Tournaments | Story | 7/10/2017

16u WWBA Day 3 Scout Notes

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

Daily Leaders | Player Stats | Day 1 Notes | Day 2 Notes

Beau Wimpee (2019, Rockwall, Texas) is a very interesting young player for the Dallas Patriots Stout team who already shows a present feel for the barrel and can drive the ball especially well for his listed 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame. Already committed to TCU, Wimpee is a lefthanded bat who possesses quick hands at the plate and twice drove the ball to his pull side in three trips to the plate. With extension to his swing, Wimpee was able to generate backspin a triple to the right-center gap, showing loft and carry off the barrel. He followed the triple with a double to his pull side, putting his quick hands on display as he turned on a ball and once again found the barrel.

Both his actions and instincts both help him project to stay on the dirt at the next level as he took a sound first step moving to either side and displayed soft hands with which he showed no problems adjusting to a tough hop. His arm is another tool that plays right now as he has both carry and strength on this throws and Wimpee also has the athleticism and feel to change arm slots while on the move to help quick his release time and finish the bang-bang play.

Anytime a player touches 95 mph with his fastball he’s certain to attract a crowd, let alone if that player his just coming off his freshman season of high school baseball. That said, righthander Nate Wohlgemuth (2020, Owasso, Okla.) isn’t your typical rising sophomore as he stands at an ultra-physical 5-foot-11, 195-pounds and currently checks in at No. 5 in the latest class rankings.

A hard thrower from an early age as he first hit 90 mph two summers ago at a Perfect Game event, Wohlgemuth came in out of the bullpen with the bases, and though he surrendered two runs via an infield single and a walk, he was able to escape and help his team prevail. The uncommitted righthander immediately made his presence felt as he sat in the 93-95 mph range in his first inning, showing a fast right arm and tempo to his delivery when working out of the windup. There are still some consistencies in his delivery that he’ll continue to refine which will in turn help with his release point, but at the end of the day he’s 15 years old and working into the mid-90s with the ability to throw three pitches.

Wohlgemuth’s fastball is certainly the attention getter as it can draw a crowd with a single pitch but his feel for the changeup is just as impressive. He only threw two in this stint, at 85 and 82 mph (one each inning), and replicated his arm speed and release well, generating short fading life while working down in the zone. The young Oklahoma native didn’t show his curveball much in game but as you can see in the video above, when he stays on top of his bender it offers 12-to-6 shape with depth at 76-77 mph.

The velocity continues to climb for Wohlgemuth and he can already overpower hitters when he’s down in the zone as evidenced by his four strikeouts in two innings of work Sunday afternoon.

It was a quick look at lefthander Luke Wagner (2020, New Cumberland, Pa.), as the GoWags coaching staff closely monitored his pitch count, but it was still enough to know he has some of the better feel and pitchability of all the arms who I’ve seen throw this weekend. Listed at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, Wagner isn’t going to overmatch hitters with a fastball that runs into the 90s just yet, but he also doesn’t have to as he’s proven he can hit spot, land his slider and change arm slots/vary looks with intent on any given pitch.

Throwing from a traditional three-quarters slot, Wagner worked in the 84-86 mph range with a quick left arm and did a nice job of working on top of the ball to generate plane out of his hand. Wagner, who’s currently uncommitted, is able to generate short running life on his heater from up top and even more so when he drops to nearly a sidearm release at 83-84 mph, catching hitters off guard and uncomfortable in the box. On top of essentially have two different fastballs, the 105th ranked player in the class of 2020 also showed a nice feel for his slider in the low-70s with nice feel and similar angle to that of his fastball, occasionally showing depth and resembling more of a curveball.

Righthander Nick Embleton (2019, Enola, Pa.) actually got the start for GoWags and established his name on the national scene thanks to a strong right arm and a big jump in velocity since last July. Like Wagner, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Embleton was limited in this appearance in hopes of coming back for the playoffs but he still managed to gather a crowd behind the back spot in his short while.

