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High School  | General  | 3/7/2018

High School Notebook: March 7

Vincent Cervino      Steve Fiorindo     
Photo: Perfect Game

The high school notebook is designed to share notes and video on players that stand out during the high school season and new features will be released regularly. This will include in-game looks, reports, analysis and video from Perfect Game's scouting staff. If you have news on a player in your area that is performing at a high level that we should have eyes on please reach out to Vinnie Cervino at vincent@perfectgame.org. Also feel free to share your video highlights on Twitter @vcervinopg.

High School Notebook: March 2

Kumar Rocker, RHP, North Oconee (Ga.)

The Vanderbilt signee, and one of the top pitching prospects in a loaded Georgia 2018 class, Kumar Rocker toed the rubber for one of his early starts of the season and looked to be in midseason form. The physical Rocker is the spitting image of what some professional coaches dream of when thinking of pitching prospects: 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame with a strong lower half and still additional room to build off. Rocker had reportedly been fantastic during one of his earlier starts, but, frankly, was similarly fantastic during this look. 

The righthander started out with a bit of a rough first inning, as he allowed two hits which were able to push a run across for the opposition. That single run, and hit, would be the last of the game against Rocker. The PG All-American settled in the 92-95 mph range for the duration of his start while touching 96 mph early in the first inning. What jumped out about the fastball was how consistent Rocker's release point was as he got on top easily and creates tons of sinking life on the fastball that made it impossible to life when located in the lower third. 

Rocker's breaking ball was also outstanding as it showed plus, and flashed perhaps even better, throughout his start. The pitch had significant biting life to it as well as two-plane depth which just saw it disappeared between the point where a swing started and when it ended. The stuff was tremendous for Rocker overall as he chalked up eleven swings and misses on the fastball, ten swings and misses on the slider, and ten strikeouts, all while walking zero batters.

Rocker is a tremendous overall talent, and this start lines up with how impressive he has been all year. As of now, it certainly looks that he will be selected in the first round in this upcoming June's draft.

Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage (Ga.)

Another PG All-American who has been generating some early season buzz in the state of Georgia is Cole Wilcox, who had a very strong and efficient outing during our most recent viewing. The fastball wasn't as high as we have seen in the past, only topping out at 93 mph during this start, but Wilcox sat in the 90-93 mph range throughout touching multiple 93 mph pitches during his final inning of work. 

Wilcox is a very well-built prospect, with what looks to be increased strength throughout the lower half and still room for size on the frame. The delivery is compact and up tempo, though what jumps out about Wilcox's delivery and mechanics is the tremendous arm speed. That allows him to generate easy velocity and create life out of the hand as he releases from a lower three-quarters arm slot. 

The fastball was best when pounded in the lower third of the strike zone but he also showed outstanding command during his start. The Georgia signee had only one walk in five innings, and only one hit as well, while missing six bats with the fastball. The slider was the go-to pitch for Wilcox as it looked to be a much improved pitch for the 6-foot-5 righthander. The pitch was in the 81-83 mph and flashed solid average life and break to it. The pitch was a bit inconsistent at times, as Wilcox does slow his arm on the pitch, however the slider racked up ten swings and misses while striking out nine batters over the performance. 

The efficiency and ability to throw strikes is what stood out about Wilcox. He pounded the strike zone, with command, and showed the willingness to throw either his slider or fastball whenever he wants. Wilcox showed steady stuff throughout the start when he needed just sixty pitches to keep the opposition shutout. 

– Vincent Cervino

Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (Calif.)

One of the top prospects in this year's crop of California talent is PG All-American Brice Turang. The shortstop has been near the forefront of the scouting community for some time now and will certainly draw large crowds of scouts and evaluators in to see him as he is currently a projected first round pick. Turang is a quality prospect who does so many things right on a baseball field and attacks everything with a polished, professional approach. The Louisiana State signee is viewed upon as a prototypical shortstop prospect, however he has also shows the athleticism and twitch to play centerfield for his high school team if need be. The bat is the selling point here as his approach at the plate is so polished and disciplined, especially for an amateur prospect. The frame looks stronger through the lower half, however there is still plenty of room for additional development, and Turang operates in the box like he knows exactly how he's going to be pitched. He looks to drive the ball the other way but will also hunt fastballs over the inner half when he looks to ambush. The bat-to-ball skills stand out and Turang still has the look of a high selection in this year's draft. 

Jacob Shanks, C/OF, Santiago (Calif.)

Turang's teammate, and the batter who hits behind him in the lineup, is Jacob Shanks and the righthanded hitter has a strong offensive profile. He is a primary catcher, however he may require a bit of refinement at the position professionally and can also play outfield in a pinch. Shanks is a UC Riverside commit and an extremely strong and physical presence in the batter's box. Shanks shows some pull side power but is also willing to go to the opposite field and shows the requisite barrel control to be able to do soo. 

Cole Winn, RHP, Orange Lutheran (Calif.)

A prospect who has been generating a lot of buzz throughout the scouting community in Southern California is Colorado transfer Cole Winn, who has had himself a very strong spring thus far vaulting himself up to being one of the top pitching prospects in the area. Winn, a Mississippi State signee, was working in the 91-94 mph range throughout this start and touched a number of 95s, which included his final fastball of the game as well. Winn stands at a physical 6-foot-2, 195-pounds per his profile, however he looks stronger, especially throughout the lower half. The delivery is very clean with good extension down the mound and drives through the lower half well. Winn showed command of all four of his pitches during his start, including a curveball in the upper-70s with 12/6 and 11/5 shape, a late breaking slider in the 80-83 mph range for a lot of swing-and-miss, and an effective changeup with fade and down action. Winn showed very good feel for his arsenal, and command of the offspeed and was not afraid to challenge his fastball inside against hitters. The righthander struck out nine batters in five innings and will be monitored very closely this spring. 

Max Rajcic, RHP, Orange Lutheran (Calif.)

One of the many talented arms on the Orange Lutheran Lancers, Max Rajcic showed off explosive stuff out of the bullpen for the Lancers which included a fastball in the 90-93 mph range. Rajcic operates from an extended, lower three-quarters arm slot that may even be lower than seen in recent viewings. This helps to create a lot of angle and run on the fastball. The UCLA commit mixed in a slurvy breaking ball in the mid- to upper-70s that he showed feel for as he would double and triple up on the pitch effectively. The breaking ball misses a lot of bats and is an effective second pitch in the arsenal. The 2020 class for Orange Lutheran is very strong and Rajcic is a key part of that, as he is a very projectable arm with tons of room for additional physicality. 

– Steve Fiorindo