Tournaments | Story | 7/9/2017

16u WWBA Day 2 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino         Travis Clark         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
Photo: Perfect Game

Daily Leaders | Player Stats | Day 1 Notes

There are plenty of reasons to believe the version of K.C. Hunt (2019, Wyckoff, N.J.) that you see now is far from the completed version, the first of which is his long and athletic 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame that can withstand plenty of strength gains moving forward. On top of the physical projection, the uncommitted righthander shows a short and plenty quick arm action that has helped produce a fastball which sat in the upper-80s for the first inning or two of Saturday’s start.

Working from an extended three-quarters release, Hunt lived in the 86-88 mph range in the opening frame, once bumping an 89, and did so with rather easily in terms of effort. Given his slot, the New Jersey native generated some later running life to his arm side and gathered weak ground ball contact while creating extension out front. He struggled to find a consistent release point early on but managed to battle through it and ultimately surrendered just two base hits along with four strikeouts and two walks over five solid innings of baseball.

His slider showed flashes throughout the contest as well and was up to 75 mph with late tilting life and has the makings of a quality secondary. The college coaches in attendance had to have liked what they saw from Hunt, especially given the long-term projectability and he’s certainly an arm who will have to be followed very closely over the next couple of years.

Already having a quality gathering of college coaches behind the backstop as the Canes 16u were playing, lefthander Hayden Mullins (2019, Gallatin, Tenn.) proved to be just as big of a draw and squarely put himself on the radar of several big programs. Listed at 6-foot, 170-pounds per the Team Rawlings Prospect roster, the uncommitted Mullins looks stronger and broader out on the mound and still offers plenty of long term projection.

Mullins was recently up to 88 mph in his last Perfect Game appearance and sat comfortably in the 87-90 mph range in this look, already making the next jump and there’s reason to believe another couple ticks are still left in the tank. The start of his mechanics, with a high hand raise in unison with a high leg lift, are reminiscent of former PG All-American MacKenzie Gore, and though he may not get as much drive or finish out of his lower half just yet, Mullins shows a fast left arm.

Along with the hand raise/leg raise aspect to his delivery, Mullins works at an up-tempo pace and came out attacking hitters with his fastball while generating difficult angle slightly across his front side from a three-quarters slot. As he continues to lengthen his stride and receive additional drive from his lower half the velocity with undoubtedly tick up, allowing Mullins to work in the low-90s routinely as he was still showing plenty of 88s in the fourth inning last night with late running life to either side.

He also showed no qualms in going to his low-70s curveball, a pitch that offered depth and 1-to-7 shape when he stayed on top though he tends slows his arm action prior to release. Mullins displayed both comfort and feel to double up on his bender, especially against lefthanded hitters, and could develop into a quality secondary as he begins maintaining his arm speed through his release.

It was a brief cameo for Matt Allan (2019, Sanford, Fla.) thanks in part to the rain delay that followed his first inning of work, but there’s no mistaking what he showed on the mound last night and it’s scary to think he could just be scratching the surface. Already committed to the University of Miami, Allan offers plenty of physicality to his well-proportioned 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and with the help of his long arms he’s able to generate premium velocity with relatively low effort.

With a right arm that acts as a tension free whip through the backside, Allan was able to live pretty comfortably in the 91-93 mph range in his first inning of work, bumping a 94 or two, and continued to live in the low-90s for his other frame. He does a nice job of working on top of the baseball and generating plane to the lower quadrants with subtle cutting life to the glove side. His arm action is clean and the athleticism and balance to his delivery are clear as he’s able to locate to his glove side with intent while not dipping in velocity and showing some of his better fastball life. And though he may have just finished his sophomore season of high school and is already touching 94 mph, Allan isn’t done in terms of adding velocity and could gain another tick or two right now by gathering over the rubber and incorporating additional lower half into his drive to the plate.

After showing a curveball in the mid-70s at the Junior National, Allan featured quality hand speed on his breaker last night and took more to the shape of a slider in the 78-81 mph. The more he threw the pitch the sharper and tighter it became with late life working away from a righthanded dominant lineup.

