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Tournaments  | Story  | 10/22/2016

World Championship Day 2 Notes

David Rawnsley      Matt Czechanski      Kevin Schuver      Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Perfect Game

Day 1 NotesDaily Leaders | TrackMan Live

Lefthander Luke Bartnicki (2018, Marietta, Ga.) threw two shutout innings, striking out three hitters, for the East Cobb Astros in their 1-1 tie with the Mets Scout Team. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound southpaw has a very low effort delivery with a clean and easy arm action coming through and between the projection in his body and the ease with which his arm works, it seems inevitable that he'll add velocity as he matures physically. The Georgia Tech commit topped out at 94 mph with his fastball and worked consistently in the low-90s and did a good job of working his fastball to different spots. Bartnicki's slider was in the upper-70s and had a short but effective break to it, although it looks as if he cuts his arm off a bit out front on this pitch. It was a very impressive showing overall, with a clear path to improvement with an improved breaking ball.

Another lefty in the same game was equally effective in his own way without posting the glitzy velocity numbers. Tom Sheehan (2017, Brielle, N.J.) is a Notre Dame commit who sat in the 87-89 mph range for four plus innings, needing only 56 pitches to get 13 outs.  Sheehan biggest weapon was his combination of advanced command of his fastball to go with outstanding running life that produced some weak and late swings. Like Bartnicki, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Sheehan has room to improve his breaking ball, a 72-74 mph curveball, but has the ability to pitch successfully off his fastball with only occasional changes in speed and pitch type.

Sheehan's catcher, Matthew Cooper (2017, Virginia Beach, Va.), had a strong game and impressed with his overall athleticism in addition to his performance. Cooper's righthanded swing was very short and direct to the ball and he lined singles to both left field and right field that came off the barrel hard. Cooper ran a 6.8-second 60-yard dash at the PG National this past June and his athleticism was obvious running the bases and in his actions defensively behind the plate. He is a Clemson commit.

Finding a uncommitted 2017 prospect on many of the Jupiter rosters is difficult, if not impossible. But one did impress for East Cobb. Righthander Stephen Szucs (2017, Marietta, Ga.) needed only 16 pitches to retire six hitters, topping out at 89 mph with big sinking action on his fastball at times from a long and whippy three-quarters arm action.  Szucs curveball was 72-74 mph and tight and was a very solid second pitch. A highlight of Szucs' outing was a three-pitch inning that actually featured a base hit. The pitch progression went leadoff single, fielder's choice putout at second base, 5-4-3 double play.  It took a moment to even remember that there had been only three pitches.

Dulin Dodgers has a healthy mix of young and old players on the team but it was a couple of their youngsters that keyed their 2-0 win over the Minnesota Blizzard Friday morning.

Six-foot-5, 175-pound sophomore Kendall Williams (2019, Olive Branch, Miss.) has already attracted enough attention to have a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt and his long and athletic build defines projection in a young pitcher. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot with a bit of back lean and does a very good job of staying on top of the ball and working downhill, especially with his curveball. Williams fastball worked in the 83-87 mph range for four shutout innings but he showed a full complement of pitches. His curveball was up to 75 mph with big downer shape at times and he also showed tremendous confidence in his changeup, which he threw 11 times among his 65 total pitches.

But the real youngster, maybe the youngest player this scout has ever seen at Jupiter, is first baseman Blaze Jordan (2021, Southhaven, Miss.). That's right, an eighth grader, but also a 6-foot, 217-pound eighth grader whose slugging exploits are evidently already well known back in Mississippi and has caused him to already be compared to Braves 2015 first round pick Austin Riley. Jordan led off the seventh inning of a 0-0 game with a line drive single up the middle and came around to score the game-winning run.

This scout has been fortunate enough to watch outfielder Joe Gray Jr. (2018, Hattiesburg, Miss.) play multiple games at multiple events over the past three months. During that time I've yet to see any hitter get a ball over Gray's head, either directly to center field or up either gap. He gets outstanding jumps going backwards and his plus speed and long stride give him outstanding range. He also has that sometimes vastly under rated ability to catch the ball even when he is off balance and has his upper body angled awkwardly. Throw in Gray's 70 grade throwing arm and he is an early contender for the best defensive player in the 2018 class.

– David Rawnsley

Day 2 of the WWBA World Championship featured nothing but clear blue skies and excellent baseball in Jupiter, Florida, home of the World Wood Bat Association World Championship.

Mason Hickman (2017, Hendersonville, Tenn.) of the Dirtbags shows a lot of length through his frame with the promise for continued strength as he matures. The 6-foot-6 righthanded pitcher showed a smooth, repeatable delivery from a high three-quarters arm slot. The Vanderbilt commit featured a fastball that sat between 87-89 mph with occasional running action to arm side. The arm will fall behind at times and cause Hickman’s fastball to straighten out up in the strike zone. Hickman also flashed a curveball with tight rotation that consistently produced 2,500 RPM, and finished his day working 3 2/3 innings, allowing zero runs on three hits while striking out six batters.

Reds Midwest Scout Team starter Brendan Murphy (2017, Midelein, Ill.) got the nod against Team Northeast. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound lefthanded pitcher employed his usual smooth pace and clean mechanics while working to the plate. The future Sun Devil’s fastball came out of hand cleanly at 88-90 mph with very good feel to his glove side. Murphy’s curveball however was not as sharp as it has been in past outings. Team Northeast was able to sit on his fastball and barrel up a few hard hits in Murphy’s two innings of work. As most good pitchers do, the lefthander was able to work out of jams and get through two innings of scoreless baseball thanks to solid defense from his teammates and an 81-percent strike rate.

Murphy’s teammate Ryan Sublette (2017, Lemont, Ill.) closed out the last two innings for the Reds Scout Team. The future Texas Tech Red Raider has a high energy, up-tempo delivery with a quick arm action from a high three-quarters slot. Sublette’s front side lands slightly closed at times causing some crossfire action that proved to be very difficult for both left and righthanded hitters to pick up out of his hand. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound righthander’s fastball has good running life to each edge of the plate ranging from 86-90 mph. Sublette’s primarily off-speed offering was a changeup at 79-80 mph with a very deceptive arm action that matched his fastball. When his tempo remains under control, Sublette has the ability to be a very difficult pitcher to consistently square up.