Up to 90 mph with his fastball, Embleton lived in the 86-89 mph range for the most part, showing a full and quick arm stroke through the back which he used to generate firm life on his fastball through the zone. The uncommitted Embleton did a nice job of working on top of the baseball and flashed cutting life to his glove side with his heater while also landing his 71-73 mph curveball for strikes, offering depth to the bottom of the strike zone.

He worked two quick, efficient innings in which he struck out two and didn’t allow a base hit and will draw another sizeable crowd whenever he takes the mound again.

BPA righthander Jared Jones (2020, Whittier, Calif.) entered the game ranked No. 15 in the class and quickly topped his highest recorded fastball velocity as the first pitch out of his hand registered at 90 mph. Already committed to Southern California, Jones managed to strike out five in 4.2 innings of work and doesn’t appear to be close to peaking in terms of physicality and stuff.

He’s listed a 6-foot, 165-pound primary third baseman and while he’s plenty athletic to man the hot corner, his upside on the mound is too big to look past. With a simple and repeatable delivery, Jones showed a whippy and clean arm action which helped produce a steady upper-80s fastball and was still showing 88s on the radar gun in the fourth inning thanks to his easy release. When he spotted his heater down in the zone Jones was able to generate some hard running life at times, though when he was up the pitch flashed boring life in on the hands of righthanded hitters with ride through the zone.

Jones showed the ability to work either side of the plate with his fastball and showed a breaking ball for strikes in the low- to mid-70s. The bender would show curveball depth at times with 11-5 shape while others resembled that of a slider with sweeping finish to his glove side, both of which he threw for strikes.

He may have only picked up one hit in three at-bats but Jackson Miller (2020, Trinity, Fla.) still handled the barrel and continues to perform as one of the more polished hitters in the 2020 class. A recent Wake Forest commit, the first thing that stands out about the young lefthanded hitter is just how physical he has become since last fall, a trait that will help tap into some serious raw power down the road. The lone hit was a double down the opposite field line for Miller, who has lessened his left lift and still shows fluidity and bat speed through the zone with nice rhythm in his hands at the start of his swing, but he also lined out hard to right field in his third and final at-bat of the night.

Squaring off against Jared Jones and BPA was uncommitted righthander Dylan Ray (2020, New Market, Ala.) who showed intriguing tools on both sides of the ball for the Viper Baseball Academy club. He’s listed at a strong 6-foot-3, 205-pounds and he instruments his physicality into all aspects of his game, whether it’s running his fastball up to 91 mph or turning on a ball from the right side for a hard line drive piece of contact to left field.

It wasn’t the sharpest of outings for Ray as he walked five in four innings, but he did settle in throughout his start and began showing more consistency in getting the ball to the bottom of the zone after missing up often in the early frames. Up to 91 mph both in the first and fourth innings while living in the upper-80s for the most part, Ray comes at hitters from an over-the-top slot and shows some whip to his release out front with plenty of arm quickness.

As he settled in Ray was able to unlock some of his secondary stuff while getting ahead in the count and went to his 12-to-6 shaped curveball to put hitters away. With the same high release point Ray managed to stay on top of the ball and show short depth (up to 76 mph) with some finish away from righthanded hitters and went to it more than once with two strikes on a batter. Ray also flashed a changeup at 82 mph, showing short fading life with maintained arm speed.

Keep an eye on Ray’s teammate, both in high school ball and on the Vipers, Caden Rose (2020, Madison, Ala.) as the young shortstop displayed intriguing tools on both sides as well. Hitting towards the top of the order, Rose showed no qualms in turning around an 86 mph fastball as he one-hopped the left field fence for a double with a quick barrel through the zone. He also showed athleticism and body control up the middle and made a play charging in with easy, showing nice balance to his actions and a short, compact arm stroke on his throw across to get the runner.

Currently ranked No. 194 in the class of 2019, righthander Cameron Dennie (2019, Culver, Ind.) was handed the ball for the Indiana Bulls Black squad and tossed five shutout innings while showing more than a couple of interesting things on the mound. The Arizona State commit, who’s listed at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, came out showing a fast, whip-like arm action through the back and touched as high as 91 mph with his fastball.

