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Tournaments  | Story  | 10/20/2017

World Championship Day 1 Notes

Photo: Perfect Game

2017 WWBA World Championship: Daily Leaders | Stats

Outfielder Max Marusak (2018, Amarillo, Texas) of Rawlings Scout Team is firming up his status as perhaps the top speed player in the 2018 class based on his first day play in Jupiter. The 6-foot, 175-pound Texas Tech commit has an extremely quick first step and virtually no wasted motion in his running stride. The righthanded hitter ran a 3.71 home-to-first on bunt in one at-bat, then followed up later in the game with an infield single that he beat out in an eye-opening 3.89 seconds, which easily qualifies as top-of-the-scale 80 speed on the pro scout's scale. Marusak has been a shortstop for most of his career but converted to center field in the last year, and while he's still learning routes, his speed enables him to play a shallow and aggressive center field defensively.

Two Florida righthanders competed in an outstanding pitcher's duel Thursday afternoon as the DBacks Langley Blaze defeated Coastal Prospect 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the seventh. What made Langley's Jorge Oleaga (2018, Tampa, Fla.) and Coastal's Nick Love (2018, Callihan, Fla.) impressive was that both of them had three very solid present pitches that they mixed with maturity. Oleaga topped out at 92 mph early, a marked increase from the mid to upper-80s he threw at this summer and supplemented his fastball with a sharp curveball and a very nice low-80s changeup. Oleaga eyeballs at about 5-foot-11, 190-pounds with an especially strong lower half and doesn't have a college commitment at present. He struck out nine hitters in five innings. Love, who is a Jacksonville commit, didn't throw as hard, working in the 86-88 mph range during six very efficient shutout innings with only 63 pitches, but his slider was an advanced pitch and his changeup was just as good as Oleaga's. Both these pitchers have the stuff and skills to be immediately successful at the next level.

There are often young Dominican players showcasing their skills in Jupiter and two very impressive such players are with FTB Tucci 55 this weekend. 14-year old outfielder Erick Pena (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) played in the 14u PG Select Baseball Festival in Fort Myers over Labor Day weekend. He looks nothing like a 14-year old with an extremely projectable and athletic 6-foot-3, 180-pound build and hit cleanup in the FTB line up, going 1-for-3 with a double. Fifteen-year old righthanded pitcher Justino Dominguez Furmin threw an inning of middle relief, working 87-90 mph with his fastball and showing a big breaking curveball with a 2,500-plus spin rate. Dominguez Furmin is listed at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, although he appears a bit shorter, and has a very well paced and balanced delivery and a low effort release that promises more velocity as he physically matures.

Louisiana Knights outfielder Brandon Schrepf (2018, Pensacola, Fla.) has been creating some scout buzz this fall and was one of the offensive standouts at the Florida Scouts Association showcase last weekend. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound South Florida commit has an athletic build that can add plenty of strength and quick hands that produce lots of raw bat speed and power. He opened his Jupiter showing with a deep first inning home run in the Knights morning exhibition game and took some strong at-bats later the rest of the day. Schrepf ran a 6.83 60-yards dash at the PG National Showcase in June and has the arm strength to profile in right field at the next level.

First baseman Blaze Jordan's (2021, Southhaven, Miss.) resume keeps growing. The No. 1-ranked player in the 2021 class, Jordan's first inning home run in the Dulin Dodgers 4-1 loss to FTB/SF Giants Scout Team means that he's hit home runs in the following 2017 PG events: WWBA 14u National Championship, 14u PG World Series, 15u National Championship, 16u National Championship, 17u National Championship, and, of course, the WWBA World Championship. That's pretty impressive stuff for a youngster who still hasn't celebrated his 15th birthday. It's also very likely unprecedented and unlikely to be matched.

That Jordan hit his home run, a towering shot to left field into a pretty stiff wind, off righthander Jack Anderson (2018, Tampa, Fla.) was impressive as well. Anderson has been earning plenty of attention in Florida this fall, with a loose and fast arm that has been 90-92 mph consistently and plenty of projection on his 6-foot-2, 175-pound build. Anderson got ahead of Jordan with a couple of low-90s fastballs but got too much of the plate with a curveball and Jordan was perfectly on time with it. Anderson need only 34 pitches to get through three innings and really worked his fastball low on the corners well. He is a Florida State commit.

Six-foot-7 righthander Franco Aleman (2018, Tampa, Fla.) followed Anderson on the mound and threw just as well, working up to 93 mph with his fastball for two innings and throwing 74 percent strikes. Aleman has been extremely consistent all summer and fall with his command and raw stuff and is hugely projectable. He was a basketball player growing up in Cuba and has only taken up pitching full-time since coming to the United States approximately three years ago.