The Central Florida Gators sent their 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthanded pitcher, Gunnar Hoglund (2018, Hudson, Fla.), to the mound against Georgia PG Texas Orange on Friday morning. The young righthander showed an extremely smooth, easy delivery and arm action that produced at fastball that ranged 86-90 mph. Hoglund’s most impressive trait was his ability to consistently repeat his mechanics and arm slot throughout each inning of work. The Mississippi commit is still refining his straight changeup and curveball, but was able to pound the zone with both and keep hitters off balance at times. Hoglund flashed a very good curveball when he was able to accelerate his arm speed through extension much like that of his fastball offering.

Tyler Callihan (2019, Neptune Beach, Fla.) paced the Florida Gators offense with three hits in three in at-bats, including two RBI. The future South Carolina Gamecock showed a very compact, simple barrel path that consistently produced hard contact throughout the game. Callihan’s most impressive at-bat produced a hard single to right field that exited the barrel at 95 mph.

Callihan’s efforts fell short as the Central Florida Gators fell to the Georgia PG Texas Orange by a score of 6-4. Georgia PG Texas Orange was led by Brennan Milone’s (2019, Woodstock, Ga.) RBI double in the first inning and Nathan Hickey’s (2019, Jacksonville, Fla.) 2-for-3, two RBI performance.

It’s very rare to find a low-90s arm that is not already committed while at the WWBA World Championship, but that’s exactly what Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team righthanded pitcher Landon Leach (2017, Pickering, Ontario) is. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty has extremely smooth mechanics with an easy, repeatable three-quarters arm slot. Leach easily sat at 90-93 mph throughout his 3 2/3 innings of work while flashing good running action to the arm side. He has an advanced feel for his fastball that allows him to reach each edge of the plate with bat-breaking life. The uncommitted pitcher did not need his off-speed too often, but he did show a curveball and a slider that flashed very tight rotation with late-breaking action down in the strike zone. Wherever Leach may land after his Jupiter performance he is sure to be a power righthanded arm that can change the depth of any pitching staff.

The Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team went on to defeat the Dallas Patriots by a score of 11-0. The Jays were led by Luis Campusano (2017, Augusta, Ga.), Michael Rothenberg (2017, Boca Raton, Fla.) and Jose Cadenas (2017, Tampa, Fla.) who each collected two hits and drove in six of the Blue Jays 11 runs.

Nick Swanson (2018, Kennesaw, Ga.) of Nelson Baseball School 18u showed an explosive fastball in his three innings of work against the EvoShield Canes. The 6-foot, 195-pound uncommitted rigthander has a very high-energy delivery with explosive arm speed throughout extension. His fastball sat at 89-90 mph while touching 92 at times with running action to his arm side. Swanson employees his lower half very well while driving to the plate and stays on line to the plate well. He struggles to repeat his arm slot at times due to his high effort actions, but when staying in rhythm he was able to pound to the strike zone. He also flashed a curveball with sharp 10-to-5 shape, but seemed to rear back and fire his fastball as his primary out-pitch.

Team EvoShield sent three quality pitchers to the mound in Crosby Bringhurst (2017, Taylorsville, Utah), Ryan Brady (2017, Park City, Utah) and Zach Young (2018, Sebastian, Fla.).

Bringhurst, a University of Kentucky commit, has a lean, athletic frame that promises to continue to add strength. The 6-foot-3 righthander’s fastball ranged at 86-90 mph while touching 91 at times with good downward angle to the plate. Bringhurst flashed the ability to command pitches to each edge of the plate, but can lose his feel when his front hip opens early and causes his arm to drag to extension.

Brady, an uncommitted righthanded pitcher, has a smooth, deliberate delivery and releases from a taller position. At 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, Brady shows a very heavy fastball with good life through the zone at 86-91 mph. He has a tendency to get under his fastball at times and elevates the pitch to the belt when rushing through his delivery. When on top of the fastball, Brady produced rather steep downhill angle that induced weak groundball contact. He compliments his fastball with a slider and changeup. The slider flashed very tight rotation with late, short sweep while the changeup showed cutting action as well at 82-83 mph.

Young, a Miami commit, has seemed to smooth out his mechanics and has become much more repeatable while working to the plate. He still releases with some effort at times at 89-91 mph, but is able to maintain much better balance and momentum to the plate. The 6-foot-1, 155-pound righthanded pitcher also showed a very tight 11-to-5 curveball with late depth down in the zone. There is little doubt that Young will continue to add velocity and deception as he continues to mature physically.

Collin Storms (2017, Lewisville, Texas), an uncommitted righthanded pitcher, had an impressive two innings of work for the Dallas Patriots Stout. Storms’ fastball sat at 88-90 mph with very heavy action to the plate from a high-energy three-quarters arm slot. Storms creates a short arm circle back at separation before accelerating his arm through extension with very good whip. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound pitcher also flashed a 9-to-4 slider and a 11-to-5 curveball with each showing short, tight rotation with late break. His delivery is a little rushed at times which changes his arm angle and loses command of the strike zone. Collins completed two innings for the Dallas Patriots Stout while striking out four batters.

– Kevin Schuver

Day 2 of the WWBA World Championship followed right where Day 1 ended with a lot of high-powered arms including several with MLB Draft buzz. Teams sent out their top arms as they worked into the heart of pool play.

For the Midland Redskins, Vanderbilt commit Tyler Brown (2017, Ashalnd, Ohio.) toed the rubber to open up play. Brown has a mature, physical build listed at 6-foot-2, 230-pounds with compact strength throughout his frame. Brown showed good arm strength on the mound from a quick, compact arm action and limited lower half drive. His extension was short down the mound, with an online landing and balance throughout his delivery. He began with a full hand raise over head into a larger leg lift that stayed tight to his body. His fastball worked flat up in the zone, but with better plane when staying on top of it. He threw the pitch in the range of 87-91 mph and topped out at 92 mph in the first inning. The future Commodore showed some trouble repeating his release point, but he showed the ability to miss bats with his aforementioned arm strength. He also worked in a short breaking slider with developing feel for spin and replicated arm speed. The pitch showed 10-to-4 shape up to 80 mph that helped compile five of his strikeouts.

