Tournaments | Story | 7/2/2018

17u WWBA Scout Notes: Day 3

Vincent Cervino         Greg Gerard         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
Photo: Daniel Espino (Perfect Game)

17u WWBA National Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders
Scout Notes: 
Day 1 | Day 2

Canes National started out the morning over at Paulding County High School and the offense exploded for nine runs in the shutout victory. There were tons of impressive offensive performances but Chris Newell (2019, Newtown Square, Pa.) and Corbin Carroll (2019, Seattle, Wash.) both stuck out for their respective tools and skill sets.

Newell is a physical lefthanded hitting outfielder that fits the profile of a power-hitting corner outfield prospect. The Virginia commit stands at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds with lots of strength through the point of extension and that power plays to all fields as Newell took a fastball and drove it out to the opposite field over the left field fence. There is significant force behind the longer stroke that has some natural loft to it while he leverages well to get the ball into the air. The bat speed is notable as well as the barrel travels through the zone quickly. He only took two at-bats and was fooled by a breaking ball in the dirt for a strikeout in the second at-bat.

Carroll is a fascinating prospect with a bevy of tools that offer notable projection as a centerfielder at the next level. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound is full of fast-twitch muscle and athleticism to go along with his consistently plus run tool. The UCLA commit posted a best 60-yard dash time of 6.33 seconds at PG National and recorded a 4.07 second time to first, he also posted a 3.69 second time on a drag bunt. Carroll has lightning quick hands, with a short and controlled swing path with fairly impressive barrel skills overall. He got downhill during his first at bat to hit a ball into the ground, but later on he drove a double with a bunt single mixed in between. The center field defense is exemplary, with outstanding first-step quickness to track down balls effectively. The potential and tool set is there to be a plus defender at the next level, and the overall package is legitimately exciting for Carroll.

Clemson commit Nick Hoffmann (2019, Centerville, Ohio) got the start for the Canes and the righthander has a fairly athletic and repeatable delivery. Hoffmann had a very strong outing that saw him pound the strike zone while he got through three scoreless innings with a pitch count of only 43. The compact, whippy arm stroke generated good amount of arm speed and allowed Hoffman to touch 90 mph in the first inning of work while eventually settling in the 86-88 mph range.  The repeatability of the delivery and the arm stroke stand out as one of the big positives to the profile and allows for Hoffmann to throw a bunch of strikes. The breaking ball was a hard slider in the 77-80 mph range and this pitch featured primarily horizontal breaking action.

Turning in the biggest gathering of the scouting contingency of the entire event thus far was the No. 5 ranked player in the class Daniel Espino (2019, Statesboro, Ga.). The Louisiana State commit was fairly electric in terms of pure stuff on the mound during his two-inning stint, as he showed the ability to locate four pitches for strikes all while running his fastball up to 98 mph during his first inning of work.

Espino is a very athletic, well-built and mature righthanded pitcher with a physical 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and the athleticism of the body allows for him to get downhill consistently and repeat the delivery with efficiency. This allows for a lot of strikes and though the fastball is primarily straight, he worked in the 94-98 mph range consistently and pounded strikes.

The slider was the best secondary pitch of the day in the low-80s with very consistent shape and late bite to it. With mostly 10-to-4 shape and significant spin to the pitch, the slider projects as a plus pitch moving forward for Espino. The feel to spin is very impressive as he can also land a more traditional 12-to-6 breaking ball for strikes and got a called third strike on a changeup at 89 mph though he lowers his arm slot slightly. The arm talent is certainly there and though there are some long term concerns, regarding the length of the arm stroke and ultimate repeatability, the current product is a very impressive pitcher.

