Tournaments | Story | 7/27/2017

PG World Series Day 3 Notes

Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Perfect Game

Day 1 Notes
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14u PG World Series: Daily Leaders
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15u PG World Series: Daily Leaders
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16u PG World Series: Daily Leaders | Player Stats

A couple of uncommitted righthanders got the 16u PG World Series underway as Dylan Eskew (2019, Tampa, Fla.) and Dominic Cancellieri (2019, Wayne, N.J.) squared off against one another to start the time slot.

Both players delivered strong starts, but Eskew was perhaps the most surprising as he threw in his first PG event in two years and was extremely impressive. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Florida native has extremely long limbs with a very lean frame with tons of physical projection remaining.

The relative ease and fluidity of the delivery is what stood out with little effort through the release and a clean and easy arm. Eskew got over his front side very well and for a good stretch in the middle innings it appeared as If he was just playing catch out there. The landing foot was a bit inconsistent but regardless of that he could get to either side of the plate whenever he wanted to.

The arm speed was very good as well, and he maintained his velocity very well late into the outing. The fastball touched 90 mph a couple of times throughout and was consistently in the 86-90 mph range for the duration of the performance. The pitch had good life to it as he could sink and run it effectively, particularly on batters of the same handedness.

Eskew attacked mostly with fastballs but when he would show his off-speed pitches they were both very effective. There was a changeup in the low-80s and a tight-spinning, short-breaking slider in the low-80s as well. One that comes to memory is a slider that he buried low and away from a righthanded hitter to rack up a strikeout to end the third inning.

Cancellieri matched Eskew almost pitch-for-pitch on Wednesday morning as he showed off a quality two-pitch mix of his own. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound righthander recently impressed at a PG showcase last year and has made a big jump in velocity from then until now. After topping out at 83 mph during the Northeast Underclass Showcase, Cancellieri reached 91 mph during the 16u WWBA National Championship and was up to 90 mph on Wednesday.

Cancellieri throws from a nearly over-the-top arm slot with a more compact arm action that utilizes a soft plunge near the back of the arm path. The fastball worked in the mid- to upper 80s throughout the duration and the combination of his release point and arm slot allowed for him to generate good downhill plane when located in the lower third of the strike zone. He showed good confidence in his curveball, an offering that showed consistent 12-to-6 shape. When he got on top of the pitch well it would show quality depth and rack up some chases as well. The command of the fastball and willingness to go to curveball in any count helped to keep hitters off balance and the nine strikeouts in six innings certainly shows that. The breaking ball has shown to be a legitimate offspeed pitch and gives him a strikeout weapon going forward.

Another uncommitted righthander who impressed was Sebastian Thomas (2019, Brookhaven, Ga.) during 643 DP Cougar’s victory in their first game of a doubleheader. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound righthander tossed five strong innings and showed off some very interesting tools in the process. He has good present size for a starting pitcher with the height and strength to go long into games. The arm has some whip to it and the arm strength certainly stands out as he topped out at 88 mph for the afternoon. The fastball itself was mostly true in terms of life but was best when located low in the zone in order to induce weak, ground ball contact. Thomas also has a pretty solid feel to spin the ball as the curveball showed good shape and break. Thomas has a strong present two-pitch mix and has already proved himself to be the workhorse for the Cougars over the summer.

Chase Krogman (2019, Dardenne Prairie, Mo.) occupied the leadoff role for the St. Louis Pirates on Wednesday morning and he showed an intriguing overall skill-set in the batter’s box. The lefthander stands at 5-foot-11, 171-pounds with good overall athleticism and speed that plays in-game. Krogman showed his speed hustling around the bases for a triple during the game and recorded a 4.50 second time to first base on the turn. The swing itself is short and quick through the hitting zone and travels through an inside hand path. Krogman collected two hits on the day and showed quality bat-to-ball skills and a contact-oriented approach in the process that makes him a good archetype of a leadoff hitter.

A player who has shown consistent improvement over the summer, and continues to do so is Team Elite righthander Landon Sims (2019, Cumming, Ga.), and he turned in yet another strong performance on Wednesday afternoon. The physical righthander has a very strong frame at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds and that is one of the factors that has allowed him to carry his velocity deep into games.

The consistency of his velocity is what stood out during his performance on Wednesday as he was still able to bump 93 mph and 94 mph during the seventh inning of his outing. There is some effort to the overall delivery and Sims came out to start the game working 91-93 mph and finished out the game the same way. He attacked the opposition with fastballs that showed sink and he could work the pitch to either side of the plate effectively. The Mississippi State commit racked up seven strikeouts during the outing and continues to show why he is one of the top overall prospects for the 2019 class.