Throughout their first two games of the tournament, outfielder Ian Jenkins (2017, Lawrenceville, Ga.) continued to impact the ball off the barrel. Though he didn’t collect a hit in the first game he showed the same physical strength through the ball with a positive launch angle. He works from wider base with an active hand set into a more rigid hand load. His hands work up and well to the ball as he collected a very loud (103 mph exit velo) double in their second game of the day. Jenkins has very impressive physical strength noted through his frame and though his timing is raw at times he has loads of offensive potential.

Closing out the win against the East Cobb Yankees was Logan Lacey (2017, Tallahassee, Fla.). Lacey stood with a slight build and frame on the mound, listed only at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. What he did showed was impressive arm strength with a fastball that worked up to 92 mph. He’s a bit of a raw product on the mound with varying release point and lower half drive, but there were factors that make him an interesting prospect. He worked hard over his front side with crossfire action and recoil after release. He showed a curveball at 78 mph with 11-to-5 shape that showed quality depth and developing spin. Lacey needs to harness his arm strength to repeat the action enough to make any secondary more effective to offer a swing and miss pitch.

Working back up on the adjacent fields on the Cardinals side was Miami commit Robert Touron (2017, Miami, Fla.). Touron has an athletic lean frame with lots of room to fill listed at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds. He pitched with a longer arm action through the back that showed rigidness in the form of a stab. Touron was overpowering in his four innings as he struck out 6 batters and failed to allow a run. He threw from a three-quarters arm slot with good arm speed through release with big time extension down the mound. He worked very well through the ball and looked to pitch inside on righthanded hitters with his fastball that sat 88-92 mph. The pitch exploded out of his hand with good arm-side life and he showed the ability to get it to both sides of the plate. He worked off of his fastball consistently and that allowed the effectiveness of his curveball to play up. The pitch showed 11-to-5 shape with good depth and he kept it low in the zone to help garner swings and misses and change the eye levels of hitters. He also showed a changeup at 81 mph with fade he flashed on one or two occasions that showed potential.

After showing off his strong arm and defensive skills behind the plate yesterday, M.J. Melendez (2017, Montgomery, Ala.), a PG All-American, showcased his raw power with a big home run to left field. The power potential has always been a part of Melendez’s game, but had mostly worked to pull side in previous viewings. He took a letter high 87 mph fastball and went with the pitch, showing tremendous backspin ability off the barrel with lift and separation. His swing works with a higher launch angle to vault the ball in the air with very quick hands through the zone. That wasn’t the only time Melendez found the barrel on the day with another 90+ exit velocity on a single to right-center field. As the hit tool progresses it continues to provide more and more value to the highly touted catcher and FIU commit.

On a day where several shortstops stood out for their defensive actions up the middle, Ricardo De La Torre (2017, Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico). De La Torre is very projectable, highly athletic player standing at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds with impressive glove work and a plus arm from the left side of the infield. His actions to both sides with a very quick first step and impressive reaction time were effortless. He was very smooth through the ball with soft hands and the aforementioned arm strength with carry to the first basemen. He didn’t collect a hit at the plate, but still showed very raw bat speed with a mostly line drive plane through the zone. There is potential for the bat to improve, but he always has his glove to fall back on.

Pitching against De La Torre and PRBAHS was LSU commit Matt Schroer (Phoenix, Ariz.). Schroer utilized a longer arm action with a good bit of effort at release from a large, physical frame. He stands at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, but looked slightly more filled out that his listed weight. He has broad shoulders with very long limbs to allow for additional projection. Schroer showed good arm strength on his fastball that sat at 89-92 mph and touched 93 over the first four innings. He showed good riding life to his fastball with arm-side run as well. He worked incredibly well through the ball, continuously turning in seven or more feet of extension through the ball. When he stayed on top of his fastball he created tremendous downhill plane to the lower third of the zone and generated quite a bit of weak contact. He also showed ability to spin the ball with a hard, tight slider at 77 mph with 10-to-4 shape. The pitch showed swing and miss tendencies at times. Despite the effort at release, he showed enough athleticism to repeat his delivery enough to be effective and turn in a very quality outing.

In a timeslot that seemingly had an abundance of high quality collegiate bound arms, Jonathan Stroman (Albuquerque, N.M.). Stroman pitched with a very quick arm on the mound, utilizing a longer, slightly rigid arm action through the back and came through with an extended three-quarters arm slot. He worked over his front side with crossfire action down the mound and a heel turn finish. There was controlled effort through release with a shorter stride down the mound. His fastball worked well at 88-92 mph with good, late arm-side wiggle to the pitch. His command of the pitch was off in the outing as he struggled to repeat his delivery with his arm being in varying spots at foot strike. He also showed a curveball in game with 11-to-5 shape with good feel for the pitch at 76 mph over for a strike. The curveball showed good spin and has the makings of a quality swing and miss pitch. Stroman flashed a changeup in warmups as well, but worked almost exclusively off of his fastball in game. He worked around command issues at times and leaving the ball up in the zone. Keeping his fastball low in the zone generated his best results and he continued to show high level attributes on the mound.

Closing out the game for both CBA and their opponent, Baseball U, were a pair of interesting arms that showed high level feel to spin their breaking balls. For Baseball U, Coastal Carolina commit Zach McCambley (2017, Stroudsburg, Pa.) certainly looked the part on the mound at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds with room to project further physically. He used a very short, muscled arm action and an impossibly short stride down the mound. He landed closed and worked over his front side and cut his fastball that worked 87-89 mph. His slider showed to be a very interesting pitch with tight, 10-to-4 shape at 81 mph with late tilt and two plane shape. He began to work almost exclusively off the slider which worked over for strikes. He struck out the side for the save on just 13 pitches.

