Tournaments | Story | 7/23/2017

PG Showdown Days 1-2 Notes

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15u PG Summer Showdown: Daily Leaders | Player Stats
17u PG Summer Showdown: Daily Leaders | Player Stats

Luke Bartnicki (2018, Marietta, Ga.) showed why he is a Perfect Game All American on Friday afternoon throwing effortless low-90s heat and touching as high as 94 mph. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefthander tossed two scoreless innings striking out five. Bartnicki created lots of swings and misses in his start with five coming from the fastball alone. His secondary pitch was his sweeping slider in the upper-70s. Bartnicki gets excellent extension of over seven feet which makes his low-90s look even harder to hitters. Bartnicki’s fastball gets on hitters quickly and runs to his arm side coming from a three-quarters arm slot. It makes it very difficult for hitters to make hard contact, especially lefties.

Mason Barnett (2019, White, Ga.) continued his excellent summer with another great outing. Barnett is a righthanded pitcher with an explosive delivery that generates good velocity in the upper-80s touching 90 mph on several occasions. The uncommitted righthander also shows solid command to go along with his three-pitch mix. Barnett has good feel for all three of his pitches and really likes to throw his curveball and is comfortable throwing it in any count. The curveball shows good 11-to-5 shape with bite. His changeup is deceptive in the upper-70s with maintained arm speed. Barnett also gets good extension and really knows how to pitch. Barnett showed to several hitters that he could set them with pitch sequences that created swings and misses or soft contact.

Gabriel Kurtzhals (2018, Fort Worth, Texas) had an impressive outing in relief for the East Cobb Athletics. The uncommitted righthander has a small frame but there’s a lot to like. His fastball works in the 85-87 mph range with occasional cutting action from his high three-quarters arm slot. On some pitches, Kurtzhals will lower his arm angle to a three-quarters slot that will create arm-side run on his fastball. At 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, Kurtzhals really drives well off of his back leg and locates well especially to his glove side. He also mixed in a low- to mid-70s curveball that showed solid bite and 11-to-5 shape.

Mason Bryant (2018, Austin, Texas) was practically unhittable in his start Friday going five innings striking out nine and allowing one hit. The righthander from Texas lived in the upper-80s for the duration of his outing and was up to 91 mph in his first inning of work. Bryant is committed to the University of Texas and has a tall, lean build that really projects. He has lots of fillable room in his frame to add strength and probably more velocity because he does not throw with too much effort. In fact, the future Longhorn throws really easy and the ball jumps out of his hand. His fastball did show occasional cutting action, but for the most part was pretty straight. However, his arm works pretty well with good angle and a long, loose arm action Bryant also flashed an upper-70s curveball that showed potential. Bryant has a lot of upside.

Jonathan Edwards (2018, Stockbridge, Ga.) is a tall, lanky righthanded pitcher with plenty of upside. Standing at 6-foot-6 180-pounds, Edwards gets great extension and downhill plane. Edwards throws easy and his fastball is heavy. His delivery is very clean and balanced with a loose and good overall action. The Georgia State commit sat 86-88 mph from the windup with occasional heavy life to his arm side, but did lose velocity from the stretch sitting 82-84. Edwards has long legs and a skinny build with lots of room to fill. His secondary pitch was his slider that he showed decent feel for. The pitch has tight spin in the 76-78 mph range.

Probably the most interesting two-way player in the 2021 class is shortstop/righthanded pitcher Luke Leto (2021, Portage, Mich.). Leto shows big-time potential with the bat from the lefthanded side and already shows pitchability as a righthanded pitcher. The Michigan native came in in relief and tossed two dominant innings. Leto sat in the 87-90 mph range with his fastball and did touch 91 mph once. He pitches from an over-the-top arm slot with good plane and angle. The arm works well and his mechanics are repeated pretty well. The baseball is explosive out of his hand and his delivery shows little effort. There is more in Leto’s tank, for sure, and his ceiling is incredibly high. He also flashed a developing tight curveball in his outing that had a 2100 rpm spin rate, but he did not use the breaking ball much in his outing as he could get hitters out with the use of explosive fastball.

The most impressive performance of the event and possibly this summer came from Ryan Weathers (2018, Loretto, Tenn.) Saturday morning. The 8 o’clock start time did not hold up Weathers back from lighting up the radar gun and tossing a five inning no-hitter. The lefthander sat 91-93 mph peaking at 94 mph in the first and settled in at 88-92 mph for the remainder of the outing. The fastball does not have too much movement, but it is explosive due to the southpaw’s explosive delivery. Weathers pounded the zone the entire outing with each of his three pitches especially his fastball that he located well to both sides of the plate.

Weathers has a crossfire delivery and he repeats his mechanics well. The Vanderbilt commit is consistently on time with his fast arm that comes from a three-quarters delivery. He also hides the ball well which makes it that much harder for hitters to pick it up and make solid contact. Weathers did not have to use his secondary pitches often, but he did show a changeup and curveball. The changeup showed sink in the low-80s. The curveball showed 1-to-7 shape and depth in the 74-77 mph range.

