High School : : General
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

High School Notebook: May 9

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Cole Henry (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.

The following select notes, observations, and videos were from abbreviated looks at the Perfect Game Pre-Draft Game at East Cobb Complex on May 6th. 

High School Notebook: May 7

Justin Wrobleski, LHP, Sequoyah HS (Ga.)

One of the top draft-eligible lefthanders in the area, Wrobleski tossed two strong innings while living in the 88-92 mph range over the course of the outing. The velocity has reportedly touched a bit higher in the spring, but the fastball was heightened by the life when he showed good angle to the glove side and some arm side run to the arm side of the plate. Wrobleski really bore down in the second inning as he struck out the side and attacked the strike zone. The slider was Wrobleski's go-to pitch in the 81-82 mph range, and he got around a few sliders but when he got on top showed biting, two-plane break. The Clemson signee flashed an above-average changeup too, which gives him three pitches that project as average or above at the next level and make him a fascinating prospect as he teams are getting their final looks on prospects, being that the draft is under a month away. 

Landon Marceaux, RHP, Destrehan HS (La.)

Marceaux established over the course of the last summer that he was one of the top righthanded pitching prospects in this year's prep class, he is currently ranked No. 45 in the class of 2018, and the Louisiana State signee did nothing to dispel that during his performance on Sunday. The righthander looks noticeably bigger and stronger with a prototypical build and it showed in his velocity range which was in the 91-93 mph range, rarely dipping below that 91 mph mark. The fastball flashed some arm side run and Marceaux's delivery allows him to get downhill pretty consistently to create sinking life and plane in the bottom of the strike zone. The calling card of Marceaux's profile is the breaking ball, which flashed plus, although he did spike it about half the time during the start; he also flashed a changeup at 84 mph. Marceaux's impressive breaking ball and overall feel for spin make him one of the more coveted prospects in the class and he certainly reflected that during the outing. 

Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Ga.)

Coming into the season,  Ethan Hankins was the presumed No. 1 prospect in the draft, regardless of college or high school, and although he has fallen a bit it hasn't been too far. The Vanderbilt signee comes in at No. 9 on the latest Top 350 Draft Prospects list and he showed how impressive he can be with his ceiling being incredibly high. Hankins sat 93-95 mph while bumping 96 mph once or twice, and flashed lots of life on the fastball. The delivery is almost effortless, by far the easiest effort level of any other prospect in the draft, and that combined with the arm speed leave scouts to think that 96-97 mph might just be scraping the surface of the velocity ceiling. Hankins also went to curveballs and changeups often, in the 76-78 mph and 84-86 mph ranges respectively, and showed feel for both of those pitches, particularly the changeup which prep pitchers normally throw sparingly, that showed average. Hankins is one of the most intriguing draft prospects in terms of where he'll be selected in June, however he certainly is one of the most exciting prospects to watch first hand. 

Cole Henry, RHP, Florence HS (Ala.)

Showing some of the best pure stuff on the day was righthander Cole Henry of Alabama, and the Louisiana State signee flashed three above average or better pitches on the day. Henry came out firing bullets in the first inning, sitting 93-95 mph before settling around 91-94 mph for the second inning. The fastball flashed some life to it but was mostly a straight offering and the pure velocity of the fastball was enough to overpower some hitters, especially when located on the inner half. The breaking ball was a bit inconsistent during this showing, he spun off some good ones which included a plus breaking ball at 78 mph for a called third strike that drew some "oh"s from the scouting contingent behind the plate. Henry also turned over a couple above average changeups with significant arm side run in the 84-87 mph. The effort level and delivery raise some concerns long term, but the stuff was undeniably impressive during this showing. 

Lawrence Butler, OF, Westlake HS (Ga.)

A 6-foot-4 lean, athletic frame will immediately jump off the page to evaluators looking on, but Butler offers much more than that as his positional versatility and smooth, lofted stroke at the plate offer levels of upside not seen in every amateur prospect. The lanky frame creates a lot of natural leverage through extension, which he does an excellent job achieving as the timing and feel for the barrel both standout in the swing. The West Virginia signee seems to be on time and stroke the ball with authority nearly every time up to bat, and even when he doesn't square the ball he can use his speed to beat out hits, as he did on Sunday while registering a 4.29 second time to first. The other two hits that Butler notched on the afternoon were a triple deep off the centerfield wall and another triple into the pull side gap. Butler has a clean swing with requisite bat speed and already flashes some power during batting practice, when looking at the frame and room left to fill out there is a lot of room to dream on that power, all while being under eighteen on draft day, the needle appears to be pointing up for Butler. 

