Tournaments | Story | 10/23/2016

World Championship Day 3 Notes

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

Day 1 Notes | Day 2 NotesDaily Leaders | TrackMan Live

Day 3 of the WWBA World Championship may have begun with a cool Florida breeze, but the competition certainly heated things up quickly. Heading into Saturday morning, not one team had locked up their pool to advance to the playoff bracket.

The Mets Scout Team took on the Dallas Tigers early Saturday morning over on the Cardinals quad. Mets Scout Team sent Gavin Williams (2017, Fayetteville, N.C.) to the mound while the Dallas Tigers countered with lefthanded pitcher Elijah Davis (2017, Shawnee, Okla.).

Williams, an East Carolina commit, has a very smooth even tempo delivery and creates slight front side coil at gather before driving to the plate. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder’s fastball jumped out of his hand with occasional running action at 88-91 mph. Williams flashed a curveball as well with tight rotation and very good downward depth when staying on top of offering. His curveball command would vary at times depending on the acceleration of his arm whip through finish. The future ECU Pirate has a highly projectable frame that will continue to add strength and velocity.

Davis’ 5-foot-9, 155-pound frame produces a surprising amount of torque and power throughout his delivery. The Kansas Jayhawk commit showed a fastball that sat at 86-88 mph with very deceptive arm-side run. Davis consistently stayed off the Mets Scout Teams barrels as well thanks to the steep downhill angle he produces from a high three-quarters arm slot. Perhaps what made the Dallas Tigers lefthander most dangerous was his ability to mix in a 1-to-7 curveball and fading changeup. Each off-speed pitch flashed late, sharp movement that consistently kept the Mets Scout Team off balanced throughout most of the game. Some may question the endurance of a pitcher who stands at 5-foot-9 and only weighs 155 pounds, but Davis was able to complete all seven innings allowing zero runs on three hits while striking out 12 batters.

Connor Churchill (2017, Palm Harbor, Fla.) also took the mound for Mets Scout Team. The future Florida Gator usually runs his fastball in the upper-80s to low-80s, but sat at 85-86 mph on Saturday morning. What Churchill lacked in velocity he more than made up for with pinpoint command and late movement. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound righthander consistently produced swing and misses with a 10-to-4 slider that had incredibly tight rotation and late sweeping tilt. Churchill only needed 26 pitches to strike out four batters in three innings of work.

Austin Martin (2017, Orange Park, Fla.) of the Padres Scout Team/ Chandler World has been turning in very special performances as of late and Saturday was no different. The 6-foot, 170-pound shortstop has excellent athleticism with a frame that can support additional size and strength without losing said athleticism. The Jacksonville commit flashed very good actions all over the field throughout pool play. Offensively, Martin jumped all over the first pitch he saw drilling a line drive single to left field that left the bat at 94.2 mph. Martin then went on to steal a bag, advanced to third on a deep fly ball and scored on a groundball hit to the left side of the infield. Defensively, Martin has reliable hands with the smoothness and range to make big time plays while moving either side in the infield. Not only does Martin shows all the physical tools to be a special player moving forward, but he also shows the mental toughness and leadership that any team would want in a shortstop.

Martin’s teammate Carson Jones (2019, Glen Allen, Va.) started for the Padres Scout Team/Chandler World opposite that of 2DSports Sun Devils righthanded pitcher Logan Lacey (2017, Tallahassee, Fla.).

Jones struggled a bit with his command after his first inning of work, but showed very clean and repeated mechanics for a younger player pitching at the stage of the WWBA World Championship. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound lefthander sat at 84-87 mph while flashing late running action to each side of the plate. The future Virginia Cavalier is still developing his feel for a 1-to-7 curveball, but flashed a very good spin rate when he was able to maintain his arm acceleration consistently through extension. If Jones is able to continue to add strength, which he shows plenty of room for, he will continue to climb the velocity ladder and be a highly followed lefty for the Cavaliers in the next few years.

Lacey, a Tallahassee Community College commit, shows a rock-step delivery to a very tense three-quarters arm slot. The 5-foot-10 righthander’s arm slot will vary at times causing some command issues, but the baseball jumps out of his hand between 87-91 mph with heavy actions through the zone. Lacey mixed speeds effectively early with a balanced mix of changeups and curveballs while showing the willingness to pitch backwards at times as well. When his delivery stays in rhythm, Lacey showed the ability to throw each of his pitches from the same arm slot. When he speeds up his delivery and releases with high-energy actions, he tends to lose his command and ability to work to each edge of the plate.

