Tournaments | Story | 7/8/2017

16u WWBA Day 1 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
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Wesley Scott (2019, Riverside, Calif.) is an arm that we at Perfect Game have been able to follow pretty close over the last couple of years and every time we see him, he looks a little stronger on the mound and shows an extra tick or two on his fastball. Both of those things hold true in the latest look at the 16u WWBA as Scott was handed to ball for Phenom Signature and certainly didn’t disappoint. Now listed at 6-foot, 185-pounds, the young Vanderbilt commit didn’t waste any time on the mound as he came out and lived very comfortably 93-94 mph with his fastball in the first inning, once touching a 95 on my radar gun, and proceeded to live 91-94 mph rather easily into the fourth inning.

Scott works with an up-tempo and balance delivery and though he strides towards the first base side with his lower half, he consistently worked on top of the baseball and showed the feel to move his heater to either side of the plate. On top of the velocity, Scott’s fastball offered subtle life to his arm side down in the zone and he more than once located down to his glove side with intent and conviction. The velocity comes easy for Scott and he missed more than a couple of bats, striking out ten over four innings and allowed just one hit (on a fastball he left up in the zone in the first innings) and issued a lone walk.

The fastball is all Scott needed to be successful in the start and he used it often, though he did flash a couple of hard, tight sliders between 76 and 78 mph. His slider flashed sharp tilt with solid hand speed on the pitch and did a nice job of replicating his release point. Scott flashed both a curveball and a changeup but it was his fastball that did most of the damage.

Anthony Volpe (2019, Watchung, NJ) is far from a hidden name as he’s been on the national circuit since prior to his freshman year and already has a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt as well. Listed at 5-foot-10, 168-pounds, Volpe has impressed with his defense actions time and time again, though it’s for his righthanded bat that the middle infielder bears mentioning. Thanks to quick, yet strong, hands Volpe is able to control the barrel head through the zone and showed his strength by pulling an outer half curveball (and though slightly out front) still managed to square it up to left-center field. With the center fielder diving, Volpe was able to turn it into a triple, turning around first base in 4.44 seconds.

Another Vanderbilt commit playing on the adjacent field, righthander Kendall Williams (2019, Olive Branch, Miss.) made a quick two-inning cameo for the Dulins Dodgers. At 6-foot-6, 175-pounds, Williams offers plenty of physical projection with room to fill though he already knows how to use his length to his advantage while on the bump. In the opening frame Williams sat in the 86-89 mph range with his fastball and was able to generate plane when on top, showcasing a rather low effort release and balance to his delivery. It’s a short stride down the mound with his lower half at present, but as he continues to lengthen it out he should see additional leverage to his heater. He worked primarily off his fastball but also flashed a curveball at 70 mph.

Jaden Woodson (2019, Dallas, Texas) is a player whose name has been on the national circuit for some time now and day one of the 16u WWBA afforded me my first personal look at the young Texas commit. Hitting in the five hole and starting at shortstop, Woodson picked up extra-base hits in each of his first two at-bats, first doubling to the opposite field before tripling to dead center field (as shown in the video). The triple, in particular, was impressive as he showed looseness to his hands and extension out front, barreling the ball to deep center field and registered 94 mph off the bat and went 365 feet per TrackMan. In between those two hits, Woodson made his defensive presence felt at shortstop with silky smooth actions, soft hands, and quality balance while completing a play up the middle.

You can’t do much better than nine strikeouts in three innings and that’s exactly what Jacob Meador (2019, Burleson, Texas) did for the Dallas Tigers Hernandez club. A young TCU commit, Meador set the tempo in the first inning punching out the side and the lone runner to reach base (in the third inning) came via a dropped third strike, a runner Meador promptly picked off at second base.

Not overly physical at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, Meador ran his fastball up to 92 mph and lived comfortably in the upper-80s/low-90s with a quick, whip-like arm action while generating extension out front. The velocity alone was enough to miss bats but when you factor in the plane and running life you quickly begin to see how the racked up nine punch outs. His curveball proved to be a true swing-and-miss pitch in the 74-76 mph range with tight rotation and sharp, downer bite to the bottom of the zone. Keep an eye on Meador as the velocity should continue to tick up and he already shows a present feel for his curveball.

