Tournaments : : Story
Friday, October 13, 2017

World Championship Pool Preview

Brian Sakowski         Vincent Cervino         Jheremy Brown         Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game


2017 WWBA World Championship Event Page

All 22 pools, A through V, for the 2017 WWBA World Championship will be released and previewed over the span of two days on Thursday, October 12 and Friday, October 13. Be sure to check out the Perfect Game homepage as well as the main event page for links to the full tournament schedule, standings, playoff bracket, daily scout recaps and feature stories leading up to and carrying through this year's WWBA World Championship to be held at the Roger Dean Sports Complex in Jupiter, Fla., Oct. 19-23.

The full schedule for the 2017 WWBA World Championship is now available: 2017 WWBA World Championship Schedule

Click on the team name link to view each team's schedule and roster.



Pool A

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
5 Star National Brandon Howlett
98
2018 Carter Raffield 66
2018 Warner Robins, GA
AZ D-Backs Scout Team
Jonathan Ornelas 303 2018 Chandler Murphy 65 2019 Phoenix, AZ
Kentucky Baseball Club Prime Trace Willhoite 276 2019 Charles Braxton Cottongame 500 2018 Nicholasville, KY
Mets Scout Team Vinny Tosti 53 2018 Hayden Mullins 184 2019 New York, NY

Projected Pool Winner:  5 Star National
Brandon Howlett, 5 Star National
One of several powerhouse teams hailing from the Southeast region, 5 Star National is the projected winner of Pool A in this year’s WWBA World Championship. They have a significant stable of arms, including highly-touted ‘18’s in Carter Raffield and Levi Kelly to go along with ’19 Isaiah Bennett. They shouldn’t have any trouble hitting either with Brandon Howlett and Aaron Sabato both providing significant righthanded power that should play well in the middle of their lineup. The depth here, as it is with any team, is extremely important as it’s not always the most talented team who comes away with the title, but rather, the deepest. 
 
Dark Horse:  AZ D-Backs Scout Team
With a roster compiled entirely of players from the state of Arizona, the D-Backs Scout Team will be one of the few (and perhaps only) team with players coming from a single state. Jonathan Ornelas has proven himself to be one of the better defenders west of the Mississippi, and he should lead the charge offensively from near the top of the lineup. Bobby Meza, Jr. has shown serious potential both on the mound and with the bat, and he should provide some needed power from the middle of the lineup. A 2019 prospect will lead the charge on the mound, as Chandler Murphy comes in ranked as the 65th best player in the class, and should be able to go toe-to-toe with any of the respective aces of the other staffs in this pool. 

What To Watch For: 5 Star's Raffield and Kelly
It’s notable that at this point in the season, the majority of the higher-ranked arms have been shut down and are not participating in this event. However, there’s always a good number of highly-ranked pitchers who come to Jupiter looking to prove something, and it just so happens that 5 Star National has two of them in Carter Raffield and Levi Kelly. Both are well-regarded righthanded pitching prospects, and both have shown flashes of the kind of stuff that can rocket them up boards with good performances. It’ll be interesting to see if they make some serious noise next week on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
 
– Brian Sakowski



Pool B


Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Banditos Black
Andres Antonini 500 2018 Victor Mederos 3 2020 Tomball, TX
Cangelosi Sparks
Sam Jones 500 2018 Evan Tenuta 500 2018 Lockport, IL
Houston Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad
Triston Casas 23 2018 Cole Winn 58 2018 Pembroke Pines, FL
Ontario Blue Jays Noah Naylor 22 2018 Jared Evans T1000 2018 Toronto, ON

Projected Pool Winner: Houston Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad
Triston Casas, Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad Prime
Boasting one of the most impressive rosters of the entire event, the Houston Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad have a legitimate chance to walk away with the championship. The roster is loaded with talent including two PG All-Americans in Triston Casas and Blaze Alexander and many other Division I committed seniors including Cory Acton, Henry Anthony Vilar, Michael Montes De Oca, Roberto Pena and Adrian Del Castillo. The bats will be loud for them throughout the weekend and the pitching staff will likely dictate how far they make it during the week. Cole Winn, Juan J. Teixeira and Brendan Bell lead the way, and look for Winn's start to impress as he has been one of the hotter names in terms of early 2018 draft stock. After failing to advance past the first round a year ago, look for the Elite Squad to be hungry and ready to compete this year and it starts with a talented pool. 

Dark Horse: Cangelosi Sparks
With of 10 Division I commits on their roster, don't overlook the potential of the Cangelosi Sparks as their depth throughout the lineup stands out to make some noise in Pool B. The Illinois-based team has players committed to a number of schools throughout the Midwest, and their roster shows a theme that plays well during this time of the year: a lot of talented high school seniors who have played together for a long time. Position players like Sam Jones and Chase Stanke should lead the way offensively while Evan Tenuta and Trey Ricko should see a lot of time on the mound. The scout teams will garner attention with the sheer talent but there is something to be said about a team who has been playing together all season, and the Cangelosi Sparks certainly are one of those squads. 

What To Watch For: Elite Squad Infield
The quality of the position players on the roster was touched on in the earlier paragraph, however it cannot be overstated how dangerous this team's infield can be both offensively and defensively. Blaze Alexander highlights the defensive potential with quick-twitch athleticism and the best recorded arm strength of the class, registering 99 mph across at the PG National Showcase in June, which was a new event record. Triston Casas has made remarkable jumps athletically this summer leading some scouts to think that he can either stick at third base or be an above average defender at first. You will almost assuredly see Cory Acton either at third or second base, and the Florida commit has some of the best barrel skills in the class with the ability to come up with big hits. Roberto Pena, Henry Anthony Vilar, and underclassman Chandler Freeman will also see time around the infield, however none of them has the offensive potential that Casas does. After hammering baseballs all summer long and winning the MVP for USA Baseball, Casas has some of, if not the best power in the entire class that plays to all fields.

– Vincent Cervino 



Pool C

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Banditos Scout Team Hunter Watson 51 2018 Matthew Thompson 7 2019 Houston, TX
Baseball U Patrick Winkel 128 2018 Ryan Kircher 235 2018 New Long Beach, NJ
Miami PG Columbia Blue Lency Delgado 60 2018 Rafael Escandar T1000 2018 Miami, FL
St. Louis Pirates/Elite Baseball Training Christian Franklin 143 2018 Ben Cruikshank 409 2018 St. Louis, MO

Projected Pool Winner: Banditos Scout Team
Hunter Watson, Banditos Scout Team
The Banditos Scout Team have a lot going for them, from the prestige of the program to the overall success their current roster has found. It also features plenty of youth with a strong crop of 2019 graduates, though don’t let that be mistaken for inexperience. Perfect Game All-American and Texas A&M commit Hunter Watson will anchor the defense and provide thump from the middle of their order with his easy power, while fellow infielders Derrick Cherry (Houston), Roberto Pena (Florida), Luis Tuero (Miami) and Anthony Volpe (Vanderbilt) are among the crop committed to Power Five programs. Between lefthander Yordani Carmona and righthander Sanson Faltine the Banditos have two of the highest pitchability arms in the 2019 class which pair nicely with the likes of Matthew Thompson and Jack Kochanowicz who offer power arm options.

