Tournaments | Story | 9/29/2017

Kernels Day 1 Scout Notes

Patrick Ebert         Kevin Schuver         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
Photo: Perfect Game

2017 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship: Daily Leaders

Righthanded pitcher Duncan Davitt (2018, Indianola, Iowa) was given the nod for the Sticks to open up Friday night at Alburnett High School.  The Iowa commit looked to attack the zone with a fastball that sat between 86-88 mph in his first few innings of work. Davitt shows very good arm speed through extension that generated explosive sink when locating to the bottom of the zone. The 2018 grad proved to be effectively wild in his outing, allowing zero runs in four innings of work on 64 pitches.

Carter Troncin (2018, Urbandale, Iowa) got things going early for Iowa Sticks Scout with a three-run home run to deep left field in the top of the first. The 6-foot, 180-pound infielder showed a naturally lofted swing plane with present bat speed that generated good lift and carry to the gaps when squared.

Luke Yacinich (2018, Adel, Iowa) supplied two doubles of his own for Iowa Sticks Scout. Yacinich drove his first double to left-center field and finished the day with a sharp line drive over the center fielder’s head. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound uncommitted prospect generated very good extension through the zone that allows him to stay on multiple pitch types. The Adel native flashed very good jump off the barrel when he is able to get his hand extended at contact point.

Righthanded pitcher Luke Lamm (2018, Bolingbrook, Ill.) of Longshots Baseball Teal also got the starting nod. Lamm consistently worked his fastball in the low- to mid-80s, showing solid running action with sink from a three-quarters arm slot. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder hid the baseball well at take back that generated some extra jump on hitters with his fastball. The uncommitted prospect really relied on getting strike one before working in his slider and changeup. Lamm shoed excellent arm speed with his changeup producing weak contact throughout his outing due to late fade to his arm side.

Paddy McKermitt (2018, Hampshire, Ill.) reached in his first three at-bats, including two sharp singles in his second and third at-bats. McKermitt proved to be a very difficult out due to his disciplined, mature approach at the plate. The 5-foot-7 infielder utilized a compact, line drive swing plane with the barrel control to work to all fields.

Justin Dunne (2018, St. Charles, Ill.) had a fantastic night at the plate collecting three hits in his three at-bats. Dunne showed a dangerous combination of balance, strength and bat speed in his swing that is sure to play nicely at the next level. The sixth-ranked 2018 third baseman from the state of Illinois highlighted his night with a sharp line drive to deep center field in his final at-bat that pushed the Longshots lead to 7-4.

The most clutch hit of the night came off the bat Longshots catcher Brett Riegler (2018, Downers Grove, Ill.). Riegler turned on a 78 mph fastball, driving a two-run single to right-center field in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at four. The Longshots No. 3 hitter utilized a smooth, naturally lifted swing plane with a high contact approach.

St. Louis Pirates (RSB) righthanded pitcher Reid Hendrickson (2018, Glen Carbon, Ill.) was lights out while on the mound. The uncommitted prospect featured a fastball that generated steep downhill tilt through the zone with occasional heavy run in the low- to mid-80s, topping at 86 mph. Hendrickson also utilized an off-speed mix of a 12-to-6 curveball, 9-to-4 slider and a changeup. The 2018 grad’s curveball generated very tight spin out of hand with hard, late depth to the bottom of the zone while his changeup flashed late sink with fade to his arm side. Hendrickson cruised through his first three innings striking out eight of nine batters faced before losing some feel for fastball in his last 1 1/3 innings of work. The Illinois native finished by working 4 1/3 innings, allowing zero earned runs on one hit while striking out 10 batters.

Michael Long (2019, Ellisville, Mo.) showed an aggressive approach at the plate attacking the first pitch he saw in two of his three at-bats. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound outfielder swung with intent to drive the baseball with authority. He flashed the present bat speed to turn the barrel to contact generating hard contact to his pull side when squared. Long singled sharply in his first two at-bats, turning on a fastball located on the inner half to left field.

St. Louis Pirates shortstop Nolan Wosman (2019, Palmyra, Mo.) also collected two hits created with very loud, hard contact in each trip he took to the plate. The Arkansas commit has present strength throughout his frame that translates into plus bat speed at the plate. Wosman, currently ranked as the 39th shortstop in the class of 2019, shows natural barrel leverage that allows him to drive the baseball with authority to all fields with ease.

Pitching out of the bullpen for Fastball USA, Xander Rojhan (2019, Elk Grove Village, Ill.) generated very good arm speed and showed an explosive fastball with very heavy life in the upper-80s, topping out at 89 mph. Primarily releasing the ball from a high three-quarters slot he created good downhill tilt through the zone. Rojhan lowered his arm slot to a true three-quarters action when delivering his changeup and overall worked a very quick inning allowing no baserunners while striking out two batters on nine pitches.

– Kevin Schuver

Three pitchers combined to carry Iowa Select Black 2018 to a 5-3 win over 29ers Baseball on Friday afternoon as the two team’s exchanged three run innings in the fifth.

Uncommitted 2018 righthander Casey Day (2018, Ely, Iowa) got the starting nod and worked the first three frames, allowing only one base hit and a walk (the first batter of the game) during that time while striking out six. Day works extremely fast with a good build with some present strength as well as some room for more, listed at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds. His fastball sat in the 80-84 mph range, touching 86, and he commanded the pitch well to the corners. He was at his best establishing his fastball early in the count to set up a sharp 12-to-6 breaking curveball in the low-70s that he did a nice job dropping in for strikes and also getting empty swings down in the zone.