It was a quick look at Cade Doughty (2019, Denham Springs, LA) but three innings and two at-bats proved to be plenty for the young LSU commit to show what he’s all about, performing well from both the righthanded batter’s and up the middle. Currently ranked No. 75 in the class of 2019, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Doughty continues to add physical strength to his frame and more than looks the part of a player who can stick at the premium position at the next level.

With teammate K.C. Hunt on the mound and generating lots of ground ball contact, Doughty was kept busy as shortstop and made some plays look rather routine while exuding balance and footwork you don’t often find at this level. The first of such plays came on a grounder hit to Doughty’s left where he proceeded to angle his body behind the ball so he could quickly pivot his feet and make a clean feed to second base to get the lead runner.

Doughty also found the barrel in both trips to the plate hitting out of the three-hole in Louisiana Knight’s lineup. In his first at-bat Doughty lined an 82 mph fastball back up the middle for a hard line drive single, showing a short and compact stroke, before turning on the ball in his next trip and hit a rocket of a line drive off the left field wall for an easy double. The skills are there for the Louisiana native to be an impact piece at the next level and he’s certainly one to check back on throughout this tournament.

Up until his outing on Saturday afternoon, uncommitted righthander Jack Leiter (2019, Summit, N.J.) hadn’t bumped better than 88 mph at a Perfect Game event and he made sure to update that quickly in the opening frame. Having added strength throughout his 6-foot frame and still sporting room for more, Leiter opened the game in the 87-90 mph range and bumped a couple of 91s on the board thanks to a quick right arm stroke through the back.

With steady tempo throughout his delivery, Leiter came out attacking with his fastball and though his command wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen in the past as he was getting under his heater at time, he managed to push through and spot up when he needed to the most. The velocity comes rather easily for Leiter thanks to the quickness of his arm action and proved he was able to maintain out of the stretch. Leiter’s best pitch of the day was also his last of his quick two-inning stint as he spotted a 90 mph fastball down and to his glove side to freeze the righthanded hitter for a called third strike, getting himself out of a mini jam.

Early in the first innings he went to a short 12-to-6 curveball that offered depth in the low-70s before working off his slider, a pitch that shows true swing-and-miss potential. He does a nice job of maintaining his arm speed and release point on the pitch as it was clocked in the upper-70s (top of 78 mph) and showed tight tilt with late life.

Fast arm: check; athletic build: check; present stuff with future projection: check. Righthander Brandon Walker (2019, Tallahassee, Fla.) came in relief for the Scorpions Prime on Saturday afternoon and showed one of the bigger fastballs thus far in the tournament. The scary part for opposing hitters though is that the Florida State commit isn’t done yet in terms of gaining velocity and still has another two years of high school.

Now listed at 6-foot, 185-pounds, Walker has added noticeable strength to his frame, particularly his lower half, and still maintains the fast, whip-like arm action he’s always shown. When all the ingredients are in sync and his arm stroke is on time, Walker can generate nice plane to his fastball with hard and late cut action while living in the low-90s just as he did on Saturday and topped out at 94 mph.

Walker managed to punch out four in his three-innings work, walking just one while scattering two hits and did so mostly on the strength of his fastball. That said, Walker flashed a tight, late breaking curveball up to 74 mph with depth and solid hand speed and it shows the potential to develop into a swing-and-miss pitch with some refinement.

The Illinois-to-TCU pipeline continues to be well intact and righthander Quinn Priester (2019, Cary, Ill.) looks to be the latest in a long line of impressive commits for the Frog’s staff. There’s been plenty of buzz around Priester’s name and he more than lived up to the hype on Saturday afternoon as the 6-foot-3, 180-pound righthander punched out nine over six innings and did so rather efficiently.

