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Tournaments | Story | 10/8/2016

World Underclass Day 2 Notes

Matt Czechanski         David Rawnsley         Brandon Hohl        
Photo: Perfect Game

Daily Leaders | Day 1 Notes

Special thanks to our friends at TrackMan as they implement more video into their impressive radar technology. Here's a video Tweet they shared on their Twitter account this morning, and be sure to visit trackmanbaseball.com for real-time video highlights and more during the entire WWBA Underclass World Championship.

Playing with the ASBA Futures West 2018, high end two-way player, Jake Kelchner (2018, Phoenixville, Pa.) impressed in all phases, particularly at the plate and also started the game on the mound. Kelchner is physically impressive, listed at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds with good physicality and present strength. Kelchner pitched with a longer arm action with slight stab through the back. He showed big arm strength at times, up to 89 mph, but sat more consistently in the 83-87 mph range with occasional life. He worked over his front side with effort at release. There was inconsistent drive from his lower half throughout his delivery with a stride online towards the plate. Presently he showed best as a player with tremendous arm strength that plays best at his natural position of right field. At the plate, he started with an open stance with a slightly bent front knee. He used a leg lift timing mechanism and showed impressive bat speed. He had ability to drive the ball off the barrel, despite not collecting a hit.

An impressive uncommitted arm in Sean Burke (2018, Sutton, Mass.) took the mound against a loaded EvoShield Canes team for the Illinois Indians. Burke projects incredibly well on the mound, standing at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds with long limbs, square shoulders and lots of room to continue to fill out physically. He showed a full arm action through the back, landing open with good extension through the ball. His stride was short for his size with a slight drop and drive into his delivery. Burke threw from a high three-quarters arm slot with good arm strength, working 85-88 mph and topping out at 89 mph. The best life on his fastball came when he was working on top of the pitch with good arm side run up and out of the zone. It worked flat when he started pulling off and became hittable over the middle of the plate. Due to the length of his limbs, he had trouble repeating his arm action and release, but that can be refined. He showed a firm curveball with 12-to-6 shape and good depth up to 74 mph. The pitch flashed sharpness, but could continue to see refinement. Burke also flashed a changeup as well with short tumble from the same arm slot at 77 mph. He struck out four batters in four innings.

Playing up the middle for the EvoShield Canes was Vanderbilt commit Xavier Edwards (2018, Wellington, Fla.). Edwards showed incredibly smooth actions up the middle with very sure hands and a knack for making the flashy play. His first step to the ball was easy with fluid footwork through release. His exchange and transfer were impressive as well, getting the ball out quickly and accurately over to first base with sharp throws at the chest of the first basemen. At the plate, the switch hitter only got looks from the left side in my viewing, but showed a very fluid, quick swing through the zone. His hand path was efficient and clean with ability to drive the ball with good bat speed.

One of the best raw arms on display at JetBlue was Matthew Samuel Peguero Ortega (2018, Tamarac, Fla.). Peguero pitched for the Orioles Scout Team and hails from the Dominican Republic originally. He’s listed at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, but looked a bit taller than that with a live arm. He showed a medium arm action through the back and threw from a three-quarters arm slot. As noted, he had a very live arm on the mound and threw over his front side with recoil back across at release. His fastball held consistently 88-91 mph in his two innings on the mound with varying life, but better cut when working glove side. His lower half dragged behind the quickness of his arm, causing his release point and leg drive to vary from pitch to pitch. He showed a curveball with 11-to-5 shape and big depth, slowing his arm for the pitch at 71 mph. The pitch came from a bit higher slot and could see additional deceptiveness with replicated arm speed. Peguero showed a changeup as well with short fade that was only used a couple times. There is room for improvement, but he offers a very impressive live arm that leaves a lot to work with.

A bit of an unknown team, the Firebirds showed tremendous offensive upside starting with shortstop Lency Delgado (2018, Miami, Fla.) Delgado has a tremendous physical build with big time strength and broad shoulders, listed at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. Delgado looks the part at the plate as well with easy bat speed with a smooth, fluid swing through the ball. The ball comes off his bat with loud contact as it did on his roped double to the left field wall. Delgado shifts his weight back hard on his back leg, causing his timing to be off at times. He makes up for that with very quick hands through the zone. In the infield he was equally as impressive with ultra smooth actions through the ball. He made a tremendous play charging the ball up the middle, lowering his arm slot and making a sharp, accurate throw. Delgado is committed to Alabama State.

