causes him to miss up in the zone where it flattens out in terms of life. As the innings continued to move forward however Jarosz found a consistent release point and at the same time was able to generate much more life to his fastball, showing both run and sink down in the zone.

The life of the fastball and his ability to mix in a breaking ball in at any count helped induce consistent ground ball contact thanks to the ability to stay off of barrels. His curveball is an upper-70s offering which he throws from the same high release point and steadily increased the amount of swing-and-misses with the pitch as he was able to keep a potent Game On Stealth offense at bay. When you consider the arm strength and athleticism possessed by Jarosz and the fact that he still has another two years of high school to get stronger, odds are he won’t be on the market too much longer and just continues to add to the list of impressive arms in the 2018 class.


Speaking of talented arms in the 2018 class, Virginia commit and righthanded pitcher Mike Vasil (Wellesley, Mass.) made a quick two inning cameo last night for Marucci Elite and brought some of his best stuff with him despite the late start. A physical presence on the mound who’s only going to continue to grow stronger as he matures and fills out his 6-foot-4 frame, Vasil set the tone of the two innings as his first pitch crossed home plate at 90 mph which was followed up by a 91 mph heater. Along with the square shoulders and long limbs, Vasil shows a very fast arm action to go with a rather simple set of mechanics which helped produce the velocity rather easily and in turn allowed him to sit in the 88-90 mph range while pretty much sitting at 90 mph. As noteworthy as the velocity was the the life that Vasil was able to produce on the pitch with consistent and hard running life, a trait he was able to use to spill the pitch back over the outer half to righthanded hitters with heavy life. It also helped induce consistent ground ball contact, especially as he mixed in his breaking ball. At first the pitch gave off slider shape at 74 mph with hard and sharp tilt but it could have been from trying to over throw the pitch as the proceeding breakers showed much more depth and 11-5 shape in the 71-73 mph range and proved to be a true swing-and-miss pitch when on top.


Another product of Massachusetts, uncommitted 2018 lefthander Christopher Holcomb (Osterville, Mass.) had his fair share of college coaches looking on and rightfully so. With a long and ideal 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, the current No. 67 prospect in the 2018 class came out sitting almost exclusively at 88 mph while showing a fast and loose arm with an extended three-quarters release point. With the velocity, slot, and the fact that he’s lefthanded Holcomb is able to regularly miss bats with his fastball, just as he did at Junior National, as he challenged frequently with the fastball and more often than not won the battle. Though there may not be a ton of life through the zone, he’s able to create difficult angle while locating to either side of the plate and those two facts alone more than helped the pitch play up off of its actual velocity. The better of his two secondaries at present is his changeup, a pitch he maintains his arm speed well and worked around 80 mph just as he’s done throughout the summer. Holcomb’s breaking ball will continue to develop and though he currently throws an upper-60s curveball, he’s a candidate to throw a hard sweeping slider with his arm slot and could very well be another weapon as he refines the pitch.

We’ve talked about 2018 Florida commit Mason Denaburg (Merritt Island, Fla.) and his Central Florida Gators teammates extensively as they have always performed throughout the summer and the World Series is no different as they’re now 1 game away from winning the championship. A two-way commit to the Florida Gators, Denaburg has been written about as of late for his merits on the mound but he quickly made everybody lock back in on the bat last night. And by quickly, I mean the second pitch of the game. After taking a first pitch curveball for a strike Denaburg sat fastball and didn’t miss as he deposited the pitch over the left field fence for a leadoff solo shot, one that registered 97 mph off the barrel and traveled 383 feet.

Starting the game for the Evoshield Canes yesterday afternoon was uncommitted 2018 lefthander Dillon Marsh (Elizabethtown, Pa.), who to this point as been viewed as a two-way talent courtesy of his feel on the mound and the strength he packs into his lefthanded stroke. Currently the No. 107 player in the country for his class, Marsh showed off a feel for four distinct pitches, all of which he proved capable of throwing for strikes. Sitting within the 84-87 mph range while bumping an 88 or two, Marsh showed solid quickness to his arm stroke and was able to generate short running life from an extended three-quarters arm slot. Marsh did a nice job of consistently working down in the zone and showed the comfort for his arsenal where he’d never have to double up on any particular pitch. Of the three secondaries his changeup may just be the best as he maintains his arm action well on the upper-70s pitch while generating short fading life out of the hand. The slider is the better of his two breaking balls, a 74-78 mph pitch that showed tight rotation and short sweeping finish while exhibiting the same loose and full arm action.

