Tournaments | Story | 10/11/2016

World Underclass Day 5 Notes

Matt Czechanski        
Photo: Perfect Game

Daily Leaders | Day 1 Notes | Day 2 Notes | Day 3 Notes | Day 4 Notes

The San Francisco Giants Scout Team, the champions of the 2016 WWBA Underclass World Championship, played some seriously impressive baseball over the course of the weekend.

In their quarterfinal matchup on Monday morning, they sent eventual Most Valuable Pitcher Garrett Burhenn (2018, Ind.) to the mound against FTB Tucci/Webgemz. Burhenn pitched a complete game (five innings) shutout, scattering four hits while allowing zero walks and striking out four FTB hitters in the process. He was in complete control the entire time, and the uncommitted junior righthander certainly looks to be a legitimate Division I arm at the next level. Holding his velocity throughout the entirety of his 59-pitch outing, Burhenn worked in the 84-87 mph range with his fastball, generating above average sinking life and showing the combination of arm speed and physical projection necessary to project for more velocity into the future. He showed a complete mix of pitches, with both a slider and changeup, but perhaps more impressive was his ability to throw all three pitches for a strike. Both the slider and changeup were thrown in the mid-70s, but the similarities in velocity didn’t hinder any deception due to the fact that both pitches had quality movement. One obviously tilted the to glove side with good spin and the other faded to the arm side with excellent arm speed. He’s one of the more complete and poised pitching prospects seen this weekend, and with continued development certainly looks to be a legitimate starting pitcher prospect at the high D-I level.

Despite falling in the quarterfinals, FTB Tucci/Webgemz showed extremely well as a team and individually over the course of the weekend. Dylan Buck (2018, Fla.) is committed to West Virginia, and the highly projectable 6-foot-1, 160-pound prospect has the tools to be a high-level hitter for the Mountaineers at the next level. With a balanced swing, highlighted by very fast hands and a cleanly lofted swing plane, Buck is able to get his barrel on pitches all over the zone with good jump off the bat, with legitimate power coming down the line once he fills out his frame. One of the only hitters to square up Garrett Burhenn, Buck was able to pull his hands in on an 86 mph sinker and drive it to left field for a double. The ability to manipulate the barrel stands out when evaluating Buck, and with that aforementioned increased strength, he has a chance to be a very high-level hitter.

Braydon Tucker (2018, Ind.) started the semifinal game for the SF Giants Scout Team, and the Indiana commit has the makings of being a physical, innings-eating starter for the Hoosiers at some point. He pitched a five-inning complete game to send the Giants to the championship game, striking out three and allowing only a single run on five hits and one walk. He’s a very physical prospect at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, and that strength manifests itself well into his delivery as he drives towards the plate with big intent. Coming out 86-89 mph in the first inning, he eventually settled into the 83-87 mph range, with solid arm-side run and good control of the fastball, though he left a few too many fastballs up in the zone. He mixed in a big change-of-pace curveball, with big break in the mid-60s and 11-to-5 shape, throwing it for a strike often, but his primary pitch was definitely the fastball, which he used to good success.

Shortstop Gage Hughes (2018, Ohio) stood out during the 16u WWBA National Championship, and continued to do so in this event as well. He’s a pretty complete player overall, with the athleticism and twitch necessary to play the middle infield, along with enough arm strength to man the shortstop position long-term at the collegiate level, where he’s committed to Cincinnati. The bat stands out as well, with a quick, compact hand path on a line drive plane that is ideally built for line drive contact all over the field, and that spray approach works extremely well for him, giving him all the tools to be an impact top-of-the-order hitter and premium defender at the next level.

– Brian Sakowski

On a day filled with epic comebacks, it opened with flashy defensive plays. FTB55 Elite shortstop Nander De Sedas (2018, Montverde, Fla.) is no stranger to impressive glove work and the trend continued on Monday. De Sedas has a very impressive transfer and an easily plus arm from the left side. His actions are so fluid and the arm strength stands out immensely. De Sedas is a switch hitter at the plate with above average bat speed and intent from both sides. He’s very quick and fluid through the zone and drives the ball easily off the barrel. The 22nd-ranked player in the 2018 class recently committed to Florida State and has a very bright future.

Of the teams that made the championship game, the EvoShield Canes had a pair of high-end Vanderbilt commits manning the left side of their infield. Third baseman Nicholas Northcut (2018, Mason, Ohio.) helped provide some of the thunder the Canes needed in order to move on from their semifinal matchup. The incredibly well built Northcut stands 6-foot, 198-pounds with broad shoulders and absurd physicality. He swings with incredible power and generates good lift off the barrel. He delivered one of the biggest hits of the day with a big three-run home run that gave his Canes the lead and push them to the eventual win. He showed similar ability to find the barrel in the back-and-forth championship game with a pair of big doubles.

Another flashy shortstop was Xavier Edwards (2018, Wellington, Fla.). Edwards showed high-level defensive actions with an ultra-quick transfer and release. The highly athletic Edwards made play after play up the middle and showed very clean footwork. His swing continues to show short and quick and as he continues to add physical strength to his lean frame his offensive game will continue to improve.

– Matt Czechanski

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