The tempo and overall balance and athleticism stand out after a few warm up pitches for Priester though even more impressive is his fast right arm and effortless release. Working from a higher three-quarters slot, Priester sat very comfortably in the 87-90 mph range in the first, bumping a 91, and proceeded to live in the upper-80s throughout the outing. With the higher slot the future Horned Frog was able to live at the knees with late sinking life, inducing ground ball contact while showing an advanced feel for moving the ball to either side of the plate with intent. There’s undoubtedly more velocity coming for Priester as he lived in the upper-80s for the entirety of his start without exerting much effort at release.

The go-to secondary pitch for Priester was his curveball, a pitch regularly up to 74-75 mph with 12-to-6 shape and depth to the bottom of the zone. He displayed comfort throwing the pitch and did a nice job of maintaining his release point, helping to create some deception with late life.

With the command of his fastball, overall athleticism, present stuff and future projection, Priester is an arm who needs to be monitored closely moving forward as he shows all the ingredients of a big-time prospect.

One of the supreme athletes in the 2020 class, Trejyn Fletcher (2020, Portland, Maine) continues to develop on the diamond and with the added skill, he’s also developed additional muscle mass yet retains the overall looseness to his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. Fletcher, who is a Maine native and attends school in New York, is currently uncommitted but certainly has drawn his fair share of attention from major collegiate programs. He’s the lone 2020 commit on Phenom Signature, though you couldn’t tell his age but how he plays, and the bat continues improve as he’s showing the ability to drive the outer half pitch to the opposite field. He did just that in his first at-bat of the afternoon, doubling on a ball that nearly reached the right field fence and did so by displaying quality hand set strength and next level bat speed.

There’s something to be said when you’re the only 2020 graduate on a team full of Division I prospects and even more so when you’re the starting shortstop. That’s exactly the case with Jake Harwood (2020, Whiteville, NC) on the Canes 16u club, though you wouldn’t guess his age given his physicality or overall skill. Currently ranked 107th in the class of 2020, Harwood, who committed to Clemson this spring, has the athleticism and actions to stick up the middle though it was his bat that stood out the most last night, even if he was held hitless. With looseness to his hands, Harwood worked the middle and opposite parts of the field in his first two at-bats, finding the barrel while showing strength and carry as he uncoils well into contact.

Alex Santos (2020, Bronx, NY) is an interesting arm to keep an eye on moving forward, especially as he continues to fill out physically and get a feel for his long 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. Having topped out at 81 mph in his last Perfect Game event last fall, Santos ran his fastball up to 86 mph on Saturday afternoon while showing a long and clean arm stroke through the back side. He shows present whip to his arm and works from an over-the-top slot, creating plane when on top of the ball and shows cut action at times. His curveball worked into the low-70s with depth down in the zone and shows the makings of a sound secondary pitch. There are still parts of his delivery he’ll need to refine in terms of consistency but the ease in which the ball comes from his hand and his 6-foot-3 frame make him more than interesting.

– Jheremy Brown

Ryan Lange (2019, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) is a righthanded pitcher for the FTB Rockets Tucci 16u team with a slow, balanced delivery that’s very easy for him to repeat. He takes his time throwing the ball to home plate with an over-the-top arm slot and solid, tight arm action that produces a fastball that ran from 85-87 with good life. He pairs his fastball with a sharp 11-to-5 curve that has solid depth and he maintains the same arm action with both pitches, which fooled opposing hitters.  Lange does an excellent job of repeating his delivery and mechanics. He has a athletic frame with plenty of room to grow and is currently uncommitted.

Ricardo Rivera (2018, San Juan, PR.) is a talented lefty pitcher with room to grow and become stronger and showcases an above average fastball with consistent arm-side run. He whips his arm around in the three-quarters arm slot with great, tight arm action to produce a mid-80s fastball and 12-to-6 curve ball with good depth and slow break. Rivera threw a scoreless 2 2/3 innings while striking out four.

