Tournaments : : Story
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jupiter College Standouts

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game


2017 WWBA World Championship Event Page
 | Jupiter Pool Preview

Jupiter is not only a collection of talent, it's a celebration of talent, and the event's Top Prospects Playing For Keeps slogan rings especially true for an event that serves as the end-of-year championship of the summer circuit. Keeping those players company are the hundreds of scouts and college recruiters that know just how important it is to watch that talent playing with and against the best the nation has to offer.

Over 600 players that have participated at the WWBA World Championship have already played in the big leagues. Scan the rosters of the teams that reached the MLB playoffs and you'll find notable Jupiter alumni including Carlos Correa, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rizzo, Greg Bird, Corey Seager, Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez and Stephen Strasburg. Tack on even more perennial MLB All-Stars including Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Justin Upton, Gerrit Cole, Marcus Stroman, Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer and Freddie Freeman and you have a truly special event.

With much of the focus being on how the players, and their talents, relate to the MLB Draft, most of the players end up playing in college and go on to make an impact at that level, often as a stepping stone to professional baseball. Every year we take a look back at some of the current college players that starred on the Jupiter stage within the past 2-4 years, assembling a different kind of College All-American team in the process.

To visit the past features, year-by-year, click on the following links:

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016


Catcher

Joey Bart, Georgia Tech
Team Rawlings, 2014; East Cobb Baseball, 2013; East Cobb Astros, 2012

Bart participated at the WWBA World Championship three times during his high school career, all with East Cobb-based teams. The second time during his junior year he was with the defending champion East Cobb Baseball team in 2013 and the third time he was named to the All-Tournament Team as a senior, hitting .417 (5-for-13) with a double, a triple and a home run to go along with six RBI. He got off to a hot start a year ago and was named a PG Midseason All-American and was also the PG/Rawlings College Player of the Week after hitting five home runs in four games in early March. After finishing his sophomore year by hitting .296-13-43, Bart enters the 2018 season as one of the top prospects eligible for next year's draft, and could find himself taken in the top two rounds given the ever-existing need for catchers that can swing the bat.

Speaking of catchers that can swing it look no further than a pair of backstops that were named PG College Freshmen All-Americans this past season: Shea Langeliers (Texas Scout Team Yankees, 2015) of Baylor and James Free II (Braves Scout Team/Ohio Warhawks, 2015) of Pacific. Free in particular hasn't stopped hitting after he was named to the All-Tournament Team after batting .500 (6-for-12) in Jupiter of 2015.


Greyson Jenista, Midland Redskins, 2013
First Base

Greyson Jenista, Wichita State
Midland Redskins, 2014

Take your pick between Wichita State's Greyson Jenista and TCU's Luken Baker (CBA Marucci, 2013) at first base, both of whom are hulking presences in the batter's box with equally big power potential. Jenista gets the starting nod given his recent accolades, earning MVP honors in the Cape Cod League this past summer after hitting .320-9-41 in the spring for the Shockers. Jenista is an impressive athlete despite his listed 6-foot-4, 220-pound build and plays the outfield just as capably as he does first base, while the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Baker (dubbed 'The 51st State' by Perfect Game's Mike Rooney) threw low- to mid-90s bowling bowls on the mound prior to focusing on hitting only after an arm injury during his freshman year. Baker – who has hit 19 home runs with over 100 RBI during his first two years in college – will need to stay healthy in 2018 and lead a new-look offense if the team hopes to return to Omaha for a fifth straight year. Jenista on the other hand will team with third baseman Alec Bohm to create one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in the nation.


Second Base

Nico Hoerner, Stanford
Marlins Scout Team, 2014

Hoerner followed up a successful spring for Stanford with a big summer on the Cape, showing a significant uptick in power by belting six homers and seven doubles while finishing tied for third in the league in RBI and playing a steady shortstop defensively. He slides over to second base on this team in deference of Missouri State's Jeremy Eierman – and may be a better fit at second long-term – but figures to be the team's leader on both sides of the ball during his junior year for the Cardinal this coming spring. In 2014 Hoerner was a member of the Marlins Scout Team which consisted of talent from all over the nation, including a few key gems from California with Hoerner being one of those thanks to his versatility, advanced feel for the game and still-evolving offensive tools.


Cadyn Grenier, Ohio Warhawks, 2013
Third Base

Alec Bohm, Wichita State
Midwest PG Red, 2014

Bohm and Jenista form quite the impressive version of the bash brothers at the college level, as the two stand 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4 respectively, both weighing in at 220-pounds. Bohm hit two more home runs (11) than Jenista did last spring with one less RBI (40) while hitting .305 from the right side of the plate. Also similar to Jenista, Bohm enjoyed a huge summer on the Cape, hitting .351-5-28 to go along with 10 doubles in 39 games, numbers that all were near the top of the league leaders. He participated in PG's Fall League and played for the Iowa Select Black team at a handful of tournaments and traveled to Jupiter in 2014 as a member of the PG-based Midwest PG Red team. Despite his hulking stature Bohm shows deft actions from third base and more than enough throwing arm for the position, giving Wichita State, and this squad, quite an impressive tandem on the infield corners.