On top of the no-hitter that included nine strikeouts and 16-plus swings and misses, the lefthanded pitcher and righthanded hitter also showed that he could swing the bat. In his first at-bat, The Perfect Game All-American hit a home run that traveled 387 feet to left-center field and left the bat at 97 mph. He later drove in another run with an RBI single to left field. Weathers has a high ceiling and he will be a fun to player to keep an eye on in this year’s PG All-American Classic on August 13.

Fellow PG All-American Ethan Hankins (2018, Cumming, Ga.) also took to the mound Saturday, this time in the nightcap. Hankins set another new personal best at a Perfect Game event by touching 98 mph with his fastball. Hankins has an effortless delivery that produces excellent velocity and life to his arm side. The 6-foot-6 200-pound righthander is a polished pitcher from the physical presence to his stuff. Hankins showed a slider in Saturday night’s outing that we at Perfect Game have not seen from him in the past. The frisbee slider showed late break with 10-to-4 shape in the low-80s. The arm speed Hankins displays is outstanding and it is maintained in his changeup that shows potential in the mid-80s.

In Hankins’ delivery, the tall righthander will frequently change the timing of his windup, similarly to Marcus Stroman, to really mess with hitters’ timing. His regular windup is fluid and clean, but when the timing is changed the arm is occasionally not on time. If the pause in his windup can be perfected and the arm can consistently be on time after the hesitation, Hankins could become even more impressive than the righthander already is. Hankins will be a treat to watch throw again in the Perfect Game All-American Classic on August 13.

Chandler Dawson (2019, Warner Robins, Ga.) is a righthanded pitcher who has been up to 87 mph at a Perfect Game event in the past, but on Saturday he set a new personal best for himself touching 90 mph. Dawson is interesting because he is not overly physical at 6-foot 160-pounds, but he has a quick arm and lots of room to fill with added strength. His fastball sat in the 85-89 mph range early touching 90 with occasional life. His delivery is smooth and clean with a short arm action. He releases the ball at a three-quarters arm slot that will be lowered to low three-quarters frequently, especially when throwing his curveball. He showed feel for his 11-to-5 curveball, that, when thrown with maintained arm speed, had good late break. Dawson has upside and will be an interesting pitcher to follow through the rest of his high school pitching career.

Drew Hayes (2018, Highlands, Ranch, Colo.) made quite an impression in his first Perfect Game event. The 6-foot-1 160-pound righthander showed a good fastball early on in his start. The fastball sat 88-90 mph with life to his arm side in his first inning. The velocity did gradually drop as the game wore on, however. He only threw his curveball a few times in the start, but the ones he did throw showed tight rotation with 12-to-6 shape and a spin rate of 2600 rpm. Hayes also flashed a sinking changeup in the upper-70s. The uncommitted righty liked to pitch inside and showed the ability to do so. Hayes’ arm action is long and his arm works pretty well. Hayes is an interesting pitcher that could eventually throw very hard. Hayes has lots of room to fill with added strength that could produce that additional velocity.

Andre Orselli (2018, Lake Orion, Mich.) is not overly physical at 6-foot 190-pounds, but he can still run his fastball up to 90 mph. His delivery is deceptive and he repeats it well. Orselli came in in the seventh inning for the South Oakland A’s and worked a scoreless frame sitting 86-90 mph with his fastball. Orselli also flashed a changeup at 75 mph with fade. Orselli has solid plane in his distinct delivery and the ability to get hitters out with his two-pitch sequence of mixing speeds and getting hitters off balance.

Cade Hungate (Abingdon, Va.) showed he can do damage with the bat on Saturday night. The primary third baseman has been up to as high as 92 mph on the mound per Perfect Game, but he can also really swing the bat. He hit a towering home run in Rawlings Southeast 17U National’s matchup. Hungate displayed his raw power with solid bat speed as the home run left his barrel at 95 mph and traveled 357-feet. The Florida State commit also showed fluid actions at the hot corner.

– Gregory Gerard

Jonathan Cannon (2019, Alpharetta, Ga.) is an uncommitted righthanded pitcher with a long, projectable frame. He throws with a long, high three-quarters arm angle and with good arm action. His fastball sat in the mid-80s with good movement and sink action. He attacked the outside part of the strike zone well and paired his fastball with a quality slider that sat in the mid-70s. The slider showed tight spin and broke both planes with good depth, and he also threw a good changeup with solid fade. Cannon does a great job of mixing up his pitches and had good command through 5 1/3 innings as he only allowed one walk and struck out seven. He does a great job of throwing his changeup in the same slot as his fastball, causing hitters to sometimes guess on pitches thrown down and in the strike zone. It shouldn’t be long before he makes an announcement on which university he chooses to attend as he has many top schools currently interested in him.

