Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ways to Play Day 1 Scout Notes

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game

2017 Ways to Play Power by MLB & PG: Event Page | Daily Leaders | Stats

East Cobb Astros righthander Cooper Stinson (2018, Peachtree Corners, Ga.) threw five very strong innings to pick up a win against MLB Breakthrough Series, working in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball and snapping off some sharp low-80s sliders. Stinson, a Navy commit, has a strong and very durable 6-foot-6, 225-pound build and sound and balanced delivery he repeated very well. His fastball tends to be straight but he did do an outstanding job of working the low corners with the pitch, something that led to numerous called strikeouts per the modified Ways to Play rules. Stinson only threw 53 pitches in five innings while not walking a hitter.

MLB Breakthrough Series righthander Elijah Pleasants (2018, Clarksville, Tenn.) is a very interesting projection prospect. He's listed at a very believable 6-foot-4, 170-pounds, with a high waist and very long and loose arms. Pleasants throws from a very low effort delivery and the ball comes out of his hand easily. He topped out at 90 mph and there is more velocity there as he matures physically and his mid-70s curveball already has some power and a big break. He is a Tennessee commit.

MLB center fielder Baisel Williams (2018, Hammond, La.) had a busy summer, starting off with the PG National Showcase in June, and has been having a very active fall as well. A speedy and athletic true center fielder who ran a 6.59 60-yard dash at the PG National, Williams improvement with the bat over the course of the five months has been very noticeable. A switch-hitter, Williams showed better raw bat speed and barrel control right handed but all those lefthanded repetitions against high level pitching came into play when he blasted a 357 foot run to right field Saturday morning. The 117th ranked player in the PG 2018 class rankings, Williams is committed to Mississippi State.

Upstate Maverick's lefthander Nate Lamb (2018, Chesnee, S.C.) has made what look to be some significant changes to his delivery since this scout last saw him in August. The 6-foot-5 Lamb threw cross body in August and his lack of good direction to the plate impacted the consistency of his pitches. He was very directional and balanced in his mechanics for four innings no-hit innings on Saturday and his stuff was extremely sharp. Lamb topped out at 90 mph after being up to 92 a couple of times this summer but he showed an impressive four-pitch mix that included a 74 mph curveball, an upper-70s slider and a very nice 80 mph changeup. Lamb is a Clemson commit who is ranked 192nd in the PG class rankings.

Another lefthander who looks like he's moved his game to another level since the summer is the Canes National's Carter Lohman (Fishers, Ind.). A Louisville commit, Lohman worked most of the summer in the 86-89 mph range with his fastball and showed advanced pitchability with a mid-70s curveball and a deceptive changeup. He worked four shutout innings on Saturday, pretty much sitting at 90-92 mph with his fastball and showing a similar increase in the power on his curveball at 77-78 mph. Like Lamb, if Lohman can maintain his improvements through next spring it could well change his standing with professional scouts.

Canes National catcher Adam Hackenberg's (2018, Palmyra, Va.) bat was a major factor in the Canes two wins on Saturday. In the first inning in the Canes 3-2 win over North East Baseball, Hackenberg hit a two-out, two-strike, two-run single. The interesting thing about that at-bat was that Hackenberg, a Clemson commit, was late on two low-90s fastballs from North East righthander Travis Lane (2018, Georgetown, Mass.), but instead of staying with the heat, Lane hung a breaking ball and Hackenberg jumped on it. In the second game, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Hackenberg broke open a 1-0 game in the top of the fifth inning with a no-doubt three-run home run just to the left of the scoreboard in left-center field.

Later that inning, Hackenberg's teammate, outfielder Mike Rodriguez (2018, Ada, Mich.) crushed his own two-run home run to left field. Rodriguez, a Texas A&M commit who is ranked 216th in the PG class rankings, has outstanding raw bat speed and has always been an aggressive hitter who attacks pitches, an advantage in this format.

Perfect Game All-American catcher Anthony Seigler (2018, Cartersville, Ga.) is known, for good reason, as the most versatile player in high school baseball. The switch-hitting, switch-pitching Auburn commit caught the Canes first game, then played first base and right field during the second game, hitting leadoff in both games. He went 3-for-3 in the second game, with a single, double and triple, all from the left side.

Another PG All-American, righthander Austin Becker (2018, Sudbury, Ohio), started the Canes first game and worked five innings, allowing only two hits. Becker worked in the 88-92 mph range to go with a mid-70s curveball and a developing low-80s changeup. The very projectable Becker seemed to be getting out in front early in his delivery and missed frequently down in the strike zone but competed well and worked out of a few jams.

South Charlotte Panthers righthander Owen White (2018, Mt. Ulla, N.C.) looks like he's put on some positive weight on his athletic 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame and used that strength to maintain his stuff well over a seven inning, 90 pitch performance on Sunday. White was regularly up to 92-94 mph in the summer but worked mostly in the 88-90 mph range on Saturday while liberally mixing in his curveball and changeup. He picked up a tough luck loss to 5 Star National despite allowing only one hit in those seven innings. White is the 102nd-ranked prospect in the PG class rankings and is committed to South Carolina.

PG All-American infielder Kendall Logan Simmons (2018, Macon, Ga.) only went 1-for-6 in the East Cobb Yankees two victories but it was obvious that the modified rules fitted his approach at the plate well. Simmons had three walks on a day, when walks were pretty rare, and had consistently good at-bats with lots of near-miss swings. One big positive about the rules from a scouting perspective was Simmons had nine at-bats on the day and whenever a scout can watch a top prospect get nine at-bats in one day, that's a big positive. This scout, however, enjoys watching Simmons play third base as much as he enjoys watching him hit. While Simmons is a solid shortstop, where he played the first game Saturday, he is a superlative third baseman with very fluid and graceful actions and a plus throwing arm.

– David Rawnsley

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