As the innings wore on Dennie continued to work in the upper-80s with his fastball, though more impressive than the velocity was the fact that nothing that left his hand was straight. The fastball showed very consistent cut action, in part to his release, which when coupled with his ability to live down in the zone, helped stay away from barrels.

The difference maker for Dennie however is his slider, a true swing-and-miss pitch at 78-80 mph with hard, late tilt and deception out of the hand as hitters appeared to read fastball. He does a nice job of maintaining his arm speed and release point on the pitch as to not tip it off to opposing bats. The future Sun Devil also showed a mid-70s curveball which offered a considerable more amount of depth than his slider, giving Dennie three viable pitches which he could throw for strikes.

– Jheremy Brown

The NCBA Golden Spikes ran their record to 3-0 on Sunday afternoon via a 1-0 victory over 5 Star 16U Dowen behind an exemplary pitching performance from Hayden Summers (2020, Greensboro, N.C.). Summers threw a five-inning shutout, scattering three hits with no walks while racking up seven strikeouts, all on only 52 pitches.

Summers, a rising sophomore, has solid body projection remaining with good room to continue filling out through his chest and torso. He pitches from somewhat of a corkscrew delivery, really coiling into his back hip to load on his backside, before uncoiling very well to get online and driving downhill as a result. The arm action is long and mostly loose though there is some wrap through the back of the stroke. Regardless, he was on time with his arm coming through for the vast majority of the outing.

He worked up to 88 mph with his fastball, settling in around 83-87 mph for the duration of his outing, and threw probably 95 percent fastballs in this outing. He was able to generate good downhill plane by commanding the pitch at the knees, and worked it to both sides of the plate as well. He worked north/south as well, going above the letters to get a few swings and misses with two strikes, and in general he essentially dominated with one pitch. He showed some feel for a curveball later in his time on the mound but the equalizer was his fastball for sure.

Nate Wohlgemuth was obviously a huge draw in the Oklahoma Fuel game on Sunday afternoon as detailed by Jheremy Brown in this write up, but center fielder Sam Thompson (2019, Owasso, Okla.) really stood out for several reasons. He’s a well-built, highly athletic center field prospect who projects to stay there long term, and has really interesting tools throughout his profile. He launched a big triple to center field that was 100-plus mph off the bat showcasing his quick wrists and excellent bat speed—and even a few of the outs he made later in the game came off the bat relatively loudly. He then turned in a 4.11 seconds time to first base on a dig, giving him plus speed that plays in the outfield as well. A lefthanded hitter who, again, can play center field, Thompson is definitely a name to know in the 2019 class.

Team Elite 16u Prime is strong as always, and they ran their record to 4-0 on Sunday evening at Allatoona High School by way of a 10-3 victory. Mark McLaughlin (2019, Johns Creek, Ga.) got the start and the win for Team Elite, allowing a single run over four strong innings.

McLaughlin has a large, still-projectable frame with good strength right now along with room to continue getting stronger. He’s got a longer, looser arm stroke that does a good job staying online for the most part and generates significant plane to the plate from a high three-quarters slot release point. He worked in the 82-86 mph range for the majority of his start content to throw fastballs down in the zone and get weaker contact to let his defense work. He’s got good feel for his curveball as well, thrown in the low-70s with some variation in the shape. At it’s best it’s 11-to-5 with some sweep to it able to land it for a strike as well as get swings and misses. He also showed a changeup in the mid-70s with good fading life giving him a quality three-pitch mix with solid command.

Landon Sims (2019, Cumming, Ga.) has been written about a few times already this week, but the two-way star bears mentioning again, on the strength of a three run homer he belted to really ice the game away for Team Elite in the fifth inning. Sims is extremely strong physically, and that strength plays extremely well both on the mound and at the plate, where he has real power that shows up often in game situations.