Jordan's young teammate, infielder Jack O'Dowd (2020, Osprey, Fla.), was very impressive facing the same high-octane pitching, undressing the FTB second baseman with one hard hit top spin line drive one at-bat and fouling off multiple 90-plus mph fastballs another at-bat before slicing a liner down the left field line that the FTB outfielder made a nice running catch on. O'Dowd's bat speed is obvious and he showed barrel skills and timing beyond his years. He is a Vanderbilt commit.

– David Rawnsley

The WWBA World Championship started off as it traditionally does, with a few exhibition games in the morning to get the blood flowing and have some uncommitted arms test the waters. One of the uncommitted arms who impressed was tall lefthander Destin Dotson (2018, Baton Rouge, La.) for the Louisiana Knights.

The senior from Louisiana stands very tall at 6-foot-7 and 225-pounds with incredibly long limbs and tons of room to fill out while adding strength. Dotson came in toward the end of the Knights’ morning exhibition with the Braves Scout Team and finished with a line of five strikeouts in two innings with no runs, no hits, and no walks. Dotson hide the ball well throughout the delivery and, throughout an online and easy arm action, releases from a higher slot to help create plane. The fastball had some pretty consistent cutting life while working in the 86-89 mph range and topping out at 90 mph, while the feel for the breaker was a bit inconsistent, but flashed some tight spin when he got on top of the pitch.

The big allure of Jupiter is that there is a pretty good chance that every game of the event will be a well-contested game with two elite teams matching up, and that’s exactly what one of the early games of the afternoon slot was as the Upstate Mavericks matched up against the Midland Redskins. Talented lefthander Nate Lamb (2018, Chesnee, S.C.) got the start for the Mavericks and showed off some very nasty stuff.

The Clemson commit started out very strong in the first inning with a pair of strikeouts and showed his lively fastball that worked up to 91 mph with tons of run to the arm side. The arm path is loose and whippy, however the speed and whip in conjunction with how the ball comes out of the hand helps to create pretty solid running life to his fastball. That life would lead to some command issues over the afternoon, and during those times he would turn to his power curveball.

Lamb’s curveball is one of pretty high spin rates, consistently around 2,400-2,500 rpm, with good downward life in the upper-70s. He showed the ability to throw the pitch for strikes and even rack up some swings and misses with the pitch. Lamb also flashed a changeup that had intriguing potential. He turned over a few that showed average while up to 81 mph and had good fading life down and to the arm side. The arm speed was a bit slower but the willingness to go to the pitch against hitters of the opposite handedness is undoubtedly a good sign.

Opposing Lamb on the mound, and absolutely dealing in the process, was the Midland Redskins’ Lane Flamm (2018, New Richmond, Ohio). The Xavier commit had some pretty impressive stuff working on Thursday afternoon as he needed only 59 pitches to strike out ten batters over five shutout, two-hit frames.

Flamm immediately drew attention during his strong first inning as he racked up two strikeouts on only nine pitches, and ran his fastball up to 93 mph. The pitch worked in that 90-93 mph for the first two innings and was predominantly a straight offering, however he would flash occasional cutting life to the pitch. The Ohio native is a bit undersized, only registering at 5-foot-10, however the arm speed is appealing to the profile with a quick and mostly clean stroke through the back that he was able to repeat well.

He was able to spot the fastball well to either side of the plate and his command of the pitch was very effective at getting ahead early and setting up his impressive slider. The pitch had late, sharp bite to it and was up to 80 mph on the afternoon. Flamm was very confident in the pitch and racked up six strikeouts on the pitch along. Flamm’s start was one of the more dominant of the day and helped his Redskins team come out on top at the conclusion of the game by a 4-1 score.

Despite multiple strong starts by others on the day, it’s fair to say that South Carolina commit Owen White (2018, Mt. Ulla, N.C.) of the South Charlotte Panthers had the most dominant performance of the day. In a quick and pitching-heavy game, White was absolutely nails as he finished the complete game shutout while only allowing one hit and striking out thirteen batters.

The North Carolina native made his presence immediately known in the first inning as he sat 91-93 mph and unveiled four distinct pitches. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame is very well built for that of a professional prospect and his athleticism on the hill is extremely enticing. A legitimate two-way prospect who plays a solid shortstop, White is a plus athlete and allows him to be very versatile on the mound and repeat his delivery well. It showed good direction toward the plate with fluidity but did feature a couple of moving parts, particularly with the hands.

White worked very well with a clean and fast arm stroke that allowed him to get on top of the fastball effectively to create solid life to the pitch. White attacked early in the count with the pitch and blew it by a couple of hitters early on. The curveball was one of the more exciting pitches of the afternoon working in the upper-70s and touching 80 mph with tremendous depth and sharp, biting break. The pitch registered up to around 2,700 rpm for the spin rate and could be thrown for strikes, however, it was a devastating offering for chases.

He also flashed a short slider at 81 mph with mostly horizontal break and also unveiled a changeup. The changeup was an interesting pitch as he would guide the pitch in at times but was actually an effective pitch against lefties. White kept hitters off balance all afternoon and maintained his velocity well as he was still 89-91 mph in his final inning of work. White turned in one of the best starts in front of a very large crowd of professional scouts and bodes well for the spring.