Dodgers Scout Team/East Cobb received a couple of three inning, five strikeout performances from Harrison Francis (2017, Tallahassee, Fla.) and Garrett Wade (2018, Hartselle, Ala.). Francis, who attended the Perfect Game National Showcase in June, ran his fastball between 86-90 mph showing a quick, loose arm action that generated good whip through its finish. The Chipola College commit’s best pitch was a 12-to-6 curveball in the upper-70s that had very hard, late break to the bottom of the zone. The 6-foot-2 righthander consistently produced swings and misses as well as weak ground ball contact in his three innings of one-hit baseball.

Wade, a University of Auburn commit, showed a very deceptive delivery that created some crossfire action due to a slightly closed landing position and high three-quarters arm slot. When the 6-foot-2, 170-pound righthander is able to stay on top of his fastball offering, he generated good downward angle to the plate with very late running action to the arm side between 86-88 mph. Wade’s primarily off-speed weapon is a changeup that matches the delivery of his fastball. Wade’s willingness to mix in his off-speed early in counts proved to be very effective in keeping hitters guessing and off balance.

Jacob Kuchmaner (2017, Waxhaw, N.C.) got the starting nod for the On Deck O’s in the nightcap and was lights out. The East Carolina commit showed pinpoint control throughout his six innings of work with the ability to throw his fastball, curveball and changeup at any time. The 6-foot, 180-pound lefthander consistently pound the strike zone with a running fastball that sat at 83-86 mph with very deceptive sinking action at times. Kuchmaner’s changeup was nearly unhittable in the mid-70s while hitters consistently swung through the changeup due to Kuchmaner’s arm action, which replicated his fastball delivery. Kuchmaner had his way with hitters thanks to 16 first-pitch strikes and a 71 percent strike percentage over a span of 80 pitches thrown. The future East Carolina Pirate completed his six innings of work allowing only one run while striking out 12 batters.

– Kevin Schuver

As the last round of pool play got underway a pair of bats for Team Citius made loud impacts for them offensively, including Virginia commit Devin Ortiz (2017, Nutley, N.J.). He’s projectably built at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds with impressive physicality and strength already present. His swing showed line drive tendencies at the plate with loud impact off the barrel. Pre-swing he showed an active hand load into his leg lift timing mechanism. Ortiz showed the ability to pick up spin well with intent on his takes and he showed good bat speed through the zone and incorporated his lower half well into his swing. He separated well when he was on time which varied from swing to swing. When on, he has the ability to torque and drive the ball in the air with authority.

Hitting behind him in the order was Ben Martz (2017, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) who provided the thunder with a two-run home run in the game for Team Citius. Martz has incredible strength in his 6-foot, 200-pound frame with good rhythm and fluidity in his swing. He drove the ball well collecting a pair of extra-base hits, including the home run. He showed a line drive swing plane that worked long at times, but looked to elevate the ball and ultimately celebrate.

There may not be a better uncommitted arm in the 2018 class than Carter Stewart (2018, Melbourne, Fla.). The incredibly projectable 6-foot-5, 190-pound righthander has tremendously long limbs with a low effort delivery. His long limbs and broad shoulders help offer the high-end projection that will likely garner high-end draft buzz a year from now. Stewart did not have his best stuff as I’ve seen this summer and fall, but you can still see the potential. He sat 85-88 mph and bumped 89 mph in the first inning with good arm-side life. His arm action worked full through the back with a soft stab before exploding through a three-quarters arm slot. He has an exceptionally quick arm, though cuts himself off down the mound and limiting his extension. His command of his fastball was off on the day, struggling with release and often leaving the ball up in the zone. After the first inning, he settled in more and began using his exceptional curveball with more regularity. The pitch showed near record highs in tightness via TrackMan who had his best curveball at 3,296 rpm. His curveball will likely be talked about as the best breaking ball in the class with true 11-to-5 shape, good depth and replicated arm speed. Between his physical projection, fastball and feel to spin he will be on the radar of scouts for a long time.