Sam Howell (2019, Monroe, N.C.) came on for the Carolina Black Sox out of their bullpen and though he wasn’t at his sharpest did show some things that lead evaluators to be very high on his future potential. He worked up to 89 mph on the mound with a very quick, compact arm stroke that is able to create some plane downhill in addition to solid running life on his fastball, which sat in the 85-88 mph range. He showed a solid curveball as well, with 12-to-6 shape and good depth overall, thrown in the mid-70s.

– Brian Sakowski

Sam Servello (2019, Hollidaysburg, Pa.) is a West Virginia commit with a good arm and good mound presence. Servello has a solid, mature frame with room to grow and become stronger and throws with an easy, effortless over-the-top arm slot. He does a great job of staying firm and tall on his backside and throws with a very quick arm action that produces a quality fastball that sits in the upper-80s, reaching up to 90. He does a great job of working down in the strike zone and flashed a good curve that shows potential with 11-to-5 break and good tight spin and good depth that ran in the mid-70s. He also flashed a decent change up that needs more development, but did show promise with decent fade at 80.

Ramsey Amador (2019, Edinburg, Texas) is a talented middle infielder with a large, athletic frame who stands at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds with a long lower half. He swings the bat from the right side with an open stance and leg kick trigger. He has a quality, long and hard swing and shows great ability to keep the bat in the zone for a long time to generate good pop to the out field gaps. He slugged a fly ball double to the fence in the second inning and a line drive triple in the fifth. His double had an exit velocity of 90 mph while his triple had an exit velocity of 86 mph. Amador is a Texas Rio Grand Valley commit.

Sam Walbridge (2019, San Antonio, Texas) is an uncommitted lanky lefthanded pitcher, with a tall and projectable frame with great ability to throw downhill. He stands at 6-foot-4, 180-pounds and has a long, slow and balanced delivery and throws with an over-the-top arm slot and long arm action. He does a great job of planting his front firmly to his glove side to allow his hips to open up and drive his fastball downhill to batters with decent life. His fastball sat from 84-88, throwing mostly at 86. His arm works very well and he paired his fastball with a good 12-to-6 breaking curve that has medium depth but sharp break that ran from 71-74.

Ryan Staropoli (2019, Yardley, Pa.) and Jack Coylar (2019, Langhorne, Pa.) threw well for the Philly Bandits en route to their 9-1 win in their Sunday afternoon game. Staropoli has a large, mature frame with a strong upper body and threw his fastball in the mid-80s, reaching up to 88 with solid, quick arm action. He has a slow, balanced delivery and paired his fastball with a good 11-to-5 curve that possessed good depth and sharp late break.

Coylar has a large frame as well, but with more room to grow and a long lower half. He ran into some command trouble in the first inning of his outing, but showed great ability to make in-game adjustments and struck out the side after starting the third inning off by loading the bases. He has a long windup and curls his front leg back near his back elbow before throwing to home and has a great ability to hide the ball more. His fastball was at 86-87 mph most of his outing and he threw an above average curveball with the same arm action as his fastball that ran from 66-68 with quality, hard 12-to-6 break and good depth.

Chris Vilaman (2019, Thomasville, N.C.) is an athletic two-way player for the WM9 Signature 16u team that possesses excellent bat speed and a nice, loose and fluid stroke from the left side of the plate. Vilaman hits with an upright stance and knees slightly bent and slightly wiggles the bat to get his hands going. Vilaman squared up the baseball consistently in all of his at-bats, with a hard groundball triple in his first at-bat, a lineout in his second at-bat and a two-run home run in his third at-bat. His home run traveled 373 feet over the left field gap wall and had an exit velocity of 91 mph. Vilaman is a North Carolina State commit and should make a great impact once he arrives on campus in the fall of 2019.

Chase Britton (2019, Jamestown, N.C.) threw 3 2/3 quality innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits and two walks while striking out five. Britton throws from a three-quarters arm a lot and has a solid, quick arm action that produces an above average fastball with life that ran in the mid-80s, reaching up to 87. His arm works very well, as he whips it hard towards home plate, sometimes causing righthanded hitters to bail out early in their at-bats. He also threw a quality, sharp and late breaking 11-to-5 curveball that sat in the low-70s and located in on righties well and down on lefties.