Elijah Pleasant (2018, Clarksville, Tenn.) is a lanky, righthanded pitcher with a good arm and good body and projectable frame. He throws with an over-the-top arm slot, with a fast arm action which produces a quality fastball with a lot of movement and sink and sits from 85-88, topping out at 89. He throws an above average curve, with sharp , late 11-to-5 break that runs from 72-74. Pleasant arm works very well and he throws downhill, doing a great job of getting on top of the ball and driving it down to home plate.

Dalton Rushing (2019, Brighton, Tenn.) is a strong, well built catcher and Louisville commit with a great swing from the left side and good arm strength behind the plate. During warm ups, he produced a 1.9 pop time on his throw to second base. He has great bat speed and has the ability to hit lefties well, as he hit a hard line drive single in the fourth inning. He has a long, windmill like swing from the left side that gets good leverage and produces hard contact.

Jack Kochanowicz (2019, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) is a Virginia Commit who stands at 6-foot-6, 200-pounds with a lanky and projectable frame. He’s added some strength and weight to his upper body. Kochanowicz has an extremely quick, tight arm action and electric arm that produces an above average fastball that sat at 89-90 mph with great life. He changed eye levels well with his fastball, throwing it high in the zone and then throwing a sharp, hard breaking 11-to-5 curve in the lower half of the strike zone. There is a very high ceiling for this young righthanded arm.

Ryan Targac (2020, Hallettsville, Texas) is a talented Texas A&M commit with a promising future and high ceiling. This freshman has a medium, athletic frame with room to get stronger, but already boasts a solid frame standing at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. Targac has good bat speed and lift in his swing with solid pop as he hammered a hard RBI double to center field in the fifth inning of the Houston Banditos Black 16u team. Targac went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and a walk.

– Brandon Lowe

The East Cobb Colt .45’s ran their record to 2-0 on Saturday morning at Creekview HS by way of a 10-2 victory, led on the mound by a yet-uncommitted 2018 arm in righthander Zach McManus (2018, Canton, Ga.). McManus is the veteran of several PG events recently, and showed well on Saturday. He worked up to 88 mph on my gun, showing the ability to hide the ball pretty well through the back while creating some angle to the plate by way of a crossfire delivery and high three-quarters arm slot.

McManus did a good job commanding the strike zone, walking only two across his four innings on the mound while striking out five and only allowing a pair of unearned runs, earning the victory in the process. He showed a good curveball as well, tunneled well from his arm slot and showing quality depth with some sharpness to the break. He looks every bit like a quality collegiate starting pitcher moving forward.

The Banditos Scout Team and the Indiana Prospects locked in what ended up being a tremendous battle on Saturday afternoon, a back-and-forth affair that saw Indiana going up 8-1 at one point, only for the Banditos to come storming back and win 11-8.

The Banditos rolled out several arms with significant upside, led by Sansone Faltine (2019, Richmond, Texas), a University of Texas two-way commitment. Faltine didn’t end up having the results he likely wanted to see, but still showed intriguing upside. He’s got a highly projectable, highly athletic build with big time upside on the mound, brought about by a very fast arm that has significant velocity projection remaining in it. He worked up to 90 mph on this day, showing the ability to generate some sinking action down in the zone when in command, but the main problem on this day for Faltine was the command. He wasn’t necessarily wild, as he did a solid job throwing strikes, he’s simply still tightening his command within the strike zone and will still miss over the heart of the plate at times — as all young pitchers are prone to do.

He showed quality feel for his breaking ball depending on the shape of it, as he has a tendency to vary it between more of an 11-to-5 curveball and more of a slider look. It’s a curveball for sure, though the better biting pitch was when he would get to the side of it a little and turn the break into more of a tilt. Regardless, he definitely has feel to spin the breaking ball and it should be a very good pitch for him with continued reps.

The first arm out of the Banditos’ bullpen was the 13th ranked player in the 2020 class, righthander Albert Hernandez (2020, Davie, Fla.), a physical young prospect with big-time arm strength and big upside. He worked up to 92 mph with his fastball early on, doing a good job creating plane to the plate and showing the type of arm speed that could portend to him throwing extremely hard one day.