Spencer Jones (2019, Encinitas, Calif.), yet another Vanderbilt commit, continues to evolve in every look, though that’ll continue to happen with all the additional strength he’s set to add to his 6-foot-7 frame. A primary first baseman, Jones shows plenty of coordination and balance in his lefthanded swing and his ability to control his long levers helps him stay on time more often than not. With the strength he’s already added, Jones is driving the ball at present and will only continue to make additional strides moving forward. In his first at-bat of the tournament Jones spun on a ball with leverage to his stroke, connecting for a double down the line with quality foot speed turning around first base.

Though he just completed his sophomore year of high school, lefthander Yordani Carmona (2019, Hiealeah, Fla.) has already established himself on the national scene thanks to his advanced command from the left side. His performance at the PG Junior National added to his resume as he threw an immaculate inning (nine pitches, all strikes, three strikeouts) and he helped pitch the Banditos Scout Team out of trouble early in the contest.

Entering the game with the bases loaded and two outs, Carmona led off the at-bat with a first-pitch curveball at 75 mph, then proceeded to pump four straight fastballs at 90-88-89-90 mph to record the strikeout. Carmona continued to work in the upper-80s range with life to the arm side on his heater and showed comfort moving the ball around to both sides of the plate while spinning a tight curveball.

One of the more athletic players in the entire tournament, Jerrion Ealy (2019, Carthage, Miss.) simply plays the game in fast forward mode and does so with relative ease. A highly recruited running back on the gridiron, Ealy is going to make for a true two-sport athlete wherever he decided to commit and it’s scary to think what his game would be like were he to fully commit to just baseball.

He’s tightly wound with lots of fast-twitch muscle (as we saw with his 6.33 60-yard dash at the Junior National) and that speed was once again on display, mostly on the bases, though he did float to a ball or two in center field and glided there with ease. Ealy is already a plus runner and turned in a 4.11 down to first base, on top of stealing bases at any given moment, but he’s much more than speed when it comes to his offensive profile.

Hitting leadoff for Team GA Gold, the righthanded hitting Ealy has already incorporated a noticeable amount of fluidity and rhythm to his hands pre-pitch, and though he’s still mostly linear with his path the ball jumps off his barrel differently from most in this tournament. Though he was caught out on his front side in his second at-bat, after walking in his first trip, Ealy still managed to get enough barrel to the ball for an easy standup triple to the pull-side gap which registered 92 mph off the bat and turned around first base in 4.34 seconds.

Ealy is very much a prospect on the diamond and he’s one that continues to improve with every look, something that bodes very well for whichever collegiate program is able to land his talents.

It may have been roughly 1:00 a.m. when righthander Isaiah Bennett (2019, Fayetteville, NC) first toed the rubber for 5 Star National, but that didn’t stop the young North Carolina commit from doing what he’s done all summer: show a big fastball with minimal effort. Listed at 6-foot, 160-pounds, Bennett offers extreme physical projection moving forward and is already an above average athlete, showing a handle for the bat and above average (4.19 seconds) speed down the first base line.

On the mound is Bennett’s future and it’s pretty clear after a few warm up pitches as he able to generate an 87-90 mph fastball with relatively no effort. With a balanced, non-complicated delivery, Bennett did a nice job of repeating his delivery while showing a short and quick arm stroke through the back and generated short running life to his fastball down in the zone. He also showed the feel to spin a hard curveball between 74 and 76 mph en route to striking out seven in 3 2/3 innings of work.

My first look at Tyler Kehoe (2019, Prospect Park, Pa.) came two falls ago as a rising freshman so it’s understandable that he’s continued to grow physically and it appears to have made an impact in his lefthanded swing in nothing but a good way. A rather recent South Carolina commit now playing for the Canes, Kehoe is batting leadoff on a stacked lineup and didn’t disappoint in each of his first two at-bat.