Hitting two spots behind him in the order was eighth grader Gabriel Gutierrez (2021, Miami, Fla.). When you think of a player just 13 years old you don’t envision them like Gutierrez who stands 5-foot-10, 200-pounds. Gutierrez has very real strength, which is overly impressive for his age. He starts with an even base and showed a quality approach at the plate with apt plate coverage. Most of the analysis on a player so young will be noted as a comparison to that of his opponents, and Gutierrez showed bat speed and ability to drive the ball that fit in with the likes of his 2018 teammates. His swing does show long at times, but when he connects he generates tremendous backspin and carry off the barrel. In his first at-bat he drove a ball to the wall just beyond the centerfielder’s outstretched glove for a double. He lifted another ball in his second at-bat for a sacrifice fly, but there is no doubt he has all the potential in the world to hit for big time power.

A pair of strong-armed pitchers for the EvoShield Canes impressed as they secured a 2-0 start through pool play. Starter Alberto Gonzalez (2018, Laredo, Texas) was his usual high octane self with an up-tempo and energy filled delivery. His arm action was short and quick through the back from a high three-quarters slot. He has the familiar hop off the back foot down the mound, similar to that of Carter Capps. Gonzalez’s arm is very, very quick with a fastball that will show occasional life at 86-88 mph and topped out at 89 mph throughout his outing. What he did do that I had not seen in the past was improved command. In previous events, Gonzalez has seen higher velocity, up to 92 mph, but was just throwing on the mound. He was able to get to both sides of the zone at times, improving his effectiveness. His curveball shows big shape and a slowed down arm action at 68 mph with close to 12-to-6 shape.

Coming in for the Canes in relief was Zach Young (2018, Sebastian, Fla.). Young, who is listed as a primary shortstop, showed big arm strength that he’s shown from the left side of the infield. His fastball worked in the upper-80s, hitting 90 mph several times in his brief stint on the mound. He threw from an extended three-quarters arm slot with effort at release and a varying release point. His slider was incredibly hard at 79 mph with replicated arm speed and tight spin with 10-to-4 shape. Young threw the pitch often out of the zone, but with improved fastball command could prove to be a weapon. The arm was incredibly quick through the back and through release. The Miami commit will likely see another stint on the mound later in the weekend.

Closing out the action at JetBlue in the stadium was outfielder J.D. Funk (2018, Rochester, N.H.). With his team down late in the game, Funk delivered an absolute mammoth home run over the green monster and cleared it with ease. He has big time strength in his 6-foot-2, 198-pound frame with broad shoulders. He created leverage out in front and showed the ability to impressively drive the ball off the barrel.

– Matt Czechanski

On an unseasonably cool (and tolerable) day in Southwest Florida, the WWBA Underclass World Championship kicked into full swing with a full day of action, only briefly interrupted by rain at some locations.

Early Friday morning, the Scorpions 2018 Prime club got their first victory of the tournament, defeating the Jersey Boyz Scout Team, 4-3. Bayden Root (2018, Ind.) got the start and was his usual impressive self, throwing three shutout innings to save some pitches for later on this weekend, allowing a single hit and single walk while punching out four. Root pounded the zone successfully, working consistently at the knees to both sides of the plate with his fastball, which was clocked consistently between 86-89 mph, featuring some late sinking life to the arm side. His arm stroke is elongated with a bit of wrap in the back, and while smooth, the length the of path through the back can cause some timing issues with his delivery, but on the whole he was consistently on time and consistently effective within the strike zone. He missed several bats with his slider, a sharp downer pitch thrown in the mid- to upper-70s, with great spin and that late bite, giving him an effective swing-and-miss pitch to complement his power fastball with.

At the same timeslot at the Five Plex Player Development Complex, Chet Lemon’s Juice and Longshots Baseball Teal met in an excellent pitcher’s duel, one ultimately won by the Longshots by a score of 1-0. Juice righthander Byron Carter (2018, Fla.) went the distance in a loss, striking out eleven hitters over his six frames while allowing only a single unearned run on three hits, walking none. Carter is a strong, well-built pitcher whose delivery is highlighted by an exaggerated pause at balance point, ensuring that he balances himself over the rubber and is able to gather himself before driving downhill to the plate. He had some inconsistencies to his delivery and release point, landing closed at times and varying between high three-quarters and near overtop as far as arm slots go, but he was still extremely effective. He worked mostly between 84-88 mph with his fastball, touching as high as 89 mph, and doing a very good job generating plane to the plate. His primary off-speed pitch was his curveball, thrown really anywhere between 67-74 mph with sweeping break, but featuring good spin and shape with some sharpness in the higher velocity ranges, undoubtedly showing good raw feel for the pitch.