The lone hit of the day off White came courtesy of the physical righthanded hitter Sean Guilbe (2018, Reading, Pa.) and he roped a double down the left field line in the first innings. After falling down to two strikes in the count, Guilbe shortened up his swing and let his hands do the work as he pulled his hands inside to drive a 92 mph fastball down the pull side for a double. The Tennessee commit has made a name for himself on the amateur circuit for his loud hitting tools and he showed off the power during the morning round of exhibition games with a long home run. Guilbe has excellent bat speed and high ceiling hitting tools at the plate, and it comes down to how often he makes contact at the plate. He is certainly off on the right foot following a good day one and has the potential to be one of the best and most exciting hitters at the event as it unfolds into the weekend.

Ole Miss commit and lefthanded pitcher Kaleb Hill (2018, Pine Bluff, Ark.) opposed White on the mound and turned in a quality performance of his own. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefthander is a very physical and imposing presence on the mound and works with an athletic delivery featuring a lot of moving parts. Those moving parts combined with his very short and online arm action create a very deceptive delivery through the point of release which aids in helping his stuff play up.

Hill delivered a very crisp and efficient four shutout innings on the mound that required only 55 pitches. The effort level to the release is extremely low as it looks like he is out there playing catch in the upper-80s. Hill ran his fastball up to 90 mph early on but sat comfortably in the 86-89 mph range while mixing in a curveball that showed off some depth. Hill has good feel and confidence in the curveball that worked well as a pitch to keep opposing hitters at bay. There is good pitchability to the profile and he showed a good feel to hit his spots and mix speeds effectively.

One of the big upsets of the day, and one of the more exciting games, came during the evening slots as the Reds Midwest Scout Team downed last year’s runner-up Team Elite Prime. Aidan Maldonado (2018, Rosemount, Minn.) showed some of the best velocity of the day as he ran his fastball up to 94 mph while keeping the opposition at bay early on.

Maldonado is listed at a lean 6-foot, 170—pounds and features a simple delivery through a longer arm action that wraps around the back side. The Illinois commit has quality arm speed and sat in the 91-94 mph range in the first inning of work. He attacked hitters with fastballs and got a good deal of swing and miss on the pitch with five empts cuts on fastballs and two strikeouts in the first inning along. The fastball racked up an absurd ten swings and misses for Maldonado on the afternoon which is just a testament to how good his command was on Thursday night and how effective the pitch was.

The righthander also mixed in a breaking ball that showed short break and tight spinning action. He could lengthen the breaking ball out to be thrown for strikes, but he really didn’t need the pitch often as the fastball was the go-to pitch.

All four pitchers the Reds Scout Team used on Thursday worked up to at least 91 mph, and there were a number of other standout performances from both sides during the Reds Scout Team’s 6-3 victory.

Tanner Kohlhepp (2018, Eau Claire, Wis.) followed Maldonado out of the bullpen and came in throwing similar levels of velocity. The Tennessee commit’s path to release was longer and wrapped, however he was able to get the arm through the circle effectively and on time. Kohlhepp worked two scoreless frames with his fastball that lived in the 90-93 mph range while only surrendering one hit during the process. The fastball was, again, the primary pitch for Kohlkepp as he mixed in a couple of sliders but was able to generate velocity ot both sides to make hitters uncomfortable.

Luke Mann (2018, St. Louis, Mo.) ran his fastball up to 91 mph during one short inning of worked and showed off a power approach with the requisite stuff to back it up. The Missouri commit attacks from a higher arm slot that is pretty close to over the top, which allows him to generate plane on the fastball. The fastball worked in the 88-90 mph range and flashed cutting life to the pitch. The big breaking ball was a quality offering as it worked in the mid-70s but was a high spin rate pitch that showed off tremendous depth.

Francois Castillo (2018, Chicago, Ill.) closed out the victory with an explosive arm that was able to run his fastball up to 93 mph. The Eastern Illinois commit is a primary third baseman but showed some potential as a reliever at the next level. The arm action was compact although the back elbow creeped up high through release. He flashed a curveball in warm ups but due to some command issues worked exclusively with the fastball in game. He walked a couple of hitters but bore down to blow the fastball by hitters within the strike zone, an impressive feat against a lineup with tons of Division I commits.

Ryder Green (2018, Knoxville, Tenn.) turned in what may ultimately being the hardest hit ball of the entire event with a 107 mph double down the line to the pull side. The Vanderbilt commit got out in front of fastball and hustled down the line to advance to second base. Green has had a strong showing over the summer circuit with outstanding athleticism and the raw strength to the profile works well both with in-game hard hit balls such as the double and an intriguing power ceiling.

