Tournaments : : Story
Monday, January 15, 2018

West MLK Day 3 Scout Notes

Greg Gerard         Taylor Weber        
Photo: Perfect Game

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

Day 1 Scout Notes
| Day 2 Scout Notes

An interesting catching prospect in the 2021 class to keep an eye on is switch-hitting Sam Hunt (2021, Minneapolis, Minn.). The freshman from Minnesota has a mature body for his young age and very much looks the part as a future backstop for a big-time college program. Only seeing at-bats from the lefthanded side, Hunt has a fluid stroke with strength present. The young prospect has a patient approach waiting for his pitch to square up and put a good swing on. In his first at-bat of the day he squared up an inside pitch for a line drive single up the middle. He later advanced to second base on a wild pitch and then stole third base with ease.

Hunt has athleticism in his 6-foot-2 190-pound frame and it is present both in the batter’s box and at the catching position. Behind the plate, Hunt has agility and blocks virtually every dirt ball thrown to him. Hunt showcased his footwork on one play in particular in which the pitch bounced, he scooped the ball and fired a very quick back pick to first base all in one motion. He did not nab the runner, but the overall play raised a few eyebrows.

Sam Wibbels (2019, Hastings, Neb.) made the trip from Nebraska to Phoenix getting the starting nod Sunday for the San Diego Show 17u. Wibbels was nearly unhittable in his five innings on the hill allowing just one hit and punching out 10. Wibbels’ first pitch of the outing was 91 mph and the 6-foot-2, 212-pound righthander settled in nicely in the 88-91 mph range. The righthander has a deceptive delivery that was hard on hitters all game long. Wibbels mixed in a slider as well. The command and velocity of the secondary pitch varied due to tightness and bite. The more bite to the pitch, the lower the velocity sitting in the 75-78 mph range. The less tightness, the greater the velocity. Each breaking ball Wibbels used, however, was effective as no hitter made solid contact all game long. The University of Kentucky recruit throws with intent and has been dominant in Perfect Game events over the past six months.

There were not many players who had as much offensive production on Sunday as GBG NW Marucci middle infielder Jayce Easley (2018, Glendale, Ariz.). In a double header, Easley went 5-for-7 at the plate with two doubles and each of his seven at-bats resulted in hard hit balls. The Oregon State commit was all over the field as he shows top-notch offensive tools. There is obvious barrel skills in Easley’s offensive approach and the 5-foot-10, 150-pound switch-hitter has quickness on the basepaths which led to a total of five stolen bases on Sunday. The future Beaver is such a fun player to watch play with such high energy and quick twitch muscles throughout.

For Recruits, James Gamble (2018, Phoenix, Ariz.) put on a clinic of how to square up the baseball on Sunday. Only coming away with two hits in six at-bats, albeit each were extra-base hits, Gamble was making loud line drive outs to go along with his double and triple. The triple he hit was the first hit of the day on White Sox Field 6 and the ball just missed the leaving the field for a pull-side home run. The UNLV commit has good speed to go along with his above average hit tool. Gamble is super athletic with an overall strong feel for the game.

Joe Ammirato (2018, San Jose, Calif.) contributed to North East Baseball National’s first win of the day by throwing 3 1/3 quality innings, striking out seven. The California commit has a delivery that is hard to repeat, but when he does the tall righthander showed he is tough to hit. With a full arm action and over-the-top arm slot, Ammirato’s fastball sits in the 86-89 mph range, peaking at 90 mph. The command was not spectacular in Ammirato’s win, but the senior from San Jose got the job done by allowing just one hit and one run in route to a 13-1 run rule win.

Coming out of the bullpen in relief of Ammirato was southpaw Dalton Porter (2020, Leander, Texas). The 102nd-ranked player in the class of 2020 was very impressive in an inning of relief. Porter’s fastball sat 83-88 mph with natural lefty life and frequent sink. Showing various deliveries including an up-tempo windup, a slow-paced windup and an old school arm swing delivery, Porter has a strong ability to throw of hitters’ timing. The most impressive part of Porter’s short appearance on the mound was his dominant curveball. Only featuring the pitch in game on two occasions, each one had really tight break, 11-to-5 depth and late bite.

The University of Texas commit followed up an impressive inning on the mound with a squared up line drive single up the middle that left his bat at 91 mph. From behind the plate, a good eye could see the baseball knuckle towards center field displaying that Porter hit the ball right on the nose. Just a 2020 graduate, Porter still has plenty of growing left to do in his very projectable frame.

Filling up the strike zone early and often for Sticks Baseball Academy was Arkansas commit Connor McCullough (2018, Maumelle, Ark.). With an impressive 76 percent strike ratio, McCullough used a mid- to upper-80s fastball and a solid curveball to pound the strike zone for soft contact outs. The Arkansas native, and commit, throws with little effort from a shorter arm action that got on hitters quickly. McCullough’s fastball showed plane in the lower third of the zone. His curveball was a solid secondary pitch to accompany the fastball. Working 5 1/3 innings on just 59 pitches, the righthander was efficient getting quick outs and soft contact looking like a quality addition to a stacked Arkansas Razorback 2018 recruiting class.