One of the top prep hitters in the state is outfielder Andre Tarver (2019, Ringgold, Ga.) and the Mississippi State commit had a good afternoon with a couple of base knocks that included an opposite field single and a scorching single right back up the middle. The bat speed is fairly loud from his lethanded swing and the wrist strength and quickness really stand out about the swing itself. The path is a bit inside but he has significant strength in the wrists which allows him to get his hands extended and create impressive impact velocity. The swing path itself is naturally geared towards producing well-struck contact to the opposite field which included his triple in the first at-bat which saw Tarver get extended on 87 mph up and drive the ball; his final hit was a 93 mph single off the pitcher’s foot and both of these hard hits came of lefthanded pitching. Tarver also posted a best run time on the day of 4.26 seconds to first and if the bat keeps producing the ceiling there is high.

Uncommitted, physical third baseman who are upwards of 6-foot-1 with a strong arm don’t normally come into the rising senior summers uncommitted, especially when you factor in that Edinson Renteria Jr. (2019, Miramar, Fla.) is the nephew of former MLB veteran Edgar Renteria. The third baseman mans the hot corner well with the requisite arm strength to profile well at the position moving forward. The swing itself is very clean and easy with natural loft to the plane and a direct path. The power comes from the frame and is impressive as he showed it off in his last at-bat of the game where he lifted a line drive that left a trail of smoke on its way out of the ball park for a game-tying two-run blast. The ball came off the bat at 95 mph and traveled an approximate distance of 356 feet. The hitting tools and swing itself are very impressive and Renteria Jr. has some tools to be a successfully player at the next level.

One of the top lefthanders in the country is Auburn commit Hayden Mullins (2019, Gallatin, Tenn.) and the southpaw got off to a hot start in his start on the bump before getting his appearance cut short due to a small rain delay. Mullins bumped his fastball up to 93 mph in the first inning of work before settling into more of an 89-93 mph while averaging around 90 mph on the day. The arm speed jumps off the page with a very MacKenzie Gore-esque delivery featuring a very high leg lift and hand raise above the hand. The athleticism to the delivery is impressive and he repeats it well and pounds the strike zone. There’s above-average control potential here as he pounded the zone with command and angle to all four quadrants of the strike zone and wasn’t afraid to work righthanded hitters over the inside with the pitch. The curveball wasn’t as sharp as previous looks, as Mullins would get underneath it from time to time as it appeared he lowered his slot just a hair. Mullins also flashed a changeup at 80 mph, but as his best he’ll work in the low-90s with a good curveball, all while throwing with his left hand which makes him a very intriguing prospect.

One of the most polished pitchers in the junior class is lefthanded Patrick Holloman (2020, McDonough, Ga.) and the Georgia commit absolutely carved hitters up for the Roadrunners en route to 6.1 shutout innings while striking out fifteen batters. The velocity was the best this scout has ever witnessed from Holloman as he lived in the 84-87 mph range and averaged 85 mph all afternoon. The present velocity isn’t too imposing, however his ability to work to both sides of the plate with excellent command and life is what absolutely stands out about Holloman’s profile. There is plus potential command there, when factoring in past looks as well, and he was dealing on Sunday night. Holloman looks more physical with added strength to the frame and tunneled his curveball effectively with the fastball. The pitch showed traditional 1-to-7 shape flashing some bite to the pitch and he manipulated the pitch to go anywhere he wanted within the zone. The spin isn’t elite on the pitch but he commands and controls it so effectively that it plays up. Holloman’s polish exudes with significant presence and he looks the part of one of the better pure arms in the 2020 class.

Starting out the night slot were a pair of uncommitted arms in Justin Poris (2019, Mooresville, N.C.) of the Upstate Mavericks and Justin Esters (2019, Calabasas, Calif.) of the San Diego Show.

Poris was masterful over around six innings on the hill with 12 strikeouts and only allowed one hit in the contest. The delivery itself is fairly simple and repeatable, with athleticism and a short, fast arm stroke. The fastball topped out at 89 mph during this look with flashes of plane in the lower portion of the strike one. Poris mixed in a breaking ball too but primarily pitched off his fastball which got on hitters fast as he hid the ball well and created some late velocity on the pitch to blow it by hitters.