Tyler Freeman (2017, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) continued to show advanced barrel skills at the plate for CBA. Freeman is a highly athletic player at the plate and up the middle of the field with a quick swing and a very high level of hand-eye-coordination. He finds the barrel near consistently with a line drive swing plane and very quick hands. His bat gets on plane early and stays in the zone for a long time. The PG All-American and TCU commit is incredibly sound at second base defensively and could possibly play shortstop at the next level once he escapes his teammate Nick Allen who is known for his glove work.

Showing some of the best raw breaking stuff on the mound was South Carolina commit Daniel Lloyd (2018, Summerville, S.C.). Lloyd has a medium, hooked arm action through the back from a very deceptive low three-quarters slot. He worked easily over his front side with good, crossfire action. His fastball worked 85-88 mph and topped out at 89 mph in his first inning of relief. He showed very impressive feel for sequencing his two pitches for strikes with good arm-side run to his fastball and he pushed to get it hard in on righthanded hitters. He also showed an impeccable slider with 10-to-4 shape and plus levels of spin. He threw the pitch hard up to 78 mph with good plane and tilt to the pitch. The pitch was so effective and difficult to pick up and it helped him garner nine swings and misses in three innings. He had troubled repeating his extended release at times and it causes varying levels of strikes on the mound. His lower half drifts down the mound, but could continue to see additional velocity as he ages.

For his size, Alabama commit, Sam Praytor (2017, Helena, Fla.) continues to show a very fluid swing through the zone with very loud impact off the barrel. He collected a pair of hits including a double to the left-center field gap that left the bat at 100 mph. Praytor’s hands work well to the ball and he generates good bat speed with a barrel tip into his swing. He’s incredibly strong as well with big separation leading to believe he will continue to add power potential to his already line drive swing. He works up to the ball with good lower half fire and very, very loud contact.

Taking the ball for Chicago Scouts Association was Nathan Burns (2017, West Bend, Wis.) who is committed to Oregon State. Burns has a medium build and frame, listed at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds with long limbs and good physical projection. He pitched with a long arm action that showed some whip through his arm swing. He landed open down the mound and over his front side with a big fall off towards first base. What he did well in his three innings was mix his pitches. His fastball worked in the mid-80s and topped out at 88 mph with short run. The pitch got hit some up in the zone and worked better when used off of his off-speed. His best secondary was his changeup that was up to 82 mph with incredible extension down the mound. His extension was already impressive through the ball, but he even came further through it on his changeup. The pitch showed short fade and did offer a quality swing-and-miss pitch. He also showed a slider with 10-to-4 shape with average spin and good shape. The pitch flattened out at times as well, but the quality three-pitch mix was impressive.

The shortstop backing up Burns was Sam Faith (2017, St Charles, Illi.) at third base. The highly athletic Faith showed a sweet swing from the left side of the plate and that continued on Saturday. Faith has a lean, slender build with broad shoulders that should continue to fill out as he adds strength. He showed a very aggressive approach at the plate, often jumping on the first pitch with good bat speed. His swing worked quickly through the zone with a line drive swing plane and he found the barrel well in their game. He rounded the bag well with a quick first step out of the box with a 4.55 turn time.

Coming in relief for Chicago was Auburn commit Ryan Hoerter (2017, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.). Hoerter offers immense projection in a righthanded arm listed at 6-foot-6, 185-pounds with an incredibly lean build, square shoulders and long limbs. His lower half drifted down the mound with a long arm action through the back and he landed closed down the mound. With his long limbs he created impressive plane on his fastball and filled up the lower third of the zone. Though he didn’t create much extension, even below average for him is better than someone who is 6-foot. He struck out six batters with 12 swings and misses on his fastball in just 3 2/3 innings pitched. He had trouble repeating his delivery with a fastball that worked up to 89 mph and worked more efficiently in the mid-80s around the zone. He also worked in a big breaking ball with 10-to-4 shape and good depth. The pitch broke up out of the hand with moderate spin and could be refined further.