He may have been pitching in the 15U portion of the World Series but was 2020 righthander Aaron Nixon (Mission, Texas) brought to the table would’ve played in any age group. Though listed as a primary shortstop, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Nixon came out showing even better velocity than he did last weekend as he opened up and sat in the 87-89 mph range for his couple innings of work. Consistently on top of the ball and generating steady plane Nixon was able to simply overpowering hitters with the fastball and worked pretty much exclusively off of that. His mechanics are relatively simple and there’s no doubting his arm speed nor arm strength as the velocity is far from usual for a rising freshman, as is his ability to locate his heater to either side of the plate with hard running life. He’s already a well-known name amongst collegiate coaches and he did nothing but reaffirm his talents last night.

To stick with the theme of uncommitted arms, 2018 righthander Connor Thurman (San Tan Valley, Ariz.) closed it out for the Central Florida Gators and pumped the zone with fastballs that sat in the 89-91 mph range. Strongly built at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds Thurman did, just as he’s done all summer, a nice job of generating solid sinking life to his fastball while staying quick and loose with his arm action through the back.

Another young talented arm to keep an eye on moving forward is 2020 righthander Victor Mederos (Miami, Fla.) as he already sports the size of a big time prospect with a broad shouldered 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame, though he looks bigger in person than the listed measurable. Up to 88 mph earlier this summer, Mederos regularly ran his fastball up to 85 mph yesterday while showing a loose and easy delivery that exudes nearly no effort at release. Staying short and quick through the back with his arm stroke, Mederos was able to produce the velocity with ease while showing heavy life at times down in the zone, almost resembling that of a hard tumbling changeup. He showed nice comfort in throwing his curveball for strikes, regularly dropping the mid- to upper-60s pitch in for strikes with short depth and 12-6 shape to the bottom of the zone. When looking at a young pitching prospect Mederos certainly has a lot of the starting points and checks a handful of boxes immediately. And on top of his abilities on the mound he also showed a handle for the barrel head as he roped a hard line drive single into left field with lots of jump off the barrel with loose hands and a compact stroke.

Not to be confused with the recently minted Perfect Game All-American Jacob Gonzalez of Arizona, this Jacob Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) is just entering his freshman year of high school, though he already shows talents on the diamond that are worth noting. He’ll immediately catch your attention just standing out at shortstop with his angular shouldered, high waisted 6-foot, 150-pound frame and will retain your focus with his overall athleticism and hands out front while fielding the ball. A lefthanded hitter, Gonzalez hits leadoff for the SGV Hustle and shows plenty of quickness and looseness to both his wrists and overall swing with plenty of whip to the barrel through the zone. He begins open with his stance and a does a nice job of getting closed while shifting into contact, staying short to the ball while employing a middle to pull side approach in the box.

Just as he has all summer, recent Duke commit and 2018 lefthander Oliver McCarthy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) looked as though he was playing catch at 85-87 mph with a long and loose arm action, exerting nearly no effort at release. The fastball showed the same running life to the arm side, coming out clean with plenty of angle to the bottom of zone on a regularly basis. The arm action looked a tick quicker than it has in the past while maintaining the same three-quarters arm slot while filling up the strike zone. The biggest takeaway of my most recent look however came with the slider, a pitch that McCarthy has continued to refine since early this spring. Thrown in the mid-70s, McCarthy’s slider showed tighter rotation than it has in the past with short tilting life and should continue to develop into a true swing-and-miss type offering moving forward.

There’s an obvious high level of talent in 2020 Albert Hernandez (Davie, Fla.) as he’s already committed to the University of Miami despite not yet entering high school. Though when you consider what he’s capable of doing on the diamond it’s not all too surprising as he’s already showing an upper-80s fastball on the mound and has an overall advanced approach for the game. Listed as a primary righthanded pitcher in his Perfect Game profile, it’s far too early to pinpoint where Hernandez will end up on the diamond as he’s very much capable with the bat from the right side as well. Showing a long and loose swing, Hernandez does a nice job of generate leverage to his swing path and incorporates his physical strength well showing hard jump off the barrel on several occasions yesterday, including a hard line drive single that he shot back through the box.

– Jheremy Brown

As pool play for the 16u age division wound down, Central Florida Gators righthander Andrew Roberts (2019, Fla.) pitched in relief showing impressive arm strength. Roberts stands at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds with a lean frame and room to handle additional weight. He started with a deep hip coil into his delivery with a longer arm action and soft stab. He came through it well with a very quick arm working 83-86 mph with short life. Working up in the zone is where Roberts struggled as he continued to leave the ball up. When he harnesses his mechanics he’ll learn to use the life to his fastball in the lower third to work inside on the hands of righthanded hitters. There was a big time crossfire element to Robert’s delivery helping his deception with his whippy arm action and impressive extension down the mound, nearing seven feet. Through his delivery he extended his front arm into a lock and showed some power T and landing closed down the mound. Roberts also showed an 11-to-5 shaped curveball with depth, but breaking up out of his hand. It showed slightly above average spin, but was inconsistent in how he worked through the ball.

