Tournaments | Story | 7/25/2017

PG World Series Day 1 Notes

Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino        
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Starting out the first time slot for the Ironmen Prime was talented righthander Holden Groher (2021, Sellersburg, Ind.) who turned in an outstanding performance on the bump. The 5-foot-11, 150-pound starter had legitimate swing-and-miss stuff working throughout the entirety of the game as he finished off what amounted to a complete game shutout while only allowing one hit.

Groher has a quick and efficient delivery with a slight rocker step into his leg lift on the mound. The arm speed stands out and the arm whips through the path as he delivers the pitch. Groher delivers from a lower three-quarters arm slot which helps to create occasional run to his fastball and the ball came out of the hand cleanly.

He attacked with a fastball/curveball combination which showed his fastball sit 82-86 mph for the duration of the outing. Groher located the pitch very well and got a lot of swing-and-miss within the strike zone on the fastball. The curveball showed tight break and shape to it and Groher showed a very good feel for it. The pitch had spin rates in the 2500-2600 rpm range and was thrown with a ton of confidence.

Groher’s battery mate Anthony Migliaccio (2021, Wyandotte, Mich.) had a strong day at the plate and also showed very interesting tools behind it. Migliaccio has good present size on his 6-foot, 170-pound frame with a lot of room left to add strength and physicality as he continues to develop. The swing itself has an element of controlled violence to it as he is able to whip it through the hitting zone quickly while also remaining balanced and in control. The hands are in a good launch position and he is looking to drive the ball hard into the air. Migliaccio connected a couple of times on Monday by adding a single and a double to the hit column. What stood out behind the plate for Migliacci was the advancement of his catch and throw skills. The arm strength plays very well and he was consistently throwing downhill and online in between innings.

Starting out game two of the evening for BPA was Kadarrius McCray (2022, Oxford, Miss.) and he showed an interesting repertoire and tools on the mound. He doesn’t have the prototypical frame of a starting pitcher, listed at only 5-foo-7, however he showed good balance and arm speed on the mound to allow him to get his velocity up. McCray worked in the 80-83 mph range while touching 84 mph early on in the game and he delivered from a high three-quarter arm slot on the hill. The arm action is short through the back and the abbreviated path allows him to be on time consistently with his release point. McCray also showed a curveball that flashed sharp 12-to-6 break to it.

In what has become a very common occurrence this summer, the No. 2-ranked player in the class Blaze Jordan (2021, Southaven, Miss.) made a lot of loud contact during the Dulins Dodgers’ doubleheader on Monday. The righthanded hitter has the present physicality and bat speed to be a top-level slugger. The Mississippi State commit has had his share of smoked baseballs, however one could argue that he had his biggest hit of the summer thus far during game one. Down one run, Jordan stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly left the ballpark and delivered a three-run lead. The grand slam was a no-doubt shot that left the bat at 98 mph and traveled an estimated 380 feet. There were also multiple other hits that left the bat at 95-plus, including a couple of singles that came later on in the evening. Jordan closed out game one on the mound and showed off his arm strength and arm speed in the process. Jordan worked 87-89 mph for the final inning and the fastball worked well out of the hand and by opposing hitters.

Southpaw Ryan Ginther (2021, Gallatin, Tenn.) got the start in game two for the Dulins Dodgers and he showed good toughness as well as an arsenal on the mound. The arm is short and easy throughout the arm circle and there is good present arm speed throughout the delivery. Ginther worked in the 81-84 mph range throughout most of the evening and touched 85 mph once early on. The fastball showed good life to it and was located very well to the glove side of the plate. Ginther did a good job at pounding the strike zone early on and there is some natural deception in his delivery that allowed his stuff to play up and get on hitters quickly. He racked up a good amount of swings and misses within the strike zone and mixed in a breaking ball that offered him an effective secondary option.

Starting what amounted to the midnight time slot and dominating on the mound was lefthander Brody Drost (2020, Sulphur, La.). Drost had impressed earlier in the summer and continues to improve on the mound as his ability to miss bats and command the curveball were instrumental to his success early Tuesday morning. The athleticism stands out for Drost on the mound with a very lean 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame and the ability to repeat his mechanics well. The arm stroke is loose and fluid throughout a full path in the back and the ease of the overall delivery stands out as well.