Bryce Jackson (2018, Abbeville, N.C.) was up to 90 on Sunday on the mound for the CSB Spikes. He throws with an online delivery, with a high leg kick before committing to the plate and long arm action that produced a quality fastball with life and ran from 85-88. He paired that with an above average, hard-breaking slider that breaks both planes and ran from 77-80 mph. He has a good feel for his slider, as he’s able to throw it in any count and showed great command overall as he allowed no walks in his Sunday outing. Jackson is currently uncommitted.

Will Smith (2019, Conway, S.C.) has a live arm and stocky frame and aggressively attacks hitters with an above fastball that sits in the mid-80s that reaches up to 88. Smith showed an impressive ability to throw inside strikes on righties. He would throw his slider in the same slot, to generate swings and misses as his slider has great depth and hard, late break downwards in the strike zone and ran from 76-79. He throws with a high three-quarters arm slot and very fast and tight arm action. Smith sometimes would finish too tall on his pitches which would lead to slight command issues, but he easily made in-game adjustments.

Ethan Fewell (2019, Mount Pleasant, S.C.) is a tall, athletic catcher with long arms and a long lower half. He has great bat speed and has a hard uppercut swing and has a great ability to consistently create leverage and hard contact. He hit a hard line drive triple to right field in his first at-bat with an exit velocity of 91. He is currently uncommitted.

– Brandon Lowe

Powerful righthanded hitter Kurtis Byrne (2019, Chesterfield, Mo.) got the offense started early on at Lakepoint with multiple hits and good skills and actions behind the plate. The Indiana commit has a lot of strength in the frame, listed at 6-foot and 215-pounds, he does his best to get the entire frame incorportated into his swing. He ripped two singles to the pull side during his game, both of which were over 90 mph off the bat, including one that is up to 95 mph. He uses an element within the stance and swing which allows him to keep his hands short to the ball and get the swing quickly through the zone. The catch and throw skills were also exemplary as he threw out a runner during the game and turned in routine pop times in the 1.95-2.05 second range in between innings. The arm strength is very good and he has accurate, online throws to the base.

Turning in one of the farthest hit balls that this scout has seen in recent memory, strong third baseman Mykanthony Valdez (2019, Davie, Fla.) launched a home run in the second inning that had tremendous carry and cleared the batter’s eye by about 15 feet at least. Valdez is incredibly strong and muscular with a listed 6-foot-1. 210-pound frame. The strength, and the requisite bat speed, are what carries the profile at the plate as he is able to drive the ball with authority to all fields. He knocked two screaming balls to the opposite field during the game and has tremendous strength through the point of contact with the barrel of the bat. The trigger into Valdez’ swing is also very short and quick as his hand speed allows the barrel to get extended at the right time. The Miami commit has some of the best power in the class and he continues to put on a show at PG events.

Working in the upper-80s to low-90s for EvoShield Texas was power-armed righthander Sam Wibbels (2019, Hastings, Neb.). The Nebraska native showed a quick and powerful delivery with multiple moving parts that allow him to create deception and hide the ball as well as extend down the mound effectively. The arm action is very short and whippy and it travles throughout a compact arm circle very quickly to fire to the plate. There is undoubtedly some effort but he does a good job at locating pitches well to his glove side and can still field his position as well. Wibbels mixed in a short slider that showed tight spin and flashed two-plane depth to it. Wibbels worked pretty effectively with his fastball on Sunday and the pitch sat 88-91 mph throughout and showed good life to it. He could cut it to the outside against righthanded hitters effectively and attacked hitters with the pitch.

