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Tournaments | Story | 9/18/2016

PG/Evo Upperclass Day 2 Notes

David Rawnsley     
Photo: Perfect Game

Daily Leaders | Day 1 Notes

T-Rex Baseball is coming off a very successful summer, including winning the 17u PG World Series in late July, and they have a very similar roster for this PG/EvoShield Upperclass National Championship.  They took care of business Saturday morning, moving on to the playoffs with a 3-0 record by overcoming an early 2-0 deficit against Mission Elite to prevail 12-4.  Mission Elite also entered the game with a 2-0 pool play record.

The key to the game was the top of the T-Rex order and lefthanded hitters Gianni Tomasi (2017, Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and Trevor Hauver (2017, Chandler, Ariz.).  The two each collected three hits and drove in a pair of runs, with Hauver picking up two key doubles in the early innings, one to left-center field and the other down the right field line.  In all, T-Rex had eight doubles among their 15 hits, with PG All-American infielder Jacob Gonzalez (2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.) crushing loud doubles in his last two times to the plate.

Hauver has been a strong hitter for this scout all summer.  His base lefthanded swing comes inside the ball and produces hard left-center field contact but he has the ability to recognize pitches that he can turn the barrel on and pull with authority and has done that consistently in games.  That ability to make adjustments is a key element in hitting high level pitching and Hauver has the ability to do that, not to mention the track record.

Lefthander Sasha Sneider (2018, Peoria, Ariz.) did his job on the mound to support the offense, overcoming a slow start to throw five innings, striking out seven hitters.  Sneider, who works from the stretch and a high three-quarters release point and a low effort delivery, topped out at 88 mph on his fastball and threw some nice low-70s curveballs.

Six-foot-7, 225-pound righthander Colby Davis (2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.), a teammate of Gonzalez at Chaparral High School, made his first PG appearance of 2016 with a scoreless seventh inning, retiring three straight hitters with an 85-86 mph fastball.  Davis, aside from his obvious size and physical projection, throws very easily from a high three-quarters arm slot.  He does not have a college commitment.

Another potential title contender, CBA Marucci, finished pool play at the same time with a 10-3 win over Gameday Columbia and an identical 3-0 record.  CBA took an opposite tack to T-Rex's doubles collection, stealing 11 bases, including three each by shortstop Tyler Freeman (2017, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and outfielder Donta Williams (2017, Las Vegas, Nev.).

Sacramento Sports Center Easton Cats claimed a spot in the playoffs, winning a pool play matchup between two 2-0 teams with a 9-4 win over the West Coast Braves.  Third baseman Shea Kramer (2017, Vacaville, Calif.) was the star for Sacramento, going 3-for-3 from his cleanup with three runs scored and three RBI.

Two of Kramer's teammates, both for the Cats and at Vacaville High School, got extra attention from this scout. Third baseman/First baseman Cole Elvis (2018, Vacaville, Calif.) is currently the 210th ranked player in the 2018 class due to his outstanding righthanded bat speed.  The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Elvis evidently was known to the West Coast coaches and pitchers as he saw a steady diet of off-speed pitches the entire game and only took a couple of hard swings in four at-bats to showcase that bat speed.  Elvis ended up 0-for-1 at the plate with two walks and a hit by pitch.

Shortstop Tyler Bosetti (2017, Vacaville, Calif.) is a Nevada commit who also showed very good righthanded bat speed.  He had a double down the left field line and scored a pair of runs to contribute to the Sacramento win while also showing off a very strong arm from shortstop.

The West Coast Braves shortstop, Nickelas Atkins (2017, Los Angeles, Calif.) showed next-level tools as well, especially on defense where he has polished actions and some flair to his game.   Atkins received a 8.5 grade at the 2016 PG Sunshine West Showcase, where he also ran a 6.9 60-yard dash, and looked like he might be a half grade better than that today.  Atkins is not listed in the PG database as having a college commitment as of right now.

Another talented position prospect without a college commitment per the PG records is third baseman Caleb Farmer (2017, San Jacinto, Calif.).  Farmer is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthanded hitter who has a smooth and loose swing with good bat speed and more to come as he fills out.  He went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Trosky Baseball's 4-0 win late Saturday afternoon and hit a line shot that ate up the shortstop in his only non-hit at-bat.  Farmer also looked athletic on defense with quick release and plenty of arm strength.

The best defensive play this scout has seen in the first two days of the event was turned in by Farmer's teammate, center fielder Jordan Greenway (2017, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.).  Greenway got a great jump on a ball crushed to straight away center field and made a full speed over the shoulder/back to the plate catch, then spun quickly and got the ball back into the infield, almost getting the runner returning to first base who had already rounded second.  Greenway ran a 6.75 60-yard dash at the 2015 PG California Underclass Showcase and needed every bit of that speed on the play.

Pomona Titans righthander Josh Ibarra (2017, Chino Hills, Calif.) showed a strong arm in the final game Saturday night, striking out eight hitters in five innings and topping out at 89 mph with his fastball.  The 6-foot-1 Concordia commit also threw a curveball that reached the mid-70s that had nice tightness at times.  Walks were Ibarra's undoing, as he only allowed two hits but issued six walks, and his Titans dropped a 3-1 decision to OC Premier.

– David Rawnsley

The CAB Soldiers rolled through pool play over the weekend with a record of 3-0, allowing only three runs total while scoring 27, and as a result will have a strong seed heading into the playoffs on Sunday at Goodyear. They moved to 3-0 via a victory over a solid Nevada Jays team on Saturday morning. Read more about the CAB Soldiers in this feature by Jeff Dahn.