He showed good feel for his curveball as well, thrown in the mid-70s with big-time depth and 11-to-5 shape—looking like it’ll be a true bat-misser at the next level as he continues to gain consistency with it. He’s committed to Miami already and looks to be a very good one for the Hurricanes.

On the other side of the field, Indiana Prospects lefthander Jacob Denner (2019, Closter, N.J.) put on an absolute clinic on pitchability and really, quite frankly, dominated the game for 3-4 innings before running out of gas a bit.

Denner is a well-built, strong lefty with a good presence on the mound and an extremely advanced feel for pitching. His stuff is plenty good, and we’ll get into that, but what really stood out what just how advanced he was in terms of command, sequencing, changing speeds and pitching backwards.

He worked 83-86 mph early on before dipping to more 81-84 as he got towards the end of his outing, creating excellent angle to both sides of the plate with the command to put his fastball essentially wherever he wanted. He hides the ball well through the back and that, in conjunction with the angles he creates, definitely made the fastball jump a bit more at the hitter than the raw velocity would indicate. He worked in a curveball in the low- to mid-70s that he could manipulate the shape of as well as throw for strikes at will, and he did a very good job of getting ahead of lefthanded hitters 0-1 by landing the curveball for a strike on the first pitch. He didn’t throw his changeup a great deal, but demonstrated excellent feel for it with straighter action but tremendous deception and arm speed.

He’s uncommitted right now but that shouldn’t last for long, as lefties with that advanced feel for pitching don’t usually last very long when looking for a school.

Later on in the day, the Motor City Hit Dogs tried for the second time this week to get their first game in, and managed to play for three innings before the rain and lightning came to East Cobb. Colin Czajkowski (2019, Brownstown, Mich.) got the nod and really impressed, as he’s done throughout the spring and summer.

He’s a willowy, highly projectable lefthander with super long limbs and the type of build that makes it easy to dream on him being a physical monster as he continues to mature and spend more time in the weight room. His arm is likewise loose and easy on the mound, creating significant angles to both sides of the plate while being in pretty good command of the strike zone. He only threw three innings before the rain but was very impressive, working up to 86 mph several times and settling more 83-85 mph with some life to the arm side. He showed a curveball that he has good feel for, so much so that he’s able to manipulate the shape of it a good bit, moving it from more of a 1-to-7 shaped eye-level changing pitch that he can throw for strikes to more of a firmer, tilting pitch that he throws to the back foot of righthanded hitters for swings and misses. I’d stop short of differentiating them into two separate pitches, but they are definitely two different looks.

Late at LakePoint, the Home Plate Chili Dogs 16u got the win in a 6-0 decision, moving their record to 2-1 for the event. Making a tremendous impression on those in attendance was Shepherd Hancock (2020, Sharpsburg, Ga.), a primary pitcher who really stood out with his lefthanded bat. He went 3-for-3 on the day, all three of those hits smoked line drives to right field, two of which went over the right fielder’s head for extra bases. He’s extremely strong and the bat speed is loud as well; he’s really impacting these baseballs and not just muscling them into the outfield. The swing plane is ideally lofted for power and he’s going to be turning those doubles into home runs in no time.

A very impressive pitcher for Home Plate was their first bullpen arm in Jackson Arnold (2019, Auburn, Ala.), a highly athletic righthander with a very fast arm who worked up to 92 mph in his brief relief outing. Arnold’s delivery is a bit crossfire due to a closed landing but he still does an exemplary job of getting over his front side consistently while working down in the zone, thanks to his athleticism and flexibility. He struck out five in his two innings on the mound with mostly fastballs, and he’s someone we’ll want to get another look at later in the week.

