Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, January 14, 2018

West MLK Day 2 Scout Notes

Greg Gerard         Taylor Weber        
Photo: Perfect Game

West PG/MLK Championship Daily Leaders: Upperclass | Underclass | Freshman

Day 1 Scout Notes

One of the most impressive pitchers from a projection standpoint in the 2020 class is righthander Mick Abel (2020, Cedar Mill, Ore.). Abel worked a perfect inning tossing just nine pitches, all fastballs as the 6-foot-5, 180-pound righthander sat 90-93 mph with his fastball. Abel pitches with a loose, effortless arm action that is polished for his size and age. The delivery is so clean that it makes it hard to believe that he is only a sophomore and the velocity comes easy as the ball just jumps out of his hand. He did only toss one inning filled with fastballs so there was no glimpse of an off-speed pitch. The 2016 Perfect Game Select Baseball Festival participant was lights out, striking out two on nothing but well-located fastballs with good velocity and natural arm-side life. Abel is already a big-time pitcher, but it will be interesting to see Abel fill out his projectable frame and develop to see the final product.

Willie Weiss (2018, Beaverton, Ore.) put together a strong start for Pacific Northwest Regional Team 2018 Royal against a very talented Recruits team. Weiss locates his fastball well down in the zone, a pitch that peaked at 90 mph. He mixed in a 12-to-6 curveball as well with a delivery that shows some deception to hitters. Coiling at the balance point with a shorter arm action, Weiss hides the ball well and it gets on hitters quickly. Even though he releases with some effort, he is a solid pitcher and a quality get for the Michigan Wolverines.

Tommy Springer (2018, Apple Valley, Minn.) is committed to the University of Missouri and repeatedly pounded the strike zone in the first inning of his outing on Saturday with an 87 mph fastball. Each fastball he threw in the first inning showed up on the radar gun at 87 mph with the exception of two pitches: one at 88 and the other at 86. The fastball did miss plenty of bats and was accompanied by a slider that came from a similar tunnel as the fastball. His slider is a good secondary pitch with tight spin in the low-80s. With tilt on the back leg, Springer reaches back with a full arm action to get on top of the fastball downhill. Springer is a solid addition to a top 25 2018 recruiting class for the Tigers.

One of the more athletic players in the Underclass West MLK tournament is LSU commit Connor Phillips (2019, Magnolia, Texas). That athleticism is shown in his delivery as well as at the plate. Phillips has a clean delivery with a loose arm action. His fastball flashes occasional sinking action to go along with good velocity in the 88-91 mph range. Phillips did an excellent job of locating the fastball to the lower third of the zone, specifically low and away to righthanded hitters. Phillips has good command and he did so with mostly just a fastball, only having to go to his 12-to-6 breaking ball one time in three innings. The most impressive aspect of Phillips’s start on the mound Saturday was that all nine of the outs he recorded were via the strikeout.

Phillips helped himself out by collecting two hits in the game including a line drive double to his pull side. The 6-foot-1 170-pound prospect also showed solid speed, running a home-to-first time of 4.36 seconds. Phillips is part of a loaded 2019 recruiting class for the LSU Tigers and it will be interesting to see which position he winds up at as he shows he is a legitimate two-way talent.

Brett Hammit (2018, Nixa, Mo.) swung a live bat early and often in Saturday’s contest for the San Diego Show. A very physical primary shortstop was the designated hitter in Saturday’s contest. Each at-bat seemingly came with runners on base and Hammit produced each time up, providing the Show with four RBI, key to the Show’s 8-1 victory. Three of his four RBI came on a double that was smoked to left field. The University of Nebraska commit put a good swing on the ball showcasing a quick bat with loud pop and big power potential. Hammit is a fun player to watch swing the bat anytime he steps foot in the batter’s box.

Jacob Godman (2018, Las Vegas, Nev.) produced some loud pop in Recruits’ 3-0 win. Godman roped a double off of the left field wall and finished off the day with a pair of hard hits. Committed to UNLV, Godman has present bat speed in his stroke with power to pull. There is strength throughout his frame and it shows in his swing. At a physical 6-foot-2 190-pounds, the primary catcher should be a solid addition to the Runnin’ Rebels’ 2018 recruiting class.

At an extremely physical 6-foot-5 225-pounds, it is no question that Kyler Bush (2018, West Haven, Utah) is a presence on the mound. Bush stands tall on the mound with broad shoulders on his frame, and the lefthander from Utah is a pitch-to-contact pitcher getting lots of ground balls with his natural sinking fastball. Working his fastball up to 89, the pitch was mostly used in the 85-87 mph range and maintained throughout. Committed to Washington State, Bush has an effortless arm action from a deliberate and smooth delivery. Bush mixed in a low-70s curveball that produced lots of soft ground ball contact, similar to the fastball. The senior was best when in the lower third of the zone where he created plane to the fastball. Plenty of professional scouts were in attendance and were impressed with Bush’s five-inning start.

Jaret Godman (2018, Las Vegas, Nevada) got the ball for Recruits in their afternoon contest. Godman, a commitment to Loyola Marymount, was lights out in their 3-0 victory putting together one of the best overall pitching performances of the entire tournament. Godman struck out 10 batters over the course of his six inning start. The senior from Las Vegas ran his fastball up to 91 mph. The fastball velocity did drop as the game wore on, but still sat in the mid- to upper-80s. The future Lion filled up the zone with his fastball and curveball accounting for a 70 percent strike percentage. Godman’s overall pitchability is very impressive and so is his frame at 6-foot-2 192-pounds. Godman did a good job of getting ahead with the fastball and putting hitters away with a swing and miss 11-5 breaking ball. 