Built at a strong 5-foot-11, 180-pounds per the program though he looks stronger standing in the lefthanded batter’s box, Kehoe shows a longer but fluid swing path through the zone with strong and quick hands and turned on a ball for a double down the line in his first at-bat. It was more of the same in his second trip as he once again remained balanced and lined a single back up the box. Kehoe is certainly a bat to follow throughout this tournament and beyond as it won’t be too much longer until we see the over-the-fence type pop he’s previously shown.

After a lengthy weather delay, MSI called upon lefthander Jeff Extor (2020, Swarthmore, Pa.), currently the No. 128 ranked players in the class. The young lefthander certainly caught the eye of collegiate recruiting coordinators as he came out hot and ran his fastball up to 88 mph and continued to live in the upper-80s for the duration of his couple innings on the bump.

Though not overly physical at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, Extor does sport present strength to his frame with the quick left arm he shows there’s reason to believe additional velocity is still in the tank. It’s currently an upper body dominant release as his front stride strides open and does so rather early in his delivery, something that he can refine and get additional drive out of moving forward. The fastball velocity comes with lower effort at release and he showed the ability to maintain that same quick arm stroke on his curveball, spinning his breaker up to 78 mph with tight rotation and shape when on top.

It was a quick look at righthander Cole Ferguson (2019, Center, Texas) as he faced just a handful of batters out of the Banditos Scout Team bullpen, but he showed some things that will certainly college coaches who are able to get a look. Listed at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Ferguson came out and sat in the 86-88 mph range with his fastball with a quick right arm and was able to generate short sinking life when down in the zone. It’s a simple delivery for the uncommitted righthander and one he’ll continue to refine and begin to incorporate additional lower half into moving forward. He mixed in a couple of short curveballs in the 71-73 mph range though he’d get around the ball and give it some sweeping finish that resembled more of a slider through the zone.

– Jheremy Brown

Jared Southard (2019, Leander, Texas) woke everyone at LakePoint up Friday morning by firing 86-89 mph fastball and touching 90 on a couple of pitches. Southard has a fast arm and deceptive delivery as the University of Texas commit mixed delivery speeds that threw off hitters’ timing on top of having good arm-side life on his upper-80s fastball. Coming from a high three-quarters slot, Southard doesn’t appear to throw with much effort, which makes it easy to believe there is more velocity in his arm. He also mixed an upper-70s breaking ball with hard bite and 11-to-5 shape. Southard came in in relief for the Banditos Scout Team and did a great job of limiting damage.

For the second consecutive tournament at LakePoint lefthanded hitting Riley Greene (2019, Oviedo, Fla.) has stood out with the bat. Last week in the 17u WWBA National Championship and now this week in the 16u WWBA National Championship, Greene is swinging a hot bat. He has excellent bat speed that stands out to the eye, and the consistent barrel contact is even more impressive. Greene has the ability to square up baseballs and hit them to all fields. Late in Friday’s contest Greene showed off his power by belting a towering home run to right field. The University of Florida commit and the sixth-ranked player in the class of 2019 per Perfect Game is a fun player to watch especially when swinging the bat.

Sanson Faltine III (2019, Richmond, Texas) is an interesting two-way prospect, and while I did not get a chance to see Faltine III on the mound I did see what he could do at the plate. The University of Texas commit was impressive in each of his at-bats. In his first at-bat, Faltine III showed off his excellent plate coverage and quick hands by battling out a 10-pitch at-bat before striking out on a borderline pitch on the outside corner. His next plate appearance was not much different, battling out an eight-pitch at-bat before finally drawing a walk.  Faltine III hit the ball on the nose in his third at-bat, but hit it right at the center fielder for an L8 in the scorebook. I really like the Texas commit’s approach at the plate and cannot wait to see what he can do on the mound.