Making an impact on the game in a variety of ways is hardly a new thing for LSU commit, outfielder Elijah Cabell (2018, Fla.). Cabell may offer the highest ceiling offensive potential in the 2018 class with explosive wrists and bat speed through the zone. He extends himself easily with consistent loud barreled contact. Cabell has incredible intent in both his takes and his swings, looking to drive the ball through his lower half on every pitch. Yesterday was no different, roping a double in their final pool play game that left the bat with a 99 mph exit velocity. His line drive swing plane works cleanly through the zone with above average strength in his frame. In their playoff game, Cabell showed off his strong arm as well. From right field, he hosed a runner at second base who was trying to advance with a bullet to the bag. He works through the ball well and generates tremendous carry on his throws with good accuracy.

Walking by another field, Dulin’s righthanded pitcher Grant Taylor (2021, Ala.) jumped out given his size and arm speed. Given only his 6-foot, 170-pound frame, Taylor already has some physicality in his lean frame and will no doubt continue to develop. His arm action was very easy for someone so young with a slow draw back into a long, loose arm action. He landed balanced on a stiff front leg starting with a big leg kick over his waist. There was very little lower half in his delivery, swinging the gate with his front leg towards the plate, but landing online. Taylor’s fastball worked 81-84 mph very consistently over the three inning outing, sitting at 81-84 with riding life up in the zone. Removing his age for just a moment, more impressively Taylor threw with relative ease on the mound. There was no head whack at release or head snap off to the side, but a still head all the way through his landing. Taylor was also mixing in a hard slider or possible cutter on the mound up to 77 mph. The pitch showed good bite and gave him something that moved inside to lefthanded hitters.

A personal favorite of this scout is lower slot pitchers with the ability to ability to spin the ball, spot it to both sides, and force uncomfortable at-bats for hitters. US Elite’s Daniel Lloyd (2018, S.C.) checked all three of those boxes in their final pool play game. Throwing from a low three quarter arm slot with a short, compact arm action, Lloyd carved in his time on the mound. He located to both sides of the plate with his fastball that worked 83-86 mph with good sink to the lower third. He used a heavy crossfire element, working over his front side with good balance at his landing. The sink action on his fastball worked inside well on righthanders who often looked at strike one, fouled off strike two, and then feel victim to his slider. Lloyd’s slider was by far his most effective pitch on the mound with exceptionally tight spin and hard two plane break thrown up to 75 mph. It worked with 10-to-4 shape and was a true swing and miss option from his lower slot. Working against a loaded lineup full of division one commitments, Lloyd forced those uncomfortable at-bats mentioned at the outset. Lloyd tossed five innings allowing just one run on four hits and one walk, while striking out six batters with 10 swings and misses. The uncommitted righty will have no problem walking on to a campus and immediately generate ground balls and strike out righthanders.

On an adjacent field, San Jose State commit, righthander Nicholas Morales (2017, Calif.) toed the rubber for Team California Warriors. Morales has a strong, durable build with room to strengthen out his core when he makes his way to school. Morales utilized a longer arm action with stab in the back from a three quarter slot and very limited lower half. His extension was very short and as he learns to drive off of his back leg and rely less on pure arm strength his fastball velocity will not only hold, but likely tick up some. Morales opened the game sitting 88-90 mph with good plane to the lower third when he worked on top of it. He struggled replicating his arm slot and mechanics and was leaving the ball way up and out of the zone at times, where it flattened out. His velocity ended up working more in the 85-88 mph range throughout the rest of the game, showing better command to his arm side. With how far over his front side he had to work, getting to his glove side was a bit of a challenge and when he tried he pushed the ball more with little effect. He did show good feel for spin with his 12-to-6 curveball that flashed the ability to get swings and misses low in the zone. While raising his slot some for the pitch, it broke down with good tumble. He got the pitch over for strikes, which helped his fastball play up some in the later innings when his velocity dipped.

