High School : : General
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

High School Notebook: May 16

Vincent Cervino         Greg Gerard         Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Austin Becker (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: May 9

Rhett Daniel, RHP, Carrollton HS (Ga.)

The rubber game of a best of three Elite Eight series brought Rhett Daniel to the mound for the Carrollton Trojans. Daniel, a signee to Coastal Carolina, was very good on the mound showing a pair of pitches that tallied numerous swings and misses and lived continually down in the strike zone. First, the fastball that Daniel threw sat in the 87-89 mph range mostly while peaking 90 mph once as well from a long arm action and high three-quarters arm slot. The future Chanticleer creates lots of angle on his fastball with his 6-foot-5 frame. The pitch is mostly straight, but occasionally showed above average life to armside and when that life was present the pitch was not touched by opposing hitters. 

Daniel’s best pitch is certainly his slider that sat mostly 76-78 mph while touching 79 mph. The harder he threw the pitch, however, the tighter the spin rate was and the break was much sharper. The pitch is average at this time, but flashed signs of above average and project nicely moving forward. 

Overall, Daniel is a great sign for the 2016 National Champions and should fit in nicely in Conway, South Carolina. It will be very interesting to see what Gary Gilmore and staff do with Daniel in his time at Coastal Carolina as he is very interesting pitcher with his projectable frame and stuff. It would not be surprising if there is more velocity in the tank for Daniel as Perfect Game has seen a glimpse of that velocity in past events

Dawson Sweatt, LHP, Starrs Mill HS (Ga.)

Auburn signee Sweatt started game two for Starrs Mill High School on Thursday showing a three pitch mix for strikes and good command. Sweatt has a unique delivery that is very fluid and easy before whipping the arm through the back side. He hides the ball well with his compact arm action. His fastball ranged from 85-86 mph most of his outing with a single touch of 87 mph as well. The pitch is straight, but was located mostly well during this viewing. 

His off-speed pitches are really what showed the most potential for Sweatt. The first of which he showed was his changeup that he really pulls the string on nicely. Showing a velocity of 76 mph each pitch, the changeup has nice fade and was a really good pitch to get righthanded hitters off balance. His second featured offspeed pitch was his sweeping curveball that projects really nicely moving forward. 

Sweatt and his Starrs Mill Panthers won their playoff series to move to the Final Four of the Georgia high school state playoffs. Sweat will continue to work on the mound for the Panthers as well as this fall when he gets to Auburn University. With Butch Thompson, who is known for getting the most out of his pitchers, at the helm in Auburn, Sweatt may be the next in line on the Plains to be a big-time pitcher.

– Greg Gerard

Parker Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (Ga.)

One of the prospects who's done good for himself this spring leading up to the draft has been Grayson's Parker Meadows as the athletic outfielder has been rising steadily this spring with a big senior season. Meadows, the brother of former No. 6 overall draft selection Austin, is an exciting prospect with a lot of high level, projectable tools that make for an attractive profile. 

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound outfielder is an above average athlete and has posted plus run times consistently in the past, though in this look there weren't many situations to gauge that at this point, and posted a 6.5 60-yard dash time at PG National last year. The run tool is also impressive in centerfield as the Clemson signee's long strides allow him to range to either side very well. Meadows has shown an above average arm in the past and was rarely tested during this two game look, but the arm strength still plays well. 

Projection is a big piece to Meadows' overall profile as there is lots of room for strength to be added to the frame, as the raw power graded out as average in this look, but it's very easy to project a lot more raw power onto the overall frame. He made some noticeable changes with his hands as there is still a slight timing hitch, but it's not as exaggerated as it was last summer, which helps him to stay on time and on plane with more consistency. 

Meadows had a good day at the plate, with only one strikeout on the day and only one swing and miss in six at-bats. Meadows handled good pitchers well, with the highlight of the day being an inside the park home run that he drove high off the wall deep in right centerfield. There's plenty of bat speed through the swing and he pulls the ball with authority. The overall tool package is the exciting part to Meadows' profile, but the bat continues to rise which will dictate where he ends up in June's draft. 