– Brian Sakowski

The morning slot of day two of the 16u WWBA National Championship got started with a highly contested match between FTB Tucci and Canes North. FTB ended up with the walk-off victory and Chris Mondesi (2019, Brooklyn, N.Y.) had a very big hit early on in the game. The uncommitted righthanded hitter launched a 345-foot triple to dead centerfield that left the bat at 94 mph. The ball two-hopped the wall out in center and was absolutely crushed for his only hit of the day. Mondesi showed the ability to generate and maintain rhythm and momentum from the beginning of the load unto the swing. This allows him to shift his weight well forward and the direct path to the ball coupled with his hand speed allows him to create hard contact and jump off the barrel. The swing itself is short through the hitting zone and has natural loft and along with the approach makes him a dangerous at-bat nearly every time he steps into the box.

Starting for FTB on the mound was righthander Kevin Martin (2019, Miami, Fla.) and he put together 4 1/3 strong innings for FTB before being replaced by the bullpen. Martin throws from an abbreviated arm circle in the back and releases from a high three-quarters slot which helps him to get good plane on the fastball. The pitch sat from 87-90 mph, topping out at 91 mph, throughout the majority of the day and he did a good job at throwing strikes. There isn’t much overall effort to the delivery and the arm action is pretty easy and compact. Toward the end of the outing, he was able to ramp up the velocity to sit at 89-91 mph and work out of trouble.

TPL shortstop and Auburn commit Gunnar Henderson (2019, Selma, Ala.) showed quality tools and performed well too. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound shortstop projects very well physically with present athleticism and long limbs which aid his movements over at shortstop. He moves well and should only get more athletic and stronger as he continues to develop his game overall. Henderson stands at the plate with a high hand set and high back elbow; he gets his weight very far back and sometimes struggles to get all of the weight onto the front side but he still does it the majority of the time. There is some present bat speed there and he showed the ability to impact the ball with strength through the point of contact on a consistent basis.

The No. 30 overall prospect for the class, Austin Thomas (2019, Jacksonville, Fla.) started for Scorpions prime and showed a very high ceiling in the process. The Miami commit has a very lanky and projectable build, listed at 6-foot-4 and 210-pounds, with a clean and easy arm action through the back of the delivery.

The effort level of the delivery is very low as Thomas is able to pound the ball into the strike zone with relative ease. He generates excellent extension down the mound and gets outstanding downhill plane. The ball comes out of the hand extremely easy and the arm whips down to create serious plane.

Thomas’ fastball worked from 87-90 mph on the day and he showed three pitches. The fastball was his primary pitch as he was able to locate it effectively and work it to either side of the plate with ease. The use of the fastball made the secondary pitches that much more effective. Thomas also threw a curveball and a changeup to complete the three-pitch mix.

One of the more impressive starting pitching performances of the day came at Woodland High School from the right arm of William Osmond (2019, Tulsa, Okla.). The Oklahoma State commit was remarkably efficient on Saturday morning as the control of the fastball and breaking balls was excellent to the tune of four shutout innings while only allowing three hits and striking out seven batters in only 65 pitches.

The righthander has an extremely long and projectable frame at 6-foot-3, 173-pounds, and although he is a secondary pitcher he has an extremely high ceiling on the mound. Osmond throws from a longer arm action and attacked hitters with his fastball during the game. The pitch sat 86-89 mph and topped out at 90 mph while also showing good life within the strike zone. This aided him in getting multiple swings and misses within the strike zone and having his fastball be a strong weapon.

He pounded the zone with fastballs and would go to his breaking balls once he got ahead in counts. Osmond showed a softer curveball with 11-to-5 shape in the low-70s that he would use to throw for strikes for the most part. The slider was the weapon with two strikes as it would show two-plane action and tilt to induce swings and misses, primarily to batters of the same handedness low and away.

The Canes ended up winning big in their game and some of the offense was provided by cleanup hitter Chris Newell (2019, Newtown Square, Penn.). The Virginia commit projects extremely well, with a high power ceiling as he continues to add strength to his 6-foot-2 and 170-pound frame, and shows present tools and twitch which should only improve as he continues to develop his game. Newell shows some bat speed at the plate and although there isn’t a very power-oriented approach he shows the ability to cover the plate and drive the ball well gap-to-gap and to all fields. Newell laced an opposite field triple and he got around the bases quickly as he has shown good speed, previous recorded time of 4.17 seconds to first, and hustled around the bases quickly. Newell is one of the highest ceiling talents in the class and he should only continue to improve.