Early on, Dorst attacked hitters with his fastball that showed occasional life to it. He worked to both sides with the fastball and sat in the low- to mid-80s, bumping his fastball up to 86 mph if he needed it. Drost worked to both sides of the plate easily and pounded the strike zone, as he only allowed one walk in five innings pitched. The curveball was used sparingly early on but as the lineup turned over, Drost went to his secondary pitch. His breaking ball flashed early on but showed good depth and consistent shape as he got on top of the pitch more later in the outing. The pitch was very hard to time up and the lefty racked up a good amount of missed bats with it.

Closing out two games for Tri State on Monday was young righthander Jonathan Cymrot (2021, San Jose, Calif.). The native Californian threw the final four pitches in game one to preserve the tie against Iowa Select and came in to earn the save during game two. The delivery included a slight rocker step into a gather above his head and he stayed tall through his backside and down the mound. The arm speed stood out as it was pretty loose throughout the path. Cymrot delivered from a lower three-quarter arm slot which helped aid in his deception and allowed his fastball to generate heavy run. The fluidity of the arm and delivery stood out and there was not a ton of effort upon release.

The feel to spin the ball is advanced with Cymrot throwing his breaking ball with a similar arm action and speed as his fastball. The curveball was best when buried in the dirt to garner chases and showed tight spin and tilt as well. Cymrot mainly used his fastball, which toughed as high as 86 mph and worked comfortably in the low- to mid-80s. The righthander has already made a big jump since the last time that Perfect Game has seen him and he looks to be one of the early top prospects from the west coast for the class.

– Vinnie Cervino

Starting at second base for Team BEAST, young Christian Moore (2021, Brooklyn, N.Y.) shows promising two-way potential and the fact that he hasn’t entered high school yet only adds to the intrigue as a prospect. Already listed at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, Moore showed some of the better bat speed on day one with a long and fluid path that will only continue to develop as he grows into his frame.

On the mound though is where Moore truly stood out and though it was just a quick two-inning look, the righthander showed plenty to like and will certainly have college coaches monitoring his progress. His delivery is rather simple with limited moving parts and repeats it well while showing a full and fast arm stroke through the back side. On top of the ball consistently, Moore came out of the bullpen and extinguished the bases loaded jam, sitting in the 85-87 mph range from a higher three-quarters release. He attacked hitters with his fastball throwing just one curveball and did a nice job of locating to his glove side with late running life. Given his frame, age, and arm speed there are a lot of components to like in regards to Moore and it’s just the beginning for the young Brooklyn native.

Joining Moore up the middle is fellow Brooklyn native Bryan Padilla (2020, Brooklyn, N.Y.), who already has college recruiters circling his name in their programs. A primary shortstop, Padilla shows the tools to stick in the infield at the next level, with quick footwork though it’s his arm strength that may be his biggest asset on defense. Whether it’s to the backhand in the hole or on the mound where he was up to 86 mph last night, Padilla has the strength and carry to complete the throw with relative ease. There are some timing mechanisms to his swing with a high leg lift trigger but when he’s on time the uncommitted Padilla shows a direct path with present bat speed through the zone.

Joshua Johnson (2020, Henderson, Nev.) took the mound for LVR in their second game and impressed with what he currently brings to the mound and what he could develop into long term. Listed as a primary shortstop in the program, where he shows sound defensive actions and obvious arm strength, Johnson has made significant strides over the last calendar year as he went from topping out at 78 mph at the West Coast Underclass to bumping 88 mph last night against Team Elite.

Staying short through the backside and showing plenty of arm speed, Johnson did an excellent job of generating hard plane to the lower third of the strike zone and did so with solid running life. Early in the contest his fastball sat in the 84-87 mph range, bumping an 88 from the same high three-quarters slot. His curveball was a solid secondary offering with 11-to-5 shape in the 72-74 mph range, showing nice depth to the bottom of the strike zone while flashing an upper-70s changeup. He shows an up-tempo pace to his delivery and maintains it well while showing an understanding of pitching and a feel for the strike zone.

