Tournaments | Story | 1/16/2017

PG West MLK Day 3 Scout Notes

Matt Czechanski        
Photo: Perfect Game

2017 PG West MLK Championship Scout Notes: Day 1
| Day 2

Opening up the final round of pool play for every age group was Kyler Fedko (Gibsonia, Pa.). The Talented underclassmen helped break the game open for NEB as they secured the No. 1 seed for the upperclass portion of the event. Fedko used his very strong bat-to-ball ability to club a three-run home run that broke the zero-zero tie in the top of the fifth inning. Fedko stays compact to the ball well with strong hand-eye coordination and impressive bat speed. He shifts his weight well with natural rhythm in the box with good strength for his size. The UConn commit has put together a strong tournament hitting over .500 through his first three games.

Moving over to the Brewers complex, UCSB commit, Christopher Troye (2017, Brentwood, Calif.) showed off his very strong arm from behind the plate. Troye has a very impressive build for a backstop, listed at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds. The size and strength don’t limit his athleticism as he explodes out of his stance well and gains good ground into his throws. He likes to throw and enjoys showing off his arm and very quick, clean transfer as he gunned down three runners in the game. Additionally, he showed well at the plate with a fluid, line drive swing with the aforementioned strength through the ball. He drove a double showing off strong bat speed with good extension and lift off the barrel. Troye’s Cab Soldiers team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Upperclass playoffs.

Taking the mound for a talented offensive club in Sticks Baseball Academy, Arkansas commit, Wade Beasley (2018, Horatio, Ark.) took the mound. Beasley is listed at a physical 6-foot-3, 205-pounds with present strength throughout his frame. He was very balanced down the mound with a long, loose arm action that worked well through the back. He did have a problem repeating his release point, which limited him in his outing to just two innings. His fastball came out of his hand cleanly with mostly true life when left up in the zone. His velocity came easily in the first inning at 87-90 mph, but he settled in and worked 85-87 mph after that. He looked to beat hitters with his fastball up and out of the zone, but often left the ball in the middle of the zone too often. He did show a curveball with 11-to-5 shape with good depth from the same higher three-quarters arm slot. He showed raw feel to spin the ball, but showed best command with his curveball over his fastball. As he continues to refine his delivery and gain some feel to repeat, the future Razorback will continue to find success. It’s easy to see him adding velocity with his current size and fluidity to his arm action.

A player for the Dodgers Scout Team who got the best of Beasley and other pitchers on the Sticks’ pitching staff was Dawson Netz (2019, Sierra Madre, Calif.). Netz is listed as a primary pitcher, but impressed as a position player with a very quick, compact swing from the right side. He stayed short to the ball with a simple line drive approach that helped him collect four of his team’s nine hits in the game. He abused the left field wall collecting two doubles that went over the fielder’s head on a rope. He has present bat speed and used it effectively and was well timed against velocity. His consistency in his swing was highly impressive and will be a strong two-way player when he commits to a school.

Moving back over to Camelback for the final full round of Freshman pool play games, several very young, talented arms jumped out with big time arm strength. Kyle Casper (2020, El Cajon, Calif.) has an immensely physical frame for a player only in his freshman year of high school, listed at 6-foot-2, 184-pounds with broad shoulders and present strength. Casper showed a fastball that worked at 82-86 mph with good good plane to the lower third of the zone. He pitched with a short, compact arm action that did flatten out in the back before coming to the plate. His fastball showed arm-side life when he stayed on top of the pitch, and he cut it some when working glove side. He looked to challenge hitters up in the zone and showed the ability to dominate hitters at times. Casper worked with a crossfire element down the mound and did work through the ball well with good extension. He pitched with very impressive tempo for his age and primarily off of his fastball. He showed a curveball in warmups with 12-to-6 shape and greatly reduced arm speed. In game, he flashed a changeup at 74 mph with short fade. His secondaries will need to be refined, but for his age his arm strength is enough to get by. He is a primary outfielder by trade, and has present bat and hand speed, working with a line drive plane and pull approach from the right side.

Doing the catching for Team Citius in their final pool play game was Christopher Bernal (2021, McAllen, Texas). Bernal has a much more physical frame than his listed 5-foot-5, 140-pound frame would suggest. Bernal is closer to 5-foot-10, 170-punds with good present strength and an ideal frame for behind the plate. He showed very sound catching fundamentals with quick footwork. He turned in a sub 2.00 second pop time in game with a very quick exchange. He will continue to add arm strength with age, which he has a lot of time to do, but possesses a high level of catch and throw skills presently.