Reese Olson, RHP, North Hall HS (Ga.)

In an abbreviated look, a number of prospects took to a simulated game type of setting on Monday which includes North Hall's Olson, who has looked good this spring as one of the area's top righthanded pitching prospects. Olson's got a very quick arm, and a very lean and lanky 6-foot-1, 155-pound frame that's easy to envision a lot of strength to be added to the frame. The delivery is a bit restrictive with some effort, but the arm speed allows him to create velocity that saw him sit in the 92-93 mph range while bumping 94 mph once. The changeup was the Georgia Tech signee's best secondary pitch on the evening as it was thrown with the same conviction as the fastball and featured late sinking life in the 85-86 mph range that snuck under the bats of lefthanded hitters. The breaking ball wasn't as sharp as it has looked in the past, but Olson is a highly projectable arm with three usable pitches which offers both upside and intrigue. 

Andrew Moore, RHP, Jackson HS (Ga.)

Chipola commit Andrew Moore also toed the rubber on Monday night and offered a lively fastball in the 88-91 mph range that flashed some heavy arm side run and sink to the offering. Moore mostly pitched with the fastball as he attacked hitters to both sides of the plate with the pitch and flashed two secondary offerings. The breaking ball flashed some downer action in the low-70s and the changeup worked in the upper-70s with lots of life to the arm side. The frame and body type are both large and projectable at 6-foot-5 with long limbs and a lanky build, as there is a velocity jump to be had in that frame. It was a good look at Moore, who is an interesting prospect at this juncture. 

– Vinnie Cervino

Austin Becker, RHP, Big Walnut HS (Ohio)

A Perfect Game All-American and Vanderbilt signee, Austin Becker is one of the higher-upside players in the entirety of the Midwest this year, and continued to show that tantalizing upside last week. On a day where the weather didn't exactly cooperate to start, as Becker got warmed up only for there to be a lightning delay, followed by Becker getting warmed up again only to throw 5-6 pitches before another delay, it's understandable that it took him a few innings to get comfortable, but once he did the results were excellent. 

Becker is a long, lean, still-projectable righthanded pitching prospect whose combination of athleticism, arm speed, and present stuff all offer tremendous upside, but also whose lack of consistency in terms of stuff and command give him one the riskier profiles in the whole class. He shows the aforementioned athleticism in his delivery, showing the ability to control his lengthy frame at least to some degree, though it's clear that he's still a bit of a ways away from consistent repeatability. 

The arm speed stands out, grading out as at least plus on the scouting scale, capable of generating fastballs in the mid-90s at times (he worked 90-94 mph in this outing) and portending all sorts of future velocity given that arm speed in conjunction with his physical projection. The fastball is relatively straight and is of 30-35 command (on the 20-80 scale), but he was mostly in the zone with the pitch and showed the ability to work north-south with it at times. The real takeaway from this outing was his curveball, a pitch that has always flashed dominance but has never had any sort of consistency. 

On this day, Becker's curveball was the most consistent that this evaluator had ever seen it, ranging from the 77-81 mph range, with 11-to-5 shape and absolutely dynamic snap and depth. It's a pitch that is pretty easily projected as plus at this point, and Becker threw it with the utmost confidence and conviction once he brought it out around the fourth inning. He was able to land it for strikes in the zone as well as bury it as a chase pitch down and out of the zone, and on the whole the pitch was by far the best we'd seen from Becker in terms of consistency. 

From a draft perspective, Becker is valued by various folks in the industry as anywhere between a comp round pick to a 3rd rounder, depending on who you talk to. There is a a significant disparity between Becker's floor and his ceiling, and while his ceiling is indeed quite high, there is a good amount of risk there, as there is with all high school pitchers. It'll be especially interesting to see if Becker ends up at Vanderbilt or not. 