After reaching new velocity heights at previous PG events this summer, Team Elite righthander Landon Sims (2019, Cumming, Ga.) took the ball at Allatoona High School and again showed serious potential on the mound. Sims is a legitimate two-way player, he is listed as a primary outfielder and was mentioned yesterday for his hitting, and the fastball velocity and his ability to maintain stand out.

There is undoubtedly some effort in the delivery but it is not very violent as he whips his arm through the arm circle with good arm speed. The fastball worked 89-92 mph while topping out at 93 mph early on and then he sat in the 89-91 mph range for the majority of the afternoon. He creates good angle to the fastball and it makes it very difficult to square up especially when located well on the corners. The Mississippi State commit is very athletic too and that allows him to repeat his delivery to consistently be on time.

Sims showed three pitches which included his changeup and slider. The slider was thrown mostly in the strike zone and worked to break over the glove side corner to freeze hitters with the pitch. The changeup showed good potential too as it flashed fade to the arm side and was thrown with similar arm speed as the fastball. Sims is remarkably talented and should continue to improve in all facets of the game.

One of the hardest and farthest hit balls of the day came off the bat of Jordan Sweeney (2019, Egg Township Harbor, N.J.) as his mammoth blast allowed Tri State to reach the run rule to claim victory on Saturday evening. Sweeney has shown big power before, with a very strong 6-foot-5 and 200-pound frame, and launched a grand slam that left the bat at 98 mph and traveled 406 feet as the ball went out of sight in a hurry. Sweeney had multiple hits and stolen bases, showcasing the athleticism a bit, and should be able to drive in a lot of runs batting in the middle of a talented Tri State offense.

There were many strong performances during the final time slot at LakePoint and uncommitted lefthander Will Eldridge (2019, Bucyrus, Kan.) turned in one himself. Eldridge has a pretty projectable arm with a short and quick arm action through the back and releases from a high three-quarters arm slot. The fastball worked in the 85-87 mph range early on and his mix of fastball and slider was very effective. The effort level is pretty low as he is able to repeat his delivery well and throw very easy. The slider was an effective pitch as it showed late bite especially when it was buried low in the strike zone.

– Vinnie Cervino

Drew Grace (2019, Orwigsburg, Pa.) is a very impressive athlete and his ability with the bat and in the field stands out. Early in his game Saturday Grace showed his ability to make tough plays at shortstop. On a slow roller hit his way, Grace made the play throwing from a low arm angle with a strong arm and accuracy that really caught my eye and the eyes of several college coaches standing next to me. The University of Kentucky commit did damage with the bat in the game as well hitting two singles both to the opposite field in right. Grace squared up both of the singles and showed in both his foul balls and his hits that he has strong wrists with flick. Later in the game, Grace made several other outstanding plays with the glove that showed off his really good actions and soft hands. Grace is a high-energy player with athletic and projectable size in his 6-foot, 170-pound frame.

Kaleb Hill (2018, Pine Bluff, Ark.) started on the mound for the East Coast Sox Select and settled in nicely after his first inning of work. Hill let up a few hits, but got big outs when needed to help lead his team to a 7-3 win. The southpaw has a short arm action and throws easy. He located his pitches to his arm-side very well repeatedly. His fastball sat at 86-88 mph with sink and on two different occasions Hill reared back and touched 89 once and also touched 90 mph once as well. He maintained the 86-88 mph range for the duration of his start. The University of Mississippi commit also mixed in a sharp low- to mid-70s breaking ball that showed good depth. The way Hill commanded his pitches was really impressive and that he showed more in the tank when the time called for it.