Opposing in late-inning relief work was Arizona commit Roman Phansalkar (2-17, Edmond, Okla.). Phansalkar had similar projection to his build as McCambley, listed at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds with a raw arm action. He threw with incredibly low effort on the mound with a very short, quick arm action. His fastball showed mostly true action at 87-89, but again, it was the feel to spin that impressed. He abandoned his fastball almost after the first batter and threw 50 percent breaking balls in his only inning. His slider worked up to 77 mph with 11-to-5 shape and well above average spin that broke hard away to right handed hitters. He also got more on top of several between 73-75 mph for an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that also showed good depth. He needs to lengthen out his stride down the mound and work more through the ball to create plane and come downhill to complement his breaking ball pitches.

There may not have been a pitcher to take the mound who did more to solidify his draft stock than Sam Carlson (2017, Savage, Minn.). The 6-foot-4 Carlson looks every bit of a professional prospect with a strong frame and build and room to continue to add. His arm action worked very short and quick through the back from a three-quarters arm slot. He showed average extension down mound with an online landing and a harsh recoil over his front side. He worked well downhill and showed a quick arm through release. His fastball showed 91-93 mph and touched 94 mph early on in the first inning with good arm-side life. The wiggle to the pitch was late and was quality in on the hands of righthanded hitters. What was most impressive was the quality of changeup Carlson showed. He replicated his arm speed well for the pitch that hit 83 mph with tremendous fade. His strikeout to end the first inning was on one and it was a legitimate swing and miss pitch. Carlson mixed in a slider at 79 mph with 11-to-5 shape. The pitch showed a slight hump out of the hand with short, quality depth. The pitch completed his three pitch mix and allowed him to keep hitters off balance. He struck out six batters in five innings allowing just one run while throwing over 60 percent of his pitches for strikes.

Continuing the run of impressive arms for CBA, San Diego State commit Daniel Ritcheson (2017, Northridge, Calif.) took the mound and showed impressive arm strength. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ritcheson started with a very deep hip hip coil with a high leg lift close to the body. He landed online with good balance at release with controlled effort in his delivery. His arm action was long through the back with rigidness and a quick wrist wrap before coming through his three-quarters arm slot. Ritcheson’s arm strength was hard to deny on the mound, but he found the barrels of hitters early on when leaving his fastball up in the zone. His fastball worked 90-93 mph and hit 94 mph with short arm-side life and he held that velocity from the stretch. The pitch was flat when left up and the Atlanta Blue Jay hitters were on it. When he moved to both his curveball and slider it helped change the looks hitters were guessing and garner a large number of swings and misses. His slider showed good 10-to-4 shape with tight spin up to 83 mph with hard bite away from left handed hitters. He also showed a curveball up to 75 mph with more 12-to-6 shape as captured in the video. Both pitches got over for strikes and helped him settle in as the game went on. He struck out four batters in three innings with seven swings and misses.

Providing the offense and defense for CBA in their doubleheader were TCU commit Tyler Freeman (2017, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and USC commit Nick Allen (2017, San Diego, Calif.). The duo of PG All-Americans certainly lived up to their billing. Freeman hit out of the three hole and showed his consistent bat and hand speed with a very smooth, simple swing to the ball. He torqued well and showed the ability to drive the ball to the gaps with ease. He generated leverage with good bat speed and consistently found the barrel over the course of their games. Allen on the other hand continued to show why he’s one of the most defensively gifted players in the class. He just continues to make sensational plays look easy with advanced reads off the bat and balance through the ball that cannot be taught. He charged a week dribbler up the middle and lowered his slot with a lightning quick transfer to nail the runner by two steps.

Hitting behind Freeman was the actual thunder in Tyler Hardman (Corona, Calif.) Hardman has an immensly physical frame listed at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds and is riddled with strength. He starts with a taller set up with an elastic hand load into his leg kick. There’s tremendous rhythm in his set up as he gets his lower half into his swing with good leverage through the point of contact with good power potential to all fields. The Oklahoma commit delivered one of the hardest hit balls of the day with a line drive double off the wall in center field.

Another Oklahoma commit that stood out on the adjacent field was Diego Muniz (2018, Dallas, Texas). Muniz has a slight build at only 5-foot-9, 170-pounds but has good present strength and it plays with his arm on the left side of the infield. Muniz has very clean actions to both sides of the ball and range. He showed the ability to pick the ball through his back hand and make a strong, accurate throw on the move up the middle. Offensively he did show quick hands with a short, compact hand path. The path is a little raw at times but with his size and approach it fits his game.

After his recent commit to Tennessee, Camden Sewell (2018, Cleveland, Tenn.) impressed with a strong outing for Chet Lemon’s Juice. Sewell is incredibly projectable physically listed at 6-foot-4, 170-pounds with an incredibly lean frame and nearly endless room to fill out. He had a slight pause in his delivery after his leg raise and used a very short, compact arm action through the back despite his long limbs. His fastball worked 85-87 mph and topped out at 88 mph with mostly true action and occasional arm-side life. He worked well through the ball with average extension for his size. He showed very impressive feel to spin and broke out his slider quite often that he threw up to 77 mph. The pitch flashed two plane snap with late bite and the ability to back foot the pitch against left handed hitters that his TPL opponents had plenty of. He alternated between that slider and a curveball with bigger depth and still showed as a quality pitch.

Rounding out the night’s activity was Middle Tennessee State commit Myles Christian (2017, Olive Branch, Miss.). Christian has steadily been raising his stock since this past summer with a very loose, fluid swing from the left side of the plate. He has a bigger leg kick to start out his swing with a super easy elastic hand load into good bat speed. He drives the ball easily off the bat with good separation. Christian’s swing plane shows line drive through the zone with ease and loud barrel ability. His first hit, not captured by video, left the bat at 100 mph and his second, the first video, was 94 mph. He’s an impressive overall athlete that also showed athleticism in centerfield with an accurate arm on throws.  

– Matt Czechanski

Team Elite Prime started Friday right where they left off on Thursday night and had two pitchers deliver strong performances. Righthander Carmen Mlodzinski (2017, Hilton Head Island, S.C.) and lefthander Dylan Gentry (2017, Danielsville, Ga.) both pitched in their morning game and had some strong outings.