Dark Horse: St. Louis Pirates/Elite Baseball Training
For the third year in a row the St. Louis Pirates and Elite Baseball Training have come together to create a must-see team for Midwest scouts in Jupiter. Outfield prospect Christian Franklin will be a main draw both for his athleticism and righthanded bat as he handles the barrel well and wasn’t a regular on the summer circuit, so scouts will be certain to see him as much as possible. Catcher Kurtis Byrne has already established himself as one of the top catchers in next year’s class, in part to the physicality he brings to an offense and his lefthanded stick will be counted on once again. Overall this 24-man roster is comprised of players from 11 different states, and all but three have committed to a Division I school, which speaks to the depth and talent of this club.

What To Watch For: Lency Delgado
Delgado, an Alabama State commit, is a physical specimen at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds and he has the skill-set on both sides of the ball to match. Already established as one of the top prospects in the 2018 class with his current No. 60 ranking, Delgado has a chance to open eyes even further, though he’ll likely have to do it against some impressive arms, especially from the Banditos and their quartet of underclassmen who he’s bound to run into at least one of. Between his bat speed, physicality, defensive acumen and overall athleticism, Delgado is one bat to follow closely throughout this tournament. 

– Jheremy Brown




Pool D

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Baseball Northwest Joe McLaughlin 242 2019 Kyle Yeoward 218 2019 Portland, OR
Braves Scout Team/East Cobb Cabera Weaver 56
2018 Hunter Barco
11
2019 Marietta, GA
Central Florida Gators Elijah Cabell 30 2018 Mason Denaburg 15 2018 Altamonte Springs, FL
Sandlot Scout Team Calvin Harris
96
2020 Connor Van Scoyoc
378
2018 Tulsa, OK

Projected Pool Winner: Braves Scout Team/East Cobb
Cabera Weaver, Braves Scout Team/East Cobb
The Braves Scout Team/East Cobb squad has some of the best players from the East Cobb Astros, MGBA and DRB squads from over the summer, combined to form a Georgia super team of sorts. Pitching could carry this team into bracket play and beyond, with seven arms (three lefties and four righties) ranked among the top 317 players in the class of 2018, the highest ranked of which is lefthander Garrett Wade at No. 87. That group doesn’t include two-way talent Hunter Barco, one of the best players the class of 2019 has to offer who has proven time and time again to provide big performances in big game situations on the mound, with equally timely hits in the batter’s box. They’re built strong up the middle, with four very good catchers that will rotate to find playing time on the infield and outfielder corners, and PG All-American speedster Cabera Weaver patrolling center field.

Dark Horse: Central Florida Gators
It’s hard to label the Gators a dark horse since they advanced to the quarterfinals a year ago, but they will be operating without two of their top players in PG All-Americans Nolan Gorman and Matt Liberatore. Two-way talent Mason Denaburg won't be pitching at this year's event but he has high-level tools as a catcher with a rocket of an arm behind the plate and the ability to hit the ball great distances. Joseph Charles is one of the best pitchers in the class of 2019, as he Gunnar Hoglund, Conner Thurman and Andrew Roberts all have big-game experience on the mound for the Gators. California corner infielder Tony Bullard could help make up for Gorman’s absence while Elijah Cabell, Connor Ollio and Tyler Callihan have been steady contributors on both sides of the ball.

What To Watch For: Pitching Depth
This pool overall is quite deep, as Baseball Northwest and Sandlot are long-time Jupiter participants that could surprise some people. However, it appears as though the pool will be decided by whoever has the better pitching depth between the Braves Scout Team/East Cobb and the Central Florida Gators. Should the team’s two 2019’s – Hunter Barco and Joseph Charles – square off against one another when the two teams play be sure to find a spot to watch the game early as golf carts will be packed together tight from one foul pole to the next.

– Patrick Ebert



Pool E

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Canes American Cam McMillan 140 2018 Stephen Pelli 159 2018 Fredericksburg, VA
Chicago Scouts Assocation John Malcom 41 2018 Spencer Schwellenbach 99 2018 Chicago, IL
Dallas Patriots Stout Beau Wimpee 151 2019 Bryson Lucas
216 2019 Dallas, TX
Georgia PG Texas Orange Bobby Spencer
388 2019 Gabriel Kurtzhals
500 2018 Marietta, GA

Projected Pool Winner: Canes American
John Malcom, Chicago Scouts Association
One of two 2018 Canes' teams in this years World Championship, don't mistake this version to be the 'B' team, as this is an extremely talented, deep bunch who are projected to win their pool. They look to have quality depth throughout their roster at every position, including at the catcher position, where both Luke Leisenring and Hayden Travinski are extremely talented. Stephen Pelli should lead the way on the mound but won't have to shoulder too much of the burden, as he's joined on the staff by Jacob Gilcrest, Wesley Sweatt and a host of others. They shouldn't have a problem hitting either, with both of the aforementioned catchers possessing good hitting tools to go along with other noted hitters Kody Milton, Ryan Archibald and Bryce Greenly, among others. 

Dark Horse: Chicago Scouts Association
This may have been the closest call in terms of projecting a pool winner before ultimately settling on Canes American. The Chicago Scouts Association has a loaded roster for Jupiter, led by Perfect Game All-American John Malcom. Two-way star Spencer Schwellenbach should contribute both on the mound and with the bat, and a pair of lefthanded Louisville commits in Michael Prosecky and Danny Zimmerman should help shoulder the load on the mound for CSA. It's hard to call them a dark horse considering how close they came to be selected pool favorites, so no one should be surprised if they emerge victorious. 

What To Watch For: Spencer Schwellenbach
A legitimate two-way prospect, Schwellenbach was a bit behind the 8 ball on the summer circuit this season. A broken bone in his non-throwing wrist prevented him from potentially participating at the PG National and Tournament of Stars, but that didn't stop him from dominating in Georgia at the 16u WWBA National Championship a few weeks later. A plus athlete who can really play shortstop and hit, scouts see Schwellenbach as more of a pro prospect on the mound long-term, where his athleticism and simplicity of operation serve him well. He's been into the mid-90s with lots of strikes and two quality secondary offerings so scouts will undoubtedly be bearing down on him before the long upper midwestern winter begins. 

– Brian Sakowski




Pool F

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
 Canes National Rece Hinds 2 2019 Austin Becker 17 2018 Fredericksburg, VA
DRB Elite Hudson Sapp 79 2020 Hank Bearden 42 2020 Alpharetta, GA
 Iowa Select Braydon Frazier 422 2018 Clayton Nettleton 200 2018 Cedar Rapids, IA
 Twins Scout Team Trae Harmon 149 2018 Jake Garland 180 2019 Altamonte Springs, FL

Projected Pool Winner: Canes National
Austin Becker, Canes National
The champions of the 17u WWBA National Championship and winners of this event in three of the past four years, Canes National is again primed for a deep run. The pitching staff is what immediately jumps off the page when looking over the roster as they're led by PG All-American Austin Becker. The Vanderbilt commit is joined by other talented seniors including Carter Lohman, Justin Jarvis, Mitchell Parker, Jacob Kelchner, Will Sandy, and Daniel Lloyd. Manager Jeff Petty will have no shortage of arms to go to in whatever situation the Canes find themselves in. The lineup is just as deep as the pitching staff with Canes mainstays such as PG All-Americans Joe Gray Jr., Xavier Edwards, Nick Northcut and Anthony Seigler. Other positional standouts include West Coast native Matt McLain, Clemson commit Adam Hackenberg and underclassman Rece Hinds. It is certainly not unusual to have the Canes team stand out on paper and they absolutely have the talent to make it four Jupiter championships in five years. 