Noah Carabajal (2020, Las Vegas, Nev.) was handed the ball game one, and, like Johnson, shows a lean and projectable 5-foot-11, 155-pound frame with plenty of room to fill throughout. A primary second baseman according to his Perfect Game profile, Carabajal opened the game showing a quick right arm and ran his fastball upwards of 84 mph while living in the low-80s early on. The velocity comes rather easy for him and he generates steadying two-seam life through the zone and projects for more as he continues to involve additional lower half into his drive. He flashed a curveball in the low-80s and lived predominately off his fastball, scattering three hits over four innings and punched out two.

Just as he showed in his first Perfect Game event of the year, lefthanded hitting Gavin Mez (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.) continued to find the barrel and did so with balance and fluidity in LVR’s first game, going 2-for-3 with a couple of singles. One of the more physical players on the roster at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, Mez hasn’t put the gear on yet behind the plate over the first two games but the bat is a tool you make quick note of. With an easy swing and loose hands, Mez is only going to continue to add bat speed as he develops physically and already shows a handle for the barrel, singling to his pull side in his first at-bat before lining the ball back up the middle in his next trip.

Brett Blomquist (2021, Acworth, Ga.) is a young switch-hitting hitter I’ll continue to check in on throughout the tournament as he shows components to his swing that project and also play right now. At a wiry, strong 6-foot, 150-pound build, Blomquist bats leadoff for Elite Baseball Training and went 1-for-2 on the night with a deeply hit double. Showing an aggressive but balance approach, Blomquist turned on the first pitch he saw later in the game and was able to clear the left fielder’s head while showing loose hands and present bat speed.

Up to 85 mph earlier in the summer, shortstop and righthanded pitcher Michael Braswell (2021, Mableton, Ga.) took the mound for Team Elite and bumped 84 with his fastball en route to picking up the win. Showing a longer whip-like arm action through the back, Braswell was able to generate both solid arm speed and angle with a tough look for opposing hitters. Given his release there’s enough life on his fastball to stay off barrels and miss them entirely as evidenced by his six punchouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. On top of the fastball Braswell also showed an 11-to-5 shaped curveball in the upper-60s and flashed a changeup at 70 mph. He’s a primary shortstop who has shown well on both sides of the ball throughout the summer with athletic actions up the middle and a quick righthanded swing.

The Banditos have a quality roster once again at the 14U level and have more than a couple of bats who are worthy following throughout the tournament. Two of those bats, Bryant Colon (2021, Greenacres, Fla.) and Ariel Garcia (2021, Miami, Fla.), showed components to their swings last night that certainly need to be followed moving forward.

Colon, a primary outfielder, is a righthanded hitter who has shown well in the past and quickly got the Banditos on the board with an RBI single which he put past the first base bag showing a loose swing and present bat speed. Garcia is the team’s starting shortstop and he handled the barrel well, showing a quick swing the through the zone while picking up multiple base hits in their first game of the tournament. He projects as well as any player on the roster at a long and lean 6-foot, 140-pounds and is one payer we will be keeping a close eye on as the tournament unfolds.

Juhlien Gonzalez (2021, Southwest Ranches, Fla.) and his talents have already been noticed on the national scene, evidenced by his commitment to Florida International which he has already secured. Listed as a primary third baseman where we’ve seen smooth, athletic actions from him in the past, Gonzalez was handed the ball for game one and was tasked with shutting down a difficult East Cobb Astros’ lineup; and he did just that in a complete game effort.

Though he may not run his fastball up like some other arms in the tournament, topping out at 82 mph but living comfortably in the low-80s, Gonzalez shows the ability to pump the strike zone with pretty simple and repeatable delivery. He mixed in a 68-70 mph curveball frequently with short depth down in the zone and did a nice job of getting good hitters off balance and out front by mixing regularly. And while he was able to induce weak contact, he was also able to miss bats and finished the outing with nine punch outs. Gonzalez also went 1-for-2 in game one before driving a deep triple to center field in the next game, showing sound bat speed through the zone. 

– Jheremy Brown

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