Well known for months now thanks to his excellent performances at Sunshine Northeast in May and Junior National in June, righthanded pitcher Jack Leiter (2019, N.J.) took the mound for Tri-State Arsenal Prime 2019 on Friday morning. Leiter battled some command problems in his start, walking six over his 4 2/3 innings, but still showed the kind of advanced arsenal and overall feel for pitching one would expect from the son of a longtime major league pitcher. Leiter touched as high as 88 mph with his fastball in the first inning before settling in mostly into the 83-86 mph range, showing a pretty balanced delivery with solid arm speed and timing, despite a pretty significant hook through the back of his arm stroke. The hook serves to generate good leverage through the back, and he then uses that leverage to produce both solid sinking life on his fastball as well as good spin on both his curveball and slider. The curveball shows 11-to-5 shape with excellent depth, and the slider is shorter and tighter in the mid-70s, acting like more of a cutter at times but still serving as a quality pitch. He also shows a changeup with some fading life, and while the command wasn’t where it normally is on this day, a four pitch mix with the amount of feel for pitching that he has is pretty uncommon for a prospect of his age, making him an obvious follow for coaches and scouts moving forward.

It was quite the starting pitcher matchup in the Tri-State vs. Nelson Baseball School Red tilt, with Leiter on one side and NBS sending out Nick Swanson (2018, Ga.), a strongly-built righthander who has made some significant strength and velocity strides forward recently. Swanson has some serious arm strength and arm speed, working 87-89 mph early with big time life to the arm side, so much so that he struggled to control the fastball due in part to how much life the pitch featured, and while it’s a max effort delivery to be sure, it looks to be the kind of arm that will produce some big velocity readings in the future.

The Central Florida Gators have had one of, if not the best summer/falls of any 16u club, so much so that they were named the No. 1 16u team in the nation in our most recent update. They’re loaded once again for this event, to no one’s surprise. Gunnar Hoglund (2018, Fla.) is committed to Ole Miss primarily as a righthanded pitcher, but the extremely physical prospect looks like a high-end lefthanded bat as well. He belted a rising line drive home run to the pull field during the Gators’ victory over EvoShield on Friday, showing extreme strength in his swing that translates into both bat speed and raw power, something that doesn’t actually always happen. In a lot of cases, physically strong prospects are more “strength over bat speed” in their respective swings, but Hoglund has both strength and bat speed in spades, making him a potentially special two-way player at the next level.

Andrew Roberts (2019, Fla.) went the first three innings for the Gators, striking out four and allowing only a pair of hits and a single walk, with zero runs allowed and only 36 pitches thrown. The young righthander has definitely advanced arm speed on a large, physically projectable frame, throwing from a low three-quarters arm slot and showing the athleticism and flexibility necessary to make his high-maintenance delivery work for the most part. He’s very crossfire at release thanks to a closed-off landing spot, with some effort and head whack thrown in there as well, but the torso flexibility and strength he posseses allows him to still rotate enough to work to the glove side, and he does so with very good life and angle on his fastball, which sat in the 84-87 mph range for the most part and undoubtedly projects for more. He showed a sharp, Frisbee slider in the mid-70s with lots of tilt and bat-missing movement, as well.

Tyler Callihan (2019, Fla.) continues to show as a high-level hitting prospect, making consistently barreled hard contact seemingly whenever we see him. He’s a strong sophomore, physically, but the body still projects some, and the lefthanded swing is very smooth with no obvious mechanical red flags through the stroke, highlighted by advanced bat speed and feel for the barrel, capable of making hard contact on seemingly any pitch even close to the strike zone, to go along with developing power. He’s committed to South Carolina, and is actually pretty similar to how Gators’ teammate Nolan Gorman (2018, Ariz.) looked at the same age, from an evaluative standpoint.

Carter Stewart (2018, Fla.) is yet uncommitted, but had all the heavy hitters on him when he took the mound in relief for the Gators. He battled his command a bit, but the 6-foot-5, 190-pound junior checks all kinds of boxes from the scouting perspective and looks to be an extremely high-end prospect in the class of 2018. With the size and projection he has, Stewart also shows well above average arm speed with extremely easy and smooth arm action, and the kind of simple and athletic delivery that allows evaluators to project above average command as well. He worked up to 91 mph with his fastball, showing easy feel to get over his front side and downhill with excellent extension and plane. The weapon, however, was his curveball. Thrown in the mid-70s with 11-to-5 shape, its spin rate (per TrackMan) was clocked over 3000 rpm, an insane number in professional baseball, let alone as an underclassmen in high school. It passes the eye test as well as the analytics test, with extreme sharpness and depth, looking every bit like a future plus pitch.