Chris Troye (2017, Calif.) has stood out throughout the weekend, both due to his defensive skills behind the plate as well as his bat. He added another pair of hits on Saturday morning while serving as the CAB designated hitter, including a single to the opposite field and a long double down the left (pull) field line; and even hit the ball hard the one time he got out. He’s a very physical prospect at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, with lots of strength throughout his body but still with some potential room to fill out in his upper half. He possesses excellent bat speed with an uncanny feel for the barrel, able to use the entire field with authority and the strength to be a consistent power threat, to go along with what other evaluators have seen as outstanding defensive chops behind the plate.

Fellow CAB Soldier Patrick Smith (2017, Calif.) is committed to Purdue, and the lefthanded hitting outfield prospect certainly looks like he could end up being a consistent middle-of-the-order threat for the Boilermakers in the coming years. Still filling out his frame, Smith still possesses quality strength and athleticism with undoubtedly more strength on the way, and despite not recording a hit he had a pair of impressive at-bats on Saturday. He drove a ball way up the right-center field gap that the opposing center fielder made an excellent play on, and then turned the barrel on a liner more directly to right field that worked as a sacrifice fly. The hands are very quick and he takes a direct path to the ball with the barrel, but still manages not to fall into the weak “inside-out” swing path, indicating to this evaluator that he’s going to continue adding power as he physically matures and has a shot to be a consistent home run threat at the next level.

Griff McGarry (2017, Calif.) is committed to Virginia as a righthanded pitcher, but he certainly showed well as a third baseman, defensively, in this game. He’s athletic with quality fast-twitch skills, and he shows the ability to make plays to both sides with range and athleticism, and the above average throwing arm certainly plays well at the hot corner.

Seattle University has been well represented with commitments in these recaps dating back to last weekend’s PG/Evoshield Underclass National Championship, and Jake Cosgrove (2017, Calif.) continues that trend this weekend. The middle infielder is of compact build and frame, but there is definitely some strength there, as he laced a double way up the left-center field gap during Saturday’s contest. He’s very short and direct to the baseball with quality bat speed, and the swing plane has quality loft as well, giving him the raw swing tools with which to add some power to his game at Seattle, where his bat and glove will undoubtedly play well at the top of the lineup and in the middle infield, respectively.

The Slammers Zavaras/Akerfelds rolled through pool play as well, giving up a total of two runs (with two shutouts), en route to a 3-0 mark. Liam Eddy (2017, Colo) was absolutely dominant, throwing a complete game shutout with seven strikeouts, scattering a mere three hits and a single walk over 81 mostly stress-free pitches. Eddy, a Wichita State commit, worked in the 88-90 mph range with his fastball and held it well for a few innings before settling in around 86-89 mph, and showed an excellent combination of fastball command, fastball life and raw velocity. He gets over his front side well and gets downhill, allowing his high three-quarters arm slot to generate significant plane and angle to the plate, making his fastball even more difficult to hit, especially when commanded down in the strike zone, something he did often on Saturday. His primary off-speed pitch was a sharp, tilting slider that he threw in the mid-upper-70s, a pitch that flashed legitimate swing-and-miss potential to both right and lefthanded hitters, as well as a pitch that he could throw in the zone for a strike when needed. It was an extremely good performance for the young righthander.

The Slammers middle infield consisted of two extremely talented and yet uncommitted players in Jack Winkler (2017, Colo.) and Joshua Dudden (2017, Colo.). Winkler plays shortstop and has the smooth actions, easy athleticism, and range necessary to stick at the six-spot long-term, to go along with quality offensive tools. Dudden is a bit more offensively oriented with no-doubt second base chops, and both are undoubtedly Division I players at the next level who combine to form an outstanding keystone combination for the Slammers.

Over at Peoria in one of the afternoon slots, Canyon Thunder suffered a loss to the ABD Bulldogs Red, despite a solid outing from Louisiana State commit and righthanded pitcher Matt Schroer (2017, Ariz.). Schroer battled some command problems, walking five, but still allowed only a single earned run while racking up five strikeouts over his three innings. He creates lots of plane and angle from his high three-quarters arm slot, throwing straight downhill from his 6-foot-4 frame when he’s over his front side on time, and worked up to 88 mph with his fastball before settling in around 83-87 mph for the duration of his start. He gates his front hip a bit as he powers downhill, which allows him good command to the glove side and significant angle to that side of the plate as well, but the arm-side command can suffer a bit as a result. He worked in a pair of off-speed pitches, including an 11-to-5-shaped curveball with solid spin and depth, and a straight changeup that he replicates fastball arm speed on well, giving him a three-pitch mix to take to Baton Rouge with him next year. He’s also an accomplished and talented positional prospect, making him an intriguing two-way player to continue to follow.

In the present day of college recruiting, it’s becoming more and more rare to see a physical, large-framed sophomore who throws with his left hand up to 85 mph on the mound still be uncommitted, but that was the case on Saturday afternoon when the SBG Wahoos sent Charles Acker (2019, Calif.) out to the mound. Acker, as described above, is a physical, long-limbed lefthander with present strength as well as projection remaining on his body. He worked 82-85 mph early on with his fastball, showcasing excellent running arm-side life as well, before settling in more 81-83 mph towards the end of his 95-pitch outing. He had some struggles with command, as newly-minted high school sophomores are wont to do, but the raw arm speed, strength, and fastball life are undoubtedly three raw tools that are desirable to collegiate coaches as they continue to recruit the class of 2019. He shows a 12-to-6 curveball in the low-70s, and, while inconsistent, he’ll snap off a few that have plus depth and hammer shape, leaving evaluators to project a swing-and-miss pitch at maturity, with more consistency and reps.

– Brian Sakowski

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