Esters is another good-looking uncommitted prospect with a projectable frame, clean delivery, and solid mix of pitches. He worked mostly in the 85-88 mph range during his start with a loose arm stroke and repeatable, athletic delivery. The slider was a solid pitch for Esters, showing good shape in the upper-70s that he could also land for strikes with glove-side tilt as well. Esters also showed a changeup that had good potential and pitched very efficiently over his six-plus innings on the bump, giving the college coaches in attendance a strong look.

– Vincent Cervino

USA Prime-Gowins moved to 3-0 on Sunday morning via a 5-2 victory over Power Baseball. Bryce Osmond (2019, Tulsa, Okla.) got the start and in an abbreviated two-inning outing, continued to expand upon the prodigious upside he showed two weeks ago at Perfect Game National. Osmond is a slender, highly-athletic righthander who is also an accomplished middle infield prospect, though at this juncture his best upside looks to be on the mound. His arm speed stands out right away, as does the projection of his physicality. His fastball worked up to 94 mph and settled into the 90-92 mph range, creating steep plane to the plate when over his front side on time, showing the ability to work down in the zone and extend well through release. He showed good feel to spin as well, with sharpness to his downer slider in the 80-82 mph range, flashing average on the MLB scouting scale. 

Caeden Trenkle (2019, Hillsboro, Texas) hits leadoff for USA Prime and, like he’s done for several weeks now, impressed in a few ways beyond the box score. There’s good looseness to his hands in his swing, and he does a good job directing the barrel to various spots throughout the zone with control. He’s got good overall hitting tools, and is on the whole just a very good baseball player who will be impactful at Oklahoma State in a multitude of ways, somewhat reminiscent of Arkansas outfielder Eric Cole.

In relief of Osmond, fellow righthander Blake Mayfield (2019, Flower Mound, Texas) took the mound and was solid in his 2 2/3 innings, allowing a single run while striking out two. Mayfield, a Texas A&M commitment, has an athletic, projectable build with athleticism through his delivery and a quick arm. The arm stroke is lengthy and causes some timing issues leading to lapses in command, but when on time, he creates good angles to the plate from an extended three quarters slot and can pound his 85-89 mph fastball downhill with good arm side life. He’s also got good feel to spin the baseball, throwing a sharp, late-breaking curveball in the 74-77 mph range that he demonstrated the ability to change the shape of at times. 

Though he only threw one inning before a lengthy lightning delay forced him out, righthander Quinn Priester (2019, Cary, Ill.) showed off the kind of high-end upside we’ve seen from him over the past year or so. With an ideal pitcher’s build and seemingly limitless physical projection remaining, Priester worked 90-94 mph with plus arm speed and a solid command profile as well. He’s got excellent feel to spin the baseball as well, showing a curveball in the mid-70s that, while he didn’t quite get the full feel for in this brief outing, has shown as a potentially plus pitch in the past and remains that way in terms of projection. 

In relief of Priester after the lightning delay, DJ Jefferson (2019, Las Vegas, Nev.) took the mound and while he battled command issues, still showed pretty significant upside. He’s extremely long and lean with very long arms and a likewise lengthy arm stroke, which, due to the timing issues it creates, causes the aforementioned command concerns. Regardless, the arm speed and projection are significant, and Jefferson ran his fastball up to 94 mph with flashes of being able to dominante with the pitch when down in the zone. He worked in a curveball with 12-to-6 shape and big depth, a pitch that has a bright future as he continues to refine it and throw it harder 

Aaron Roberts (2019, Las Vegas, Nev.), a big-time righthanded pitching prospect, is also a pretty good prospect as a hitter, and showed that off in a big way in this game. He destroyed a triple to the middle of the field, showing off that extreme strength and physicality in his swing. Not just a masher, Roberts shows the ability to control the strike zone as well as the barrel, and when combined with his raw power, make for one of the more intriguing two-way talents in the class of 2019. 