Mlodzinski started the game and stood tall on the mound at 6-foot-2 and 190-pounds as he delivered the opening pitch that sizzled in at 90 mph. The South Carolina commit has a longer arm action with some good arm speed as well. He works quickly on the mound and the delivery through the release has smoothness to it. From the three-quarters arm slot Mlodinski attacked hitters with his fastball early on. The pitch sat from 88-90 mph and had some occasional cut to it. He lost his command of the fastball towards the end of the outing, he began to walk some hitters, but overall he was able to use it effectively. At times he would rely on his tight, high-70s curveball and would be able to throw it for strikes. In the fourth inning after walking a batter on five straight fastballs he went to the curveball three times in a row to strike out the hitter. The pitch didn’t have much depth but he got tight spin on the baseball. Mlodzinski’s command worsened towards the very end of his outing but he showed a solid two-pitch mix for the majority of the game.

Gentry relieved Mlodzinski and immediately showed off his most impressive pitch: the curveball. Gentry’s curveball is a plus pitch and is genuinely a beauty to watch. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Auburn commit has a very lanky frame and threw with a quick arm action from the high three-quarters arm slot. His arm was full through the back and had some looseness to it as well. The borderline over-the-top arm slot allows for a tough angle of release on his fastball which sat from 86-88 mph and topped out at 89 mph. Without keeping exact count, it felt like Gentry split his pitches 50/50 in terms of usage with his fastball and curveball. The latter sat from 69-72 mph and had some excellent depth. The pitch could be thrown for strikes or buried in the dirt and had traditional 12-to-6 shape. He leads the entire tournament thus far in terms of spin rate as his curveball had an insane 2950 rpm and was consistently between 2800-2900 rpm per TrackMan Baseball. The curveball is a true weapon for Gentry and combined with his high release point makes the break and depth an impossible pitch to square up.

The offense had a big day for Prime as leadoff hitter Ivan Johnson (2017, Atlanta, Ga.) put on one of the more dominant performances at the plate thus far. Johnson is listed at a slender 6-foot, 188-pounds and is very athletic on the field. The Georgia commit has quick hands with strong wrists and is able to crush line drives to all fields. He did so on the second pitch of the game as he sent a fastball deep to the left centerfield gap for a leadoff triple. The ball was demolished and had an exit velocity of 98 mph and just missed being a homerun at 369 feet per TrackMan. Johnson has an elastic hand load into his swing and he is quick enough to get the barrel head out in front wherever the ball comes in. At shortstop he showed some athletic actions with a strong arm. Johnson has very good instincts on the base paths and reads pitchers well in order to time his stolen base attempts well.

Throughout today’s action outfielder Carlos Diaz (2017, Caguas, Puerto Rico) put on a defensive clinic in center field for Team Mizuno Puerto Rico. Diaz is very athletic at 6-foot-1, 160-pounds and projects well as he should keep his athleticism as he physically matures. Diaz is very quick and uses his speed well in the outfield to track down fly balls and line drives. At the Perfect Game National Showcase, Diaz ran a 6.65-second 60-yard dash to give an idea of his ability with his legs. The first nice grab he made came early on in the game. With the opposing offense threatening to score, a little flare to center was hit and Diaz got a good read, gained ground, and laid out to make a spectacular catch. The rest of the afternoon he was constantly in gaps snagging line drives, cutting off balls that should have been doubles, and overall just making catches that other center fielders normally wouldn’t make. At the plate Diaz has a narrow, simple stance with a high hand set and a line drive swing plane. He has quick hands at the plate and can hit the ball with some decent backspin on it.

The Padres Scout Team squared off against the East Cobb Yankees later in the afternoon and the Padres had two easy-throwing lefties who showed out. Sam Glick (2017, Lake Forest, Calif.) and Dylan Cloonan (217, Fla.) both put together strong performances and were able to stifle the Yankees offense.

Glick comes in a bit smaller in height at 6-foot-1 but is very lean and projectable with a weight of 170-pounds. The UCLA commit had a full arm circle with a pretty long and loose arm action. His delivery is very easy and throws from a higher three-quarters slot. The fastball sat from 87-89 mph and had some sinking life, especially when he got on top of the pitch. Glick lived in the lower third of the strike zone and worked both sides of the plate well with the pitch. Glick’s consistency with getting downhill and his angle of release made it difficult to square up his fastball. Glick also showed a hard changeup at 80 mph with some fade to the arm side and a curveball with more 12-to-6 shape but not a ton of depth.

Cloonan came in to relieve Glick and tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings. The Miami commit has a similar body type to Glick but is listed at 6-foot-1 with a tad more build with a weight of 190-pounds. Early on Cloonan struggled with his fastball command as he could not time up his delivery properly but after the first few batters he settled into a nice groove. He showed a long arm action with a coiled leg lift and pretty effortless release. Cloonan showed some quick arm speed and was able to get downhill at times. He mixed looks in the stretch and did a decent job at controlling the running game with different looks and deliveries. The fastball sat from 88-90 mph with some slight bite to the arm side. His curveball got better as the outing went on and towards the end of his performance he threw some very good ones. The pitch had 1-to-7 shape with varying depth, but had sharper break on it. The pitch was utilized both as a pitch for strikes and one that hitters would chase out of the zone.

Shortstop D.J. Poteet (2017, Johns Creek, Ga.) provided the early offensive boost with a very high home run to right field to give the Padres Scout Team the early lead. Poteet has a very tall frame at 6-foot-4 and is very slender with wiry strength. The Wake Forest commit plays both positions up the middle and showed some athletic actions and decent arm strength at second base. Poteet has a quick bat with some lift in his swing. He has a very elastic and deep hand load with a big leg lift and gets his whole body into his swing as he turns. He has a tendency to hit fly balls and he turned on an inside fastball to drive it over the right field wall.