Andrew Benefield (2018, Murfreesboro, Tenn.) is an athletic shortstop and Louisville commit with a large, mature frame and broad shoulders. Benefield has a long and powerful swing from the right side and possesses the ability to keep his barrel in the zone for a long time to produce hard contact as he barreled a line drive single in the fifth inning of the game with an exit velo of 103 mph.

Benefield’s teammate Will Huber (2018, Cordova, Tenn.) also knows how to swing the bat well and possesses a good, balanced swing and does an amazing job of keeping his hands inside of the baseball. He is tough to strike out and gets good plate coverage and showed a good ability to consistently square the baseball up at the point of contact.

Ben Harris (2018, Alpharetta, Ga.) is a talented two-way player who had a great outing on the mound in his Friday afternoon contest. Harris threw four scoreless innings and gave up just two hits and walked two while striking out six. Harris has a small, athletic frame with plenty of room to grow stronger and possesses a strong lower half. He throws with a fast arm action and over-the-top angle that produces a quality fastball that ran from 88-90. He showed a great ability of being to establish the inside part of the strike zone, as well as change eye levels on batters. Harris also has two quality off-speed pitches in his curve and changeup. His curve has good depth and big 12-to-6 late and hard break that he likes to start at the hitters eye level and then drop it right at their waist for strike three. His curve sat in the mid-70s, while his changeup sits in the low-80s with solid fade, and he does a great job of maintaining a consistent arm action with all three pitches. Harris will be attending the University of Virginia in 2018.

Sam Hliboki (2019, Valley Village, Calif.) made his PG debut Friday night and was electric on the mound for Pacific Baseball Academy. Hliboki threw five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and walked none while striking out eight on 53 pitches. Hliboki is listed at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds with plenty of room to grow and develop. He has a solid, quick arm action and throws with an over-the-top arm angle and gets good extension on his follow through to home. He throws a above average fastball with great life that sat from 88-90 and had a spin rate up to 2400. Hliboki paired his fastball with a slider that has tight spin and medium depth that needs development, but has an above average curveball with big, 12-to-6 break and sits in the low-70s with a spin rate up to 2400 as well.

Marcus Eusebio (2018, Bloomingdale, N.J.) is an uncommitted righthander with a good arm and small frame. Eusebio throws with a long arm action and comes from a three-quarters arm slot. He has an effortless throwing motion that produces a solid fastball from 89-91 mph in the first three innings, then worked in the mid-80s for the rest of the game. His fastball has excellent life and had a spin rate up to 2500. He throws a solid changeup with good fade and arm-side run away from lefties and pairs that with a late, slow-breaking 11-to-5 curveball, but would sometimes slow his arm down on off-speed pitches. Eusebio threw a complete game allowing one run on one hit and walked three while striking out 11.

Brennen Oxford (2018, Durham, N.H.) was impressive with the bat in the USA Mavericks 4-3 win as he went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a triple. He has a long, athletic frame and hits with a toe-tap trigger at the plate. He has a strong, quick swing with great bat speed and produces pop at the plate with a fast twitch of his hips at the point of contact.

Brandon Bick (2020, Cumming, Ga.) is a strong middle infielder with room to grow and possesses a powerful swing for his age. Bick has a small load and takes all his weight back as the pitcher begins their delivery then shifts weight forward to create a huge swing that produces consistent hard contact as he uses his strong upper body and arms to hit the ball to the outfield walls. He went 1-for-3 in his team’s afternoon contest with a bases-clearing double that had an exit velo of 94 mph off the bat. Bick has a very bright future ahead of him.

Hamilton Martinez (2019, Kissimmee, Fla.) is a righthanded pitcher on the Vanguards team with a good arm and solid frame that has a high ceiling as he continues to grow into his body. Martinez is listed at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and has a very quick arm action that is able to produce a quality fastball that runs from 88-90 and 85-87 mph when he’s throwing from the stretch. His fastball has great riding life with a little movement as it approaches the plate and he pairs it with a good 11-to-5 shaped late-breaking curveball that he likes to locate inside on righties to produce weak contact. Martinez also has a changeup with good fade that sits in the low-80s, while his curve is in the low-70s. He is a talented player with a good arm who should receive high interest from schools this year.

Cooper Davidson (2018, Alpharetta, Ga.) closed the door for the Rawlings 17u team in their 3-2 victory over the Vanguards 17u team and displayed great mound presence as he had to get a save in a very difficult situation. Davidson has a large frame with a strong lower half and live arm. He throws with a high three-quarters arm angle and has solid, tight arm action that produces a good fastball with life and runs from 86-90 mph, reaching as high as 91. He has good command of both off-speed pitches. He throws a nice, tight and late-breaking slider that has good spin and freezes hitters. It runs in the mid-70s and he pairs that with a great changeup that he does a good job of locating down with great fade and same arm action as his fastball to get swings and misses. Although Davidson is currently uncommitted he has some top schools interested in him, so it shouldn’t be long before he makes his decision.

– Brandon Lowe

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