The Midland Braves won a thriller over the Dirtbags All Blacks later on Sunday night, led on the mound by Kent State commit and righthander Owen Recker (2019, Kalida, Ohio). Recker, an extremely physical and strong righthander with a good combination of present physicality and projection, dominated across five innings, allowing no runs on one hit and three alks while racking up eight strikeouts. He comes right after hitters with the fastball, which peaked at 92 mph before settling into the 86-90 mph range, getting up to a near overtop slot and powering downhill, creating good plane to the plate, though the fastball itself is relatively straight. He worked in a curveball with good spin and depth in the 72-75 mph range, a pitch he showed he could land for strikes as well as throw as a chase pitch, and it has the makings of a potentially plus pitch for him down the line.  

– Brian Sakowski

Talented center fielder for the Chet Lemon’s Juice squad, Brandon Fields (2020, Orlando, Fla.), put his tools front and center as he destroyed a ball for a double, registering an exit velocity of 105 in the process. He is noticeably very physically advanced and uses his strong hands to generate very good bat speed while showing a good ability to barrel the ball up. While the knock was hit almost directly at the left fielder, Fields used his blazing speed to turn it into extra bases. In the field, he displayed good range while getting good reads on flies. The rising junior is playing up an age level but still manages to look like the best player on the field. Currently ranked 15th overall in the 2020 national class, Fields continues to impress and possesses an extremely high ceiling.

Vanderbilt commit Nick Maldonado (2019, Short Hills, N.J.) flashed the leather at shortstop on Sunday, showing nice defensive actions up the middle. He was particularly impressive on one play early in the game, ranging to the left to snare a hard hit grounder and firing to first to save what seemed to be a sure single. The arm strength he displayed on the play is hardly surprising given that he has shown 92 mph in the past on the mound, and although he didn’t pitch Sunday, he should be followed closely whenever he takes the hill next. Maldonado didn’t get any big results at the plate, but his approach was sound as he showed nice patience and good bat speed while visibly shortening his swing in two-strike counts to emphasize putting the ball in play. The well filled out, 6-foot-2 shortstop – ranked second in New Jersey at the position for the 2019 class – has a well-rounded game and looks to be quite polished as a prospect.

Danny Rodriguez (2019, Sarasota, Fla.) was an impressive arm for the Florida Burn Premier team, showing loose arm action and using little effort to reach up to 87 mph. The downward plane he generates on the ball led to several ground ball outs, and he was getting some whiffs, too, especially with the curveball. The secondary offering, which had decently sharp break and was getting spin rates around 2650, was located for a strike fairly consistently by Rodriguez. The two-way player, who is ranked 15th among Florida outfielders in his class, is physically projectable with his lean frame and stands to gain some velocity as he fills out.

Jacob Wilson (2019, Kansas City, Miss.) was lights out in a two-inning relief appearance for the Royals Scout Team. In his first inning, he only needed 10 pitches to go three-up, three-down, freezing the last hitter on a fastball on the inside corner. The fastball was up to 88-89 mph in the brief outing, thrown with a quick arm action. Wilson was economical again in his second inning, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches and mixing in a 76 mph curveball with good break that got a hitter to punch out swinging. The primary shortstop, ranked 11th in Missouri at the position in his class, looked athletic on the mound with a simple and repeatable delivery as he threw from an over-the-top arm slot. Throwing 76 percent of his pitches for strikes, Wilson’s accuracy around the zone is a very desirable trait and should lead to continued efficient outings in the future.

Willy Vasquez (2019, Passaic, N.J.) got his team on the board right away with a leadoff home run down the left field line. The blast, which proved to be the only run needed in a shutout win, left the field on a line and came screaming off the bat at 94 mph. Vasquez, a quick-twitch player, shows quick hands and does well getting the barrel out front. He employs a leg kick in his stance and shows a patient approach at the plate, although he is not afraid to attack early in the count if he gets his pitch. The high-energy Vasquez has a bit of natural loft to the swing and shows nice power potential as a middle infielder.

– Cameron Hines

Jackson Fristoe (2020, Paducah, Ky.) is a name to watch in the class of 2020. The Kentucky commit was 88-91 with his fastball on Sunday, running it up to 93 at times. Fristoe has an advanced feel for spin, and was able to use his slider in all counts. Fristoe’s slider has very late action, and it’s his best pitch when he throws it well. While Fristoe is part of the 2020 class, he has a projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame that will only get better as he adds strength. Fristoe has an impressively repeatable lower half, and was able to be consistently in sync between that and his quick arm. Fristoe is definitely someone to keep an eye on over the next two years.