Perhaps the most interesting performance of the day came from an abbreviated outing of Jack Kochanowicz (2019, Bala Cynwyd, Penn.) for the Banditos. The 6-foot-6 righthander has tremendous size with long and lanky limbs that indicate excellent physical projection remaining for him. The arm action is loose and whippy with very good arm speed to boot. The fastball right now worked in the 88-90 mph range with a ton of room on the frame and in the arm to indicate that he will throw very hard in the near future. The Virginia commit extends well toward the plate and was mostly synced up between his lower and upper halves. Kochanowicz also mixed in a curveball in the low-70s that will continue to improve, but Kochanowicz is a prospect that should be closely monitored over the next year.

Another outstanding outing on the mound came from Perfect Game’s No. 7 overall prospect for the class Alex Greene (2020, Edgewater, Md.). The Virginia commit was outstanding on Wednesday evening, keeping a potent Banditos lineup at bay for five and two-thirds scoreless.

Greene is one of the more projectable prospects in the class with a very lean and athletic frame that will allow for more strength to be added. The arm is very fast and whippy through the arm path and that allow shim to generate big velocity, especially when you consider he was only just a freshman last high school season. Greene’s delivery does get a bit arm heavy at times, but with the arm speed being what it is he can blow fastballs by hitters.

The fastball worked up to 91 mph in the first inning and he showed the ability to carry his velocity deep into outings. The velocity did dip a bit as the outing went on but he pulled out 89 mph and 90 mph pitches when he needed a bit out or was in a bit situation late in the game. The breaking ball was impressive too as it flashed tight shape and he could manipulate the spin depending on how much depth he is looks for in a given situation.

Greene pounded strikes early on and had a number of low-stress innings before allowing the first hit. The Richmond Braves ultimately ended up dropping their game, however Greene certainly left it all on the table with a tremendous performance.

One of the hitters to have some success off Greene was talented shortstop Samuel Infante (2020, Hialeah, Fla.). The Miami commit is a versatile and athletic prospect who has been detailed previously over the course of the summer and turned in one of the bigger offensive performances of the game. Infante’s defense has been noted before and he was just as surehanded on Wednesday, whether it was making a routine play or turning double plays with ease. Offensively, he had two hits including, up to that point, the biggest hit of the game. With under two outs, Infante laced an opposite field triple to right centerfield. That was only the fifth combined hit of the game and, in a scoreless tie, was set up to be a big run. Infante was moving around the bases quickly as he reached first on the turn in 4.5 seconds and although he would not come around to score, the Banditos broke the game open an inning later.

Christian Webb (2019, Decatur, Ga.) showed off his very impressive arm strength during the Big Stix victory on Wednesday night. The catcher gunned out two runners and the arm strength is a strong tool at this stage of his development. The throws were strong and downhill with the accuracy impressing just as much. On the second runner thrown out, Webb blocked a curveball in the dirt, scurried over, and made a strong and accurate throw to the bag. The throw seemingly carried the tag directly to the runner and earlier in the game he threw the runner out by more than a couple of feet. Offensively, he has a short and quick swing with an even plane. The approach is line drive oriented and there are tools there to be a high-end hitter.

Seemingly one of the most productive hitters of the summer, Judson Fabian (2019, Ocala, Fla.) continued to add to his legend on Wednesday night as he crushed a very long grand slam deep to left field. The only doubt about whether or not the ball would be a home run was whether or not it would stay fair, and as the ball sailed over the foul pole Fabian celebrated with an outstanding bat flip. The pitch left the bat at 98 mph and traveled approximately 362 feet and broke the game open for the Scorpions. The Florida commit has outstanding barrel control with a consistent, lofted swing plane that allows him to drive the ball into the air and, often, for big power.

Coming in relief for DRB Elite was former PG Select Festival participant Hank Bearden (2020, Rocky Face, Ga.), and he showed why he is one of the top arms for the class. The lean righthander stands at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds and has good athleticism and overall skills too; Bearden hit in the cleanup spot before coming in to pitch.

What stands out about the profile is the arm speed and it was very impressive on Wednesday night. The arm action is full through the back with an upper half turn near the top of the delivery that adds some length to the overall delivery. He gets it through very quickly and worked his fastball in the 86-89 mph range and was consistently on time.

Bearden pounded strikes early on in the outing and showed good confidence in his breaking ball. The pitch showed good shape and occasional depth; he was not afraid to go to the pitch in any count. The breaking ball could be thrown for strikes and often froze hitters over the front door side of the plate. Bearden is a tremendous prospect and should continue to succeed as his career rages on.