Dark Horse: Twins Scout Team 
Another perennially talented and deep team, the Twins Scout Team could make some noise in Pool J. Underclassman and Miami commit Jake Garland will likely start their game against the Canes for pool supremacy, and he has shown over the summer that he is capable of big-time performances. The lineup will be anchored by two big righthanded hitters in Andrew Lee and Trae Harmon. Lee provides a strong overall profile with a feel for hitting as a Louisiana State commit while Harmon has some of the biggest raw strength in the class as the Kentucky commit is certainly able to put a charge into a baseball as he crushed multiple 100-plus mph exit velocity hits this summer. 

What To Watch For: Rece Hinds
The second-ranked player for the 2019 class is the new addition to the Canes roster and he is a game-changing talent who should thrive in the Jupiter tournament setting. The Louisiana State commit played like a man out of his mind during the 16u WWBA National Championship where he hit north of .350 during the week-long event with three home runs. One of those home runs was one of the most dramatic, coming in a tied playoff game that left the bat at 105 mph with an estimated distance north of 400 feet. Hinds oozes tools on the profile with plus arm strength from anywhere on the field and good athleticism on the diamond. All that said, Hinds is one of the premier game-changing hitters in this tournament and he will almost certainly find his way into the biggest moments of this event. 

– Vincent Cervino



Pool G

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
All Star Baseball Academy Kyle Hess 285 2018 Brady Devereux 500 2018 West Chester, PA
 CBA Marucci Jasiah Dixon 20 2019 Kai Murphy 495 2019 Ontario, CA
 Elite Squad Louisville Slugger Mykanthony Valdez 49
2019
Ryan Cabarcas 125
2019
Pembroke Pines, FL
 Indians Scout Team Bobby Witt Jr. 1 2019 J.J. Goss 100 2019 Cleveland, OH

Projected Pool Winner: CBA Marucci
Bobby Witt, Jr., Indians Scout Team
Jump back to the beginning of the month, the last tournament in which we at Perfect Game saw this CBA Marucci club, and they were hoisting the trophy as champions of the California Underclass World Series. That said, this group will be facing a steady stream of competition who are a year older, although that shouldn't prove to be a too daunting of a task. This roster is littered with high-end commitments (16 of 19 rostered players are committed), especially in the 2019 class, as that group is led by outfielder Jasiah Dixon and Gabe Briones, while experienced bats such as catcher Clay Owens and middle infielder Sterling Hayes will help anchor on both sides of the ball. The pitching staff may not have your typical “power-arm” in somebody who can sit in the low-90s, but they offer an array of advanced pitchability types, an asset that’s key in a setting such as Jupiter.

Dark Horse: Indians Scout Team
Yes, this is a scout team and a group of players who, for the most part, haven’t played together in a team environment, something that is typically key in taking down the juggernaut known as the WWBA World Championship. The talent that this roster boasts shouldn’t surprise many if they do in fact take down their pool as this is a well-rounded club that offers a little bit of everything. Perfect Game All-American Osiris Johnson is the top-ranked 2018 grad on this club, though he’s also one of the youngest players in the overall class which only adds to the intrigue of Johnson as a prospect who already shows big power potential from the right side.

What To Watch For: Up-The-Middle Indians
Sure, Orisis Johnson is going to be the main draw for scouts off this Indians’ team, but their middle infield depth also offers scouts an early look ahead at some of the top 2019 talent. Top-ranked 2019 Bobby Witt Jr. will certainly have scouts flocking to Texas come the spring of 2019, as will fast-twitch C.J. Abrams out of Georgia and ultra-versatile Carter Young from Washington. Factor in first baseman Garrett Frechette and the Indians Scout Team has four 2019 position players ranked within the top 75.

Jheremy Brown



Pool H

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
North East Baseball Bryce Reagan 67 2018 Coy Cobb
169 2018 Hudson, MA
On Deck O's Brett Kerry
500 2018 Brennan Malone
5 2019 Pineville, NC
Scorpions Prime Judson Fabian
12 2019 Tyler Owens
69 2019 Altamonte Springs, FL
PNT Scout Team Tyresse Turner
404 2019 Dawson Barr
270 2018 Kyle, TX

Projected Pool Winner:  North East Baseball
Bryce Reagan, North East Baseball
The North East Baseball squad not only is projected to win Pool H, they could be on the short list for favorites to win the entire tournament thanks to a deep and well-balanced, versatile roster. Bryce Reagan and Grant Lavigne – ranked 67th and 96th respectively in the clas of 2018 player rankigns – give NEB two big bats in the middle of their lineup to contend with, and there will be plenty of other threats, including catcher Brandon Tinsman and outfielder Will Gambino. The roster also has plenty of big, hard-throwing righthanders from the class of 2018, including Coy Cobb, Travis Lane, Michael Burrows and Justin Ruble, not to mention several players expected to pull double-duty to help fill in the gaps. Of NEB’s 32-man roster only six of them are from the class of 2019, pointing to an experienced group of upperclassmen.

Dark Horse: Scorpions Prime
For the most part, this is the same Scorpions team that advanced to the quarter-finals of the WWBA Underclass World Championships, though they won't have righthander Joseph Charles on the bump. They will have Tyler Owens, however, a true competitor on the mound who ran his fastball up to 95 mph last week and maintained his velocity superbly while filling the zone. The Florida State commit is one of 10 primary pitchers included on the roster, a key aspect to advancing deep in a tournament such as this. The combination of Judson Fabian and Dylan Crews is among the best duos of underclass bats in attendance and they’ll be aided by middle infielders Connor Walsh and Michael Brooks, as well as catcher Bryce Boone, at the top of the order. This may be a roster composed of mostly underclassmen but they’ve played together for quite some time and are a well-oiled, cohesive unit. 

What To Watch For: Brennan Malone
Malone and the On Deck O’s could play spoiler for whatever team he gets the starting nod against, coming off of his appearance at the Underclass World Championship where he struck out 10 batters in 5 1/3 innings thanks to a fastball that peaks at 95 mph. Malone is currently ranked fifth in the class of 2019, and has committed to play for North Carolina with one of the best arms from an athletic and still-projectable 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame. At three of Perfect Game’s bigger tournaments this summer and fall (the WWBA Underclass World Championship as well as the 16u and 17u WWBA National Championships) Malone has struck out 28 batters in 16 1/3 combined innings.

– Patrick Ebert



Pool I

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
 Dirtbags Travis Odom 64 2019 Tim Cao 306 2019 Burlington, NC
 MVP Basiel Williams 117 2018 Kyle Salley 500 2018 Chesapeake, VA
 Padres Scout Team/Chandler World Manny Gonzalez 123 2018 Yeankarlos Lleras  124 2018 Winter Garden, FL
 Team Northeast John Kelly 273 2018 Mike Murray 500 2018 Voorhees, NJ
 
Projected Pool Winner:  Dirtbags
Travis Odom, Dirtbags
The defending champions, the Dirtbags come to Jupiter this season with that most recent World Championship under their belts and no qualms about competing at the highest level, not that such qualms ever existed. They look to be just as deep as they usually are, built more for the long haul than flashes of star power, much the same type of team that came away with the championship last year. Travis Odom, a 2019 class member, should be a big component of both their offensive and pitching attacks, as he's a legitimate two-way player. Tim Cao, Aaron Beasley and Davis Palermo should also be key contributors on the mound while Houston Koon, Ryder Giles, Matthew Lumsden and Knox Preston will anchor the Dirtbags lineup. 