For the Ontario Blue Jays, recent Texas A&M commit Noah Naylor (2018, Mississauga, Ontario) – the younger brother of current Padres minor leaguer Josh Naylor – showed tremendous hand-eye coordination with consistent loud barrel at the point of contact. He swung with a line drive swing plane with good bat speed and leverage through the point of contact. He also looked good behind the plate with a very strong arm with good carry. His longer arm action could be a bit of a problem, but he was accurate to the bag with a clean release.

Rounding out the shorter day’s action was uncommitted Chase Costello (2018 Pompano Beach, Fla.) who threw for Elite Squad LS. Costello is highly projectable at 6-foot-4, 180-pounds and is listed as a primary shortstop. He’s very long and lean with tremendous projection remaining physically as he adds strength. Costello threw across his body with little to no lower half incorporation in his delivery, swinging his front hip down into a closed landing. His arm worked well with good arm speed after a hooked arm action through the back. In the first inning his fastball worked up to 90 mph and primarily sat at 84-88 after that point with shorter arm-side life. He should continue to add velocity and be able to maintain the higher band of it with additional strength and cleaned up mechanics. For his secondary pitches, he complemented his fastball with a shorter slider at 77 mph and flashed a changeup at 80 mph in the first inning. The slider showed 10-to-4 shape while his changeup showed shorter fade. He struck out four batters in three innings. Repeating his release point will lead to more consistency and make his pitches more effective.

– Matt Czechanski

Outfielder Daniel Cabrera (2017, River Ridge, La.) has been a well known player in the prospect ranks almost since he entered high school, so he doesn't qualify as a fast rising or "hot" prospect. And because Cabrera's run and throw tools aren't the plus type, and his 6-foot-1, 185-build is pretty physically mature, scouts do not spend too much verbiage in their reports projecting his tools, either. But where Cabrera does garner great respect among scouts is for his hit tool, which many veteran scouts consider to be among the best in the 2017 class. The lefthanded hitter uses his strong lower half very well to help generate bat speed and his extreme hand quickness and vision enable him to wait on pitches a fraction of a second longer before committing the barrel that often separates the good hitters from the great hitters.  Cabrera hit a long opposite field triple on Friday but came back on Saturday to pull the ball hard three times, once for a double and once a single that got through the infield quickly.

Cabrera's GBG Marucci teammate and fellow outfielder Cole Roederer (2018, Canyon Country, Calif.) showed a similar approach at the plate, with a late and explosive swing that generated plenty of bat speed, especially on his ground-rule double to right-center field.  Like Cabrera, the lefthanded hitting Roederer isn't especially physical but is able to create plenty of raw bat speed through his hitting mechanics and aggressive swing.

It seems like there are young Puerto Rican prospects stepping forward multiple times a day here in Jupiter and one of them today was righthander Yeankarlos Lleras (2018, Carolina, Puerto Rico) of Chet Lemon's Juice. Lleras has a very young body that eyeballs at around 6-foot, 150-pounds but a very fast and whippy arm that produced a 90-93 mph fastball from a mid three-quarters arm slot. There was also some definite Johnny Cueto-style flair in his actions on the mound as well, not in is pre-pitch delivery but sometimes in his post-release actions. Lleras threw at a couple of PG tournaments in July and topped out at 87-88 mph, so there definitely has been some rapid improvement in a short amount of time.

Righthander Logan Chapman (2017, Liberty, S.C.) is another pitcher who has made that improvement that makes a scout take note. The South Carolina commit worked in the 85-87 mph range the summer after his junior year but was 90-92 mph for two innings on Saturday for the Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks. Chapman looks bigger than his listed 6-foot-3, 180-pound build and does a good job of getting his upper and lower halves synced up and powering downhill on his fastball. He tends to drop his arm slot occasionally on a mid-70s breaking ball but flashed good depth and spin on it when on top.

Drew Wilden (2017, Deptford, N.J.) is one of those polished lefthanders who is going to win lots of games over the next few years, in his case probably at Maryland. Wilden worked steadily at 87-90 mph for three no-hit innings for the Royals Scout Team against Team EvoShield, with very good angle to the plate from a high three-quarters arm slot. Both his 80 mph slider and his 81 mph changeup were quality offerings and he did those little things, like work quickly and start nine out of 11 hitters off with strikes, that made him enjoyable to watch. All but one of his outs came via strikeout or as the result of a ground ball.