Chris Burgess, C, Middle Georgia (Ga.)

Middle Georgia catcher Chris Burgess showed off some intriguing tools that translate to the professional level including both the power and the arm strength. Burgess showed off above-average arm strength behind the dish, with throws on a line that he got on top of very well for pop times recorded at 1.94 and 1.95 seconds during the game. The receiving skills and blocking were okay, but the arm strength is a real tool for the catcher. Burgess has quality bat speed and showed off above-average raw power with a number of long home run shots during batting practice. The bat speed is real and the swing stays on plane well during the game. 

Taj Bradley, RHP, Redan HS (Ga.)

Redan product Taj Bradley has been one of the big risers in this year's draft class, culminating with a ranking currently in the top 200 draft prospects and committing to play college at South Carolina. Bradley, similarly to Butler, is young for the grade, only having just turned seventeen, and offers a bit more projection than a typical prep prospect with a durable frame including a strong lower half. Bradley's delivery is very clean and allows him to get downhill with additional sinking life on the fastball; the arm works, but will flash some inconsistencies when working to opposite sides. The righthander showed three usable pitches, including a curveball at 76-78 mph and a changeup at 84 mph, with feel for throwing all three for strikes. Bradley's control is impressive as he attacks the strike zone and is not afraid to challenge hitters up in the strike zone, but Bradley offers a young, consistent profile with significant upside. 

Noah Bryant, RHP, Georgia Highlands (Ga.)

Turning a lot of heads during his one inning stint on the mound was freshman righthander Noah Bryant from Georgia Highlands. Bryant proceeded to strike out the side during his performance all the while sitting 94-97 mph with his fastball. The fastball had significant arm side run to the pitch with some sink too. The arm stroke isn't pristine, but it's very fast and allows him to whip the fastball into the zone in the upper-90s. The slider is a pitch that he has been developing for most of the spring and the hard offspeed pitch sat in the 84-86 mph range and flashed some hard bite down and out of the strike zone against righthanded hitters. The numbers weren't great on the season for Bryant, however the raw stuff is very appealing in a professional bullpen. 

Will Gardner, RHP, Carson Newman (Tenn.)

Gardner is another college arm who impressed in a one-inning stint on the mound, and the Carson Newman product showed some stuff that would play well at the professional level. Gardner's delivery is pretty violent, with a loose and whippy arm stroke that works through the arm circle well and produces velocity in the 92-94 mph range on the afternoon. Gardner's slider flashed intriguing potential when he got on top of the pitch with two-plane snap and requisite bite, however he did hang a couple of them. Gardner also showed a cutting changeup in the 86-88 mph range, although he showed the best feel with his two-pitch mix of fastball and slider. 

Cooper Stinson, RHP, Norcross HS (Ga.)

One of the more physical amateur draft prospects in the area, Stinson stands at a 6-foot-6 and 240-pounds and is built like that of a prototypical starting workhorse. The Duke signee worked in the 91-93 mph range with his fastball that was primarily true in terms of life. Stinson did a good job at attacking hitters and featured mostly a two-pitch mix of fastball and slider. The slider was an impressive secondary pitch, with good velocity in the 82-86 mph range and showed out consistently average on the Major League scouting scale while also flashing better during the performance. Stinson flashed a changeup too during the performance, and has a lot of desirable traits to the profile that scouts tend to look for with amateur pitching prospects. 

Keyshawn Askew, LHP, McEachern HS (Ga.)

Clemson signee Keyshawn Askew features a lot of life from almost everything that comes out of his hand and the McEachern product has a lot of feel for pure pitching and sequences exquisitely well on the mound. The arm stroke is loose and whippy and he throws from a pure sidearm slot which is noticeably lower than the arm slot he showed over the summer last season. This allows him to get even more running arm side life on the fastball that worked in the 87-89 mph range. He spotted up the pitch very well from either side with similar life to either side of the plate. The breaking ball was more of a frisbee slider in the low-70s and Askew also featured a good changeup, thrown with similar conviction and lots of arm side life in the upper-70s. Askew's length and athleticism to the frame allows for more projection than most prospects, and contains a lot of upside when looking at his pitchability and feel on the mound. 

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