Judson Fabian (2019, Fla.) is ranked highly in the class of 2019 and for extremely good reason, as he continues to show as one of the more high-end hitters in the class. His swing features a compact hand path with plenty of bat speed, to go along with the requisite understanding of the zone as well as the ability to recognize spin that go into making a very good hitting prospect. He barrels up the baseball all over the strike zone, with the approach to use the whole field, and his swing plane allows for him to achieve positive launch angles capable of peppering rising line drives all over the field with impressive present power and even more in the way of power projection. He’s committed to Florida, and looks to be the next in line of legitimate hitting prospects landed by Coach Kevin O’Sullivan.

Later on Friday night at City of Palms Park, Marucci Elite secured their first victory of the weekend in a 6-0 defeat of RBA South 2018. Seth Halvorsen (2018, Minn.) pitched the first three frames for Marucci, and looked extremely good doing it. He allowed two hits and a single walk over those three shutout frames, punching out five in the process. Early on he sat in the 86-89 mph range with his fastball, showing the ability to work to the bottom of the strike zone while generating very good sinking life on the pitch as well, making it a very tough pitch to square up. He mixed in a very sharp slider as well, thrown in the mid- to upper-70s with two-plane tilting action, missing bats of right-handed hitters with ease on the pitch. There’s undoubtedly some effort in the delivery, which can cause some command concerns at times, but the righthander showed two legitimate next-level pitches, and a pitcher who can come into games and get groundballs while missing bats is a hot commodity at any level, making Halvorsen a fast-rising prospect as we move along into the fall.

– Brian Sakowski

Team Elite righthander Ethan Hankins (2018, Cumming, Ga.) was a great example of the difficulties and realities of evaluating very young pitchers during his three inning outing Friday afternoon.  The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Hankins, who is ranked ninth in the 2018 class, looked like a young Mark Prior in physique, delivery and raw stuff during his first inning of work, powering his fastball into the bottom of the strike zone with heavy sink at 92-95 mph and having a very easy inning, with two strikeouts and a weak ground out.

During the second inning, however, Hankins looked like an entirely different pitcher.  He decided to start mixing in his secondary pitches early in counts and he tends to lower his arm slot significantly on his changeup and curveball.  Plus, throwing a belt-high and flat 84 mph changeup early in a count when a hitter is geared for a 94 mph fastball he'll likely be late on anyway often isn't going to end well.  When Hankins kept his arm slot low on his fastball, flattening that pitch out, too, and his infield mishandled a couple of balls, two runs had scored and a Team Elite coach visited the mound.  Whatever the coach said worked, as Hankins quickly retired the next two hitters with 93 mph fastballs at the bottom of the zone and then worked a routine third inning.

Two innings, two totally different pitchers.  Scouts frequently remind each other at events featuring prospects this age, "remember how young they are."

Team Elite played two consecutive games Friday afternoon at the Stadium Field at Terry Park and it is always rewarding to watch the prospect-laden team play.  Some other highlights from their two victories include:

• Righthanded pitcher  Kumar Rocker (2018, Watkinsville, Ga.), the No. 1 ranked player in the 2018 class, did not pitch but did play first base most of the two games and is surprisingly nimble defensively for such a big athlete.  Rocker's presence at the plate was definitely felt, as he hit two massive middle-of-the-field doubles that would have been out of most ballparks in the country.

• Catcher Shane Marshall (2018, Naples, Fla.) and outfielder Nick Fajardo (2018, Durham, N.C.) stood out at the plate, with Marshall picking up a pair of hard hits in both games.  Fajardo, who looks out of place at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds on a team full of over-sized players, showed very impressive left handed bat speed in lining a double and triple to right field and also showed off his speed on the bases and strong throwing arm from right field.

• Two-way standout Justin Wrobleski (2018, Canton, Ga.) had somewhat of a roller coaster outing on the mound, working mostly 88-89 mph with his fastball but then sometimes bumping it up to 91-92 mph while at other times dropping into the mid-80s, seemingly without reason (and thus bringing back the lessons from the Ethan Hankins evaluation).  Wrobleski came back in the second game and swung the bat well, including picking up a hard hit RBI double.