Shortstop

Jeremy Eierman, Missouri State
St. Louis Pirates/Midwest Mets Scout Team, 2014

Eierman finished his high school travel career participating at nearly all of Perfect Game's most notable events, including the Jr. National and National Showcases, the 17u WWBA National Championship, the PG Underclass All-American Games in San Diego and the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter. A native of Missouri, Eierman played for the St. Louis Pirates and was named to the event's All-Tournament Team in 2014 by slashing.417/.462/.583. As a sophomore Eierman and Jake Burger formed a very impressive left side of the infield, hitting 45 homers between them, with Eierman actually out-homering Burger 23 to 22, as Burger went on to become the first round pick of the White Sox. Eierman could join his former Bears teammate in the first round of the 2018 draft with another big season at the plate as a power hitting shortstop.

Jonathan India (Cardinals Scout Team/FTB Chandler, 2014; South Florida Elite Squad, 2013) of Florida, Cadyn Grenier (Ohio Warhawks, 2013-14) of Oregon State and Nick Quintana (EvoShield Canes, 2015; Ohio Warhawks, 2014) of Arizona would provide excellent, and versatile, infield depth as all three players are high-level athletes, not to mention former Perfect Game All-Americans. Grenier and Quintana played with one another on the Ohio Warhawks in 2014 and formed a rather exciting middle infield tandem at the time.


Zach Watson, Marucci Elite, 2015
Outfield

Seth Beer, Clemson
EvoShield Canes, 2015; Marucci Elite, 2013
Zach Watson, Louisiana State
Marucci Elite, 2015
Steele Walker, Oklahoma
Dallas Mustangs, 2014

Projecting an outfield of Seth Beer, Zach Watson and Steele Walker is about how you would like to line things up as a manager, with power in left field, a pure hitter in right and a speedy defensive guru with some pop of him own roaming center.

Beer brings the power, and then some, with a very patient approach and a natural uppercut-pathed swing that should give him an interesting profile at the next level. Questions remain how much he'll hit for average, how much swing-and-miss will continue to be in his game and whether or not he'll have to move to first base, but the power itself is a carrying tool. After his huge 2016 season in which he was named the College Freshman of the Year, Beer came back down to earth some in 2017, but still managed to hit .298 with 34 extra-base hits (including 16 home runs) and 53 RBI. And he walked 64 times. All of that is pretty remarkable considering he enrolled early at Clemson, essentially right after his appearance in Jupiter two years ago, slashing .438/.545/.625 for the event-champion EvoShield Canes.

Watson made a name for himself in the 2017 postseason, playing center field for the eventual national championship runner-up LSU Tigers. He made numerous highlight reel catches, displaying incredible range from one gap to the other, and also added some key home runs down the stretch. As a draft-eligible sophomore he's going to get plenty of looks in the spring after hitting .317-9-37 with 12 stolen bases and only one error committed in the outfield. There's plenty of room for added strength making him one of the most exciting players to watch at the college level for one of the best teams. At the 2015 WWBA World Championship Watson was named to the All-Tournament Team after proving he had a knack for the big hit, driving in more runs (6) and scoring more (6) than recording base hits (5) for Marucci Elite.

In his first two years at Oklahoma and the two summers in between – the first in the Northwoods League and the second with Team USA – Walker has done nothing but hit. He hit .290 as a freshman, led the NWL in batting with a .406 average that summer and followed that up by hitting .333 both during his sophomore year at Oklahoma and during the summer with Team USA. Collectively he has hit .342 in 716 college at-bats, and 284 of those came while swinging a wood bat during the summer. He didn't have the same fanfare coming out of high school but was definitely on scouts' radars and played for the Dallas Mustangs in Jupiter in 2014 as a high school senior.

Jackson Lueck (Orlando Scorpions/Mets Scout Team, 2014; Orlando PG Purple, 2013; Orlando Scorpions Purple, 2012) of Florida State, Jake McCarthy (Baseball U, 2013) of Virginia and Jake Mangum (Dulin Dodgers/Rockies Scout Team, 2013) of Mississippi State are an incredibly athletic trio, as Lueck and McCarthy would add some pop off the bench while McCarthy and Mangum would add an exciting speed element. Lueck was a three-time Jupiter participant with the Orlando Scorpions organization, finishing as the runner-up in 2014.


Utility

Kevin Milam, Saint Mary's
Northeast Baseball, 2015

Milam is hard to miss on a baseball field thanks to his solidly built and barrel-chested 6-foot-1, 190-pound build. He quickly put his name on the national college baseball map by being named a Freshman All-American as a utility player, hitting .313-12-55, leading Saint Mary's in home runs and RBI, while also serving as the team's closer. In that role he recorded nine saves in 22 relief appearances, posting a 2.27 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .191 batting average. Far from an unknown, Milam attended the 2015 PG National Showcase and was ranked 297th in the nation in the class of 2016 as a native of Northern California. Playing for Northeast Baseball at the 2015 WWBA World Championship Milam was named to the All-Tournament Team as a hitter, batting .333 (4-for-12) with a pair of doubles and a pair of runs driven in. He also took the mound, finishing among the 209 pitchers that touched at least 90 mph.