Dark Horse: Padres Scout Team/Chandler World
The Padres Scout Team/Chandler World is the dark horse pick for Pool I as they look to have a pretty stocked roster of talent from all over the country, including several impact pieces from Puerto Rico. Yeankarlos Lleras and Manny Gonzalez – both committed to Florida International – are highly-ranked members of the 2018 class from the island who will be key cogs for the Padres/Chandler at this event. Will Shirah is a name to watch on the mound as well, as the lefthander made a good amount of noise this season, and it would be wise to watch out for two-way standout Nick O'Day both with the bat and on the mound. 

What To Watch For: Can The Dirtbags Repeat? 
In 2016, the Dirtbags snapped the Canes' streak of three consecutive WWBA World Championships, an unheard-of level of consistent dominance at this level. What everyone will be watching when the amateur baseball world descends on Jupiter next week is if the Dirtbags are going to try and challenge that streak by winning their second consecutive title, or if a new winner will emerge from the pool of the best baseball programs in the country. 

– Brian Sakowski



Pool J


Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
East Coast Sox Select Jeremiah Jackson 20 2018 Connor Shamblin 120 2018 Columbus, MS
MN Blizzard Elite Seth Halvorsen 27 2018 Maxwell Carlson 76 2020 Vadnais Heights, MN
Orioles Scout Team Cade Fergus 500 2018 Ryan Moore 500 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Team Mizuno Puerto Rico Kevin Vargas 57 2018 Jan Lopez T1000 2018 Caguas, PR

Projected Pool Winner:  East Coast Sox Select
Jeremiah Jackson, East Coast Sox Select
After finishing the 17u WWBA National Championship with a third place finish, the East Coast Sox are back in Jupiter and have a very loaded roster. The predominantly southeast-based ball club has a plethora of talent up and down the roster including a quartet of PG All-Americans in Jeremiah Jackson, J.T. Ginn, C.J. Willis and Bryce Bush. The wealth of arms on this staff is what puts them ahead of everyone else. Even though Ginn is not likely to throw they have numerous other impact arms such as Connor Shamblin, Reggie Grace, Colson Geisler and Jacob Gilliland. The underclassmen are also impressive on the bump led by the No. 88 ranked prospect for the 2019 class, Farmer Abendroth. The offense should be loud with Jackson hitting somewhere near the top of the order and Bush and Willis being there to provide the pop in the middle of the lineup. Expect some of the underclassmen, who played big roles for the 16u team over the summer, to make an impact as well as Hayden Dunhurst, Jordan Beck and Ryan Hawks will all be relied upon. 

Dark Horse: Team Mizuno Puerto Rico
Team Mizuno Puerto Rico has some serious star power on this roster. Highly ranked players such as PG All-American Kevin Vargas (57), Ezequiel Pagan (247) and Erick Rivera (147) should be able to rack up the runs for Team Mizuno. Vargas has one of the more well-rounded profiles of the event with impact glove skills and bat speed. Pagan will be a force out of the leadoff spot as an above average runner with some barrel skills and Rivera is capable of going on extremely hot stretches to drive in runs. As is the case with most teams, the ceiling on Team Mizuno comes down to the pitching staff. Led by Jan Lopez, the pitching is not going to have to go toe-to-toe with some of the premier arms, but they will have to get outs and give the offense a chance to score some runs. 

What To Watch For: Seth Halvorsen vs. East Coast Sox
Jupiter is legendary not only for the amount of sheer talent at the event, but for how often the aces of various staffs get the ball against the best team in the pool and this year will certainly be no different. PG All-American Seth Halvorsen is the No. 27 prospect for this year's class and is a true two-way prospect. A 6.6 runner who has also been up to 96 mph on the mound, expect the Missouri commit to get the ball against the loaded East Coast Sox. You got a taste of it in the All-American Classic, but watching Halvorsen attack bats who could be top three-round draft choices a year from now is extremely tantalizing. Halvorsen will have to quiet the big bats in the middle of the lineup such as Willis and Bush and he certainly has the stuff to do just that. 

– Vincent Cervino



Pool K

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
D-BAT Caeden Trenkle 348 2019 Chase Van Dyk 500 2018 Rowlett, TX
East Cobb Astros Brennan Milone 142 2019 Blake Money 183 2020 Marietta, GA
Mountain West Slammers Justin Olson 304 2018 Jack Baird 500 2018 Denver, CO
Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team Robby Martin 155 2018 Chase Costello 132 2018 Toronto, ON

Projected Pool Winner:  Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team
Chase Costello, Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team
A true “scout-team” in that it’s composed of players from coast-to-coast, from California to New Hampshire, up to Canada and down to Puerto Rico, the WWBA World Championship will be the first time this squad gets together. How they mesh, like with any scout team, is key for the Blue Jays’ success, as they certainly have the talent to compete. A pair of SEC commits in Chase Costello (LSU) and Eric Cerantola (Mississippi State) can both run their fastballs into the low-90s and Costello does so with feel for a couple secondary pitches, making him a viable option to go up against the pool's toughest opponent to give his team a good chance to win. Among the bats to follow, Florida State commit Robby Martin is ranked the highest thanks to his present skill-set and lefthanded swing which projects extremely well as he fills out his athletic 6-foot-3 frame.

Dark Horse:  Mountain West Slammers
The Slammers are made up entirely of 2018's from the state of Colorado, and as they usually do, they possess a dangerous commodity in that they have a deep roster full of big-bodied pitchers that can throw strikes and keep their offense in games. A pair of Pepperdine recruits, Jack Baird and Luke Ziegler, personify this idea the best, with projectable 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3 frames, respectively, that know how to use their size to power downhill while commanding the lower third of the strike zone. Justin Olson is the most exciting player on the roster, a strongly built lefthanded hitter who has already committed to Kentucky thanks to his blossoming power at the plate and his knack for hitting the ball hard to all fields.

What To Watch For: Last Man Standing
This pool is sure to be fairly competitive, as it wouldn't be surprising to see the winner emerge with one loss, a tie, or possibly even both once bracket play arrives on Sunday. The East Cobb program is expected to be young, full of 2019's and 2020's, but there will still be talent for them to be a threat, while D-BAT and the Slammers both have plenty of experience playing with one another as a team, not to mention the experience playing together at high-level tournament events. How the Blue Jays gel in a short period of time could be the biggest key to them having success, as they have the most depth and versatility among the players that make up their roster.

Jheremy Brown




Pool L
 
Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Canes Prospects Thomas Keehn
71 2019 Thomas Schultz
239 2019 Fredericksburg, VA
Dulin Dodgers Blaze Jordan 1 2021 Andrew Romanoli 500 2019 Cordova, TN
FTB/SF Giants Scout Team Nander De Sedas
5 2018 Jonathan Gates
47 2018 Kissimmee, FL
Premier Baseball Futures-Evans Easton "Bo" Willis 220 2019 Adam Kloffenstein 54 2018 Tomball, TX

Projected Pool Winner: FTB/Giants Scout Team
Nander De Sedas, FTB/SF Giants Scout Team
Always in the picture for the tournament crown, FTB year-in and year-out carries one of the most consistently talented rosters to Jupiter. This year’s squad will be no different, highlighted by PG All-American shortstop Nander De Sedas, who could be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick in next June’s draft. That means there will be plenty of golf carts parked next to the fields that FTB plays at, and joining De Sedas in the lineup will be fellow PG All-American Preston Hartsell as well six other players ranked among the top 150 overall from the class of 2018. Add on outfielder Riley Greene, the third-ranked player in the class of 2019, and you truly have a star-studded starting nine. Jonathan Gates (47), Franco Aleman (64) and Justin Stewart (99) are all ranked within the top 100 players in the 2018 class as the wealth of talent carries over to the pitching staff as well.