Wibbels teammate and shortstop, Armani Sanchez (2019, Houston, Texas), showed an advanced skill set as well as excellent athleticism in the field. The Oklahoma commit has quick twitch athleticism and projects extremely well physically from his already solid 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Sanchez moves very gracefully out at shortstop with quick and easy footwork as well as very soft and quick hands to be able to gather and release the ball quickly across the diamond; he can range well to both sides and that helps him to make a lot of plays that other shortstops cannot. Sanchez also added two hits to the ledger and showed a very simple, line drive oriented swing with a bit of an uphill path but the requisite hand speed to get it through cleanly.

Josh Rivera (2019, Avon Park, Fla.) opposed Wibbels on the mound and showed off some of the better hitting tools of the tournament thus far. The Rice commit has a very strong frame, his listed 6-foot and 145-pound frame does not appear to be correct, with present athleticism and strength throughout the build. Rivera has a short and compact stroke throughout the zone with very loose hands and a pretty fluid barrel to go with it. The swing is naturally lofted and Rivera can get it through the hitting zone with requisite bat speed quickly. Rivera is a primary shortstop but played third base for the Florida Burn and still showed some lateral quickness. Rivera has a very strong overall package, also added a stolen base, and will likely be one of the better hitters on the left side of the infield for the class.

After tossing an inning a few days ago, righthander Mason Ornelas (2019, Fort Worth, Texas) took the ball for the Dallas Mustangs and shoved his way to the tune of a three-hit, seven inning shutout where he struck out five batters in the process.

The uncommitted righthander has a medium, athletic frame with present strength but still room to add more to the body. The arm action has some wrap around the backside, with about medium length through the back, and whips across his body upon the delivery of the pitch. The whipping action helped to get some run and dive on his fastball, which sat 87-89 mph for the duration of the outing.

Ornelas showed a three-pitch mix during Sunday’s outing that included a curveball and changeup. The curveball was a softer offering in the low-70s with quality depth to the pitch and was effective at being thrown for strikes. The changeup was hard and came in the upper-70s to the plate.

Recent Texas Tech commit Nate Rombach (2019, Arlington, Texas) has shown big power in the box score and that has also been backed up with the present tools and profile. After launching two home runs on Saturday, Rombach did not come away with a hit during Sunday’s action, but his combination of tools at the plate and behind it were both on display. Rombach’s size is what immediately stands out as the 6-foot-3, 195-pound backstop has an extra large frame with additional strength on the frame currently.

That size allows him to generate good power through the weight shift at the plate and the hand speed with the bat allows him to whip the barrel through the hitting zone quickly; the torque and strength allow the ball to jump off the barrel. The arm strength is evident behind the plate, but his sheer size may ultimately move him off the position. However, there are raw tools behind the plate that are good to build off and he can showed the ability to handle pitchers well and block and receive.

Closing out the night slots at Lakepoint was uncommitted lefthander Adam Macko (2019, Stony Plain, Alberta) for Rawlings Southeast National. The frame is incredibly lean and projectable, listed at a somewhat conservative 6-foot and 165-pounds, with a loose and easy arm stroke through the back.

The delivery itself is very straight forward and simple, with a very deliberate and short rocker step simply to turn and get the lower half started, followed by the leg lift and release. The small rocker step will allow him to stay in rhythm and he gets some drie throughout the lower half. Macko’s delivery and arm were both simple and clean, and the stuff was very impressive on Sunday night.

A week after throwing a no-hitter while playing up in the 17u WWBA National Championship, Macko was dicing hitters up with the combination of his 83-87 mph fastball with excellent command and a big breaking curveball. The fastball had good life to it and he could cut or run it along with getting over his front side to both parts of the plate with ease. The curveball was also impressive with big depth and tight shape, around 2500-2600 rpm spin rates, and came in the upper-60s but could be a legitimate weapon as he continues to get stronger and throw it harder.