Tyrin Pacheco (2018, Hobbs, N.M.) pounded the glove-side corner down in the zone consistently in North East Baseball National’s second game Sunday. Each fastball the New Mexico native threw seemed to hit the same spot over and over again. The fastball peaked at 90 mph with frequent late cutting action, but was really well located throughout the five-inning start. Pacheco has a loose arm and good size at 6-foot, 190-pounds while looking taller than that standing on the mound. Pacheco toes the rubber with the ball out of his glove and behind his back to start. Pacheco tips his pitches, but the opposition did not pick up on the reoccurrence and instead Pacheco dealt missing barrel after barrel.

Ending the day as the daily leader with 12 strikeouts in five innings. Pacheco’s 12-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio was pretty remarkable, and several of those swings-and-misses were due to the wipeout slider that Pacheco features. The commitment to the University of New Mexico’s slider is very tight and pretty late breaking, missing bats frequently. Pacheco is a very impressive pitcher all around and is an interesting name to follow this spring.

After a long weekend of “at-em” balls right to defenders, Dru Baker (2018, Tomball, Texas) decided in his final at-bat that he would just hit the ball over all the defenders’ heads for a three-run home run. Baker is a toolsy middle infielder with speed and incredible barrel feel. He squared up countless balls as the leadoff hitter for North East Baseball National and each one seemed to be hit right at a fielder for the opposing team. Baker has a high motor and quickness to go with his athletic 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame. Running a 4.30 second home-to-first time, Baker put that speed on display on one batted ball in particular. Baker is a fun player to watch and it will be fun to watch him play at the next level at Texas Tech.

– Greg Gerard

NorCal Baseball 2022 was looking to bounce back from a rough tournament and grabbed their first win on Sunday, a 4-1 ballgame and Robby Snelling (2022, Reno, Nev.) threw four great innings to start the game. Snelling is an athletic lefty that throws from a three-quarters slot. He lands slightly towards the first base, throwing slightly across his body, making it difficult for hitters to pick him up right away. He keeps his fastball to his arm side with some natural run at 75-79 mph. He was very effective early on, keeping his pitch count low, and getting weak contact. Snelling’s breaking ball has some good two-plane movement at 64-67 mph.

Pacific Northwest Regional Baseball Underclass took care of business on Sunday, grabbing a 12-0 victory. Their starter, 6-foot-3, 185-pound righty Jonah Giblin (2020, Silverdale, Wash.), tossed three shutout innings. Giblin is tall and lean with long limbs with really good balance throughout his delivery, which he repeats pretty well. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and attacks hitters early with a straight fastball at 80-83 mph. He has a sharp slider at 73 mph that showed some drop to it late.

Mason Dillow (2019, Phoenix, Ariz.) was another solid starter early in the day, as he helped lead the AZ T-Rex Rawlings team to a quick 12-3 victory. Dillow has a good sized, athletic build. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot with good arm whip and some extension out front. He stays tall in his delivery and gets good push from his lower half. Dillow has a long arm circle with a loose action, and he’s able to cut the fastball, keeping it mostly to the glove side, at 85 mph. He also tossed an 11-to-5 curveball with good depth at 74 mph.

Dillow’s teammate, Michael Quinones (2019, Phoenix, Ariz.), had a solid game at the plate going 3-for-3. Quinones has a strong, stocky frame that he puts into his swings. He has a quick line drive bat path with good hands. His swing is smooth and easily repeated. Quinones attacks pitches early in the zone, especially first-pitch fastballs, as two of his three hits were on first pitch fastballs.

There was a pair of Padres Scout Team players that were a big reason for them going 2-0 in their games Sunday. The first was Jared Thomas (2019, Lakewood, Calif.). At 6-foot 175-pounds the Miami Baseball commit looks the part of a lefthanded power hitter. With a slightly crouched, slightly open stance, he swings with the intent to drive the ball a long way, and when he connects that’s exactly what happens. Thomas is a strict pull hitter with an elevated swing path and will continue to develop greater power.

The second of the pair is highly ranked shortstop Justin Boyd (2019, Parker, Colo.). Boyd is one of the top-ranked players in the 2019 class because he’s a very well-rounded player. The Oregon State commit has smooth actions on the infield. He surrounds the ball well and gets rid of it quickly with accurate throws across the field. Boyd is also solid at the plate, with good bat speed through the zone and a naturally elevated path to contact, allowing him to drive the ball well. Another facet of Boyd’s game is his ability on the basepaths. He’s not the quickest but his smarts and good speed allow him to take extra bases with ease.

The No. 1 ranked righthanded pitcher in the state of Washington took the mound for Pacific Northwest 2019, Santa Clara commit Jared Feikes (2019, Seattle, Wash.), who threw three solid innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six batters. Feikus is a strong athlete on the mound. He has some drop-and-drive actions in his delivery, throwing from a three-quarters arm slot and a loose, quick arm action. He commands the fastball to both sides of the plate with good downhill plane at 85 mph. He pitched with a high tempo and went right after hitters.

Tommy Takayoshi (2019, Spanaway, Wash.) caught the first game of the day for GBG NW Marucci as they got a good 7-3 win. Takayoshi is a solid defensive player behind the plate, with good flexibility and quick lateral movements. He receives well, able to steal a couple strikes for his pitcher. His one flaw is getting down to block a little quicker, but his mechanics are all sound and as he develops more he should become a solid defender that his pitchers trust, and love throwing to.

– Taylor Weber

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