Adam Grintz (2019, Glenmoore. Pa.) turned in a dominant performance for Tri State Arsenal National 17u, working six shutout innings while also striking out nine. He worked up to 91 with his fastball on Sunday, settling toward the mid- to upper-80s toward the end of his outing. Grintz has a projectable 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame and he uses it really well to get down the mound. Grintz commanded the zone well on Sunday with an effortless delivery that he was able to repeat on a consistent basis. The arm speed isn’t necessarily electric, and the arm action is a little stiff, but he uses his legs well enough to continue to stay projectable as he adds strength. The breaking ball that Grintz had on Sunday was an excellent pitch. He worked at 78-80 mph with it and showed the ability to use it as put-away pitch with excellent swing-and-miss potential. Grintz is a Tulane commit.

John Wyatt Cheney (2019, Bertram, Texas) was up to 89 in a short relief outing. The righty sat in the upper-80s and flashed a slider for show at 75. His quick arm action is something to be excited about, but he struggled with commanding the zone at times during Sunday’s outing. The fastball came out of his hand clean, and when his lower half was in sync with the arm it was something special. The Oklahoma State commit will be an arm to keep an eye on during the rest of the tournament.

Dylan Simmons (2019, Jacksonville, Fla.) got the start for Scorpions Founders Club 2019s Sunday night. Simmons is an interesting arm, as he has high-level arm strength on what is a sold 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. While the arm strength is definitely something to be excited about, the lower half could be cleaned up to get Simmons to an elite level on the mound. The Florida State commit flashed a slider in the low-80s and was able to use it effectively in and out of the strike zone. Simmons will be an interesting arm to follow as his career goes on. Also an excellent hitter, he has already hit a grand slam in this week’s tournament.

At the plate Judson Fabian (2019, Ocala, Fla.) started the game with a bang, turning on an inside fastball and hitting it deep over the wall down the left field line. Fabian has great speed and is one of the best hitters in the 2019 class. He is extremely athletic and is committed to Florida. He looks very comfortable in the box, and also showed the ability to lay off good breaking balls in the dirt. Fabian went 2-for-2 in Sunday’s game, adding a game-winning two-run double in the seventh to finish with four RBI. Fabian also really impressed in the outfield, getting great jumps on the ball and using his quickness to cover a lot of ground in center.

Another bright spot for the Scorpions was Dylan Crews (2020, Longwood, Fla.). Crews also made a standout play in the first inning, getting way up on the wall to take away a home run. The defensive skills in the corner outfield were nice to see, and like Fabian, Crews has incredible bat speed and just seems to have a knack for hitting. He has a very athletic stance in the box and really catches the ball out front when he barrels it up. Crews also showed an ability to run in Sunday’s game with a 4.34 down the line on a single. The Louisiana State commit finished the day 1-for-3 with a single that was lined into left.

After rain hit in the afternoon, Tim Cao (2019, Oak Ridge, N.C.) turned in an electric outing under the lights. Cao worked up to 91 with his fastball on Sunday and sat anywhere from 87-90. Cao gets the most out of his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame, and he has a quick arm action that results in the ball jumping out of his hand. He showed feel for spin with a mid-70s slider that had late action. Cao is an NC State commit, and there is a lot to like about this high-intensity righty with a lot of athleticism.

– Nate Schweers

Nathan Hickey (2019, Jacksonville, Fla.) is a catcher by trade, but this summer he was seamlessly plugged into third base for the East Cobb Astros. He has a strong arm and his versatility is valuable as he is a good enough athlete to be able to move around the field, playing multiple positions. Offensively he profiles as a middle-of-the-order run producer. He has a fluid swing and superior barrel-to-bat skills. His swing is as short and as close to the body as one can get. When he makes contact, the ball jumps off the bat, and if you put all of this together, you get a player that is a complete package. And should he walk onto the campus at Gainesville he should be an impact player for the Gators over the course of his collegiate career.