– Vinnie Cervino

You couldn’t be much better than lefthander and 14u PG Select Festival alum Jackson Phipps (2020, Dallas, Ga.) was last night for his 643 club as he fired five innings of no-hit baseball, helping lead his team to a 9-0 run-rule shortened victory. One of the more physical arms in attendance at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, the uncommitted Phipps continued his string of strong performances and has certainly solidified himself on college coach’s radars.

While he’ll continue to refine his lower half mechanics and has already begun to do so compared to prior viewings, Phipps is able to produce an easy upper-80s fastball (bumping as high as 91 mph in the fourth inning) with a quick and clean arm stroke. In the process of striking out ten Phipps showed the ability to live down in the zone with his heater and did so with short running life when spotted to his glove side. His curveball also developed throughout the outing, showing a softer version early with sweeping depth before running it up to 75 mph with tighter and short break through the zone. Phipps is already touching 90 mph and is entering just his sophomore year of high school, a rather impressive feat for the young lefthander.

Kevin Karstetter’s (2020, State College, Pa.) 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame doesn’t suggest he’s just set to begin his sophomore year of high school and his play throughout the tournament thus far adds to that notion. Karstetter, who’s listed as a primary shortstop on his PG profile, has been manning third base for the Canes and has does a nice job in my few looks, bringing his middle of the infield athleticism to the hot corner. He moves well on his feet and remains balanced while charging in, just as he showed to make a barehanded play which he finished with a crossbody throw. Collecting a hit in each of the first three games of pool play, the No. 115 ranked player in the class of 2020 is now hitting .429 and shows a quick, strong swing through the zone.

Coming off the BCS tournament in which he hit .688 for MVP Beast, Jordan Andrade (2020, Yucaipa, Calif.) and his team made the trek up to Georgia where the young Washington commit has put his defensive talents on display. Not overly physical at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds but well-built and loose, Andrade is able to capture one’s attention best with his defensive play and he did just that yesterday afternoon. Andrade, who isn’t listed in the program, made a play up the middle with clean and bouncy actions before showing plenty of arm across the diamond, creating a “who’s that” type moment before seeing Andrade’s name. With his footwork and overall athleticism and skill up the middle it’s easy to see why the Huskies wanted to lock up the young talent out of California at an early age.

Righthander Charez Butcher (2020, Kokomo, Ind.) has a special arm and there’s no doubting that as he once again showed some of the easier velocity you’ll find at this age, running his fastball up to 92 mph once again after showing the same top bolt last week in the 15u WWBA. He took the hill at LakePoint Wednesday night against a talent LVR squad, and though his team didn’t pick up the win, the uncommitted Butcher still showed plenty of ingredients which college coaches took note of.

Butcher is a long-limbed, highly athletic and still very projectable 6-foot-3, 198-pounds and he uses his right arm like a whip through the back, generating a fastball that lived in the 88-91 mph range early on, bumping 92 a couple of times. He didn’t show a consistent release point within his delivery, which led to six walks, but when his upper and lower halves were on time with his arm action he was able to work either side of the plate and miss bats in the process. One thing that stood out as a big improvement from my prior viewing of the talented righthander was his curveball, a pitch he was able to throw for strikes and did so while generating 12-to-6 shape on the pitch. Up to 72 mph with the pitch, Butcher worked on top of the ball well showing consistent shape and it’ll only continue to improve as he maintains the same fast arm action as he shows on his heater.

One of the youngster players in the 15u portion of the event, righthander Tyler Whitaker (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.) has yet to enter high school but also shows big talent on the diamond with plenty of long-term projectability. Currently ranked No. 10 in the class of 2021 rankings, the young 6-foot-3 Whitaker is already committed to the University of Arizona and last night spun four innings of one-hit baseball to help his team win the run-ruled game.

Though he wasn’t up to 87 mph like he’s shown earlier in the year at West Memorial Day, Whitaker did live comfortably in the 80-84 mph and features a compact arm action through the back with which he’s able to work on top of the ball rather consistently. The ball comes out of Whitaker’s hand easy and with tempo and balance to his delivery, he repeated well pitch-to-pitch and filled the strike zone with his heater. He struck out five on the night and was in control from the opening frame, mixing in a 72-74 mph curveball with nice depth for strikes while repeating his arm action and release point.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and in regards to a couple of power hitters who put their strength on display yesterday, the expression couldn’t be more true. Cole Latos (2020, Allen, Texas) and Yanluis Ortiz (2020, Grapevine, Texas) might have been playing on different quads for different teams but they made their presence felt with powerful righthanded strokes and loud, hard contact. Latos, who’s listed at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, announced his strength with an exclamation point, driving a fastball 390-feet per TrackMan which left the bat at 101 mph for a no-doubt shot off the barrel. Ortiz’s piece stayed within the yard, though we’ve seen him lose more than a baseball or two already, but it was an impressive piece of hitting as he lined a hard double to opposite field gap, showing solid extension and big life off the barrel.