• Righthander Jacob Riordon (2018, Liburn, Ga.) has an extremely smooth and fast arm and the 6-foot-3 long-armed athlete threw 89-91 mph with little effort.  Riordon might be one mechanical adjustment away from really exploding as a talent, as he lands hard on his left heel with a very open front foot, causing him to spin off his front side on every pitch.  Watch out if he learns to pitch over and through his front side and keep his direction.

The theme of the morning games at Terry Park from a scout's perspective was unquestionably 2019 pitchers, especially the big, loose and projectable type.

Lids Indiana Bulls managed to run out two very impressive 2019 hurlers, plus a very interesting 2018 lefty, and still drop a hard fought 2-0 decision to Marucci Elite 16's and their own talented 2019 pitcher.

Righthander Cameron Dennie (2019, Culver, Ind.) started for Lids and threw four solid innings, working in the 85-87 mph range with big tailing action and throwing both a upper-70s slider and low-70s curveball that showed tight, hard spin, especially the slider.  Dennie looks even younger than a sophomore both facially and in his physique and his arm is very loose and easy from mid three-quarters to three-quarters arm slot.

Jacob Gilcrest (2018, Greenwood, Ind.), a 6-foot-5, 175-pound lefthander, took over for an inning and really impressed, although he wasn't nearly as polished as Dennie.  Gilcrest's up-tempo delivery is all arms and legs and reminded one scout of Dontrelle Willis in its overall effect and deception.  Gilcrest's fastball was in the 87-90 mph range with plenty of life and with his young body and very loose and fluid arm action it's easy to image some special fastball numbers from him as he matures.

The second 2019 talent, righthander Shane Harris (2019, New Harmony, Ind.) looked even younger on the mound than Dennie but threw with a low effort high three-quarters arm action that produced a fastball up to 87 with outstanding angle to the plate.

None of the three pitchers listed above has a college commitment per the PG database.

The winning pitcher for Marucci, with 5 2/3 shutout innings was lefthander Calvin Marks (2019, San Antonio, Texas).  The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Marks has a big young body with lots of strength in his lower half.  He has some funk in his arm action in back and a multi-piece delivery with lots of deception to it and was able to repeat his mechanics just enough to work out of a couple of jams.  Marks' fastball was steady in the 84-87 mph range and he used a fading changeup as his primary secondary pitch.

Lids shortstop Craig Yoho (2018, Fishers, Ind.) was impressive on both sides of the ball.  He has a broad shouldered 6-foot-2, 185-pound build that might fill out into a third baseman's proportions and a strong righthanded swing.  Yoho gave the Lids their best scoring opportunity with a towering triple to right-center field that one hopped the fence at the Stadium field, as impressive opposite field blast.  His arm at shortstop was plenty strong enough and he showed his athleticism on a couple of plays, including turning one difficult double play.

Catcher Aaron Steinhart (2018, Jupter, Fla.) stood out for Marucci.  Not only did the lefthanded hitter drive in both Marucci runs with a single, he played outstanding defense all game, blocking numerous pitches with men on base, plus picking a runner off third base with a lightning quick and very accurate two-out throw.

A very young pitcher, young enough to be a 2019 and even a 2020, who was impressive was SBA Marucci 2018 Donathan righthander Rob Hughes (2018, Rock Hill, S.C.).  Hughes used a miserly 68 pitches to throw a seven inning complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over Team Georgia Elite 17u, with 54 of those pitches (79.4 percent) being strikes.  Hughes worked in the 86-89 range with a low effort clean delivery and used a very nice 77 mph changeup frequently as his out pitch.  The interesting side story on Hughes is that he won't turn 16 years old until January, as he is a 4.5 student who skipped a grade academically early in his education.  Hughes doesn't look like a 15-year old, with a strong 6-foot-2, 200-pound build and obviously doesn't pitch like one, either.  He has a verbal commitment to Furman.

The 2014 WWBA Underclass World Champion Virginia Cardinals have brought a strong team to this year's event, especially with their lineup of position players.  Catcher Adam Hackenberg (2018, Palmyra, Va.) is the team's standout and the 141st ranked player in the 2018 class, but the extra strong righthanded hitter took back seat to numerous teammates during two wins on Friday.

Center fielder Michael Peterson (2018, Prince George, Va.) was especially impressive with his speed, athleticism and ability to square up the baseball.  Peterson had three hits on the day and would have had a fourth, and maybe an inside the park home run, except his mammoth drive to left-center field was spectacularly caught by 7 Tools Baseball center fielder Ian Colberg (2018, San Juan, Puerto Rico) in what may end up as the defensive play of the tournament.  Peterson is a lean and wiry 6-foot, 155-pound greyhound and to see him hit the ball that far was noteworthy.