Another eighth grader to show out was Fernando Villalobos (2021, Ensenada, Mexico). Villalobos came in firing his fastball to the plate with a longer, clean arm action through the back. His front side drifted down the mound and landed closed with a limited stride. He pitched with intent through a three-quarters arm slot and varied his release point, making it difficult for him to repeat and find consistency around the zone. What really stood out for him was his fastball that worked 81-85 mph and touched 86 mph in warmups. He did maintain his effort level in his two-inning stint. He spun off to the first base side of the rubber over a stiff front leg. His fastball did show short arm-side wiggle when he stayed on top of the pitch. Villalobos had trouble keeping runners at bay, with a slower paced delivery and larger leg raise that he maintained from the stretch. The only off-speed pitch he showed was a changeup with reduced arm speed at 73 mph that showed short arm-side fade down in the zone. He is a very raw prospect on the mound, but certainly has a very high ceiling and is one to watch for many years to come.

Closing the game out for LVR against Villalobos’ South Texas Banditos team was Tyler Whitaker (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.). Whitaker opened as the fourth-ranked prospect in the very young 2021 class and has shown his high level athleticism playing the infield and outfield prior to pitching today. Whitaker is a very projectable arm with a 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame with lots of room to continue to grow and add strength. Whitaker showed a very simple and repeatable delivery with a short, quick arm action and slight hook before coming through his release. He threw from a three-quarters arm slot with an on-line landing down the mound. His delivery was very low effort with a clean release of the ball. His fastball worked from 80-82 in an inning of relief for LVR with good arm-side life and occasional plane. His best command was easily to his arm side as he struggled spotting the ball up when working over his front side. He showed a curveball with 11-to-5 shape and good present feel to spin with good depth. His curveball worked up to 72 mph and offered a present swing and miss pitch for him. Whitaker is another incredibly young arm that has impressed over the course of the weekend.

After being mentioned briefly in the recap from Friday’s action, Easton McMurray (2018, Bakersfield, Calif.) re-took the mound. A bit of an unknown coming into tournament play, McMurray opened eyes with a relief appearance where he worked his fastball 90-92 mph. In a start today for eXposure West, the San Diego commit worked 84-87 mph and touched 88 mph steadily for his five innings. McMurray used a very, very up-tempo delivery with a short, quick arm action through the back and slight wrist wrap. His stride was shorter down the mound and worked over a stiff front leg with good extension and finish through the ball. He threw from a three-quarters slot with impressive arm speed and strength. His fastball did show good arm-side run at his aforementioned velocity and best to his arm side. He at first showed an unwillingness to work inside on righthanded hitters, but did so later in the game. His tempo and tenacity may have rushed his delivery some, causing him to lose his release point at times and focus on working quickly rather than effectively. In his fourth inning of work he showed a curveball with 1-to-7 shape and good depth to the pitch with developing snap. The pitch was effective because he used it so sparingly and it froze hitter with two strikes. With his arm slot and arm action he’s a candidate to switch to a slider at the next level. The young lefthander is definitely one to watch as he enters his junior year with such a live arm.

Playing third base behind McMurray was Logan Easley (2017, Rogers, Ark.). Easley turned in an impressive game in all facets, showing balanced actions with soft, sure hands at the hot corner. He also showed off a very strong arm while on the move with good carry and accuracy across the diamond. At the plate, he stayed compact very well and swung with intent to drive the ball. He clubbed a pair of doubles with a line drive plane through the zone and very quick hands. He separated well and engaged his lower half into his swing. He also ran well down the line, turning in a 4.28 home to first time from the right side, which grades out as an above average time.

Some of the most fluid swings in the last game of the day were turned in from All Star Baseball Academy 17u third basemen Casey Markham (2018, Phoenix, Ariz.). Markham, for his size, swung very hard to drive the ball and held his own against a tough lefthander like McMurray. He collected a pair of base this, including a double late in the game, showing off impressive raw bat speed. His swing showed natural loft at the point of contact with a leveraged lower half. He was not cheated on any swing and certainly looked to put one out if given the chance. 

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