Cole Stupp (2019, Milton, Ga.) is an arm I hadn’t seen previously but is certainly one I hope to get another look or two at in the near future as he offers a combination of present stuff and projectability on top of spinning one of the better curveballs I saw throughout yesterday’s action. At 6-foot-4, 180-pounds the physical projection is clear given his long, lean build and given the ease of which he’s able to produce his velocity it’s very conceivable there are a couple more ticks in the tank. Working the last two-plus innings for DRB Elite, Stupp sat in the 85-88 mph range with a full and clean arm action, showing nice extension out front and consistently working on top of the ball. The difference maker for Stupp however was his curveball, a harder pitch up to 77 mph with late bite and consistent shape which he showed the ability to locate for a strike on any given pitch.

Masyn Winn (2020, Kingwood, Texas) is quickly becoming a staple in Perfect Game events after taking home MV-Pitcher honors from last week’s 15u WWBA and once again impressed with his stuff on the mound late Wednesday night. Despite being listed at 5-foot-8, 145-pounds, it might be difficult to find an arm in the tournament who’s able to generate more arm speed as the young righthander lived in the 90-92 mph range in his lone inning of work and did so while pounding the ball downhill with plane and life to his glove side. It was pure attack mode for the uncommitted Winn as he worked predominately off his fastball though he did mix in a slider or two in the mid-70s with late break through the zone.

Two arms out of Michigan who took the mound in the 16u portion due to their early birthdays, both Spencer Schwellenbach (2018, Saginaw, Mich.) and William English (2018, Taylor, Mich.) showed elements that will have scouts intrigued come spring. An established name on the national scene, Schwellenbach is a Nebraska commit and current top-100 prospect thanks to his two-way abilities and strong right arm while English continues to build a track record and has impressed in each of his last two outing this summer.

Schwellenbach, who’s listed as a primary shortstop, shows the athleticism and actions up the middle that you’d expect from a high-level prospect and he’s able to immediate demand your attention when he takes to the mound. Up to 94 mph in this outing while living in the low-90s, Schwellenbach generates the velocity rather easily with a balanced and athletic delivery, staying short through the back with his arm action while showing solid arm speed prior to release. He does a nice job of maintaining his release point on his mid-70s curveball which offered solid depth and 12-to-6 shape while also showing a harder slider up to 80 mph and turned over a nice changeup at 84 mph.

Uncommitted according to his Perfect Game profile, English offers plenty of physical projection which when his arm speed is factored into the equation, it won’t be much of a shock if reports have him sitting in the low-90s come spring. At 6-foot-3, 185-pounds English ran his fastball up to 90 mph early while living in the upper-80s and did so while generating hard angle to his glove side and short running life down in the zone. He will undoubtedly throw harder in the very near future, especially as he continues to refine his mechanics and develop physically, but the velocity he currently shows comes easy for the righthander who also spun a short slider in the mid-70s for strikes.

Kale Davis (2019, Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Michael Polk (2019, Alpharetta, Ga.) threw on adjacent fields in the opening round of the 16u portion of the World Series and both impressed the slew of college coaches in attendance thanks to their present abilities and what they could develop into at the next level.

More physical of the two, Davis once again put together a solid performance for the Midwest Elite and despite being 6-foot-3, 208-pounds, the uncommitted righthander showed plenty of balance and the ability to repeat his delivery well pitch-to-pitch. With steady tempo throughout, Davis ran his fastball up to 89 mph early in the contest, working on top of the ball from a high three-quarters slot to generate steady plane with lots of strikes. The velocity comes easy for Davis who was still working in the mid-80s by the end of his outing with the same set of mechanics he showed early on, working over his front side while staying short through the back. He also showed nice hand speed on his curveball and landed the pitch for strikes regularly, keeping the 74-76 mph pitch down in the zone and will only improve with added consistency to his release point.

It was a quick look at Polk but you couldn’t help but be intrigued with what the young uncommitted righthander has to offer long term, especially as he continues to fill out his long 6-foot-2 frame. Working just one inning to close things out, Polk ran his fastball up to 90 mph and did so while showing a clean, fast arm action through the back and repeatedly pound the fastball to the knees of opposing hitters. Polk lived in the upper-80s and filled the strike zone, particularly to his glove side with late life, with a relatively easy release and should continue to develop his breaking ball which he flashed at 70 mph.

– Jheremy Brown

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