Dark Horse: Canes Prospects
While drawing FTB in the same pool won’t be easy, it’s important to remember that the Canes Prospects – which is essentially the organization’s junior varsity team – finished as the runner-up at this event in 2015. Every player on the roster is from the class of 2019, and many of them will make up the Canes National team a year from now. Of the 19-player roster, 15 have already committed to notable Division I programs, and in particular it looks as though they could be particularly tough on the mound with arms such as Thomas Schultz, Geo Rivera and Davidjohn Herz ready to compete. They should be strong up the middle as well with the presence of catchers C.J. Rodriguez and Michael Carpentier, outfielders Tyler Kehoe and Dylan Rogers as well as shortstop Thomas Keehn.


What To Watch For: Future Talent Preview
Pool L will be full of talented underclassmen, including Riley Greene, the entire Canes Prospects roster and Bo Willis of Premier Baseball Futures. However, the brightest of any young player taking the fields at the Roger Dean complex might be Blaze Jordan of the Dulin Dodgers, a high school freshman who is the No. 1 ranked player in the class of 2021. Normally underclassmen, especially extreme underclassmen, don’t stand much of a chance competing against players 2-3 years older than them, but Jordan was named to the All-Tournament Teams at the 15u, 16u and 17u WWBA National Championships this summer, proving he could more than hang with the big boys.

– Patrick Ebert



Pool M

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Diamond Devils Colton Byars T500 2018 Boyce Kobleur T1000 2018 Mt. Pleasant, SC
Palm Beach Select Zach Goberville 329 2018 Shelby Frazier T500 2018 West Palm Beach, FL
San Diego Show Grant Burton 135 2018 Sam Wibbels 58 2019 San Diego, CA
US Elite/Team Majestic Phillip Dull 220 2018 Mason Ronan 199 2018 Duncansville, PA

Projected Pool Winner:  San Diego Show
Grant Burton, San Diego Show
One of the perennial powerhouses of the West Coast, the San Diego Show come to Jupiter projected to win their pool. Per usual, their roster consists of mostly West Coast talent, but an interesting dynamic this year is the addition of some Midwestern flavor to their roster. Brett Hammit (Missouri) and Sam Wibbels (Nebraska) join Ethan Axman and Peyton Carson (Kansas) for the primarily California-based Show to create a very deep, very talented roster. They should be especially strong up the middle where infielders Zack Prajzner and Jorge Figueroa, along with outfielder Grant Burton, should be key contributors. 

Dark Horse: 
US Elite/Team Majestic
A traditionally powerful ball club based out of Pennsylvania, US Elite/Team Majestic heads to Jupiter as the dark horse pick for Pool M. One particular player to watch will be lefthander Mason Ronan, a Pittsburgh commit who has really opened eyes on the circuit in the past year. Notable names offensively include Troy LaNeve, Tyler McKenzie, Phillip Dull and Justin Williams. They look especially strong on the mound in addition to Ronan, with Oliver McCarthy, Thomas Schultz and Joe Ammirato all listed on their roster to go along with a host of position players who can also fill innings out of the bullpen. 

What To Watch For:
Mason Ronan
As mentioned above, Ronan really made some noise in different areas over the course of the past year-plus, as the physical lefthander has shown, at times, an advanced arsenal with physical projection and athleticism to his delivery. He's a guy that scouts will especially be keying in on when he takes the mound, and a good performance to cement what he's shown on the circuit could reasonably raise him up priority lists for the spring. 
 
– Brian Sakowski




Pool N

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Dodgers Scout Team/Team Citius Jack Herman 73 2018 Jack Carey 167
2018 Los Angeles, CA
FTB 55 Tucci John Rodriguez 312
2018 Hamilton Martinez 168 2019 Orlando, FL
Louisiana Knights
Drew Bianco 236 2018 Sean Burke
500 2018 Baton Rouge, LA
PRBAHS Jeremy Rivera T1000
2018 Ian Ortiz T1000
2017 Caguas, PR

Projected Pool Winner: Louisiana Knights
Drew Bianco, Louisiana Knights
The Louisiana Knights boast a supremely talented roster and head into Jupiter with top billing in Pool N. The roster is home to 14 Division I commits, including five Louisiana State recruits: Drew Bianco, Gavin Dugas, Thomas Wilhite, Will Ripoll and Cole Henry. The Knights are very senior heavy, a roster trait that normally plays very well at this time of year, with only two underclassmen in Wilhite and standout 2020 graduate Kellum Clark. The offense should be a talented one featuring Bianco, who hit over .350 with two home runs during the 17u WWBA National Championship, and Clark, who hit .444 with one home run last week in Fort Myers. The pitching staff will be a bit of a question mark but will feature multiple arms ranked within the top 500 of the rankings, including Wilhite (425), David Rhodes (371) and Henry (112), who has, perhaps, the most to gain from a strong performance in this tournament. 

Dark Horse: Dodgers Scout Team/Team Citius
If there is a team in this pool who has the star talent to match the Louisiana Knights it is the Dodgers Scout Team/Team Citius. They boast two of the most consistent hitters over the course of the summer in Maryland commit Jack Herman and Vanderbilt commit Justyn-Henry Malloy. Herman batted over .450 combined between the 17u WWBA National Championship and the PG World Series while Malloy showed some of the best raw pop in the class at the National Showcase. The depth is strong with six players ranked at 500 and six more ranked higher than that, including one of the highest-ranked 2019s in Isaac Nunez (28) who shows some of the best glove work in the class. The team has a number of impact players and the pitching will need to keep the team in games long enough for them to score some runs. 

What To Watch For: Cole Henry
One of the biggest enigmas in terms of the 2018 draft class is the 112th-ranked prospect, Cole Henry. He has been making some buzz around draft circles all summer long and impressed at the East Coast Pro, with reports that he has touched 95-96 mph recently, and sure seems to be one of the premier arms out of the state of Alabama. The Louisiana State commit has the chance to make a lot of good impressions during Jupiter as this will be his last chance to show that he can perform against the best amateur talent with wood bats and look for Henry to get the ball during the biggest game of pool play. 

– Vincent Cervino



Pool O

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
FTB Tucci Jacob Herbert 36 2019 Kevin Martin 193 2018 Kissimmee, FL
Midland Redskins Paul Komistek 148 2018 Jimmy Starnes 116 2019 Cincinnati, OH
Stars Baseball Nick Decker 24 2018 Cristian Sanchez 397 2018 Manassas, VA
Upstate Mavericks Jared Hart 162 2018 Makenzie Stills 146 2018 Lyman, SC

Projected Pool Winner:  Midland Redskins
Lane Flamm, Midland Redskins
A well-respected travel ball club for quite some time, this Midland team offers a little bit of everything from power arms to athletic infielders and everything in between. Two of those power arms are righthanders Lane Flamm and Jimmy Starnes, members of the 2018 and 2019 classes, respectively, and both of who could play pivotal roles in a pool play game early in the tournament to allow them to be eligible for playoffs. Texas Tech commit Kyle Westfall will bring a big speed component to the top of the lineup, as will middle infielders Cal Conley and Keithron Moss, before getting to Paul Komistek’s bat in the middle of the order. Keep an eye on this club as they offer depth all over the diamond.