Both Tyler Fogarty (2019, St. Louis, Mo.) and Chase Krogman (2019, Dardenne Prarie, Mo.) showed off their abilities in the St. Louis Pirates’ 10-1 win Friday morning. Fogarty did most of his damage with the bat going 3-for-3 with two singles and a high home run to left field. Fogarty has really good bat speed and has the ability to manipulate the barrel and consistently hit the ball on the nose. Krogman, a primary outfielder, showed off his speed by getting down the line well on a hard ground ball to the second baseman posting a time of 4.21. He showed off both his bat speed and foot speed on the single he hit to right-center. His home-to-first time with a turn was 4.5 seconds. The Missouri State commit also displayed good actions in the outfield with a good first step.

From a performance standpoint, you really cannot do much more than what Rese Brown (2019, Apopka, Fla.) did in his start on the mound Friday. Brown threw five innings allowing no hits and striking out four as well as earning the win. The fastball velocity was maintained throughout the outing, sitting 85-88 touching 89 once. Brown dominated the game by locating his occasionally sinking fastball to both sides of the plate well early in counts before putting hitters away with his 12-to-6 curveball at froze hitters when thrown inside. The curveball showed potential in the mid-70s. Brown works from a three-quarters slot with a slow delivery that is explosive through the loose arm circle. He throws easy with his long arm action and it makes me believe there is potentially more in the tank. The uncommitted righthander is a good-looking prospect.

Michael Materetsky (2018, Lake Worth, Fla.) started on the mound for Scorpions South 2019 in their first game of the 16u WWBA National Championship. Materetsky was impressive before the rain and lightning delays pursued, as the uncommitted righthander maintained his 85-87 mph velocity range for the span of his four innings pitched. The fastball came from a three-quarters arm slot and showed arm-side life that ran in on righthanded batters and made it hard for them to square him up. Materetsky also mixed in a lower arm angled curveball that showed 12-to-6 shape in the 68-70 mph range. Materetsky is an uncommitted righthander with lots of room to fill with added strength that could prove to add more velocity to his fastball.

Before the rain and lightning washed out Mason Ornelas’s (2019, Fort Worth, Texas) Perfect Game debut, Ornelas showed big-time potential on the mound. Working the bottom of the first inning the rising junior threw nothing but fastballs without even needing to show an off-speed pitch. The arm really works and the fastball is explosive with riding arm-side life in the 87-90 mph range touching 91. The uncommitted righthander throws very easy. The Fort Worth native had never thrown in a Perfect Game event before Friday and his debut was very impressive, pounding the lower part of the strike zone from his high three-quarters arm slot. There is a lot to like about Ornelas and should be a fun player to follow as he gets more work in on the mound.

Soon after the rain and lightning subsided Blake Marsh (2019, Coppell, Tex.) showed off the raw power he has in his bat with a 401 foot home run to right field that left his bat at 98 mph per TrackMan. The lefthanded swinging Marsh has very strong hands, and from a physical standpoint, really stands out. At 6-foot-2 205-pounds he is a good-looking prospect with the bat. His power is obviously there and it will be interesting to see if the consistent barrel contact will come as he develops.

R.J. Dantin (2019, Spartanburg, S.C.) is a very projectable lefthanded pitcher. At 6-foot-2 165-pounds (he looks bigger than his listed size) Dantin’s fastball sat 85-87 mph touching 88 with occasional sink early on. Dantin is a very good pitcher who had swings and misses often in his 2-plus inning start. The velocity did drop after the first inning sitting 83-85 in the later going. Dantin threw from a three-quarters arm slot and would occasionally drop down to a low three-quarters slot that would add run to his fastball. His delivery is quick and balanced with a good angle to the plate. Dantin pounded the strike zone to all quadrants and enjoyed elevating fastball with the capability to do so. Dantin has long limbs and very long legs that can be filled with lots of added strength throughout. The uncommitted lefthander also mixed an upper-60s curveball with 1-to-7 shape. Dantin is a good pitcher and going to be a big-time player with strength added to the frame.

– Gregory Gerard

One of the early arms to take center stage at the 16u WWBA National Championship was righthander Tyler Owens (2019, Ocala, Fla.). The Florida State commit showed high level tools and a power arm that makes him one of the top pitching prospects in the class as of now.