Will Banfield (2018, Lawrenceville, Ga.) came into the event as the No. 4-ranked prospect in the class and had a pretty strong game in all facets. He notched two hits during the game including a single to the pull side off a breaking ball. Banfield did a good job at sitting back on the curveball to drive it to the pull side and he showed off his traditional excellent catching skills. The Vanderbilt commit handles the pitchers very well behind the plate with tremendous athleticism and the arm strength showed itself again on Thursday with a relatively easy caught stealing that was in the 1.85-1.90 range for a pop time.

Andrew Wiegman (2019, Antioch, Ill.) delivered the big blow of the day that ultimately ended up being the difference maker. The Louisville commit has a pretty strong frame at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds with tons of room left to fill out and add strength. The righthanded hitter showed off loud barrel skills by taking an elevated 93 mph fastball and driving it over the head of the centerfielder to knock in multiple runs. The triple cleared the bases and left the barrel at 96 mph while traveling an estimated 347 feet per TrackMan.

During the final time slot of the day there were tons of talented teams on display and the Canes’ Mitchell Parker (2018, Albuquerque, N.M.) turned in a very strong start. Racking up the strikeouts was no issue at all for the Tennessee commit who struck out fifteen batters in only five innings of work. He had to work around some command issues but the stuff was, clearly, extremely impressive and difficult to square up.

The velocity is a good place to start with Parker as the lengthy lefthander worked in the 88-92 mph range throughout his start. The fastball was mostly straight but he would rattle off a few on occasion that had tremendous life either cutting to the glove side or running to the arm side. Parker’s delivery and arm action make it very difficult to time up. The arm action is multi-pieced with a few different checkpoints, however he repeats it extremely well to be consistent and it makes the fastball impossible to time up. The slot was almost directly overhead, however he would lower the slot to get to his big breaking curveball. The pitch worked in the mid-70s with 1-to-7 shape and tremendous depth. The pitch had a ton of break and he did a good job throwing the ball for strikes. Parker’s deception, combined with the sheer nastiness of his stuff make for a good combination and he showed it with his strikeout numbers on Thursday night.

– Vinnie Cervino

North East Baseball’s righthander Coy Cobb (2018, Katy, Texas), a University of Texas commit, gives the appearance of former Longhorns star Ryan Kjos. The 6-foot-4, long-limbed hurler works with ease on the mound with late life to all his offerings. He shows the makings of a future power arm along the lines of what Kjos was in Austin in the early 90’s. His fastball sat in the 88-91 range with multiple peaks at 92 mph while showing arm-side life and occasional sink. His curveball is not yet equal to the power slider that Kjos would show on Friday nights at Disch-Faulk Field but it does have that type of potential. With 11-to-5 shape and late downer action to it, Cobb has plenty to work with. His changeup was thrown with hand speed and stayed at 82 mph and he showed some level of feel for the offering.

Padres Scout Team/Chandler World’s Yeankarlos Lleras (2018, Carolina, Puerto Rico) spent his day throwing darts at his catcher’s glove on Thursday at the Cardinals’ side of the Roger Dean Complex. The 6-foot, 165-pound righthander, who is committed to Florida International, fired fastballs in the 88-90 mph range consistently, topping at 92 mph. To make fist fastball even better in the eyes of opposing hitters, he showed advanced feel for a quality changeup. Working from a high three-quarters arm slot, this offering showed arm side fade and some sinking action at 80-81 mph. Lleras’ arm is quick and clean which allowed him to spin a tight slider with later action consistently at 75-76 mph.

North East Baseball righthanded pitcher Tristin Lively (2018, Las Cruces, N.M.) displayed the arm strength that he has become known for since the beginning of the summer circuit in the Southwest. With a fastball that sat 89-91 throughout his outing and peaking at 93 mph, Lively was more consistently in the strike zone. With an array of off-speed pitches, it is easy for Lively to appear dominant at times when his command is solid. There are subtle differences to his curveball and slider, other than the velocity change. His curveball, at 74-75 mph, has more down action and with the 11-to-5 shape it can give a different appearance than his slider. His slider has much more depth, and later hard break with slightly higher than 10-to-4 shape, but not quite the same plane of his curveball. His changeup is not his best off-speed pitch presently but he throws it with hand speed at 83-84 and the differential does create weaker contact from opposing hitters.

On Deck O’s first-baseman and closer Josh Swartz (2018, Indian Trail, N.C.) showed some impressive tools at the plate and on the mound in their opening game on Thursday. Swartz showed present strength and good bat speed to go with loose and easy hands at the plate. This was before hopping on the mound to finish up the last inning of the game with a fastball that had heavy-sinking action at 89-90 mph. At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Swartz, a Western Carolina commit, is imposing in the box as well as on the mound. With a short and compact-delivery he shows the ability to repeat it well and command of his offerings is not an issue. He features a curveball with a shape just west of 12-to-6 sitting between 73-75 mph. With solid downer action it is a different look than the typical sinker/slider combination. Swartz projects well as a two-way player at the next level should he get the opportunity to do both.