One of the more consistent performers all week for Team Elite Prime has been uncommitted infielder Mason Land (2019, Fla.). Land stands with an average build at 5-foot-11, 160-pounds with good athleticism that plays on the right side of the infield. He moves quickly to the ball and shows sound footwork around the bag with lateral quickness. At the plate, Land may not possess the upper echelon bat speed, but he makes up for it with impressive timing and hand-eye coordination. His hands always enter the zone with a positive angle with good balance and compact nature of his swing. Land gets to all fields and is quick out of the box with a motor that is always running. Land will continue to improve as he adds strength, allowing him to drive the ball more easily off the bat with the same plane.

Over at East Cobb, UVA commit, lefthanded pitcher Hunter Barco (2019, Fla.) pitched in a quarterfinal game for the East Cobb Astros. For any age, Barco’s impressive 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame would be impressive, but then add in the face he’ll only be a rising sophomore and it stands out even more. The physical lefty utilized a drop and drive delivery with a medium arm action through the back and some hook. Barco threw from a lower three quarter arm slot and landed closed with some recoil over his front side. He the ball came out very clean with minimal effort and balance at landing. His fastball worked up to 88 mph and did so with consistency in his first inning and routinely sat 84-87 mph through the rest of his outing. He generated really impressive plane to his fastball to the lower third of the zone when he worked on top of it. The pitch elicited both swings and misses and missed a good bit of barrels when kept low. He drives to the plate some with his lower half with an inconsistent weight shift and average extension down the mound. In addition to his fastball, Barco showed a 12-to-6 curveball on the mound with average spin and good depth. He underthrew the pitch some coming in around 70 mph and would see better break with replicated arm speed. There were a handful of changeups he mixed in as well at 77-79 mph with good fade to his arm side.

On the field next to Barco’s over at East Cobb featured fellow ACC commit in righthander Davis Sharpe (2018, Ga.) pitching for the Colt .45’s. Sharpe looks the part on the mound, standing at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with a lean, athletic frame and long limbs. He’ll continue to fill out with age, but has a good bit of strength at present. Sharpe used a short, compact arm action on the mound, landing with a stiff front leg, but online. He threw from a higher three quarter arm slot, at times creating angle to his fastball in the lower third when really working through it. His fastball opened up at 88-90 mph and worked consistently at 85-88 mph. The best wiggle on his fastball came when he dropped his slot closer to three quarter, running it hard in on righthanded hitters and that’s where he had the best success with it. Sharpe’s best pitch was not his fastball, but rather his hard, two plane slider that helped him generate 16 swings and misses in 6 1/3 innings. With 10-to-4 shape, Sharpe replicated his arm speed very well for the pitch and showed the confidence to double or even triple down on the pitch. He often opened up at-bats with a slider on the outside corner, then coming back with a fastball inside, and finally burying a slider in the dirt for a strikeout. The impressive feel for spin should help him always miss bats as he struck out nine batters helping the Colt .45’s advance.

Moving to the late night slots back at LakePoint, an impressive young player showed an impact type bat at the plate for Kangaroo Court Baseball Club. Catcher/righthanded pitcher Jackson Miller (2020, Fla.) stands physically impressive at 5-foot-11, 160-pounds with a lean, athletic frame and room to continue to fill out. Miller hit leadoff for Team Court and from the left side showed some present feel for the barrel in three trips to the plate. His swing works quickly into the zone with easy separation and rhythm in the box. He clubbed a triple to open up the game to the right-centerfield gap that left the bat with an exit velocity of 88 mph. He starts open and comes closed well with a leveraged out in front swing and good extension for his age.

Showing impressive athleticism in the final time slot was LSU commit, Drew Bianco (2018, Miss.). Bianco made a nice ranging play up the middle in the first inning, dropping his arm slot with a quick release to get the runner. He moves well in the infield with lateral range and average arm strength from the left side. Bianco also stood out offensively, with a quick pull side double down the left field line. His hands work very quickly through the zone with a line drive swing plane and strength throughout his frame. There is consistent barrel with loud impact and an approach that works pull side and up the middle.

With a game that eventually started past 11:00, Banditos sent out electric righthanded pitcher Alberto Gonzalez (2018, Tex.). Gonzalez now has a reputation for plus arm speed on the mound, routinely working in the upper 80’s-low 90’s and was up to 93 mph last night. He throws with a medium arm action and hook in the back of his circle. He recoils hard over his front side with some snap back after jumping off of his back foot. The ball explodes out of his hand and jumps on hitters with arm side wiggle when he gets on top of the pitch. If left up, Gonzalez will see his fastball straighten out and despite the velocity, it will get hit. His command was much, much improved in the first two innings showing the ability to get to both sides with the aforementioned wiggle. After that, along with his velocity, his command waned and he worked more in the mid 80’s range.

– Matt Czechanski

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