Perfect Game All-American outfielder Kyle Jacobsen (2017, Acworth, Ga.) showed off his athleticism and all-around talent during Friday’s games. Jacobsen has a strongly built frame at 6-foot, 185-pounds and has room still to fill out to complement his athleticism. Jacobsen swings the bat with authority and has a high hand set with a high back elbow. The South Carolina commit’s speed and instincts on the basepaths impressed on Friday. Jacobsen had enough speed to overcome being picked off and stole second base even as the lefthanded pitcher threw over to first. A few pitches later Jacobsen’s instincts and reads on throws helped him to score from second on what amounted to a weakly hit infield single to the left side of the infield. The sky continues to be the limit for Jacobsen and the only question remains whether or not he will make it to campus.

Another highly ranked outfielder who turned in a quality performance on Friday afternoon was Daniel Cabrera (2017, River Ridge, La.) for GBG Marucci. Cabrera has a strong, physical build with muscularity on the frame as he is listed at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. The LSU commit stands with a slightly open stance and takes a small step forward into his swing. With a deep hand load and solid bat speed, Cabrera is able to drive balls with authority including an opposite field triple. The two-run triple had an exit velocity of 97 mph and traveled an estimated 337 feet per TrackMan Baseball. There is power in his swing and with a strong lower half Cabrera fits nicely into a future power profile. He is also extremely athletic and fast as he posted an outstanding 4.4-second home-to-first time on a turn. Cabrera’s athleticism helps him in center field and he can cover a lot of ground to utilize his strong arm.

Catcher Cordell Dunn (2017, Olive Branch, Miss.) displayed skills both behind the plate and at the dish during Friday’s action. Listed at 6-foot, 190-pounds, Dunn looks to be much larger than that with a solid muscular build. He showed some solid defensive actions even though he was only okay at receiving as he was a tad overaggressive with his framing. Dunn has good arm strength and showcased that multiple times. He threw a runner out at third base rather easily stepping into the throw and he back-picked a runner at second base throwing from his knees and still got enough on the throw. The Texas Tech commit has very quick hands and solid bat speed with a fly ball swing. He generates loud contact and gets good extension with the barrel out front. Dunn crushed a line drive single to left field that came off the bat at 97 mph per TrackMan Baseball.

The Marlins side quad was buzzing with attention as physically imposing lefthander Russell Smith (2017, Midlothian, Texas) was an impossible player to miss. Smith stands at a very tall 6-foot-9, 220-pounds and is physically mature for his age. The TCU commit has a rigid arm action with a soft stab and arm hook in the back. Smith throws from an over-the-top slot and throws the baseball with intent. The issue Smith ran into on Friday was trouble repeating his mechanics and finding a consistent release point. When he was on, his 88-90 mph fastball was particularly devastating but his command of the pitch varied on the afternoon. Smith relied primarily on his fastball and mixed in a couple of changeups in the 78-80 range. The Texas native undoubtedly has the physical tools to be a dominant force on the mound, but with being so tall finding his comfort zone and consistency with his mechanics and release point can be difficult.
As the time slot went on the Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks threw hard throwing righthander in Emerson Hancock (2017, Cairo, Ga.).

Hancock was the last pitcher to appear in the game for the Braves and he led the game in fastball velocity at 92 mph. Hancock has a frame of a future starting pitcher at a very lean and projectable 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. Hancock has a longer arm action and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. The fastball sat around 90 mph for the majority of his outing and the pitch had some good life to it as well. Hancock’s fastball had a high spin rate of 2667 rpm per TrackMan Baseball. The Georgia commit also showed a softer curveball with soft break that was used as a quality off-speed pitch to throw for strikes.

The Houston Banditos started later in the day on Friday and highly-touted righthander Derrick Cherry (2018, Baytown, Texas) took the mound. The Houston commit has a bit smaller of a frame with a height of 6-foot-1 but he is athletic and is a strong two-way player as well. Cherry throws from an extended three-quarters arm slot with a more compact arm action. He throws across his body and has an extreme crossfire element to his landing as both add to his deception on the mound. Early on Cherry was very sharp with his fastball, specifically with very good command on the glove side. The fastball sat from 87-89 mph and topped out at 91 mph on the day with good arm-side run and occasional sink too. In his first inning of work Cherry did an excellent job at spotting his fastball to both corners of the plate but his command faltered a bit as the outing went on. He also mixed in a curveball with some solid depth in the upper-70s.

Relieving Cherry and pitching what was perhaps the most dominating performance thus far was lefthander Chandler Jozwiak (2017, Brenham, Texas). Jozwiak came into the game in the third inning and promptly shut down the Upstate Mavericks posting an extremely efficient line of five hitless innings with six strikeouts on only 51 pitches. He is listed at 5-foot-10, 140-pounds, which is a small frame, but the size did not inhibit Jozwiak on Friday night. The Texas native has a long arm circle that’s full through the back with some quick arm speed. He does a great job at driving forward with his lower half and fires his body forward into his release. Jozwiak utilized a two-pitch mix of fastball and breaking ball on Friday night. The fastball sat from 84-87 mph all evening and he did a good job at keeping his velocity throughout. The pitch had some cutting action to it and he was able to work it inside to righthanders. The breaking ball was where the majority of his strikeouts came from. The pitch had slider like movement at times and was sweeping in action. He was able to bury the pitch low and inside to righthanders and also froze hitters with it for called strikes.

Offensively Roberto Pena (2018, Doral, Fla.) had a big day at the plate for the Banditos. Pena, committed to the University of Florida, had a solid frame at 6-foot-2 and 195-pounds and has a lot of strength on his build. Pena showed off some solid defensive actions including a nice play to his left where he slid and made a strong throw to get the out on a 90 mph ground ball. He stands slightly open with a high hand set and high back elbow at the plate. Pena showed patience in an early at bat as he recognized curveball, waited on the pitch, and pulled it down the line for a single. In his final at bat he got solid extension out in front and barreled up a baseball that traveled 358 feet with an exit velocity of 92 mph for a double off the left field wall.

Talented athletic shortstop Jeter Downs (2017, Miami, Fla.) had another strong outing on Friday night for the Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad Prime. Downs is supremely athletic and has a projectable frame. The Miami commit has very quick hands at the plate and a feel for hitting in terms of getting the barrel directly to the baseball. He has a line drive plane on his swing and always gives a quality at bat at the plate. Early in the game he had an 87 mph line drive single up the middle and he always makes pitchers fight to get him out. Downs has a very strong arm in the infield and also is very good on the bases. His outstanding speed aside, Downs was able to read pitchers well and got well-timed jumps off opposing pitchers when trying to steal. Downs has an interesting all-around package as a player and his contributions from all aspects continue to mount.