Team Northeast catcher-turned-righthanded pitcher Dawson Woods (2018, Corsicana, Texas) showed the ability to be a two-way player moving on to the college level. The Navarro College commit worked 90-91 mph with a smooth and easy effort level on the mound. His fastball jumped out of his hand and featured arm-side fade directly from his hand that would bore in on right-handed hitters. He complimented this with an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that spun tightly with hard down action in the 74-76 mph range. Woods showed advanced feel on the mound for a secondary pitcher, much less one that is a primary catcher.

Iowa Select righthanded pitcher Will Christophersen (2018, Bettendorf, Iowa) a Michigan State commit, navigated his way through his first outing of the tournament with a fastball that sat consistently 87-90 and bumped 91. From his high three-quarters arm slot it appeared that Christophersen was not even going to break a sweat in the Florida heat and humidity with such an effortless delivery. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder worked with both a slider and a curveball as his secondary offerings. His curveball shows 12-to-6 shape with down action and the slider possessed more of a 10-to-4 shape and more depth at 76-77 mph. With a frame that can easily hold more weight, it is easy to project his stuff to improve with added strength and size.

Iowa Select righthander Tyler Lewis (2018, West Des Moines, Iowa) showed power stuff on the mound sitting 90-92, while hitting 94 mph. At 6-foot-4, 235-pounds, he has the physical build that scouts look for in a power pitcher. With solid use of his lower half, he showed the ability to repeat a compact delivery from a high three-quarters arm slot that fired arm-side fastballs to the lower part of the strike zone. He showed an explosive slider with 10-to-4 shape and depth as well as late biting action.

East Coast Sox Select lefthander Christian Macleod (2018, Huntsville, Ala.) worked through his outing with a fastball that stayed in the 87-88 range and topped at 89 mph. The 6-foot-3, 215 pound Mississippi State commit had no trouble working through the lineup by being able to locate down in the zone to both halves of the plate. However, with the complement of a power 2-to-8 shaped curveball, that he commanded well and a changeup that was thrown with great feel and hand speed, Macleod hardly faced any adversity in the outing. With a comfortable lead and a solid three-pitch mix, he never let opposing hitters have a chance to breathe.

GBG Marucci righthander Braydon Fisher (2018, League City, Texas) showed his loose and easy quick arm again on Thursday night against Tri-State Arsenal Prime. With a fastball that remained between 90-92 mph with arm-side life, the Lamar University commit kept GBG Marucci within striking distance after entering with runners at second and third and trailing 2-0. His fastball has riding arm-side life to both halves of the plate, as well as occasional sinking action. He recorded a huge strikeout to get out of a bases loaded jam, with a short, hard-biting slider with 11-to-5 shape and quality depth. Standing 6-foot-4 and 180-pounds, Fisher’s frame can hold additional weight easily as he matures physically.

– Britt Smith

Ryan Cabarcas (2019, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) received the win on Thursday for Elite Squad Louisville Slugger, throwing three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and walking two while striking out four. Cabarcas has a medium frame with plenty of room to still grow and develop. He does an excellent job of getting good extension to home plate on his front foot and has solid, quick arm action to home plate with a high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sat mostly at 85 and reached up to 88 and the ball was coming out of his hand with good life and occasional arm-side run when throwing from the windup. He worked mostly with a two-pitch mix, pairing his fastball with a plus curveball that he has a great feel for and showed solid command as he threw it in any count. His curveball has solid late, quick 1-for-7 break with big depth that produced many swings and misses while also catching hitters off guard, causing them freeze.

Cabarcas’ batterymate Benjamin Rozenblum (2019, Coral Springs, Fla.) was excellent behind the plate defensively as he showed the ability to consistently block the baseball and did not let one ball reach the fence, saving a couple of runs with runners on third. He showed off his skills at the plate going 1-for-2 with a double. Cabarcas is headed to the University of Florida and Rozenblum is headed to Florida International in the fall of 2019.

Rudy Maxwell (2018, Brentwood, Tenn.) is a big catcher and corner infielder with a large, strong frame with some big upper body strength and physicality present. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, and showed solid strength in his hands and a good approach at the plate. He laced a line drive to right field off of a curveball that fooled most hitters in the Indians Scout Team lineup.

Wingate commit Adam Tulloch (2018, Weston, Fla.) struck out three in two innings of relief. His fastball was up to 89 with solid life up in the zone and he had his slider working which displayed medium depth and tight, horizontal break.

UNC commit Caleb Roberts (2018, Coral Springs, Fla.) has a medium frame and lean build with room to still grow stronger and put on muscle. Roberts hits with a spread stance and is very rhythmic at the plate with a simple, quick swing that he does a great job of repeating while showing a great ability to consistently drop the barrel on the baseball. Roberts went 2-for-2 with a line drive single and a line drive double. Roberts rocks his body slightly back and forth as the pitcher works to the top of their windup/release, and once the pitcher gets ready to release, he shifts his weight to his backside and shifts it forward fluidly to the point of contact to produce a nice and loose swing with plenty of extension.