Owens has a strong and physical build with present size that allows him to maintain his velocity deep into his outings. The arm action is pretty quick through the path with a stab in the back of the arm circle, however he is able to get the arm through consistently and on time. What jumps off the page is Owens’ explosive fastball that sat 90-93 mph in the first inning of Friday’s game. He has solid arm strength and speed to go along with a rear leg push off that aids in both velocity and timing.

The righthander was able to blow the fastball by hitters to generate a good amount of swings and misses on the day. He showed four pitches at times, with the curveball and slider blending together at times but still being an effective pitch. The slider showed 10-to-4 shape that had two-plane break and showed good tilt as well. Owens remains one of the top arms in the class, and the velocity is already jumping from a month ago, which could be scary for opposing hitters in the long run.

Owens’ teammate, who happened to be in the middle of pitching a playoff game later on Thursday night, Joseph Charles (2019, Celebration, Fla.) had himself a strong day at the plate with two hits on the ledger. The primary pitcher has legitimate two-way talent with the arm strength that plays well, he set a PG Jr. National record with a throw of 98 mph from the outfield, and solid tools at the plate. The swing shows off his hand quickness and fluidity to the bat path. The North Carolina commit is able to adjust and lace hard hit line drives no matter where he is pitched. Charles stands with a high hand set and high back elbow at the plate with a strong line drive approach. Charles also showed off his athleticism and instincts with two stolen bases. The Florida native shows high level production to match the tools in all facets of the game, and the No. 4 ranked prospect for the class is certainly deserving of his ranking.

Recent Georgia commit and PG Jr. National attendee, Bryce Melear (2019, Evans, Ga.) had an impressive performance on the mound for Team GA Gold. The righthander has a very lean and athletic build with long limbs and some room left on the body to add strength and physicality.

Melear has a long arm action through the back but the arm is also very loose and whips through the arm path quickly and releases the ball from a lower three-quarters arm slot. He worked with his fastball often on Friday as the pitch worked in the 86-89 mph range with outstanding run early on. Melear had very good command to the arm side of the plate with the fastball and winded up getting a bunch of swings and misses with the pitch. He also added in a short slider that was in the low-70s that had 9-to-4 shape to it.

Perhaps one of the biggest kids in the event in terms of size is 6-foot-10 righthander Austin Pace (2019, Barco, N.C.). The uncommitted righthander showed good body control throughout his performance despite his size and was able to pound the strike zone as well as stay consistently downhill.

The arm action through the back was short and quick and Pace worked his fastball in the 85-89 mph range while topping out at 90 mph. The extension was excellent down the mound and that in conjunction with his downward release point allowed for heavy plane on his fastball. He hides the ball well as he dips his back shoulder back but repeats his mechanics extraordinarily well.

The fastball was his go-to pitch in terms of surefire strikes as he was able to blow the pitch by hitters with relative ease. He also mixed in a breaking ball that flashed high potential. The pitch had primarily 11-to-5 shape to it and showed occasional sharp, late break to it. He froze a couple of hitters early on to make them look foolish as they watched strike three go by.

In what is becoming a consistent theme, righthander Mason Barnett (2019, White, Ga.) of the East Cobb Colt .45s turned in a spectacular outing on Friday night. Barnett allowed zero hits through five innings of work and had the combination of fastball and big, sharp curveball working well for him.

Barnett has a very low effort and fluid delivery with constant motion into the release as well as a long and loose arm stroke through the back. Early on, Barnett worked 88-91 mph with the fastball that came out of the hand well and entered the strike zone with some life. The development of the curveball, and confidence in the pitch, have both been impressive and showed well on Friday night.

Barnett would go to the curveball early and often as the pitch worked in the low-70s with very good depth and tight 11-to-5 shape. The hammer was used to freeze hitters for strikes, and he would go to the pitch if he lost his fastball at times. The curveball also got some really foolish swings and misses. The uncommitted righthander turned in another sparkling outing on Friday and looks to be one of the top arms in the class that is currently uncommitted.