Carson Jones (2019, Glen Allen, Va.) of the Virginia Seminoles Phillips 17u is an exceptional two-way player. While he didn’t pitch on Sunday, there isn’t anything that he cannot do offensively. A 50 runner, Jones has a chance to be a real asset on the bases in college. At the plate, he has a good load with a fluid swing and an ideal bat path. His bat speed is well above average and is encroaching on an elite level. Jones plays right field where he will continue to stay at the next level thanks to his strong arm. The lefthanded, 6-foot-3 Jones could become one of the very best college two-way players over time if he continues to develop.

Dylan Hoy (2019, Suffern, N.Y.) is the shortstop for the Triton Rays Butler 17u team. There is a lot to like about him as he is a competitive and well-rounded player. He gets ready to field in a balanced, athletic position. On a play coming in on a soft roller, he showed good hands, a quick transfer, athletic mobility and an accurate arm. He also had a strong offensive showing with two stolen bases, a hard line drive single up the box and a long double down left field thanks to a short and direct swing path to the ball and solid running speed.

Patrick Routsis (2019, Midlothian, Va.) of Virginia Seminoles Phillips 17u started out sitting 87-90 and touched 91 on Sunday. He also threw a soft curveball that wasn’t thrown initially for strikes at 71-72 mph but developed better feel for it as the game went along. There’s effort in his delivery and he does have the tendency to fly open on his front side, however, he has a very fast arm. Throughout the game he had lots of 89s and was still 87-88 mph into the fifth inning. He also showed a good 77-78 changeup. He was wild at times early on in the game but settled by the second inning and his command improved. Primarily a shortstop last year, he did not disappoint on the mound as his pitching will give the uncommitted senior plenty of attention moving forward.

Lamarcus Jones (2019, St. Gabriel, LA) is a strong-bodied outfielder for the CHAOS travel ball team. He has plus bat speed with simple hitting mechanics, which allows him to sit on fastballs. While he is still learning to recognize spin on off-speed pitches it was easy to see a glimpse of the upside Jones has. During Sunday’s game, he smoked a line drove foul and is a great athlete that can run well, as he recorded a 4.24-second home-to-first time. Jones could end up being a prototypical power/speed combination player in college where his tools may start attracting the notice of scouts.

– Matt Arvin

JJ Goss (2019, Cypress, Texas) had a strong showing on Sunday, not only on the mound, but also with the crowd in attendance to watch him pitch. Many scouts as well as fans made the trek to Field 16 at LakePoint where there was standing room only to get to see the 21st-ranked righthanded pitcher pitch a masterpiece of one-hit baseball while the only hit was a slow dribbler to the shortstop. Goss was consistently 90-93 mph with his fastball with angle and occasional life to his arm side. Goss set up hitters with the fastball and located it well at the knees. He would then go to his slider that is one of the best in the prep class thus far in the early looks of the 2019 pitchers. The pitch is very tight with late bite downward in the 80-83 mph range. A true swing-and-miss secondary pitch that helped him tally six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Goss has a unique delivery and there is plenty of deception to it. He hides the ball some through the back with the arm working while appearing tight at times. He coils at his balancing point with a very high leg lift while lifting his hands over his head before coming to the plate. He has outstanding feel to spin the baseball and it is present in his fastball that relays a 2500 RPM spin rate according to TrackMan, as well as his slider that has up to a 2100 RPM spin rate. The righthander committed to the Aggies of Texas A&M has done nothing but impress on the mound in the two looks at PG events this year, both at the PG National and on Day 3 of the 17u WWBA National Championship.