Starting on the mound for SGV Arsenal against the Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad Prime was tall righthander John Dearth (2017, West Covina, Calif.). Dearth has a very large frame and although he is only listed at 190-pounds his body looks to be very physically mature. Dearth is very strong and he had a leg lift above the belt with an online delivery. Delivering from a three-quarters slot with a shorter arm action, the San Diego State commit utilized a three-pitch mix to limit opposing hitters. In the first few batters Hearth led with his fastball that sat from 88-90 mph with some life. The pitch maintained its velocity well through the outing and he still hit 90 mph as late as the fourth inning. Dearth also showed a slower curveball from 68-70 mph with solid depth and he showed a feel to spin it. The pitch got better as the game wore on, but it does come in slow so the opposing hitters had a chance to adjust as they recognized the pitch. Dearth also showed a changeup at 78 mph with some down action but he stuck with the fastball/curveball combination that was working well for him.

– Vincent Cervino

There were upsets, close games, pitching duels, blowouts, and tons of outstanding performances on display during Day 2 of the 2016 WWBA World Championship from Jupiter, Fla.

Spencer Strider (2017, Tenn.) certainly woke up the scouting world early Friday morning, bumping 96 mph on at least one gun in his first inning of work for the Royals Scout Team. He worked three scoreless innings, striking out six, walking two, and allowing only a single hit over the course of the 52-pitch outing. His delivery is in sync and on time, with the arm in a good position at foot strike and the hips rotated well, allowing him to work downhill to both sides of the plate with good plane and angle. He settled into the 89-93 mph range, bumping 94s along the way when he needed it. His curveball got a bit slurvy at times in the mid-70s velocity range, but flashed good shape and sharpness; while the chanegeup showed legitimate fading life with good arm speed, but he’ll drop his arm slot ever so slightly to throw it. On the whole, it was a big time performance for the No. 181 ranked player in the class of 2017.

Sam Weatherly (2017, Mich.) has generated a lot of buzz in the Great Lakes state (and beyond) for the last year or so as a lefthanded pitcher who also has legitimate upside as an outfielder and bat. He took the mound in relief on Friday morning, and showed an improved delivery with the same quality stuff evaluators have seen all summer. He’s noticeably cleaned up his delivery some, becoming more in sync with his upper and lower halves and as a result repeating his delivery better, allowing his command to be more consistent. He worked 86-89 mph with his fastball, generating lots of angle to the plate with deception from hiding the ball well and showcasing a clean, easy arm action. He showed increased feel to spin the ball as well, with sharp downward break on his slider, thrown in the mid- to upper-70s with consistency to the bottom of the zone. The body, arm action, and arm speed all project very well, allowing prognosticators to easily project increased velocity with continued physical maturation, and his ceiling as a pitcher is still extremely high.

The Texas Scout Team Yankees can do a very good job of emulating the New York Yankees of old, with a veritable “Murderer’s Row” of 3-4-5 hitters in their lineup. They won their Friday game by a score of 10-3, with a lot of that offensive damage coming from those hitters.

Zachary DeLoach (2017, Texas) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored, showing the same compact stroke with advanced hand speed he’s shown all season, highlighted by good strength off the barrel, especially to the pull field. He’s undoubtedly got the bat speed and hand-eye coordination to do damage on pitches all over the zone, and the athletic outfielder will show all five tools are various parts of any given game, making him an especially intriguing name heading into the offseason.

Tristen Lutz (2017, Texas) hits in the cleanup spot for the Yankees, and the extremely physical, muscular corner outfielder has one of the more pro-ready bodies seen in a typical high school setting (although Jupiter is far from typical). Lutz walked twice, decisions that would prove costly for Tri-State, adding a base hit in addition to three runs scored. He moves well for a larger player (he’s listed at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds), taking the extra base and showing quality speed once underway, and he’s a force offensively to be sure. With a smooth, lofted stroke highlighted by above average bat speed, he’s capable of showing above average raw power with lots of backspin and carry, giving him the type of offensive profile that scouts are looking to see from corner outfielders as we work our way towards the 2017 MLB Draft.

Hitting out of the 5-hole, Canaan Smith (2017, Texas) is listed as a primary catcher but played 1B on this day, but where he was most noticeable was undoubtedly in the batters’ box, where he smoked two doubles and added a sac fly later, finishing 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Smith is an exceedingly strong prospect, and that strength showed up in his swing on Friday, smoking a 100-plus mph exit velocity liner off the right field wall, then hitting a shot into left-center that was 96 mph off the bat. He shows extreme leverage off his front side with good bat speed, and he also shows an advanced ability to use the whole field with authority.

The Yankees are not solely an offensive team; however, given how Bryce Bonnin stood out on Thursday and how Asa Lacy (2017, Texas) looked on Friday. The lefthanded Texan shows a pretty deceptive delivery, landing closed and creating crossfire through the delivery, hiding the ball well and for the most part showing a succinct, repeatable delivery. His fastball sat between 87-91 mph throughout his 60-plus pitch outing, generating good plane to the plate when fully extended over his front side, and mixing in a pair of quality off-speed pitches. His changeup, thrown with conviction in the low-80s along with arm speed and good fading action, showed as a good pitch, consistently commanded to the arm side with deception and good action. His curveball showed 1-to-7 shape with quality depth, and has projection to be a very good pitch for him with increased spin and sharpness.

Team Citius and the Dodgers Scout Team/East Cobb locked into a big time battle on Friday morning, with the Dodgers reigning victorious by a score of 3-1.