Dark Horse: Upstate Mavericks
Dark Horse or not, this won’t be an easy pool to advance out of as Upstate will have to not only deal with Midland, but also the power bat of Nick Decker on the Stars and an always talented FTB Tucci team. What should help Upstate make noise in pool play is the trio of Makenzie Stills and lefthanders Garrett McDaniels and Nate Lamb on the bump. Stills, a Vanderbilt commit, is very familiar with high pressure situations while the 6-foot-2 Coastal Carolina commit in McDaniels offers both a present fastball in the low-90s and long-term projectability that scouts long for. The same is true of Nate Lamb (Clemson) who was recently up to 92 mph. Vanderbilt commit Jared Hart will lead the offensive attack flanked by big bats such as first basemen Bass Cooper and Sonny Dichiara.

What To Watch For: Bahamas To Midland To Pro Ball?
Last year the Midland Redskins brought shortstop Kristian Robinson to Jupiter from the Bahamas where he put on a show with easy plus speed from a 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame while handling the barrel well through the zone and collecting a tournament high four triples. He ultimately signed for $2.5 million. This year the Redskins are bringing switch-hitting shortstop Keithron Moss, also fro the Bahamas, who, despite not being as physical, offers a bounce to his step defensively while showing barrel skills from both sides of the plate and surprising pop. 

Jheremy Brown



Pool P
 
Team Top Pos. Player

RK

Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Ohio Warhawks Hueston Morrill
178
2018 Alberto Gonzalez
245 2018 Fairborn, OH
Rawlings National Scout Team Max Marusak
74 2018 Blake Adams
42 2019 Merrick, NY
South Charlotte Panthers 2018 Xavier Bussey
26 2019 Owen White 102 2018 Charlotte, NC
SWFL Nation Connor Berry
500 2018 Cole Beverlin
500 2018 Fort Myers, FL

Projected Pool Winner: Rawlings National Scout Team
Mateo Gil, Rawlings National Scout Team
The Rawlings National Scout Team has an interesting collection of talent, with eight players from Arkansas on the 26-man roster, five from California and four each from Texas and New York. Add in a player from Hawaii and another from Ontario and you have a truly eclectic group. Of the 26 rostered players 22 have commitments to D-I programs, and it’s the up-the-middle infield combination of Mateo Gil and Sean Guilbe that will be one of the team’s primary keys to success. The big bats of Max Marusak and Wade Elliott will be tasked with driving Gil and Guilbe home. In addition, they have four pitchers from the class of 2018 that are ranked within the top 230 players, and another, Blake Adams, who is ranked 42nd in the class of 2019 and can already dial it up into the low-90s.

Dark Horse:  South Charlotte Panthers 2018
Although their time in the playoffs at the 17u WWBA National Championship was cut short, losing to a powerful Team Elite squad in the first round, it proves that they have the talent to compete on a national level. All but one player on their roster is from North Carolina (Dallas Callahan, who is from South Carolina), and of their 12 committed players three are to South Carolina and two are to UNC. Owen White is their highest ranked player from the class of 2018 and shines on the mound, at the plate and defensively up the middle of the infield. He and fellow righthander Trey Tujetsch gives the team a pair of live-arms to go along with potential five-tool outfielder Xavier Bussey. White, Tujetsch and Bussey are all South Carolina commits.


What To Watch For: Rawlings National vs. South Charlotte Matchup
While the Ohio Warhawks and SWFL are both long-time Jupiter participants, each fully capable of making some noise, the pool likely comes down to the winner of the matchup between the Rawlings National Scout Team and the South Charlotte Panthers. That matchup could see the Panthers’ Owen White squaring off against pitchability lefthander Patrick Wicklander, who has plenty of big game experience at Perfect Game tournament events as evidenced by his 12 All-Tournament Team selections. White has five of his own, including one from Jupiter last year.

– Patrick Ebert



Pool Q
 
Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Dallas Tigers Dillon Carter 110 2019 Jacob Meador 113 2019 Dallas, TX
East Cobb Baseball Josiah Miller 24 2019 Mason Barnett 92 2019 Marietta, GA
Royals Scout Team Dominic Keegan
126 2018 Luke Murphy 158 2018 Kansas City, MO
South Florida Bandits Kyle Tako 38 2021 Irving Carter 13 2021 Stamford, CT

Projected Pool Winner:
 Royals Scout Team
Dominic Keegan, Royals Scout Team
With players filling the roster from all over the country, and a deep roster of both position players and pitchers, the Royals Scout Team is the pick to win Pool Q this year. Dominic Keegan is their highest-ranked '18 prospect, and he'll do a fantastic job both leading the pitching staff from behind the plate as well as holding down the middle of the order. Luke Murphy, Liam Henry, Tyler Burchett and Elijah Pleasants form an imposing quartet of frontline arms, and they will be joined on the staff by several other quality arms who will contribute big innings. Keegan should provide some righthanded power from the middle of the lineup, and he'll be joined by notable prospects including Chris McElvain, Tevin Tucker and Kadon Morton, among others. They're noticeably deep behind the plate, so it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff deploys these catchers, all of whom do well to add value with their bats. 

Dark Horse: Dallas Tigers
The dark horse pick for this pool, the Dallas Tigers, will head to Jupiter with a well-regarded roster of players, though most of them are 2019 prospects. Dillon Carter can really hit and should anchor the middle of the lineup where he'll be joined by middle infielder Brendan Dixon, catcher Hudson Polk and uber-athlete Jaden Woodson. Jacob Meador should lead the pitching staff as the TCU commit has shown low-90s heat in the past with good off-speed stuff. Other notable arms on the roster include Sean Bolin and Chase Lummus, to go along with several others, including a good number of two-way players. 

What To Watch For: Young Prospects
This pool seems to be especially chalked-full of younger prospects, filling every roster in the classes of 2019-2021. Just looking at the table above, the top positional players and pitchers from each team are mostly consisting of underclassmen, which is an interesting development in a draft-focused event. Notably, the South Florida Bandits come into play with two of the best 2021 prospects on their roster in Irving Carter and Kyle Tako and the Dallas Tigers are mostly made up of 2019 players as well. The same is true for East Cobb Baseball, which boasts their share of high-end 2019's as well. 

– Brian Sakowski



Pool R

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Florida Burn Platinum
Matheu Nelson 121
2018 Benjamin Specht 153
2018 Sarasota, FL
GBG Marucci Kameron Ojeda 72 2018 Chris Villaman 23 2019 Los Angeles, CA
Home Plate Chili Dogs
Ryan Dyal 89
2019 Jackson Arnold 217 2019 Peachtree City, GA
Tri-State Arsenal Prime
Charles Mack 196 2018 Alex Degen 472 2018 Voorhes, NJ

Projected Pool Winner:  GBG Marucci
Kameron Ojeda, GBG Marucci
Michael Garciaparra's team is one of the most loaded in the event, per usual, including four 2018 prospects in the top 200 in Kameron Ojeda (78), Michael Perez (115), Cole Roederer (129) and Jake Moberg (160). There are few underclassmen on the team, including a few highly-touted prospects including one of the most dynamic lefthanders of the event in Chris Villaman. The North Carolina State commit is the third-ranked lefthander in the class of 2019, overall, and this event has seen underclass lefthanders make significant strides as recently as last year when PG All-American Luke Bartnicki opened eyes. The pitching depth is borderline absurd as GBG boasts 12 Division I committed primary pitchers who should be able to provide ample innings. GBG certainly has the pitching depth, talent on offense and overall pedigree to be able to capture the event title and this certainly looks like one of their best teams in recent memory. 