As a pitching coach at a high-level program, you were likely dreaming after the performance and projection that uncommitted Rj Dantin (2019, Spartanburg, S.C.) brought to the mound on Sunday morning in the 8 a.m. time slot at LakePoint. Dantin pitched a complete game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts and was able to put any of the pitches in his repertoire wherever he wanted to and in any count. Dantin’s fastball sat in the 86-89 mph range early while gradually lessening a bit, but it is worth noting that he did bump an 88 mph fastball on his 95th pitch of the game. His curveball was his first secondary pitch that he showed and he located it well as mentioned mostly at the knees while being able to bury the pitch as well. His changeup has plenty of fade and is a nice offering to get righthanded hitter to chase out of the zone or roll over for soft contact.

What is most intriguing about Dantin is surprisingly not his command, but his TrackMan numbers are exceptionally advanced. He stands at 6-foot-3 so it is expected that he gets plenty of angle and extension out in front, but it is never expected that a 6-foot-3 lefthander gets 7 ½ feet of extension adding two-plus mph of effective velocity to his pitches. His ceiling is extremely high and it will be fun to watch him continue to fill out and develop both physically and as a lefthanded pitcher.

Andrew Jenkins (2019, Atlanta, Ga.) had a strong showing at the plate at the PG National Showcase and has had similar showings in past viewings as well. At the plate, Jenkins sets up with a low hand set and gets his hands to the baseball quickly while displaying the ability to drive the baseball when squared up. The Georgia Tech commit hit a ball on the nose in this viewing, carrying it deep to the pull-side gap for a double. He is also a solid runner as well and it shows up on the bases as he turned around first base with a 4.55-second home-to-first time with the aforementioned turn while not fully bursting around the bag. Later in the game, however, he did bust down the line on a true home-to-first sprint, clocking a time of 4.19 seconds, although it is worth noting that he was coming out of the box on the swing. Jenkins’s actions play at third base well for 643 DP Cougars 17u.

Albert Hernandez (2020, Davie, Fla.) pitched in relief for the Banditos Scout Team. He featured a lively fastball that sat at 84-89 mph and was unhittable getting soft contact or swings-and-misses throughout. Hernandez has a quick arm stroke and a bit of length at take back. He has a crossfire delivery while getting on top of his pitches and manipulating them where he wants to locate for the most part. The righty was up to 92 recently at Junior National Showcase, and while he didn’t show that type of velocity on Sunday, he did locate his pitches well with both his fastball and curveball. His curveball sat in the mid-70s mostly with some sweeping action and 11-to-5 shape, but was best when starting on the outer third of the plate to righthanders and getting them to chase the pitch out of the zone. One noteworthy aspect to Hernandez is his ability to use his lower half that possesses lots of strength. The commitment to Miami has good stuff on the mound, but also showed some of the top pop in batting practice during the Junior National.

As advertised from the set probable pitchers list, Jackson Phipps (2020, Dallas, Ga.) took the mound for 643 DP Cougars. Phipps, as he was at the Junior National, was much improved in both terms of the delivery as well as his stuff. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound lefthander pitches with his landing closed but is able to get out over his front side and land the fastball, slider and changeup for strikes to both sides of the plate while living mostly to his arm side. His fastball sat at 89-91 mostly early with some occasional arm-side life.

The pitch that has made strides since the last viewing is the changeup. The pitch shows plenty of fading action away from righthanded hitters and he was not afraid to use the pitch and get a swing-and-miss or soft contact. He used the changeup well off of the fastball and mixed in a slider that is much improved as well. Phipps has done an impressive amount of work in a short amount of time to improve his secondary offerings as well as the command of all of his pitches. He is still a 2020 graduate so there is still time to continue to develop, but Phipps is turning quickly into a name to follow closely for the 2020 draft.

Parks Harber (2020, Atlanta, Ga.) made a big impression recently at the PG Junior National Showcase and other WWBA events with the way he swings the bat and Sunday was no different. Harber wasted no time in this contest to put his strong swing on display driving a triple deep to the opposite field gap. Harber has an excellent frame and could even see more added strength in the coming years. The final product could be special as the Georgia commit already has huge raw pop and is fun to watch swing the lumber. Harber’s hands are very quick and direct to the baseball and can put the barrel to the baseball with ease. When squared up, the ball really flies off of his bat.