– Vinnie Cervino

In the early game for Gallagher Team Mizuno Sunday morning, Spencer Bauer (2019, Manasquan, N.J.) started on the mound and showed impressive ability. Bauer’s arm works well coming from a high three-quarters slot with a good arm angle and really good extension. The righthander’s fastball sat in the 85-87 mph range touching 88 once with arm-side life on most of his pitches and sink occasionally. His delivery is explosive showing quick twitch muscles throughout the 6-foot-2 195-pound frame. He also mixed in one of the better breaking balls I have seen throughout this 16u WWBA National Championship. His curveball has late bite living in the mid- to upper-70s. It also showed a solid average spin rate at 2300 rpm. Bauer also flashed a sinking changeup that showed up at 80 mph each time he threw it. Bauer’s fastball is sneaky quick because of the good extension he gets with an effective velocity two mph greater than the velocity out of his hand. Bauer is uncommitted out of the state of New Jersey with a high ceiling.

The Louisiana Knights Black’s lineup Sunday showed big-time talent throughout. Starting pitcher, Thomas Wilhite (2019, West Monroe, La.) is one of those talented young players. The righthander has a short arm action and hides the ball really well. His fastball from the windup was 86-88 mph touching 89 mph early while losing a little velocity from the stretch sitting consistently 85-86. Wilhite flashed a changeup in the upper-70s with sinking action. His delivery is deliberate and balanced while getting solid extension and plane. Wilhite is a good looking uncommitted righthanded pitcher.

In the Knights lineup loaded with big boppers, the smallest built player, Carson Jones (2019, West Monroe, La.), was the player who stood out most. His first at-bat of the game was a routine groundout, but the speed was on display for the switch-hitter. From the righthanded side, Jones bolted down the line for a very impressive 4.11-second home-to-first time that made me do a double take at my stopwatch. The bat is impressive as well with fluidity and barreled contact seemingly each time he put the ball into play. Jones did connect on a triple to the left-center field wall that hit the base of the wall. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound uncommitted middle infielder has lots of room to fill in his frame and is scrappy and an all-around fun player to watch play.

Bryce Barnett (2019, Lockport, Ill.) was the winning pitcher in quite the pitcher’s duel between Top Tier 16u and Phenom Texas. Barnett, an Arizona State commit, Barnett has the potential to throw very hard. The Illinois native stands at 6-foot 150-pounds and his fastball sits in the 83-87 mph range, touching 88 mph once in his first inning. He maintained that velocity range for the duration of his six innings. To add to the toughness of timing Barnett, hitters had to battle with the sink that came with his fastball. The righthander’s sinking action on his fastball makes him a big-time groundball pitcher. Bennett located his fastball well throughout his outing as well as his changeup that showed the same type of sink as his fastball. The Arizona State commit maintained his arm speed while throwing the changeup that was in the upper-70s with deception. Barnett flashed a frisbee slider in the mid-70s as well.

Cade Sitka (2019, Richmond, Texas) is a primary catcher who really showed the ability to pitch as well. He tossed five innings and earned the win in Sunday afternoon’s contest. Sitka ran his fastball up to 88 mph a few times and worked in the 85-87 mph for most of his outing. The arm works well and is pretty fast and he throws easy as the ball jumps out of his hand. The righthander showed two separate breaking balls as well. One that broke with 12-to-6 shape and the other had more of a 10-to-4 shape. Each breaking ball worked as a swing-and-miss pitch and showed sharpness. Sitka is uncommitted and is an interesting two-way prospect who showed that he can really swing the bat well too.

C.J. Rodriguez (2019, Newport Beach, Calif.) offers a physical presence behind the plate and swinging the bat. The strength in Rodriguez’s frame was noticeable, and behind the plate he showed really impressive catch-and-throw ability tossing sub 2.0-second pop times regularly in warmups. I did not get a chance to see him throw down to second as no opportunities came, but the multiple pickoff throws to first stood out. His lateral agility and blocking skills stood out the whole game as well, as Rodriguez, a Vanderbilt commit, shows big potential as a future catcher for the Commodores.