5 Star National loss to a tough AZ D-Backs Scout Team, but some of their players shined during the afternoon contest.

Chase Wilkerson (2018, Headland, Ala.) is a talented righthanded pitcher for 5 Star National with a slender, medium frame with room to still grow. Wilkerson uses his long limbs to get good push off the rubber and produce some solid, fast arm action with an over-the-top arm slot. He struck out two and allowed one run on one hit and one walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Wilkerson showed a solid three-pitch mix with his fastball reaching 90 and sitting at 86-90 with quality movement and good arm-side run. He paired that with a quality 11-to-5 curveball with sharp, late break and big depth. He flashed a quality changeup with solid fade action that he located low in the zone for a strike.

Brandon Howlett (2018, Lakeland, Fla.) will be a name that’s brought up a lot come draft time next June as the young FSU commit has a strong, athletic frame and showcased his power at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and line drive single to right field. Howlett has a very solid frame and strong lower half and does a great job of using every part of his body in his swing. He has a pretty balanced swing with plenty of lift that produces hard contact when the barrel connects with the baseball. He gets great torque from his hips and turned on a 91 mph fastball and hit it off the scoreboard in left field.

Howlett’s teammate, Trey Lipscomb (2018, Clarksburg, Md.), also shined at the plate smashing two line drive singles to left and right field. Lipscomb has long and lean frame with plenty of athleticism in his swing and in the outfield. Lipscomb has a simple, balanced uppercut swing and does a great job creating leverage in his swing to produce consistent line drive contact for hard singles, then uses his speed to steal second. He gets excellent reads on pitchers, as he stole second with ease in the second inning getting an big jump on the pitcher. Lipscomb is headed to the University of Tennessee next year.

Arizona State commit Chase Webster (2018, Gilbert, Ariz.) looked good on the mound for the AZ D-Backs Scout Team. He gave up an early two-run home run to Howlett but made an adjustment and finished with two strikeouts and only gave up two hits in two innings of work. Webster has an easy, effortless fast arm action from an over-the-top arm slot that produced a fastball that touched 92 with life at times. Webster’s arm works very well and he paired his fastball with a solid slider that still needs some development as it had a tendency to stay in the strike zone for a long time, making it a hittable pitch. Webster has a high ceiling, with a fast arm action and room to develop, which could lead to some increase in velo. With the proper instruction he could further develop his off-speed and become a solid pitcher in the Sun Devils’ rotation.

Jonathan Ornelas (2018, Peoria, Ariz.) showed some solid pop, as he crushed a double off the left field fence in the first inning. He showcased some very quick bat speed and a loose swing from the right side that gets the bat the zone with quickness and fluidity.

Brennen Davis (2018, Queen Creek, Ariz.) played a big part in the D-Backs win as he went 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles and a run. Davis is very hard to strike out, as he is a long and lanky outfielder who uses his long arms to get excellent plate coverage and has a simple and balanced swing that easily can produce consistent contact. He hit the ball to every part of the field and should have a few coaches paying close attention to him throughout this tournament.

There were some talented arms that threw in the Padres Scout Team/Scorpions and Team Indiana 1-1 tie as righthanded arms Troy Britt (2018 Orange Park, Fla.) and Connor Scott (2018, Tampa, Fla.) looked solid on the mound Thursday in their relief outings.

Britt was up to 90 with consistent, quality arm-side run on his fastball that he threw from a high three-quarters arm slot as he struck out two in one inning of relief. He also showed a solid changeup that he would drop down to a three-quarters arm slot to throw that had quick, sinking action to it. Britt has a medium frame with plenty of room to still grow as he listed at 6-foot,160-pounds and still has a lot of room to fill out and develop. Scott will be an excellent addition to the University of Florida roster as he showcased a plus slider with late, sharp horizontal break with a lot of depth and produced many swings and misses.

Scott has short, quick arm action that produces a fastball up to 90 with occasional life. He struck out three in two innings of relief and has great feel for his slider with good command as he threw it for strikes often.

Ohio State commit Garrett Burhenn (2018, Indianapolis, Ind.) was up to 93 mph in his relief outing for Team Indiana. Burhenn has long limbs that he uses to get good extension to home plate. He paired that with an above average curve that sat at 75 with fast, late 11-to-5 break.

– Brandon Lowe

As is tradition, Day 1 of the WWBA World Championship started off with several exhibition games to allow for teams to show off their uncommitted arms and get warmed up for pool play. The Ohio Warhawks took down the Midland Redskins in one of these exhibitions and William English (2018, Taylor, Mich.) continued to impress, as he’s done all year.

