Tournaments : : Story
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

16u WWBA Scout Notes: Day 4

Vincent Cervino         Jheremy Brown         Greg Gerard         Brian Sakowski         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
Photo: Joey Mack (Perfect Game)

16u WWBA National Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders
Scout Notes: 
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

There’s no surprise that righthander Jared Jones (2020, Whittier, Calif.) has continued to evolve his game on the mound from the first time we saw him a couple years back given his overall athleticism,q and while jumps were expected to be made, he came out in a big way to announce his presence. Jones, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the 2020 class, may not look like your typical power arm as he more resembles that of a twitchy middle infielder, an element to his profile which probably aids him on the mound.

The first pitch out of Jones’ hand on Monday night registered at 94 mph, an impressive mark which he quickly blew past with his next pitch, clocking in at 96 mph. Of the course of his first inning Jones sat very comfortably in the 93-95 mph range, both out of the windup and stretch, while showing the ability to generate plane to either side of the plate. To generate that type of velocity as a rising junior there has to be obvious arm speed, something Jones certainly possesses and though he pitched more to contact and allowed four hits over an inning and a third, the ability to generate what he does on the pitch is mightily impressive.

At the 16u tournament an 85 mph fastball will catch some attention and even more so when that’s the speed of one’s changeup, which Jones showed in the opening frame before going more to a slider in his second inning of work. Living in the upper-70s with it, Jones showed comfort and confidence on the pitch, doubling and tripling up on it to record his lone strikeout of the night. The talent here with the young California native is immense and given the relative low effort of which he uses to produce a premium fastball, don’t be surprised if there are a couple more ticks in the tank moving forward.

Batting leadoff for BPA was center fielder and UCLA commit Petey Halpin (2020, San Mateo, Calif.), a lefthanded bat who’s currently ranked No. 67 in the most recent rendition of the class rankings. At 6-foot, 180-pounds, Halpin digs into the box with a relaxed approach, staying simple through his load before showing some of the faster hands to get the barrel through the zone. The quickness of his hands allow Halpin to track the ball longer than others his age, adjusting to secondaries as he detects them, even if to fight them off. Facing a mid-80s lefthander in Evan Byers, Halpin showed no discomfort handling the fastball as he twice singled, the first a broken bat infield knock which he ran a 4.22 down the line before lining another through the six-hole which registered 92.5 mph, highlighting how quickly he’s able to get the barrel through the zone and to the ball. With the two hits Halpin is now hitting .533 over BPA’s first five games, recording multi-hit games in three of the contests.

If you were to eyeball every pitch out of Jared Kelley’s (2020, Refugio, Texas) hand you might say 90-91 mph as it’s firm through the zone and comes out of his hand cleanly. Quick check of the radar gun quickly shows just how clean and easy his release is as the 6-foot-2, 200-pound TCU commit opened the game sitting 93-95 mph range and continued to bump 95s well into his outing, going 95 on back to back pitches in the fourth inning. Everything but the effort with Kelley says power arm except the effort level, something that obviously bodes well for him moving forward.

His delivery is a simple one and one that’s well-paced with balance throughout and as he found his release point with every inning, Kelley began attacking the zone with his fastball while showing the ability to work to either side. The velocity comes easy for Kelley who looks like he’s simply throwing a bullpen session at 50 percent with the ball jumping out of his hand while racking up the swings-and-misses on the heater, inducing some uncomfortable swings on the pitch even in fastball-type counts. Over the outing Kelley scattered four hits and issued six walks (three in the first inning) but battled through to go 4 1/3 innings with an average fastball of 92 mph.

Similar to his command, as the game wore progressed so did his feel for his 77-79 mph slider which played well off the premium fastball. Though he’ll tend to lower his slot some he does a nice job of maintaining his arm speed while landing the 10-to-4 shaped pitch for strikes, showing short action on it through the zone. There’s a reason Kelley is regarded as one of the top arms in the country in what’s shaping up to be a deep and talented 2020 class (currently No. 7 overall) and don’t be surprised to hear even bigger numbers within the next calendar year.

Lefthander Evan Byers (2020, Nicholasville, Ken.) may not have shown the type of velocity as the two pitchers above him, but his ability to pound the strike zone and maintain his arsenal was as impressive as any arm to throw on day four. Strongly built yet not overly physical at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, the future Kentucky Wildcat filled the zone in a complete game shutout effort, punching out five without issuing a walk and scattering four hits.

Bumping an 87 early in the game, Byers continued to live in the 83-86 mph throughout the entirety of the game, showing a quick left arm and a repeatable set of mechanics which yielded a 70 percent strike margin. Along with the strikes and velocity, Byers showed nice running life to his heater which helped stay off of barrels and induce weak contact around the field. Getting ahead with the fastball was key for Byers though he also spun both a curveball and changeup, both offering distinctly different shape but nonetheless gave the result he was looking for. His curveball showed more depth to it in the 71-73 mph with 1-to-7 shape while the slider was a tighter pitch that reached as high as 80 mph with late bite through the zone.

Joey Mack (2021, Williamsville, N.Y.) may have just finished his freshman year of high school but he’s already established himself as one of the top bats in the country for 2021 as evidenced by his No. 19 national ranking. Monday afternoon proved to be just another day at the yard for the lefthanded hitting Clemson commit as he drilled both a double and triple to his pull side in each of his first two at-bats. As opposed to last summer Mack is showing better balance to his swing but still maintaining the fast, loose hands we’ve come to know while generating hard contact of the barrel and picking up four RBI on the day.