The catcher for the East Coast Sox Select was Hayden Dunhurst (2019, Carriere, Miss.) and what an impressive catcher he is. From the physicality to the catching actions to the bat, Dunhurst has the tools to be a special player behind the plate. The first asset to Dunhurst’s skills was his ability to frame pitches. His skill as a strike stealer is outstanding and it really helped his pitchers in Saturday’s contest where every pitch seemed to have a big impact on the game. Each pop time throughout the contest got better and better as well flashing a 2.0-second flat best in warmups. His transfer and release are both pretty quick but the arm strength, accuracy and online carry are what set him apart. His at-bats in the game were solid as he hit the ball hard each time the ball was put into play. The Ole Miss commit went 1-for-2 with a single to center and lots of fluidity in the lefthanded swing.

Jake Berry (2020, Great Falls, Va.) is a lefthanded pitcher with lots of upside. The rising sophomore stands at 6-foot-9, 220-pounds and looks slimmer than that with a very tall and lanky build with long limbs that really project with lots of room to fill. Berry’s fastball sat 80-83 mph in the game touching 84 once and touched 85 once in warmups. The fastball does show sink coming from a three-quarters arm slot. The University of Virginia commit’s arm action is long and very loose. The velocity did, however, lessen while in the stretch dropping a couple of miles per hour per pitch compared to out of the windup. He did show two other pitches in his outing, including good feel for a curveball with lots of depth in the upper-60s. In previous Perfect Game events, Berry has not shown a changeup, but in Saturday’s outing he flashed a fading changeup at 76 mph. From the 6-foot-9 frame, Berry gets great extension releasing his pitches out in front and making the ball get on hitters quickly.

– Gregory Gerard

Standing at 6-foot-2, 173-pounds, J.J. Goss (2019, Cypress, Texas) exudes athleticism on the diamond. Both a pitcher and a hitter, scouts have seen Goss dig into the batter’s box, and have determined he has the tool set to develop as a quality hitter at the next level. However, it was on the mound where he stood out on Saturday morning.

The uncommitted Texan features a long-limbed frame, with particular emphasis on his legs which he utilizes well in gaining extension. Overall, he hosts a very projectable frame that will continue to fill as he gets stronger. On the rubber, he showed a fastball that sat in the 86-88 mph range, as well as two different types of breaking balls: a slider and a curveball, both flashed good shape and could be a quality weapon down the road. Pounding the bottom of the zone with a sinking fastball, he generated a number of weak groundouts. When he did miss, they were in good spots and not over the heart of the plate. Overall, he had a very quality outing with five innings pitched, allowing no runs and punching out five in that frame.

Easton “Bo” Willis (2019, Magnolia, Texas) impressed Saturday with a handful of mature plate appearances. The Texas Tech commit features a solid, 6-foot-2, athletic frame and stands tall and open at the plate. Facing a diet of breaking balls, he was aggressive at the plate, yet drove through some good curveballs for two solid base knocks. Willis flashes good bat speed, and his frame projects to continue to build strength. Bundled with a solid swing path, Willis will be one to keep an eye on as he continues to develop.

Listed as a primary righthanded pitcher, Caleb Reis (2019, Marietta, Ga.) is an interesting pitcher to watch. He attacks hitters with a funky, yet effective delivery that generates good velocity from a very low three-quarters arm slot. He has a projectable athletic frame, and a strong lower half that he utilizes well on the rubber. His fastball sat in the 85-89 mph range, touching 90 mph at one point. It features very good movement, running and sinking on hitters. Reis also flashed the ability to work both sides of the plate with purpose and down in the zone. With his performance on the mound Saturday, and his known reports regarding his catching and hitting abilities, this kid could be utilized effectively in a number of capacities at the next level.

Fritz Genther (2019, Kingston, N.Y.) is a player whom I hope to see a number of times in the near future. Featuring a thinner frame, the Virginia Tech commit garnered a number of gasps in the scout hub with his speed alone. Out of the box, Genther accelerates remarkably well – clocked by a scout at 4.12 seconds from home to first base on his triple – and collecting two stolen bases in his campaign as well. His swing is one of a leadoff type, a complement to his frame and skill-set. It will be fun to continue to follow Genther and see how he develops as a player.

– Travis Clark

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