Cooper Benson (2019, San Luis Obispo, Calif.) is the No. 2 lefthanded pitcher in his class and he showed why on day three of the 16u WWBA National Championship. Benson worked in a relief role for BPA coming in and finishing off a win, and from a results standpoint you cannot have a better start to a tournament than what Benson has done so far. He has thrown 4 1/3 innings over two games and has yet to allow a hit. His fastball sits in the 87-89 mph range and he did touch 90 mph once. The fastball did show riding life to his arm side and occasionally sink as well. The arm is very loose and his lower half is very strong. Benson pounds the zone to his arm side and his delivery is deceptive. The Arizona State commit has several different windup speeds that he used to throw off hitters’ timing with his primary having a shorter leg lift that makes his thigh come close to parallel with the ground. With the varying windups, the quick pitches, the velocity and the command, what more could someone ask for in a lefthanded pitcher? When Benson mixes in a fading swing-and-miss changeup as well, it is almost unfair for hitters. The lefthander also flashed an upper-60s curveball, but he definitely shows that he prefers the changeup as his secondary pitch. Benson has a very high ceiling.

Cameron Repetti (2019, Cypress, Calif.), a righthanded pitcher, started and threw two innings for CBA Marucci. The righthander has a slow, balanced delivery with an explosive upper half and fast arm. The uncommitted player from California sat in the 85-88 mph range with good plane and occasional arm-side life. He repeats his mechanics well with a good arm action. He also flashed an upper-70s changeup and mixed an upper-60s curveball that showed depth and frequently froze hitters when located at the knees.  Repetti also bats cleanup on a loaded CBA Marucci team.

– Gregory Gerard

Pitching up for his age, 15-year-old Zachary Murray (2020, Sugar Hill, Ga.) took the mound on Sunday, mounting a very impressive outing. The uncommitted rising sophomore features a clean arm, good arm speed, and a projectable frame that should continue to fill. Pitching from a three-quarters arm slot, he featured a dual pitch mix early on: a sinking, running at times fastball that sat 84-85 mph, touching 86, an a 11-to-5 hook that showed shape and depth with potential to be a quality weapon as it continues to mature. Murray was the catalyst for his team, pitching four innings, allowing no runs and punching out six en-route to leading his team to a 3-0 start.

Spencer Keefe (2019, Canton, Ga.) is an uncommitted 6-foot-3 middle infielder on a number of professional scouts and college coaches radar, and the way he has been playing it is easy to see why. He has a unique combination of speed, size, and developing pop in his bat. He features a line drive planed swing that he mostly pulls, but can get more loft and drive it over the fence, as he has done twice now in three days. His speed plays, as he has showcased on his double and triple through the tournament to date. His actions in the field are smooth, and he features a quality arm up the middle. Most definitely an athlete who projects more power, and should he continue to develop his other tools he has the raw tool set to be a threat in numerable capacities at the next level.

Mason Russell (2019, Windermere, Fla.) came to the plate flashing quick wrists, and generating some very good swings with quality bat speed Sunday afternoon. The 6-foot-2 Duke commit had two hits, poking the ball to right in one appearance, but has an approach geared more towards pulling with authority. As shown in his bullet of a double down the line, when he finds the barrel and gets the opportunity to utilize his lower half and rotation of the hips, it jumps off the bat very loudly. He will be interesting to follow as he continues to develop during his senior year.

Zachary Martinez (2019, Peoria, Ariz.) is a 5-foot-9 righthanded pitcher who turned heads with his arm speed. Utilizing his lower half well, he was pumping fastballs in at 86-89, with a good arm slot and pitching effectively both glove side and arm side. Flashing a good changeup that sinks upon entry and a developing slider that shows some shape, he effectively worked off his fastball and kept hitters off balance throughout the contest. The Arizona commit was productive and efficient with his pitches, finishing with 5 2/3 innings tossed and allowing only three hits in that frame.

In a very brief outing, Trejyn Fletcher (2020, Portland, Maine) turned heads from scouts and coaches alike in attendance for his two-thirds innings pitched. Listed as a primary outfielder, the rising sophomore has a projectable, athletic frame which could garner more velocity down the road. On the mound, he was clocked at 88-92 in his two-batter set, showing some arm-side run and striking them both out in a hurry.

– Travis Clark

 Give us your feedback
Copyright 1994-2021 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.