Team Elite had many contributors during Friday’s doubleheader sweep, but Landon Sims (2019, Cumming, Ga.) stood out for a rocket double down the left field line. The Mississippi State commit had recently impressed on the mound but also has strong tools at the palte to be a potential two-way player at the next level. Sims has pretty good bat speed to go along with getting his hips involved well and having natural loft to the swing path. He turned on an inside pitch and rocketed a 97 mph double down the left field line.

One of the more impressive pitching performances of the day came from the right arm of Trey Tujetsch (2019, Charlotte, N.C.). The North Carolina native worked pretty effectively for most of the game and showed a lively arm with three pitches that he could command for strikes on Thursday evening.

Tujetsch showed all three pitches early on and showed quality pitchability to be able to mix speeds and locations to keep hitters off balance. He threw from a compact, mostly clean arm action that had some arm speed to it as well. The fastball worked 87-90 mph early on and settled into the 86-88 mph range throughout the start.

The most impressive secondary pitch he threw was his hard changeup at around 80-82 mph. The pitch was thrown with almost the same arm speed as the fastball and was very effective at garnering swings and misses as the pitch just fell off the table. The slider was short but had late bite in the upper-70s that got some whiffs within the strike zone.

Righthander Ron Cole (2019, Neptune City, N.J.) came in pumping velocity in the early portions of the 9ers baseball game as he worked 86-90 mph early on. Cole has a large and physical frame, listed at 6-foot-2 and 170-pounds, with room left on the frame to add additional strength. The arm stroke is long through the back and he is able to time it well to get on top of his pitches effectively. He threw from a three-quarters arm slot and the fastball he threw had very heavy life to it. The fastball was most effective in the lower third of the strike zone where he could get hitters to knock the ball into the ground due to the late life. The arm strength is very impressive and plays well on the mound; Cole also mixed in a curveball that sat in the mid-70s for the majority of the outing.

– Vinnie Cervino

Clark Klitenic (2019, Bethesda, Md.) is a uncommitted lefty pitcher who shows promise on the mound with a good mound presence and possession of an above average fastball and curveball that flashes some potential. Klitenic has a medium build, with room to grow and develop and has a solid fastball with consistent arm-side run that misses hitters’ bats when kept down in the zone. His fastball sat from 85-88 mph in the first three innings, then dropped down to the low-80s in his last inning and a third. Klitenic showed a good ability to run his fastball in on righties backing them off the plate to catch the inside corner of the strike zone and also a good ability to backdoor lefties with good movement on his fastball.

He pairs his fastball with a curve and changeup that still need more development but flashes signs of becoming two quality pitches. His curve has good spin and late break, with medium depth and run in the low-60s, which makes it hard for hitters stay back and hit, while his changeup has solid fading action, but he had trouble throwing it for a strike in his Friday outing.

Ryan Harvey (2019, Roseville, Calif.) is a uncommitted righthanded pitcher for the Show California baseball team and has a small, athletic build with a lot of room to grow and has solid command on the mound. Harvey threw four shutout innings and only allowed two hits and walked none while striking out six. Harvey has a nice, tight over-the-top arm action and gets good extension off the mound. His fastball sat from 82-85 the whole game, sitting mostly at 84 and he paired it with a nice slow, sharp 11-to-5 breaking curveball that generated plenty of swings and misses.

Jackson Forbes (2019, Fairfield, Calif.) is a high-energy middle infielder and solid leadoff hitter who creates consistent line drive contact with a balanced swing from the left side of the plate. Forbes has a small, athletic frame and possesses good speed, with a 3.9 time to first base on a flyout to center in his second at-bat. He led the game off with a line drive to let field and showed a great ability and willingness to hit the ball where it was pitched. Forbes is currently uncommitted.

Ramsey David (2019, Dacula, Ga.) threw five shutout innings on Friday for the East Cobb Sox and looked very good as he walked two and struck out four while only giving up three hits. David has a long lower half and medium frame, with room to still fill out and get stronger and shows potential as he throws a quality fastball with riding life from 84-87 mph, topping out 88. He throws with a long, over-the-top arm action and does well when attacking the lower part of the zone. He gets into trouble when his body and arm are not in sync and his arm is not on time with the landing, causing him to finish too tall while leaving pitches up.