The lean, long-limbed English has made several strides over the past 10 months or so since we saw him at the Underclass-Main Event showcase in December, adding significant velocity and continuing to show as a very good two-way prospect. He worked up to 91 mph on the mound and showed some ability to command the ball to both sides of the plate while generating good extension and angle at times. There exists significant upside on the mound here, where his athleticism, natural looseness, and pure arm strength all combine to form a potential big time prospect, but as per usual with northern, younger arms, he’s very raw at present.

He’s also an accomplished defender in the outfield with good rangy twitch and solid speed, and he has come a long way with the bat in the past year as well. He picked up two hits in this game and really drove a ball up the left-center field gap for a double, really showing off the quickness of his hands and the strength he’s added in the past year or so. His upside is likely higher from a professional perspective on the mound, but he’s for sure a potential two-way prospect in terms of college baseball.

The Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team got off to a 1-0 start with a win over the always-dangerous Mountain West Slammers, led by Chase Costello (2018, Pompano Beach, Fla.). Costello is committed to LSU, a significant recruiting win for the Tigers as southeast Florida is hardly a LSU pipeline. He’s got quality projection remaining on his frame and has done a good job gaining strength just in the past 4-5 months or so while on the summer circuit. He does a good job creating angle to the plate when in command from an extended three quarters slot, working up to 91 mph with his fastball and mostly settling into the 86-89 mph range. He’s able to sink the pitch a bit when working the bottom of the zone, and it works well for him both as a swing-and-miss pitch that can be overpowering along with a pitch that get him quick outs as it misses barrels. He’s shown an above-average slider at times this year, and while it’s usually right in the average range in terms of consistency, it shows good bite with late movement and could be projected higher as he continues to gain feel for the pitch.

Though saddled with the loss, Simeon Woods-Richardson (2018, Houston, Texas) continued to do what he’s done all summer, tantalizing scouts with a combination of present stuff, athleticism and significant upside when he took the mound on Thursday afternoon. Woods-Richardson is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound physical specimen, with an ideal pitcher’s build that has only recently really begun to fill out, offering excellent projection remaining on the body, though he’s strong right now too.

He worked up to 93 mph on the mound, showing consistent ability to get over his front side cleanly in a slightly-closed off delivery, showing excellent torso strength and flexibility in the process. The arm stroke is lengthy and moderately offline, hooking through the back to generate leverage but being more or less on time at foot strike, a testament to his arm speed. The fastball sat in the 88-92 mph range, throttling back early in counts and ramping up later to get swings-and-misses, showing an advanced feel for pitching by being content to get ground balls early on and keep his pitch count low. The fastball is very heavy by itself, and working it to both sides to go along with that sink did allow Woods-Richardson to get several early-count groundballs. He’s shown the makings of a plus curveball at various points this summer, most notably at the Area Code Games, and flashed such potential on Thursday as well, creating plus spin at times on the curveball and snapping off some beauties with big time depth and bite.

The pleasant surprise of the day came when Victor Vodnik (2018, Rialto, Calif.) took the mound for BPA, fresh off of a fall full of hype coming out of scout ball in California. He was undoubtedly impressive in his three-inning stint, allowing a single unearned run while striking out three and allowing no hits.

Vodnik is a well-built righthander, though a bit undersized as power-armed righthanders go, working up to 95 mph on Thursday (he’d been up to 96 mph this fall in California), generating good sink to the pitch and for the most part pounding it down in the strike zone, though the command slipped a bit in his final inning. His arm is quick and clean for the most part, timing the arm stroke up well in sync with his lower half and engaging his back hip well as he drives downhill. He threw his off-speed stuff in the larger velocity range of 80-88 mph, with a slider that was best in the 82-83 mph range with tight, late depth that flashed above average on the pro scale. Vodnik also mixed in more of a cutter in the 87-88 mph range that was a quality pitch for him, thrown to the glove side with good ability to slice off of barrels. Vodnik is committed to Cal State-Northridge to continue his baseball career, but is firmly on the MLB Draft radar thanks to his performance this fall.

Perfect Game All-American and Missouri commit Seth Halvorsen (2018, Plymouth, Minn.) got the start for the Minnesota Blizzard on Thursday afternoon, and though he battled some command issues, his defense didn’t help him out a whole lot either. Halvorsen is a highly-athletic, twitchy two-way player who should be a big benefit to Missouri in several facets of the game, though it’s his prowess on the mound especially that has stood out this summer. He worked up to 95 mph with his fastball, showing a lot of 92-93 mph early on before tapering off a bit. He’s thrown both a curveball and a slider, with each showing positives at various points this summer, while also needing refinement. The curveball was improved in this look, thrown in the mid-70s with good depth to the break, while the slider was still sharp but he had a tendency to yank it and lose any potential for command as a result. The athleticism and arm speed still took center stage for him in this outing, and while the overall package is still undoubtedly raw, there exists excellent upside for the young Minnesotan.