Other Cardinal hitters who stood out during the day included first baseman Drew Camp (2018, Colonial Heights, Va.), outfielder Hunter Andrews (2018, Mdlothian, Va.) and shortstop Tevin Tucker (2018, North Prince George, Va.).

– David Rawnsley

Ali Lapread (2018, Norcross, Ga.) of the Ninth Inning Royals is an intriguing infield prospect. Lapread has a lean and athletic build with good actions on the infield. He approaches the ball with good footwork, gets in a solid fielding position, has confident hands and throws with accuracy and arm strength. He can benefit from improving his first-step quickness as the pitch crosses the plate. At the plate he has a simple stance and mechanics. With a short weight shift to the rear hip his stride separates, and he has a good path to the ball. He shows impressive strength for his size as the ball jumps off the barrel. Lapread is also a plus runner.

His teammate and catcher Matthew Rivera (2018, Egg Harbor, N.J.) shows an advanced feel for the game behind the plate. Anderson has a tall and athletic frame that looks comfortable at the position, he has good posture in his crouch and puts his body in a good position to block or move laterally. I was impressed with his blocking skills and his ability to keep his chest towards the plate, keeping the ball in front of him at all times. He’s confident in his arm as well choosing good opportunities to throw behind runners. Rivera handles the run game well with a strong and accurate arm.

The third slot of games at CenturyLink was full of impressive talent that sprawled the entirety of the five field complex. Chain National Dobbs 17u showcased an impressive offensive lineup that has the firepower to make a deep run at the Underclass World Championship. Headlining the Chain National lineup are North Carolina commit Aaron Sabato (2018, Rye Brook, N.Y.), Kentucky commit Trevon Flowers (2018, Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Florida State commit Brandon Howlett (2018, Lakeland, Fla.). All three righthanded hitters have so much in common at the plate. First, they all easily stand out on the field due to their size and athleticism. On the field they all show a high IQ and comfort at their infield positions. At the plate, they all show advanced movements that allow them to be in a position to drive the ball and be productive at the plate. After contact, all three of them also move well on the basepaths.

Phenom Texas was playing at the same time as Chain National and I was able to get a look at catcher Treet Williams (2018, Tomball, Texas). The DBU commit has a medium build with room to grow and physically mature. Treet shows an ability to control a variety of advanced, moving parts in his swing that put him in a good position to be successful at the plate. He stands in the box with rhythm, starting his swing with a gather to his rear hip, with a leg lift with internal rotation that coils the front side. He lands with his body in a strong, torqued position and has a fast lower half that puts his barrel in a position to work up to the ball with bat speed.

Keyshawn Askew (2018, Powder Springs, Ga.) took the mound for the East Cobb Astros 17u and battled through a tough first inning and earned himself a win. Askew has a high leg lift and a clean delivery with pace down the mound. His arm action is long, loose and quick to his three-quarters release point. Askew has good direction to the plate and has an extremely live arm that coaches are going to love at the next level. From observing him on the mound it looks like he has a high effort level but it does not affect his mechanics. His four-seam fastball sat 85-86 mph with arm-side run and downhill plane. I did not see an off-speed pitch and in the innings I was able to watch and I thought it would have benefitted him to throw one. The main reason he struggled was hitters were sitting on the fastball. Askew showed that he was able to persevere through a tough inning and settle in to put his team in a position to win. Askew scattered five hits over five innings with five strikeouts.

The most impressive outing I observed at CenturyLink was from uncommitted prospect Garrett Burhenn (2018, Indianapolis, Ind.) of the SF Giants Scout Team. Burhenn has a quick delivery to the plate as his leg lift coils his front side with a compact arm and swing that hides the ball behind his glove hand well. Burhenn has a low three-quarters release point landing with the body and arm in a good position. Despite his low arm slot he is still able to create downhill plane. He has an easy delivery with low effort level maintaining his fastball with arm-side run at 87-88 mph and touched 89. Burhenn attacked hitters early with the fastball to both sides of the plate. Then, he would mix in a tight curveball at 11-to-5 arc at 76 mph maintaining his arm speed and fastball plane. His changeup is 79 mph and he maintains good arm speed while creating depth and fade. He is a good athlete and fields his position with ease as Burhenn finished his outing at 4 2/3 innings pitched with seven strikeouts, no hits and no runs on only 45 pitches.

– Brandon Hohl

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