Team EvoShield's catcher Anthony Seigler (2018, Cartersville, Ga.) is a very unique player, as he's fully ambidextrous and is both a switch-hitter and a switch-pitcher. He unintentionally reminded everyone of this on Saturday when, after he went down to block a ball and while readjusting his gear with his mitt off, he took a ball from the umpire and fired it back to the mound lefthanded. Seigler probably wasn't even aware of what he was doing it came so naturally. More importantly, the Auburn commit, who hit leadoff for Team EvoShield and is a 7.0 runner, is the 47th ranked player in the 2018 class. He stood out particularly on defense this game with his flexibility, athleticism and framing ability behind the plate, which helped his two pitchers, righthander Landon Marceaux (2018, Destrehan, La.) and left ander Patrick Wickander (2018, San Jose, Calif.) throw a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts and only one walk.  Marceaux, who is an LSU commit, was especially impressive in throwing only 64 pitches over five innings, showing a lively upper-80s fastball to go with a big and tight curveball and a nice fading changeup.

– David Rawnsley

Moving Day at the WWBA World Championship proved to be a highly competitive day in terms of teams fighting for playoff spots and pool victories, but we saw lots of standout individual performances as well.

The star performance in terms of MLB Draft projection on Saturday over on the Marlins quad was undoubtedly Jake Eder (2017, Fla.), a lefthanded pitcher who has been on the draft projection radar for just about a year now nationally, but took a giant step forward on Saturday morning. Eder is a well-built but still physically projectable prospect at 6-foot-4, 210-pounds. His delivery is extremely smooth, landing with a semi-closed toe, creating some crossfire action but possessing the requisite torso strength and flexibility to make that kind of delivery work in terms of consistent command. His arm stroke is very fluid and clean with advanced arm speed, getting up to a high three quarters slot and creating lots of angle and plane to the plate. He worked 89-92 mph consistently with his fastball, similar velocity to what he’s shown in the past, but where he really took a step forward was in terms of his command of the pitch. He worked to both sides of the plate down in the zone, a very tough pitch to square up for hitters, and that level of command was a big step up from the past. Even more impressive was the development his breaking ball has undertaken. What used to be more a flipper curveball in the upper-60s, lacking in sharpness and snap, has now become a consistently above average sharp downer curveball. He’s noticeably done a good job developing the hand speed necessary to spin the ball, snapping the ball down with more extension and finish through the ball downhill, creating the type of breaking ball that scouts have longed to see from him.

Jason Swan (2017, Fla.) gave Eder all the offensive help he needed, launching a home run in the first inning to give FTB an early lead, showing some of the power that we’ve wanted to see from the Georgia Southern commit. He’s a twitchy athlete with the defensive chops to play shortstop at the next level, and has always shown well with the bat, but with more of a contact-oriented, line drive approach that works well to get his plus speed onto the bases. With the development of some power into his game now, he’s taken a step forward up the prospect map.

Coming off of a sterling performance at the Perfect Game National Showcase, Tommy Mace (2017, Fla.) has been widely considered a high follow for evaluators thanks to his advanced command, highly projectable frame/build, and feel for his secondary stuff. He started early Saturday morning for the Jays Scout Team, and ended up throwing 3 2/3 innings on 65 pitches, striking out five and allowing two runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He worked 84-88 mph with his fastball throughout, more 87-88 mph to start, before settling in at 84-87 mph through the duration, flashing quality arm-side life on his fastball along with consistent control, though the command wasn’t as crisp as it has been in the past. He left the ball up in the zone a bit, cutting off his extension and not finishing entirely over his front side, which in turn could be the root cause of those command troubles. The delivery and the arm works well for the most part, with some hook through the back but advanced arm speed, and his velocity projection is seemingly endless. He flashed a sharp curveball in the mid-70s, showing very good sharpness with diving depth, but the lack of finish through extension also caused some problems creating spin on the baseball, which in turn caused some inconsistencies in terms of the action on the pitch.

For somewhere around two years now, this evaluator has been watching Scott Mehan (2017, Ariz.) hit third for the AZ T-Rex baseball club, in front of PG All-American Jacob Gonzalez. Mehan continues to be one of the more consistent hitters in the country, seemingly always squaring up the ball regardless of pitch type or location, and his increased strength over the years is evident as he’s continued to show more and more power through his development. He’s yet uncommitted, seemingly a rarity for a 2017 prospect, but whoever ends up winning his services is going to enjpy a high-level bat for years to come.