Okotoks, Alberta native Matt Lloyd (PG Team Northeast, 2013) started his college career at JuCo powerhouse Iowa Western for one year before transferring to Indiana, and immediately made an impact for the Hoosiers. He also served as his team's closer and posted numbers remarkably similar to Milam's, recording a 2.23 ERA with nine saves in 20 relief appearances. Lloyd's offensive numbers also weren't far off from Milam's, hitting .301-11-46 to give this team a second more-than-capable two-way option.


Nick Sprengel, GBG Marucci, 2014
Starting Pitchers

Tyler Holton, Florida State
Orlando Scorpions/Mets Scout Team, 2014
Brady Singer, Florida
Chet Lemon's Juice, 2012-14
Casey Mize, Auburn
Nelson Baseball/Team GA, 2014
Logan Gilbert, Stetson
Orlando PG Purple, 2014

Tyler Holton, who was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week five times during the 2017 season, was part of a star-studded roster in 2014 as a member of the Orlando Scorpions/Mets Scout Team, a perennial contender in Jupiter. He was named the Most Valuable Pitcher, as his team finished as the runner-up, after striking out 13 hitters over 10 total innings spanning two appearances, including seven shutout frames in the Scorpions semifinal win over GBG Marucci.

Although Mize peaked at 91 mph in Jupiter, he and his Nelson Baseball teammates took the loss to the Scorpions during their last game of pool play as the Scorps stormed to a second-place finish. It was the last of six tournament appearances for Mize during the 2014 summer and fall circuit, and he now is on the short list of candidates for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft after seeing his fastball velocity increase by several ticks since stepping onto campus. He went 8-2 as a sophomore with a 2.04 ERA and a dazzling 109-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 83 2/3 innings of work.

Gilbert, like Holton, was also a member of the Scorpions organization, although not a member of the team that finished as the runner-up in 2014. Gilbert pitched for the Orlando PG Purple squad, sitting in the 88-90 mph range showing the future promise he still shows today thanks to his lean yet wiry strong 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame. He enjoyed an All-American sophomore season for Stetson, going 10-0 with a 2.02 ERA, with his signature performance coming against Florida Gulf Coast in early April, fanning 18 FGCU hitters as part of a complete game two-hit shutout.

Singer, similarly built at 6-foot-5, 180-pounds and now the ace at Florida, appeared at the WWBA World Championship in three straight years wth Chet Lemon's Juice, finishing as the event runner-up in 2012 as a sophomore in high school. Singer attended Florida after he was drafted in the second round out of high school by the Blue Jays in 2015, and went 2-0 for the national champion Gators in Omaha, beating Louisville and then LSU, in the CWS Finals, striking out 21 hitters in 14 combined innings.

This quartet combined to go 37-10 as sophomores, with a 2.48 ERA and a 489-to-98 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 418 innings.


There are too many talented pitchers that throw on the fields in Jupiter each and every year to limit the starters to just four players, as here are two more four-man staffs that could stack up very favorably against any college in the nation:

Konnor Pilkington, Mississippi State (Marlins Scout Team, 2014)
Nick Sprengel, San Diego (GBG Marucci, 2014)
Shane McClanahan, South Florida (SWFL Baseball, 2014)
Jonathan Olsen, UCLA (SGV Arsenal, 2012-13)
Nolan Kingham, Texas (Ohio Warhawks, 2013)
Matt Mercer, Oregon (Team Northwest, 2013)
Jason Bilous, Coastal Carolina (All Star Baseball Academy, 2013-14)

Gunner Leger, Louisiana (Texas Sun Devils, 2013)


Relief Pitcher

Michael Byrne, Florida
Florida Burn, 2012-14

Bryne had a huge season as a sophomore serving as the closer for the national champion Florida Gators, posting a 1.67 ERA and earning 19 saves. As a member of the Florida Burn, the aptly-named Byrne played a big role in their success – he had a knack for coming up big in their semifinal victories – as they won three major tournaments during the 2012 event season: the 16u PG World Series, the WWBA Florida Qualifier and the WWBA Underclass World Championship. While he has since packed on strength, seeing a subsequent increase in fastball velocity as a result, two years after the Burn's Underclass championship Byrne was throwing roughly 10 mph slower – peaking at 87 mph – than the starting pitcher he opposed in Jupiter in 2014, the since-departed Donny Everett. Byrne, and the Burn, managed to shutout a powerful Royals Scout Team on that day in one of the more memorable gatherings of scouts in the history of the WWBA World Championship.

Dylan Moore (D-BAT, 2013) of Louisiana, Chad Luensman (Mid-Atlantic PG Orange, 2014) of Nebraska, Durbin Feltman (Houston Heat, 2013) of TCU, Nick Sandlin (Ohio Warhawks, 2014) of Southern Miss and Dallas Woolkfolk (Chandler Baseball, 2014) of Ole Miss further point to the incredible depth of arms that take the mounds in Jupiter on an annual basis.


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