He has a good changeup that he had trouble commanding, but the pitch has good fade and arm-side run at 81 mph and will be a solid pitch in his arsenal once he works on its control. He throws a good, late-breaking 11-to-5 curve from 73-76 and a decent slider with good horizontal break and medium depth from 77-78. For the most part, he showed an ability to control three of his four pitches, which can leave a hitter guessing at what he’s going to throw. Ramsey is currently uncommitted.

– Brandon Lowe

The Canes 17u National team won the 17u WWBA National Championship on Friday evening, but even before that happened we had already started the search for a 16u National Champion.

Zachary Maxwell (2019, Acworth, Ga.) didn’t see the results he would have liked to see when he took the mound for Nelson Baseball School, but nonetheless showed the type of intriguing upside that makes college coaches rightfully interested. Maxwell is an extremely physical righthander, checking in at 6-foot-5 inches tall and weighing in around 225 pounds, with broad shoulders and good strength throughout. He’s definitely an intimidating presence when he steps on the mound.

He worked up to 89 mph with his fastball early in his start before settling in around 85-88 mph, generating good angle to the plate from a higher three-quarters arm slot and flashing some running life to the pitch as well. He also showed legitimate feel for his slider, which, at its best, is tunneled well and deceptive out of the hand, looking like a fastball until taking a tilting turn halfway to the plate. It has the potential to be a swing-and-miss pitch for him.

On the other side, Elite Squad Prime 16u’s Skylar Gonzalez (2019, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was in control the entire time. He threw a five-inning complete game, scattering 3 hits with no walks and 7 strikeouts, allowing only a single unearned run. He’s got good projection remaining throughout his body and throws from a very deceptive, extremely crossfire delivery that allows him to hide the ball well up until release. He worked up to 86 mph with his fastball a few times early on before settling in around 82-85 mph, creating good angles and getting whiffs with a sharp breaking ball as well.

The daggar was struck in the third inning by Elite Squad’s Gabriel Dezendegui (2019, Miami, Fla.), a Florida International commit. He drove a grand slam to left field, taking the score from 4-0 to 8-0 and really opening the flood gates. He’s got legitimate bat speed and the raw pop become evident by the home run, and looks like he could be an impact bat at FIU when he gets there.

Late Friday night, the New England Ruffnecks took on 5 Star National in what become an extremely good game, with 5 Star pulling it out 3-2.

Billy Seidl (2019, Wellesley, Mass.) got the ball for the Ruffnecks and ended up taking the tough-luck loss, as he threw a complete game where all of the runs he allowed were unearned, while striking out seven. He’s a well-built, relatively physically mature righthander who possesses a quality three-pitch mix and very fast arm.

Seidl worked up to 90 mph with his fastball, generating good sinking life down in the zone with the ability to work the ball to both sides of the plate. He’s got good arm speed and is able to create good angles as well. The delivery is uptempo and his athleticism becomes evident throughout the delivery as well. He throws a curveball in the mid-70s as well, perhaps unintentionally varying the shape of the pitch at times. At its best it’s thrown with 11-to-5 shape and good two-plane bite, with the ability to land it for strikes to both sides of the plate. He would occasionally get to the side of it and throw it a bit firmer, creating a sweeping slider look, but I’d stop short of calling it a true fourth pitch. His changeup flashes as well, with good tumble down in the zone while replicating his fastball arm speed.

He’s uncommitted as of this writing but one would imagine that shouldn’t last long, as he had quite the throng of college coaches watching him pitch and performed quite well.

He may have gone 0-3, but Rece Hinds (2019, Niceville, Fla.) still really stood out in the 5 Star lineup. The single loudest thing about him right now — and he has several explosive tools — is his tremendous bat speed, capable of hitting the ball further and harder than perhaps most everyone else in his class, which is why he’s ranked No. 2 overall in the class of 2019. He hit a missile of a line drive that hooked foul, but still left his bat at 98 mph and went over 300 feet, on a line. He’s very fun to watch at the plate and will continue to be fun to follow for the next couple years.

– Brian Sakowski

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