Justin Bullock (2017, N.C.), a North Carolina State commit, took the mound for the Texas Scout Team Yankees on Saturday and was the victim of some bad luck as he allowed four unearned run over his four frames on three hits and one walk with three punchouts mixed in. His arsenal is solid across the board, getting downhill well with an online delivery and clean arm stroke, generating good extension and allowing the raw velocity of his fastball to play way up. That velocity was a consistent 88-91 mph early, jumping out of his hand well and showing quality arm-side life. He showed a pair of good secondary offerings as well, with a curveball that flashes sharp 12-to-6 shape at it’s best, but can vary in shape and effectiveness depending on the quality of the release. He’ll also show a good changeup, with fastball-mimicking arm speed and quality arm side run, though the pitch could get a bit flat at times.

Coming on in relief for the Midland Redskins, who defeated Bullock and the Yankees by a score of 4-2, was Justin Campbell (2017, Mich.), an extremely long and lanky lefthander from the Great Lakes state who has been on the radar as far as a projection guys for over a year now. Campbell was very good in his two frames, shutting down a potent Yankees offense with no real trouble, punching out two and throwing 80 percent of his 20 pitches for strikes. He worked a consistent 85-87 mph with his fastball, generating quality arm-side run with a bit of sink down in the zone, and mixing in a weapon curveball with sharp 1-to-7 shape and tons of depth. He was able to manipulate his curveball in terms of command and shape, throwing it for a strike over the arm-side corner and then back-footing it to righthanded hitters with a bit more tilt for swinging strikes, showing seriously advanced feel and pitchability. He’s a definite follow in the state of Michigan for 2017.

The Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad Prime moved to 3-0 in their pool on Saturday evening via a 9-1 victory over MVP. Jeter Downs (2017, Fla.) led the charge offensively, sparking a first-inning rally with a roped double down the line and then adding both a pair of walks and a pair of stolen bases. He’s highly athletic with middle infield chops and plus arm strength, and he shows very high-end raw hitting tools, highlighted by plus bat speed and good strength. He’s able to rope the baseball all over the yard and the steps forward he’s taken in terms of approach certainly will have him climbing draft boards as we work towards the draft season.

– Brian Sakowski

Day 3 of the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter started out with a strong pitching matchup between righthanders Thomas Farr (2017, Tyrone, Ga.) of Team Elite Prime and Carlos Lomeli (2017, La Habra, Calif.) of the Marlins Scout team.

Farr has a medium build with a smaller height at a listed 6-foot-1 and 170-pounds. The Georgia native throws from an extended three-quarters arm slot with a longer arm action. He was able to get downhill on a somewhat consistent basis and battled with hitters and turned in a solid outing. The fastball sat from 87-89 mph and topped out on the day at 90. Farr was able to maintain his velocity deep into his outing and also had solid command of his fastball. Farr mixed in a curveball with 11-to-5 shape that he went to often. Farr would go to the curveball for called strikes and would throw it out of the zone for swings and misses. He also threw a hard changeup in the low-80s that had some movement on it.

Lomeli has a very physical frame, albeit without as much height, and is listed at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Lomeli threw from a low three-quarters slot and had a short, more compact arm action. With a simple windup Lomeli would deliver a mix of three pitches to the plate. His fastball sat at 89-91 mph and topped out at 92 and the pitch had some late arm-side bite to it and was effective on both the glove side and arm side of the plate. He would often sit in the 90s with the pitch and was able to bump up the velocity in tense situations with runners on. He also threw two breaking balls, a curveball in the low-70s and a slider in the upper-70s. The curveball had 10-to-4 shape with some depth to it and worked well as an effective off-speed pitch. The St. Mary’s commit would tighten the spin and velocity on the pitch to throw the slider with two strikes to generate swings and misses out of the zone. Lomeli showed a feel for both of his breaking pitches and was able to interchangeably throw them in any count. His changeup was near 80 mph and had some late fade to it. Lomeli looks to be one of the more advanced arms in the class as he mixed his pitches well and used all of them equally.