Cody Greenhill (2017, Ala.) was very good for the Dodgers over his four-inning start, striking out four over those four frames with only a single run allowed. Greenhill’s delivery and arm action, while indeed maximum effort with some violence, certainly add deception and do also allow his raw stuff to play up. His fastball, with a very tight release, worked 88-91 mph with big arm-side life, though is of flatter plane through the zone thanks in part to a drop-and-drive delivery and a low three-quarters arm slot. He’s a very strong prospect, physically, and shows a pair off off-speed pitches to complement the fastball. He shows a bit of a sweepy curveball with lots of shape when he spins it correctly, working across the zone with the pitch and showing the ability to run it away from righthanded hitters. He’s an extremely crossfire pitcher, which adds deception, but can indeed cause some issues in terms of generating spin.

The only real hiccup that Greenhill encountered was on the second batter of the game, when Devin Ortiz (2017, N.J.) pulled his hands in nicely on a 90 mph sinking fastball from Greenhill and deposited it over the left field wall. Ortiz is a primary righthanded pitcher committed to Virginia, but if he can hit like he showed on Friday with consistency, he has a definite chance to be an impactful two-way performer at UVA.

Lefthanded pitcher Angelo Smith (2017, Ill.) is not an overwhelmingly impressive physical specimen, but the stuff he shows on the mound is plenty good enough. He struck out seven over four innings of work, allowing only an unearned run on two walks and two hits. The lefty has an extremely deceptive delivery, highlighted by a hip turn over balance point that hides the ball well, and above average arm speed coming through from a three-quarters arm slot, creating tough angle and not showing the ball until release. He worked up to 89 mph with his fastball, with good late life to the arm side, and flashing a legitimately above average slider with sharpness and tilt. He’s going to be hellacious on lefthanded hitters, probably from the get-go once he gets started at Michigan next year, and looks to be an impactful arm in several ways.

Blake Beers (2017, Calif.) only threw two thirds of an inning on Friday, closing out a victory for GBG, and looked good doing it. He’s extremely physical with strength and size, and worked downhill with plane and life to both sides of the plate at 89-90 mph, flashing a swing-and-miss curveball with sharp depth in the mid-70s.

The Rays Scout Team and Mountain West Slammers locked into a hard-fought duel on Friday afternoon, each with an extremely talented arm going.

Liam Eddy (2017, Colo.) was extremely impressive last month at PG/EvoShield Upperclass Naitonal Championship, and continued that on Friday, despite taking the loss. His delivery is clean and easy, generating consistent command to both sides of the plate, working 87-90 mph with solid sinking life. His breaking ball is a bit inconsistent in shape, but when he gets on top of it, it’s a sharp downer pitch with swing-and-miss action in the upper-70s. The delivery and arm action are both projectable due to their ease and repeatability, and his body projects as well, giving him pretty significant upside.

Gilberto Luna (2017, Ariz.) opposed Eddy, and might have a case for “smoothest delivery of the event”, if such an award was given out. Working up to 90 mph early on before settling in at 85-88, Luna creates good angle to the plate despite not being of plus size, repeating his delivery extremely well and adding an exaggerated hip turn at his balance point, which, despite complexity, he executes extremely well and adds deception as a result.

Tanner O’Tremba (2018, Colo.) greeted Luna rather rudely in his first at bat, getting the barrel up in the zone to reach a high-80s fastball and depositing it over the left field wall for a long home run, really the only trouble that Luna encountered. O’Tremba’s swing is smooth with ideal loft, and he’s a physically strong prospect already that projects yet, giving him the raw tools necessary to produce consistently good power as he continues to develop.

Aaron Perry (2017, West Va.) was one of the revelations of the event, coming out of nowhere to fire 93-95 mph fastballs in his first inning of work for Kentucky Baseball Club Prime. He’s got lots of intent in his delivery, exploding off of his backside to the plate and getting downhill in a hurry with an arm that is mostly clean. He also showed a hammer of a slider that flashed plus early on in the game, giving him a high-end two pitch mix that should play extremely well right away out of the Kentucky bullpen next year, where he’s committed to be a Wildcat. He struck out three over three scoreless innings, showing good control of his stuff with developing command, and though his pure stuff fell off a bit after the first inning, it was an eye-opeining, impressive performance.

Keyshawn Askew (2018, Ga.) came on in relief for the Dodgers Scout Team, and the long, lean lefthanded was extremely impressive, punching out five hitters over his two innings and allowing just a pair of walks. He’s a near-sidearm lefthander, working up to 87 mph with tons of projection both physically and in terms of arm looseness/arm speed, showing whip through the arm stroke. The fastball is very tough to pick up given his arm slot, and he mixed in a Frisbee slider that he was able to command very well to both sides of the plate. He’s uncommitted as of this writing, and whoever lands him is going to get an extremely projectable, unorthodox lefthander.

The Indians Scout Team secured a victory over the SWFL Sabrecat Bats late on Friday night by a score of 3-0. Cody Bolton (2017, Calif.) got the victory, throwing three shutout innings with four strikeouts, no hits, and only a single walk allowed. Bolton was extremely impressive both in terms of performance and stuff, shutting down a quality SWFL lineup and looking like a high end talent in the class of 2017. He worked 90-93 mph in the first inning, settling in at 88-91 mph over the course of his efficient 33-pitch outing. His delivery is clean, landing online with good balance and lower half drive, getting over his front side on time with his arm and firing from a three-quarters arm slot. The arm works well too, with clean acceleration through the back with no real mechanical red flags, generating very good arm speed and big time extension (7-foot plus) through release. The slider showed some inconsistencies, but flashed legitimate two-plane bite with big sharpness, a swing-and-miss offering when he spins it correctly. He absolutely looks like a big time impact arm for the Michigan Wolverines in the future.

Indians leadoff hitter Bobby Witt, Jr. (2019, Texas) is ranked No. 1 in the class of 2019, and for extremely good reason, with truly elite upside as his profile. He shows all five tools, with near elite run times down the line, a plus arm across the diamond, easy actions defensively, tons of athleticism, and some of the higher end hitting tools of anyone in this event, regardless of class or age. His bat speed is plus and he has uncanny feel for the barrel, capable of putting the sweet spot on pitches all over the zone, with an ideally lofted, extremely smooth stroke that produces lots of power to all fields as well. Oh, and did we mention, he’s merely a sophomore in high school. The sky is truly the limit here.

– Brian Sakowski