Dark Horse:  Florida Burn Platinum
Florida Burn Platinum certainly has the potential, and experience, to go deep into bracket play, but they will need to get past some equally talented teams. The Burn are led by standout Florida State commit Matheu Nelson whose strength plays well in the batter's box and is arguably the leader of the team behind the plate. They boast one of the best 1-2 combos behind the plate with North Carolina State commit Luca Tresh, who was extremely impressive at the PG National Showcase, splitting time defensively with Nelson. The pitching staff has some depth concerns but are led by Florida commit Benjamin Specht and Ole Miss recruit Doug Nikhazy. The Burn are also bringing along one of the more impressive underclassmen from the summer in third baseman Josh Rivera who should find his way in the middle of the lineup during his time in Jupiter. 

What To Watch For: 
Depth Of Pool
Pool R is one of the closest in terms of pure talent between all four teams. In addition to GBG and the Florida Burn, Tri-State Arsenal – who made it into the Round of 16 during the 17u WWBA National Championship – is led by Charlie Mack, who transitioned to catcher over the summer and created some serious buzz in terms of draft stock. The Clemson commit is one of the better lefthanded sticks in the class and he will be joined in the Arsenal lineup by recent North Carolina commit Danny Seretti and Georgia Tech commit Stephen Reid. Homeplate has some standout 2019's in in catcher Ryan Dyal and uncommitted righthander Jackson Arnold. There are some other positional standouts on the roster as well including Kennesaw State commit Austin Moody and Wofford commit Hayes Heinecke. Given the depth of this pool it wouldn't be surprising to see any of these teams advance. 

– Vincent Cervino




Pool S

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Padres Scout Team/Scorpions Connor Scott 26 2018 Michael Bacica 257 2018 Altamonte Springs, FL
PG Navy Select Logan Kellerman 500 2018 Matthew Wyatt Beddow 278 2018 Brick, NJ
Team Elite Nation Zane Denton 73 2019 Cain Tatum 269 2019 Winder, GA
Team Indiana Nicholas Schnell 34 2018 Jake Sweeney 231 2018 Indianapolis, IN

Projected Pool Winner: Padres Scout Team/Scorpions
Nick Schnell, Team Indiana
Looking up and down this Scorpions roster, you’ll notice a lot of familiar names that have donned the purple throughout their travel ball careers. Leading the charge for the club will be talented outfielder and Perfect Game All-American outfielder Connor Scott, whose loose lefthanded stroke and easy power have been on display for quite some time. He’s just as intriguing on the mound and could very well get the ball in a key situation as he’s a low-90s lefthander with feel for a couple of secondaries. On the mound he’ll be joined by fellow SEC-commit in righthander Michael Bacica who continues to make strides and has run his fastball up to 91 mph. Charlie Welch will handle the receiving and brings an impressive righthanded swing, while the likes of Giovanni DiGiacomo, Jordan Lala and McGwire Weaver – LSU, Miami, and Florida State commits, respectively – will give this offense an interesting profile and it evolves around their game-changing speed and barrel skills.

Dark Horse: Team Elite Nation 
This Team Elite roster is composed of a strong mix of underclass talent, though that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. The up-the-middle duo of Nasim Nunez and Kam Guidry should be monitored closely as every play has a chance to be a highlight reel type effort, while talented outfielder Tanner Green, along with 2019’s Zane Denton and Jonathan French, add a physical component to the lineup and have proven to be successful in high-end tournaments. Both Cain Tatum and Ryan Pettys were excellent in Fort Myers for the WWBA Underclass World Championship and lead the way on a pitching staff that remains mostly uncommitted heading into Jupiter. 

What To Watch For: Nick Schnell
With the type of depth and talent this pool has to offer, especially on the mound, it will provide scouts a quality look at Perfect Game All-American Nick Schnell before his next round of reps come in the cold weather state of Indiana. Already ranked No. 34 in the class of 2018, Schnell has done nothing but perform this summer with his abundance of tools, which includes his 6.69 60-yard dash time, powerful lefthanded bat and highly projectable 6-foot-5 frame. And should he continue to go about it 'business as usual,' then he will all but solidify himself in the upper-tier of prep outfielders and be riding solid momentum into the spring of 2018.

– Jheremy Brown



Pool T

Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
BPA Jared Jones
10 2020 Cooper Benson
32 2019 Laguna Niguel, CA
East Cobb Yankees Kendall Simmons 12 2018 Jack Friedman
277 2018 Marietta, GA
SF Giants Scout Team-Christman Cameron Swanger
455 2018 Cole Ayers
130 2018 Noblesville, IN
Tri-State Arsenal/Blackhawks National Spencer Jones
19 2019 D.J. Jefferson 13 2019 Voorhees, NJ

Projected Pool Winner: SF Giants Scout Team - Christman
Kendall Simmons, East Cobb Yankees
On a roster made up almost completely with players from the class of 2018, 15 of the 28 players listed on the SF Giants Scout Team roster played on the team that won the 2016 WWBA Underclass World Championship, including event MVP Gage Hughes. One of two 2019’s, Reese Sharp, played for the 2019 version of the Giants as they advanced to the Round of 16 at the recently completed Underclass World Championship. Simply stated, this team knows how to play together and win as a team. Hughes and Cameron Swanger will help lead the offense, but it could be the pitching staff that sets this team apart in Pool T, as righthanders Cole Ayers, Gabe Bierman, Nick Hoffmann and Kyle Music, as well as lefthander Drew Rom, all show good pitchability and all five have committed to notable Division I schools.

Dark Horse:
BPA
Ten of the players on the BPA roster were part of the team that recently emerged as the runner-up of the California Upperclass World Series – as well as the 16u WWBA National Championship earlier this summer – and over half of the players on the roster overall are from the class of 2019. The most notable of those are a pair of lefthanders, Cooper Benson and Joshua Hahn, who are committed to ASU and UCLA respectively, to go along with five other pitchers that have already pledged themselves to West Coast college powers. It’s a versatile team as several of their players pull double duty, including young 2020 Jared Jones who is already ranked 10th overall in his class and can more than hold his own playing up.

What To Watch For: A Very Competitive Pool
Pool T might be the most evenly matched and competitive pool in the tournament, as it was difficult to pick a projected winner, not to mention a dark horse, knowing two of the teams would be left out. The East Cobb Yankees have long been a successful team and the infield tandem of PG All-American Kendall Simmons, Devin Warner and Ryan Bliss is one of the best in the entire field. Tri-State Arsenal/Blackhawks National also offers some intriguing talent, including a pair of extremely projectable players ranked in the teens in the class of 2019 in lefthanded pitcher and outfielder Spencer Jones and righthander D.J. Jefferson.

Patrick Ebert



Pool U
 
Team Top Pos. Player

RK

Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Coastal Prospects Ryan Smith T500 2018 Nick Love T500 2018 Yulee, FL
DBacks Langley Blaze Cesar Valero 342 2019 Duncan Hall T500 2019 Vancouver, BC
Reds Midwest Scout Team Bayden Root
165 2018 Mac Horvath
4 2020 Hartford, WI
Team Elite Prime Will Banfield 4 2018 Ethan Smith 62 2018 Winder, GA

Projected Pool Winner: Team Elite Prime
Parker Meadows, Team Elite Prime
A year ago, Team Elite Prime fell just shy of winning the whole thing, falling to the Dirtbags in the championship game. This year, they're pool favorites again and are a pretty good pick to win the whole thing. They're missing their top two arms in all-world righthanders Ethan Hankins and Kumar Rocker, but don't be fooled by that – this team is absolutely loaded once again. Perfect Game All-American and the highest-ranked prospect in attendance Will Banfield is back behind the plate, and he'll be joined in the middle of the order by fellow PG All-American Parker Meadows as well as big-time power threat Ryder Green. On the mound, Ethan Smith leads the way as the powerful righthander is coming off a fantastic summer on the circuit. Justin Wrobleski, Nolan Crisp, Chance Huff and a whole host of other arms make up what is sure to be a formidable pitching staff as well. Can Team Elite finish the job this year? We're all anxious to get to Jupiter and find out. 

