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Tournaments  | Story  | 1/4/2017

Finest in the Field: 2019 Class

Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Perfect Game

2016 Perfect Game/Rawlings Finest in the Field, Class of 2019

Pitcher: Brandon Walker (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Walker, a Florida State commit, is freakishly athletic and that is why he is one of the top two-way players in the entire class. Walker is a top pitching prospect, also with outfield and infield positional flexibility, who has been clocked as high as 89 mph off the mound. Defensively, he fields his position exceptionally well and reacts well to dribblers and bunts. With an easy delivery, he is in good position to field immediately after his follow through. The arm strength is obviously there too and he can make tough throws from the third base line.

Catcher: Raymond Torres (Charlotte, N.C.)
Torres might be one of the most advanced defensive prospects in the entire class with a strong arm and pure catch-and-throw skills. With his quick release and plus arm strength, the LSU commit can keep runners at bay and routinely throws out would-be base stealers. Torres consistently posted sub-2.00 second pop times in games and did a good job at receiving pitches and keeping pitches from getting to the backstop. He impressed at the 15u and 16u WWBA National Championships and was often catching pitchers older than him.

First Base: Triston Casas (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Casas, a 6-foot-4, 238-pound first baseman, is physically imposing but has demonstrated overall increased athleticism which helps him defensively. Over the course of the summer the Miami commit got smoother at the position as he shows fluid actions at first base. Casas is also a decent runner for his size (7.15 second 60-yard dash at the 2016 Jr. National Showcase) adding to his overall athleticism and defensive ability.

Middle Infield: Bobby Witt (Colleyville, Texas)
The No. 1 overall player in the 2019 class, Witt has excelled in almost every area on a baseball field. The Oklahoma commit showed off very fluid defensive actions with a very strong arm with carry on his throws. Witt makes plays to his left and right easily and shows good footwork at shortstop. He jumped onto the scene during the 15u WWBA National Championship as he hit .526 with two home runs and showcased his premier defensive ability. With the potential to be a superstar, Witt is only improving and has the whole package.

Middle Infield: Tyler McKenzie (Loxahatchee, Fla.)
As one of the more advanced defensive prospects in the class, McKenzie put on a defensive clinic at shortstop all year long. McKenzie’s range and athleticism play very well with outstanding range to both sides and he made various diving plays to rob opposing hitters of base hits. The future Vanderbilt Commodore has a very quick release with accuracy and developing arm strength, and presently it is arguable that McKenzie is already the top defensive player in the class and he continues to get better.

Infield: Myles Austin (Smyrna, Ga.)
Perhaps the most projectable player on this list, Austin jumped up the rankings and many scouts caught notice of him after his performance at the Southeast Underclass Showcase. The Alabama commit is remarkably impressive defensively with sound, athletic actions and incredible arm strength. He was up to 92 mph across the infield at the showcase and made several sparkling plays, particularly up the middle, throughout the summer and fall. Austin’s athleticism and feel for shortstop make him one of the top defenders at his position and his arm strength allows him to make plays anywhere on the field.

Outfield: Riley Greene (Oviedo, Fla.)
Greene is an impressive prospect who jumped to the top 5 of the 2019 class. Along with his power profile and crisp lefthanded swing, Greene is an above average defender in right field. The Florida commit ranges well and has a very strong arm. He has been up to 84 mph on the mound and the arm plays well in game as it is a threat to baserunners thinking of advancing. Greene is athletic enough to play almost any outfield position but in right field his arm is a real weapon.

Outfield: Jasiah Dixon (Riverside, Calif.)
Dixon, a USC commit, is one of the most athletic prospects in the class and it shows with his excellent range in center field. He has excellent speed, a 4.2 runner from the right side, and uses that to his advantage along with smooth defensive actions. Arm strength is also a positive for Dixon as his arm allows him to be proactive in controlling the running game from the outfield. As he continues to mature physically his athleticism and overall defensive instincts should continue to improve.

Outfield: Calin Smith (Peachtree City, Ga.)
Another true center fielder for the 2019 class, Smith is athletic and rangy from the outfield. With above average arm strength and good instincts and first step, Smith manages to cover a large amount of ground and limit extra bases. His athleticism and speed play well into the position and as he continues to develop and mature his speed should become more of an advantage. The Mississippi State commit is a bit raw offensively but defensively he is already a top defender for the class.

Utility: Carlos C.J. Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.)
A rare complete package at the catcher position, Rodriguez has an advanced skill-set from behind the plate and impressive tools in every aspect. He has consistently posted in-game sub 2.0-second pop times and has good arm strength, clocking a 77 mph throw from behind the plate during the West Coast Underclass Showcase. The Vanderbilt commit has very good catch-and-throw skills and can be aggressive with trying to back-pick runners. Additionally, Rodriguez’ receiving skills are also top notch and overall defensively Rodriguez is one of the most complete catching prospects today.