– Greg Gerard

Taking the mound in the first game of the day for Dykstra Baseball 2021 was 6-foot 160-pound righty Will Potter (2021, Temecula, Calif.) and he was dominate in his three innings pitched. Potter is a tall lean pitcher with room to get stronger in the coming years, adding to his fastball that topped at 80 mph. He showed some occasion movement to his fastball, and flashed a short slider with sharp movement to the glove side. Potter has a loose arm action and gets some good whip to his delivery.

Potter was also a big help to his team at the plate. He collected a couple of hits including a hard hit line drive into left field that went for an RBI triple. He has a longer swing but already shows some quickness with the bat and was able to get around pitches and drive them hard to the pull side.

Sticks Baseball Academy moved to 2-0 in their early game Saturday, as they won a close 5-4 contest. On the mound for Sticks was 2019 righthander Bryan McKinsey (2019, Buckeye, Ariz.). McKinsey has an explosive fastball that topped at 84 mph. He varies his arm slot slightly going from a lower three-quarters slot to a side-arm delivery. This helps him get some natural run making his fastball even tougher to zero in on. He has good arm speed and maintains that speed on a short slider with good glove-side sweep. He’s able to keep his pitches away from barrels and generated a lot of weak contact in his five innings pitched, allowing just two hits.

Cade Horton (2020, Norman, Okla.) is big for his age, standing at 6-foot-1 180-pounds, and he’s very athletic with a presence on the mound. Coming in to close the game out for the Sticks, Horton got the final two outs, both strikeouts, as his fastball topped at 87 mph and he threw a solid secondary pitch in his slider with good action. He lands slightly towards the third base side, with a small crossfire delivery. Horton has solid mechanics and repeats well.

Providing some offense for the Sticks was third baseman Wade Elliott (2019, Edmond, Okla.). At 6-foot-1 205-pounds the Missouri commit has visible strength at the plate. He struggled early in the game, but he bounced back with a couple of hits, including a triple, and drove in two of the Sticks five runs. He is a fun hitter to watch as he has a very quick bat. He swings with the ability to generate natural lift and it goes when he makes good contact, which he does often.

The NorCal Baseball 2019 Prime team played their first game Saturday morning and they didn’t hesitate to throw a top pitcher. Zach Taylor (2019, Granite Bay, Calif.), a Cal Poly commit, showed why he is one of top ranked players in the 2019 class. He’s a tall righty with an overpowering fastball that topped at 85 mph with good downhill plane. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and gets good extension out front. He has a 12-to-6 curveball that, when developed more, will become a great accent pitch to his fastball. Taylor had a few command issues in his four innings, but when he got in a grove he was near untouchable.

It was a back-and-forth game that would ultimately result in a tie for the EJ Sports Warriors, but that doesn’t take away from the day that Michael Dixon (2019, Oakland, Calif.) had. Dixon, a San Diego commit, had just one hit in the game, but it was a big one as he drove in two runs late in the contest. Dixon has a lot of strength at 6-foot 190-pounds, and it shows. He makes great, loud contact off the bat from a short, compact swing, but his power that comes from his upper body helps him get good drive into the ball. With a smooth line drive swing, Dixon is able to drive the ball with ease to all fields.

The Illinois Indians took care of business to get their second win of the tournament as they took an early lead and never looked back. Jackson Kaplowitz (2018, Wilmette, Ill.) got the scoring started for the Indians with a loud line drive over the left fielders’ head for an easy two-run triple. The Xavier commit has an easily repeated swing and looks to elevate the ball and drive it to all fields.

It was a tough day for the Minnesota Millers 18u Grey, but that didn’t stop Maximilian Ramirez IV (2019, Watsonville, Calif.) from having a solid outing on the mound. He threw five innings giving up three runs, coming all in one inning. Ramirez isn’t an overpowering pitcher, standing at just 5-foot-9 145-pounds, but he does have a quick arm that helps him get his fastball up to 83 mph. What Ramirez does well is stay consistent. He repeats his delivery well, and also seems to be right around the zone. He also has a developed breaking ball that had a 10-to-5 shape with tight spin. His good off-speed pitch helped him miss a lot of bats, as he was able to strike out 12 hitters. Ramirez has a projectable frame and should continue to develop as he gets stronger.

The opposing pitcher that faced off against Ramirez for EJ Sports was righthander Nicholas Henderson (2020, Danville, Calif.). Henderson has a large stocky frame at 6-foot-2 185-pounds with a strong upper body he uses to pump his fastball up to 83 mph. He got in a rhythm early and never looked back, tossing six scoreless innings. Henderson’s best secondary is a short slider with good lateral movement. He mixes in his off-speed well and has a rather deceptive delivery that keeps hitters guessing. Henderson consistently induced weak contact, getting ground balls and short pop flies all game.

It was a tight game for GBG NW Marucci as they edged out a 6-4 win in their final game of the day, on the back of 6-foot-2, 175-pound righthander Tony Carreon (2018, Murrieta, Calif.). Carreon tossed six innings and only allowed three runs. He is a tall and athletic hurler that gets good extension out front. He has a slurve-type breaking ball that has some two-plane movement at 65-71 mph. He generates some downhill plane, throwing from a three-quarters arm slot, on his 78-82 mph fastball. He showed good command of his pitches, attacking the zone early and often.

Nathan Fleischli (2019, Atherton, Calif.) tossed three scoreless innings as he helped lead GBG NW Marucci to an easy 11-0 win. Fleischli allowed just one hit while striking out five. He throws from an over-the-top arm slot, getting downhill plane on his fastball that topped out at 85 mph. He also possesses a hammer 12-to-6 curveball with deep depth in the low-70s. He has a solid 1-2 punch with his pitches and he mixes them well.

– Taylor Weber

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