Nicholas Northcut, 3B, Mason HS (Ohio)

In a year where the state of Ohio had two Perfect Game All-Americans, Nick Northcut was the second that I was able to see on my sojourn through the Ohio Valley. Northcut is a strong, physical third baseman who plays for Ohio powerhouse William Mason High School, and they put their talent on display in a big way in the playoff game I was able to take in. 

Northcut's offensive prowess has been long-documented, as the righthanded hitter has consistently shown the ability to barrel up the baseball throughout his prep career, especially last summer/fall and into this spring. It's not a shock that opposing pitchers prefer to stay away from him considering the potentialities of making a mistake to him, but he still does a pretty good job of maintaining an approach when he goes to the plate, even when he knows that he's unlikely to see a good pitch to hit. He's pretty good about not expanding the zone, showing a sort of frustrated willingness to take a walk, but that still speaks to his advanced feel for the game. 

There's obviously really good feel to hit from from the right side of the plate to go along with above-average to plus raw power, but that's long been understood and well-documented. Northcut's defensive abilities, in somewhat similar ways to fellow prep third baseman Nolan Gorman, have been undersold for nearly as long. Northcut is a solidly-built, physical presence, not of the lithe athletic sort of build, and perhaps is unfairly characterized as unathletic. He's a quality athlete who projects to stay at third base long term, with quick feet, advanced hands, and enough athleticism to make the charge-and-flip play look effortless, as he did in this game. 

From a draft perspective, Northcut is mostly valued in the rounds 2-4 range right now, and one could easily see him being a comp round type of selection for a team who really believes in the future of his hit tool, not too dissimilar to Joe Rizzo of a few years ago, a fellow Perfect Game All-American. 

Drew Rom, LHP, Highlands HS (Ky.)

A player whose draft stock has been on a steadily upwards trajectory for well over a year now, Kentucky's Drew Rom, a Michigan commitment, was very good in his start last week vs. Covington Catholic. Rom is a well-built, ideal-bodied lefthanded pitcher with very good athleticism throughout his frame, easy to project on from a future strength perspective. 

Rom burst onto the scene at the Great Lakes Indoor Showcase in February of 2017, where he showed the same sort of live-bodied athleticism and arm talent that he does today. In this start, Rom reached 92 mph with his fastball, settling into the 88-91 mph range with flashes of solid arm side life to the pitch. He did a pretty good job of throwing strikes with the pitch, though the life and command had some inconsistencies, likely due in part to some inconsistencies with his arm slot. 

The arm slot kinda drifted from pitch-to-pitch, with the normal release coming somewhere between three quarters and high three quarters, though at times he would noticeably raise way up and come almost completely overtop. The athleticism and overall arm speed portend to the ability to eventually repeat his delivery and arm slot from pitch to pitch with no concerns, but right now it certainly is enough to raise some concerns. The slider, likewise, flashes plus but there are some inconsistencies. Rom is pretty good at changing the shape of the pitch, from more a true slider look to more of a slurvy look, and while that's a nice ability to have, as the shape changes as does the productivity of the pitch. When it's shaped like a true slider, with hammer bite and really sharp tilt, it's a bat-misser that shows as a plus pitch. He does, however, like to make it a more slurvy 1-to-7 shaped offering that doesn't have nearly the same sharpness but can be landed for a strike easier. 

There is enough to the profile here to view Rom as a 3-4 round type of talent, though he seems more likely to end up at Michigan at this point based on our conversations with scouts in the area. He has a chance to be an immediate impact type of arm in Ann Arbor, as Head Coach Erik Bakich has never shied away from having freshmen in key spots, as evidenced by Tommy Henry last season and Jeff Criswell this year. Rom has the type of upside that could potentially make him a high-round pick after three years at Michigan. 

– Brian Sakowski

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