Chain National was able to cruise into the playoffs thanks in part to their big win over the Dallas Patriots early on Saturday. Starting righthander Max Holmes (2017, Jacksonville, Fla.) put together an impressive couple of innings and showed some quality stuff as well. Holmes stands with an ideal pitchers’ frame at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. The South Florida commit had a full arm circle with a pretty loose arm action. Holmes had solid command of the fastball although there were times he missed to the glove side as he pulled the pitch too much. His fastball sat at 87-89 mph and he did a good job at maintaining his velocity throughout. Holmes showed solid command of the pitch to the arm side of the plate but he also mixed in his slider a fair amount. The slider sat from 78-80 mph and had some sharp, late break to it. With 10-to-4 shape and around a 2,400 average spin rate, Holmes used the pitch often and was able to locate it for strikes and swings and misses.

Offensively for Chain, Perfect Game All-American and Georgia Southern commit Cole Brannen (2017, Elko, Ga.) provided a loud presence at the top of the lineup. We already know Brannen as an outstanding athlete, highlighted by his outstanding range and speed both in center field and on the basepaths. He is a very projectable 6-foot, 188-pound athlete with room to fill out and to build strength into his swing. Brannen has a simple stance at the plate that is narrow with a high hand set and high back elbow. He has a smooth swing from the left side with a compact swing path and very good bat speed. Brannen launched a triple to right field that left the bat at 96 mph and traveled an estimated 359 feet per TrackMan Baseball. Brannen was able to showboat a bit after the swing and still had time to reach third base standing up. At this point in time Brannen remains one of the top outfielders in the class of 2017 and figures to be a potential high draft pick come June.

The Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks had yet another quality arm go for them in Saturday’s game with righthander Hugh Chapman (2017, Smyrna, Ga.). The Georgia Tech commit has a very strong and physical frame at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds. Chapman is an imposing presence on the mound and with a methodical delivery was able to get downhill and pound the fastball throughout the strike zone. He has a very quick arm action that is long through the back. Chapman’s fastball sat at 89-90 mph for the duration of the outing, and the pitch had some occasional riding, arm-side run to it and was an effective weapon. He attacked hitters with his fastball and also mixed in some off-speed pitches. His changeup showed some promise and came in the upper-70s but his softer curveball was a strong pitch. The curveball sat in the low-70s with 11-to-5 shape and he showed a decent feel to spin it. Chapman was able to throw the pitch for strikes and induce swings and misses too.

Righthander Oscar Serratos (2017, Lawrenceville, Ga.) came in to replace Chapman late in the game. In a limited appearance Serratos showed a strong fastball that he was able to get by hitters for strikes. His delivery is very quick and explosive and with a long arm action delivered the ball to the plate. He has great arm speed and sat at 90-92 mph with his fastball.

The best game of the tournament thus far might have come on Saturday afternoon between Northeast Baseball and the three-time defending champion EvoShield Canes. There was a top-level pitching matchup between Northeast righthander Matt Tabor (2017, Westford, Mass.) and EvoShield lefthander Andrew Abbott (2017, Nathalie, Va.).

Tabor is a prospect who had a lot of buzz surrounding him coming into this event and his performance on Saturday afternoon certainly did not disappoint. With a very lean frame and decent height, Tabor has a lot of room to fill out and add strength. He throws with a very fluid arm action with some arm speed and a long arm circle. Tabor showed excellent command of all of his pitches early on as he held the powerful EvoShield lineup hitless through three innings. The Elon commit did not attack with his fastball often but the pitch sat from 88-90 mph and topped out at 91 mph. He showed a two-seam fastball that sat around 88 mph with some arm-side wiggle and a straighter, four-seam fastball that was able to sit from 90-91 mph. Tabor was able to spot the pitch on both the glove and arm sides of the plate. His changeup was arguably his most impressive pitch in his arsenal and it consistently flashed plus. The pitch sat from 80-82 with replicated arm speed and good fade to the arm side and downward. Tabor would often pitch backwards and the first two pitches of the game were a slider and changeup, respectively. The slider had 10-to-4 shape with some decent break to it. Tabor showed three pitches that were dominant and the only blemish on his record was a breaking pitch that he left up in the zone. He looks to be every bit as advertised and should be fun to monitor over the next year.