Dark Horse: Reds Midwest Scout Team
Perennially one of the best clubs in the Midwest, the Reds Midwest Scout Team is often picked by the PG scouting staff as one of their favorite teams to watch in this event. They certainly bring an intriguing mix of players to this event, perhaps even led by a sophomore in Mac Horvath, the fourth-ranked player in the class of 2020. They're deep pretty much everywhere, and it wouldn't be surprising if several of these players end up doing a great deal to help their prospect stock over the course of the weekend. Michigan State commit Zaid Walker has generated a good amount of scout buzz over the course of the last six months while Bayden Root is a legitimate two-way talent who has performed at a high level at numerous Perfect Game events and will be a key cog both on the mound and with the bat.  

What To Watch For: Will Banfield's Offense 
Long lauded as one of the best prep defensive catchers of the past several years, Will Banfield comes to Jupiter as the highest-ranked 2018 prospect in attendance at No. 4 overall. Scouts have had zero concerns with him from a defensive perspective, as he combines tools of the highest caliber along with excellent athleticism behind the plate to form prodigious defensive abilities. So, while scouts will undoubtedly be bearing down on Banfield as they have all summer, basic logic dictates that they'll be focusing most heavily on the young backstop's offensive performance. He has legitimate plus raw power from the right side, and he will go an awful long way towards solidifying himself towards the top of the draft class if he continues to put that power on display on a stage such as this. 

– Brian Sakowski



Pool V
 
Team Top Pos. Player RK Class Top Pitcher RK Class Location
Chet's Lemon Juice
Brady Allen 182
2018 Camden Sewell 418 2018 Eustis, FL
Nelson Baseball School Ethan Anderson 500 2019 Austin Ross 500 2018 Kennesaw, GA
Richmond Braves National Justin Looney 324 2019 Alex Greene 9 2020 Richmond, VA
Texas Scout Team Yankees Tanner O'Tremba 279 2018 Ty Madden 81  2018 Houston, TX

Projected Pool Winner:
  Texas Scout Team Yankees
Ty Madden, Texas Scout Team Yankees
The Texas Scout Team Yankees boast one of the most elite rosters in the event with 19 out of 22 players being committed to Division I schools, and all but one player is ranked within the top 500 of their respective class. The team is led by their pitching staff with premier starters in Simeon Woods-Richardson and Ty Madden. Both starters have been very strong this summer with Woods-Richardson flashing electric stuff and Madden being one of the most consistent starters during the summer circuit. Luke Trahan comes in as the 171st-ranked prospect for the class and gives the Yankees three starting pitchers in the top 200 on the roster. Tanner O’Tremba is one of the more physical players and his raw strength and power stand out offensively. The underclassmen on this roster are impressive as well with Texas Tech commit Nate Rombach and starters Jacob Hasty and Caden Homniok. 

Dark Horse:  Chet's Lemon Juice
Chet’s Lemon Juice has a long history of success in Jupiter and they can certainly make a deep run in bracket play, Their highest ranked player is the toolsed out Brandon Fields who is one of the stars of the 2020 class. He is a supreme athlete with electric bat speed who has impressed with some tape-measure shots over the summer. As far as seniors go, Brady Allen, a South Carolina commit, and recent Tennessee commit Camden Sewell, stand out. Allen shows one of the most well-rounded skill-sets and Sewell is a righthander who will sit in the 89-92 mph range on the bump. There are some other impressive players including juniors Daniel Batcher and Hylan Hall, and given the star power they have they could be a dangerous team if they put it all together.

What To Watch For:  Nelson Baseball School's Upsets
Nelson Baseball School has shown a penchant over the past few years when it comes to the fall season, and, more specifically, the qualifying events for Jupiter. They have won their way into Jupiter over the past couple of years, including this year at the Southeast Qualifier, and have shown the ability to make it deep into the playoffs despite not boasting the elite rosters that some other teams have had. NBS made it all the way into the quarterfinals of the 17u WWBA National Championship they have some talented players including Ethan Anderson, an underclass catcher committed to Georgia Southern who absolutely mashed this fall at Lakepoint. Isaac Bouton, Austin Ross and Kyler Pelfrey have also impressed and their ability to come together as a team bodes well in Jupiter.

– Vincent Cervino



Brian Sakowski's Projected Champion: FTB/San Francisco Giants Scout Team
Loaded with talent and as well-coached as anyone in the event, the FTB/Giants Scout Team are stocked with offensive talent and shouldn't find any issues scoring runs, as they look like they're going to be dangerous all the way through their lineup, 1-9. It's a nice mix of 2018 and 2019 talent as well, with Nander De Sedas, Raynel Delgado, Preston Hartsell and Alec Sanchez leading the way for the seniors while Riley Greene is one of the best 2019's. They're deep on the mound as well, with almost too many big arms to name, and should be led on the mound by Perfect Game All-American Jonathan Gates.

Jheremy Brown's Projected Champion: Team Elite Prime
Last year Team Elite ultimately fell to the Dirtbags in the championship game, and while they won’t have their usual duo of Ethan Hankins and Kumar Rocker leading their rotation, that isn’t reason to fret as the roster boasts plenty of other pieces. Defensively, you’ll be hard pressed to find anybody better in the country than PG All-American Will Banfield behind the plate as he essentially shuts down the opposition’s running game while handling their talented pitching staff that features five SEC commits and three from the ACC as well as a string of deceptive pitchability types that are ever-so crucial. Fellow PG All-American Parker Meadows will join Banfield and Vanderbilt commit Ryder Green in the heart of the order as both bring an abundance of tools.  

Vincent Cervino's Projected Champion: Rawlings National Scout Team
Rawlings National Scout Team is a squad that has impressive talent on both offense and the pitching staff. Sean Guilbe, Max Marusak and two-way star Mateo Gil are some of the premier offensive talents for the 2018 class. The pitching staff is incredibly deep with two Arkansas commits in Wade Beasley and Blake Adams who will both be around 92 mph. Recent Louisiana State commit Easton McMurray shows incredible deception and a low-90s fastball while Kaleb Hill is an immensely projectable Ole Miss commit. Given their depth this Rawlings National team has what it takes to put it all together and run all the way to the championship as one of the most talented and deepest squads in Jupiter. 

Patrick Ebert’s Projected Champion: Braves Scout Team/East Cobb
The number of hard-throwing, yet still strike-throwing, big arms this team can turn to during the event stands out, starting with lefthanders Hunter Barco, Garrett Wade and Keyshawn Askew and continuing with righthanders Cooper Stinson, Davis Sharpe, Andrew Moore and Hunter Goodwin. They have followed other successful team’s recipe for success by loading up on good catchers (with four to choose from) and strong players up the middle on defense. Barco doubles as one of the team’s more feared hitters and Cabera Weaver’s speed at the top of the order will be hard to match, much less stop.


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