Connor Van Scoyoc (2018, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was called upon next and his strength and athleticism immediately stood out thanks to his powerfully built 6-foot-5, 200-pound stature. Van Scoyoc established his big fastball early, pounding 86-88 mph strikes, touching 90, before putting hitters away with a sharp 72-74 mph curveball. His fastball has some late-running two-seam action to it, doing a good job keeping the ball down in the zone when he was at his best to create weak contact. He did run into some trouble in his second inning of work, with a poorly thrown ball to second base after fielding a tapper back at him that ended up in center field, and later a wild pitch, but only one of the three runs he allowed were earned, striking out four in the process.

Van Scoyoc also displayed his strength in the batter’s box, hitting a broken bat single that he muscled into left field.

After Iowa Select Black answered the 29ers three runs in the bottom of the fifth yet another strongly-built righthander was summoned to close out the game over the final two frames, Iowa commit Clayton Nettleton (2018, Davenport, Iowa). Although not as intimidating at Van Scoyoc, Nettleton offered a physical presence (6-foot-2, 205-pounds) of his own on the mound, using that size well to work downhill with a 88-89 mph fastball that touched 91 twice in his two innings of work. The opposing hitters had a hard time catching up with his heater, which he wasn’t afraid to challenge them inside and up in the zone with, and then they had no chance timing his 75-77 sweeping curveball. He made quick work in his two innings, commanding both his fastball and curveball well while mixing in a promising 82 mph changeup once, allowing just a walk in his dominant two-inning stint while fanning six.

Another Iowa commit, shortstop Brayden Frazier (2018, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) had the biggest hit of the game as part of Iowa Select Black’s three-run fifth, lacing a run-scoring triple down the right field line that tied the game 3-3. He later scored the go-ahead and eventual winning run on an RBI single off the bat of Kade Vander Molen (2018, Pella, Iowa). Frazier showed good speed underway around the basepaths and also displayed a strong, accurate arm from the shortstop position during the game.

– Patrick Ebert

It was a fine start to the tournament for the Dodgers Scout Team as they no-hit a tough opponent in the Top Tier Americans and walked away with a closely contested 2-0 victory. This was largely due to an outstanding performance on the mound from 6-foot, 185-pound Nebraska commit Shay Schanaman (2018, Hastings, Neb.). Schanaman tossed four innings in the opening game win, collecting six strikeouts while allowing just one baserunner, a walk in his final inning. He used an overpowering fastball from 84-88 mph that he was easily able to command around the edge of the plate to get ahead of almost every batter he faced. Then, later in counts, he mixed his fastball with a sharp slider that had some late, two-plane movement that has good swing-and-miss potential at 76-78 mph.

On the opposite side of the field it was a tough loss for 6-foot-3, 195-pound righty Michael Gurka (2019, Clarendon Hills, Ill.). On a night where both pitchers were near flawless, it came down to whichever one got the unlucky bounce, and it just so happened to be Gurka. He was able to avoid getting barreled up all night, generating plenty of weak contact and ground balls to his infielders. He pitched four solid innings and recorded eight ground ball outs, along with one flyout and three strikeouts. Gurka didn’t blow hitters away but he had great command of his fastball at the knees at 81-84 mph. He also flashed a 12-to-6 curveball that he kept buried and a changeup that had some arm-side sink to it.

Gurka’s two charged runs, and ultimately the game’s only runs, would come on a tough play for the second baseman as the throw sailed wide of first.

Playing behind Gurka, and making several plays for him was 6-foot-2, 170-pound shortstop Jalen Greer (2019, Chicago, Ill.). The Missouri commit showed off some great skills defensively, which helped solidify his No. 2 rank at the position in Illinois. Flashing some great range to both his glove and arm side, Greer was able to get to balls not all shortstops can get to. He has an extremely smooth transfer, and gets rid of the ball almost before you realize he’s fielded it.

Richie Holetz (2018, Edina, Ill.), a 6-foot-4, 200-pound righthanded pitcher, really shined for the Minnesota Starters 18u team and got their tournament started on the right foot. Tossing five innings of two-run baseball, Holetz was able to collect the win for his team. He has a fastball that explodes out of his hand, topping out at 87 mph, and he used his curveball to keep hitters off-balance, with tight spin and some good depth to the pitch.

One of the hitters that backed Holetz was 5-foot-9, 165-pound right fielder Chester Dixon (2018, Edina, Minn.). Chester went 3-for-4 in the game with two singles hit the opposite way into right field, along with an RBI ground ball up the middle. Dixon didn’t show incredible pop at the plate but what he did show was the ability to control his barrel and make great contact no matter where the ball was pitched.

Another batter that had a good day for the Minnesota Starters 18u was 6-foot, 175-pounder Ryan Wrobleski (2018, Eden Prairie, Minn.). The big first baseman collected a couple of hits in three tries, along with a walk in his final at-bat. Wrobleski certainly tries to pull the ball and that’s where he’s able to hit it the hardest. His two hits were both to the pull side, a single between short and third along with an RBI single that was hit hard but knocked down by the third baseman. Wrobleski collected another RBI on a hard ground ball to the shortstop’s arm side that was ruled an error.

– Taylor Weber

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