Daily Leaders | Day 1 Notes
After a weather-shortened opening day, day-two of the PG WWBA Florida Qualifier opened up with beautiful early fall weather. And it also started out with another impressive pitcher, right-hander and Miami commit, Bayden Root (Kokomo, Ind., 2018). Root has a tall frame, long limbs, and projects well on the mound and should continue to progress as an athlete. Listed as a third basemen, he threw four innings of two-hit baseball, struck out five and did not allow an earned run.
On the mound, Root showcases a high leg lift and high hands, and his hands go away from his body and separate to a long arm swing; gains speed to three-quarter release point. Short stride down the mound with easy and repeatable delivery. Four-seam fastball up to 89 mph working both sides of the plate. Commands the inner third causing weak contact and broken bats. Mixed slurve with 11/5 arc is a sharp 74mph and effective with two strikes.
Two intriguing uncommitted 2017 bats took the field for the Orlando Scorpions-Rusk: Andrew Kaminsky (Chuluota, Fla. 2017) and Shawn Kelley (Orlando, Fla. 2017). Kaminsky is an empty canvas player; long, lean, highly athletic, projectable with room to fill. He showcases all of those attributes on the field and commands third base with ease. Kaminsky shows high baseball IQ, confident hands and a strong arm on the infield. At the plate he has a tall athletic stance with simple mechanics. Lands in a strong launch position with torque and generates good bat speed.
His teammate and outfielder, Shawn Kelley, is equally as projectable. Not as tall but just as lean and athletic with room to fill out physically. Really like his actions at the plate. Has a slightly open stance, back elbow is high and the bat stands vertical behind the helmet. Simple mechanics lead the swing and puts the body in strong hitting position at heel strike. Shawn has a good feel for contact with his barrel path in the zone a long time should project success for him at the plate.
Right-handed pitcher, Carter Swanson (Melbourne, Fla. 2018) is tall lean athlete with projectable room to fill out physically. Long and loose upper body mechanics with a short, direct delivery to the plate. Lands with arm in great position and creates downhill plane from high three-quarter release point. Commanded two pitch mix of fastball curveball. Attacked with over powering four seam up to 90 mph. Working the corners early in the count occasionally elevating with two strikes. More impressive than the command and power of the fastball was his sharp 11/5 curveball at 76mph that he showed a great feel for. Per Trackman, his curveball had a consistent reading of over 3,000 rpm for its spin rate which is rare to see at his age. High ceiling, bright future.
Continuing an impressive lineup of talented arms is Cameron Robinson (Deltona, Fla., 2017) a right-handed pitcher for the Orlando Scorpions-Gerber. Robinson has a slow deliberate delivery to a short stride. Some deception in his delivery when he lands with stride foot. Really works to get over his stride leg, speeding up the entire upper body including the arm. Lot of upper body effort after the stride foot lands. Could be issue on longer outings but could fit well in bullpen. His arm action is compact and quick. Throws across his body and creates good tilt on fastball. Little loss of life on fastball later in outing. Working inner and outer third with the fastball up to 90 mph and mixing curveball 74mph late in the count.
The young and impressive 2019 shortstop Tyler Callihan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) was finally able to get the Central Florida Gators’ offense in a rhythm. The left-handed hitter has a strong athletic stance, high back elbow with rhythm and shows an aggressive approach at the plate. Short and simple gather to rear leg, leg lift coils the front side, barrel tips to low launch position. Lands in strong hitting position with torque and works up to the ball with his barrel path. Swing can get long at times but plenty of bat speed to make up for it. What really stands out is explosive lower half, sound lower half mechanics and timing.
Another integral part of the Gators’ lineup that contributed greatly in day two action was Arizona commit, Nolan Gorman (Glendale, Ariz., 2018). Gorman has a strong athletic build and moves well on the bases. At the plate, I see a lot of Josh Hamilton actions with his presence in the batter’s box. Gather to rear leg, strides high on toe with lead leg internally rotated, coils the front side to a torqued position and lets his strength and athleticism do the rest. Generates a lot of bat speed and has a great barrel path. He led the Central Florida Gators’ offense in their first game of day two with two triples; a bases-clearing bomb to left center field and a line drive to right center field gap.