It is going to be hard to find a better middle infield at any level of travel baseball that what the Royals Scout Team brings to the field in Robert Moore (2020, Leawood, Kan.) and Christian Cairo (2019, Clearwater, Fla.). Both have elite defensive actions with plenty of smoothness and fluidity, both are good runners and both can swing the bat from the right side (Moore can swing the bat from both sides of the plate). Cairo got the start at shortstop and had multiple chances to show off his arm strength deep in the 5-6 hole. Moore played flashy defense at second base and has noticeably hand softness even while just watch him take ground balls from his first baseman in between innings. Moore did have the opportunity to show his quickness to the baseball and range as well on a play very deep to his left.

Both swung the bat well in the game too. Cairo hit a ground-rule double deep to the left-center field power alley and was looking to go to third all the way if the ball had not bounced over the fence. Cairo also showed his quickness down the line on a bunt where he busted out of the righthanded batters box for a 3.93 second jailbreak home-to-first time. Moore did all of his damage from the left side in this game including a double and infield single where he ran a 4.20-second home-to-first time. Cairo, an LSU commit, and the uncommitted Moore both have the tools to play big-time baseball and standout in a big way.

South Carolina commit Trey Tujetsch (2019, Charlotte, N.C.) was another pitcher who was impressive on the mound on Day 3. Tujetsch throws with minimal effort and can run his fastball up to 91 mph and did so on Sunday afternoon. He is not an overly physical pitcher listed at 6-foot, 170-pounds, but he does get the most from his frame on the mound. He worked off of his fastball that comes from a full arm action and an online delivery that he repeats exceptionally well. Tujetsch pitched the entire game for the South Charlotte Panthers.

Gabe Briones (2019, Riverside Calif.) was a fun player to watch catch, not only at the PG National Showcase, but on Sunday as well. The backstop for CBA has elite catch-and-throw ability and he showed that on a consistent basis in between innings, popping consistent sub-2.00 second pop times, with the best coming at a 1.94-second mark. Briones has such a quick transfer from his glove to his hand and releases it very quickly as well. The Southern California recruit is certainly going to throw runners out, and while he may not have had the opportunity on this day, the catch-and-throw skills as well as the accuracy are certainly there.

Kurtis Byrne (2019, Chesterfield, Mo.) picked up where he left off at the PG National, swinging the bat well and showing big-time power potential. Byrne knocked a pair of doubles to the pull-side gap while getting the barrel to the baseball fluidly and driving it for loud contact. Byrne caught in the game as well, and while he did not have to show his catch-and-throw ability in this contest, he does do an excellent job of framing and stealing strikes for his pitchers, which he did in this game often. The uncommitted catcher will likely not be uncommitted for too much longer as he has multiple high-level schools on the recruiting trail to land his talents.

Waiting late into the night after an extended rain delay, a pair of righthanded arms displayed low-90s fastballs on the north quad at LakePoint. Both pitchers made a short relief appearance, but both have the fastball and the secondary stuff to get hitters out at a high rate.

The Dirtbags’ Thomas Keehn (2019, Highland, Md.) has a fastball that ranged from 89-91 mph and did hit 92 mph on one offering. His changeup was the go-to pitch with lots of sink and deception. His curveball has plenty of depth in the mid-70s. All of the Duke commit’s pitches come from a full arm stroke while creating plenty of downhill trajectory.

The final big-time arm of the evening was Cj Neese Jr (2019, Greensboro, N.C.) of the South Charlotte Panthers who appeared on the mound 12 hours after his first game of a day/night doubleheader. Neese’s fastball sat at 89-91 mph with lots of angle. Neese is highly projectable, standing at a believable 6-foot-4. The North Carolina State commit has a deceptive delivery that makes pitches hard to pick up out of his hand. His curveball has a spin rate of 2200 RPMs and he got a lot of swing-and-miss with the pitch. The changeup was straight but he maintained fastball arm speed with the offering. Neese filled up the strike zone with all three pitches and is an interesting follow moving forward as he may still have more velocity in the tank.

– Greg Gerard

 Give us your feedback
Copyright 1994-2019 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.