In what ended up being a matchup of All-Americans, Halvorsen went toe-to-toe with Jeremiah Jackson (2018, Mobile, Ala.) and the East Coast Sox Select, who ended up coming out on the winning end. Jackson picked up three hits in the game, showing off the same easy, fluid swing that consistently served him well over the course of the summer circuit. Jackson is a hyper-athletic middle infield prospect whose athleticism is more of the smooth-and-easy variety than the ultra-twitchy variety, which plays extremely well in the middle infield, where he’s projected to stay long term. He also brings significant upside to his profile with the bat, where he’s shown off both big time hitting tools as well as a lot more power than you’d expect given his lithe build. He’s one of the higher-upside prospects in attendance.

Ryan Hawks (2019, Bowling Green, Ky.) got the win for the East Coast Sox Select, allowing only one hit over his four shutout innings, picking up seven strikeouts along the way. A junior prospect who is committed to Louisville, Hawks most notably had zero problems commanding his fastball and really attacking hitters with it, working up to 90 mph and creating good angles to the plate with it. He worked in a quality slider that works well out of his hand given his extended three-quarters slot release, with good late tilt that will be a bat-misser for him moving forward.

Isaiah Bennett (2019, Fayetteville, N.C.) got in a quick one inning of relief in the 5 Star National loss on Thursday afternoon, but it was a good look nonetheless, as the No. 22 overall prospect in the class of 2019 showed off the upside that we’ve seen from him all summer. He’s extremely athletic and very physically projectable, with a clean, repeatable delivery and loose arm stroke that is capable of running his fastball up to 92 mph. He was up to 90 mph in this outing, throwing a clean inning on 12 pitches, showing solid fastball life in the 87-90 mph range and working in a solid slider that had some late bite to it.

The Braves Scout Team got off to an 0-1 start by way of a loss to the Sandlot Scout Team, though Cooper Stinson (2018, Peachtree Corners, Ga.) was good in his start for the Braves. Stinson is an extremely physical righthander, standing 6-foot-6 and checking in around 240 pounds, with extreme strength throughout his physicality. Stinson’s delivery is repeated pretty well, especially for a prospect of his size, rotating his hips well and getting online through his drive downhill and doing a good job of finishing over his front side. His arm action is pretty clean, spiraling his elbow well and getting timed up well, though the arm slot has a tendency to drift from pitch-to-pitch at times. He generates average extension from a usually three-quarters slot, and creates good angles and fastball life as a result.

He worked in the 88-93 mph range for the most part, peaking at 94 mph early on and showing off solid heavy life when down in the zone, also demonstrating the ability to work his fastball to both sides of the plate. He works with an average slider as well, thrown in the low-80s with the beginnings of two-plane snap, maxing out as an average pitch in this look. He’s committed to attend the Naval Academy next year, though the MLB Draft may have something to say about that as we work towards the spring.

Cole Winn (2018, Orange, Calif.) has made a significant amount of noise on the national circuit this summer, and the No. 58-ranked player in the class of 2018 continued that progression late on Thursday night when he got the ball against the Ontario Blue Jays for the Houston Astros Scout Team/Elite Squad. Winn is still a bit wiry in his build, though he’s noticeably added strength in his lower half, and fits the mold of the projectable righthander profile. His delivery is good, getting online with his hips and driving downhill with authority to the plate, while the arm action is moderately hooked and offline through the back, the back elbow doesn’t get too high and he’s able to time himself up coming through.

The arm speed is plus, and in conjunction with his physical projection it’s easy to envision Winn pitching with plus velocity long term. He worked up to 94 mph early on with his fastball, settling into the 90-93 mph range for the entirety of his three-inning outing, pounding the fastball down in the zone and generating average sink at times. He showcased an average slider as well, thrown in the low-80s with good, late bite when properly spun, and it has the makings of a potentially plus pitch long term for him. Winn is originally a Colorado native, but has transferred to California and is attending powerhouse Orange Lutheran for his senior year, and will be heavily scouted all spring.

The Ontario Blue Jays ended up getting the win and got a great performance from Jacob Kush (2018, Guelph, Ontario, Canada), who struck out seven hitters and allowed only one hit over the course of his 5 2/3 innings. The righthander worked up to 90 mph with his fastball, consistently sitting in the 86-89 mph range and generating solid plane to the plate despite being a bit undersized as far as traditional righthanders go. He showed off a quality curveball as well, thrown in the mid-70s with good depth.

Cory Acton (2018, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has done nothing but find the barrel since he came onto the scene as an underclassmen several years ago, and the lefthanded hitting Florida commit shows no signs of changing that any time soon. He has excellent hands at the plate with a good approach and the ability to square the ball up to all fields, showing off more and more power as he has developed as well, working up both gaps at times. He was one of the few big bats to hit the ball hard Thursday night, driving a ball back up the middle for a base hit, and continuing to show as one of the better pure hitters in the class.

– Brian Sakowski