Not to be outdone, Abbott was almost equally as dominant and helped EvoShield stay in the game. With a very slender and lean frame and listed at 6-foot, 155-pounds (although he looked to be much bigger than the listed height and weight), Abbott still has room for projection left in his body. The Virginia commit has an easy, loose arm action and was able to command his pitches with pinpoint accuracy. The fastball sat at 87-89 mph on the afternoon and showed some life and run to the arm side. He had good command of both sides of the plate and filled the lower third of the strike zone with tough-to-hit pitches. He threw a curveball with 1-to-7 shape and very good depth to it as well. Abbott went to the pitch often and it proved to be his most potent weapon from the mound. The curveball had a spin rate as high as 2,600 and he showed a good feel to spin it. The changeup sat in the mid-70s and had some fade to it.

The Reds Midwest Scout Team had a big afternoon offensively, culminating in an 8-0 victory over PRBAHS, and outfielder Nate Scantlin (2017, Rose Hill, Kan.) had some good hacks at the plate. The uncommitted Scantlin is a very slender 6-foot, 180-pounds with a very lean, athletic body. Scantlin has good speed as he hit a double early in the game in front of the outfielders and was able to cruise into second base easily in 7.81 seconds. Scantlin took some of the best cuts of the afternoon and showed a strong swing with lift and was able to drive baseballs with some carry. The aforementioned double had an exit velocity of 85 mph and traveled an estimated 345 feet per TrackMan Baseball. Scantlin showed good barrel control and fell and was able to put the barrel on the baseball no matter the location.

Big righthander Bailey Dees (2017, Charlotte, N.C.) pitched in relief for the South Charlotte Panthers and put together an impressive performance. Dees has an extra-large frame at 6-foot-7, 230-pounds and is an imposing force on the mound. The Penn State commit has a bit of a rigid arm action that is long in the back with a soft stab. Dees’ fastball sat from 88-91 mph during his outing and although he didn’t show pinpoint control he got good extension and his effective velocity was enough to blow the pitch by hitters. He threw from a higher three-quarters arm slot and got downhill well in order to get on top of his fastball and make the pitch tough to hit. Dees maintained his velocity well throughout the outing, and although he went to the fastball often he mixed in a number of changeups. The off-speed pitch sat in the low-80s with not much movement but a velocity difference effective enough to throw hitters off.

The final time slot on Saturday saw a strong pitching matchup between two playoff hopefuls in lefthander Yordani Carmona (2019, Hialeah, Fla.) of the Houston Banditos and righthander Brad Dobzanski (2017, Franklinville, N.J.) of Tri-State Arsenal Prime.

Carmona is a very young player, having just turned 15-years-old, and has a strong pitcher’s frame being listed at 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds. Carmona has a soft stab in the beginning of his motion with a very full arm circle and long arm action. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot with an online delivery. Early on, the fastball sat from 86-88 mph with some occasional arm-side run to the pitch. Carmona was at his best when he kept his pitches low in the zone and his natural heaviness to his fastball allowed for ground balls. The Miami commit mixed in a curveball with 1-to-7 shape that showed occasional depth. He threw the pitch often and would rely on it at times when his fastball command was shaky. Carmona showed the ability to locate well on the glove side and threw with some effort as well. Although he was stuck with the loss in this game, Carmona is a name to remember as we should be seeing it pop up often in top prospect discussions.

A New Jersey native, Dobzanski enjoyed a quality outing in the final game on Saturday night. With a tall, idealistic pitchers’ frame at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, the Kentucky commit is able to use his height to his advantage. He has a long arm action with a full arm circle and bears down on hitters from a high three-quarters arm slot. The arm had some looseness to it and he showed some decent finish on his landing. The fastball sat from 89-91 mph and his release gave the fastball a tough angle of entry into the strike zone. Often hitters were flustered and could only drive the pitch into the dirt for easy ground outs. Dobzanski showed a harder curveball around 80 mph with 11-to-5 shape and some sharp break. He attacked hitters with his fastball but would mix in curveballs to throw off the timing of hitters. Dobzanski’s biggest strength might be his extension into his release. He got very good extension, primarily on his fastball delivery, and was able to add around an extra one half of a mph on his fastball in terms of effective velocity.

– Vincent Cervino

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