Making his WWBA debut Monday morning, righthander Luke Savage (2020, Dallas, Texas) showed well on the mound and it’s easy to see why TCU has already locked up the in-state arm. While he stands at 6-foot, 185-pounds, Savage shows solid arm speed which helped run his fastball upwards of 90 mph while living comfortably in the upper-80s throughout his 4 1/3 innings of work. The velocity comes rather easy for Savage and as he makes some adjustments to his front side and additional lower half into his drive there’s undoubtedly more velocity left in the tank, though he already shows the ability to run the pitch in on the hands of a righthanded hitter. While the velocity is noteworthy for a 16u tournament, the real difference maker for Savage was a his slider, a late biting mid-70s offer which showed tight rotation and proved to be a go-to secondary throughout his time on the mound.

Another lefthanded bat who impressed yesterday was Hudson Sapp (2020, Dawsonville, Ga.) of DRB, a former PG Select Festival member who has also verballed to Ole Miss already. Facing off against lefthander Timothy Williams, Sapp showed no discomfort in his left on left matchups as he picked up two bats hits in his first two trips to the plate and finished the day going 3-for-3, raising his average up to .583 on the tournament. His 5-foot-11 frame with well-proportioned with strength and hitting from atop the order he shows a short, compact stroke with present bat speed and the ability to already impact the baseball. In each of his first two at-bats Sapp jumped on a curveball, first drilling a triple deep to center field before pulling another breaker through the right side for a single. And while he’s been upper-80s on the mound and could be a two-way type for the Rebels, his bat is a tool that the coaching staff is happy to have locked up.

Only coming off his freshman year, righthander Vincent Trapani (2021, Eau Claire, Wis.) delivered an impressive performance against a talented and older Banditos Scout Team with a slew of college recruiters looking on. It was Trapani’s second outing of the tournament and though he only worked 2 1/3 innings against the Banditos, it would be safe to surmise that the young Wisconsin native will have his choosing whenever he’s ready to make his college commitment.

Strongly built with broad shoulders at 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, Trapani showcased his durability as maintained his 87-90 mph fastball throughout his outing, bumping as high as 91 in the first inning. With some gather on his backside the young righty shows plenty of quickness to his arm stroke while working to an extended three-quarters release, generating some angle to his glove side as well as nice running life through the zone. Similar to Jared Kelley, he was able to induce uncomfortable swings with his fastball and collected four strikeouts while averaging 88 mph on his fastball.

Not only did Trapani compete against an older team with his fastball, he also spun one of the better curveballs I’ve seen this tournament as it proved to be a true swing-and-miss offering. With maintained arm speed and a replicated release, the pitch showed hard bite and tight rotation in the 74-76 mph range with solid hand speed at release. On the pitch Trapani showcased the ability to either land the pitch for strikes or get chases down in the zone, something that’ll only help him moving forward.

Up to 91 mph earlier in the tournament which was also his Perfect Game debut, uncommitted righthander Tyler Chadwick (2020, Marshall, Wis.) again worked out of the bullpen for the GRB Rays and showed plenty of intrigue on the mound for colleges looking on. The first thing that jumps is his long and loose 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame which sports plenty of room to fill moving forward. Next is the arm speed he’s able to generate through the backside while staying short with his arm stroke and working to an over-the-top slot. The combination of his release point and short stride down the mound allowed for late sinking life on his 87-90 mph fastball both out of the windup with severe plane helping to induce ground ball contact. On top of the heater Chadwick also mixed in a mid-70s curveball which played well off his fastball.

Max Wagner (2020, Green Bay, Wis.) and Taiten Manriquez (2020, Waunakee, Wis.) are two uncommitted bats of the Rays who should be followed throughout the rest of the tournament. Wagner, a physical righthanded hitter, shows his strength with a single swing as he hopped the right-center field (opposite field gap) wall for a double before jumping on the mound for a quick inning and ran his fastball up to 88 mph. Manriquez is the team’s starting shortstop and he showed his athleticism throughout the day, moving well on his feet laterally and especially going into the hole along with fluidity to his hands and release which were both showcased on a double play turn. Offensively he too picked up a two-base knock, taking an outer half 93 mph Jared Kelley fastball and slapped it down the line, simply getting extended while putting the barrel to the ball.

Already an established prospect on the national scene who’s ranked No. 26 in the class, lefthander Daxton Fulton (2020, Oklahoma City, Okla.) has as much projectability as any arm standing at 6-foot-6, 220-pounds. And while he didn’t have his sharpest command with six free passes on the day (which isn’t too uncommon for a pitcher of Fulton’s stature and age), he still threw four innings of one-run, no-hit baseball.

Up to 90 mph in the opening frame, Fulton shows plenty of quickness to his arm stroke through the backside and maintained 86-89 mph over all four innings of work. Similar to other arms in this recap, Fulton settled in nicely with his command of his heater which showed lots of natural and late cutting life. He punched out five on the day and unlike other hard throwers his age, Fulton shows the ability to spin the ball and flashed a changeup to give him a full four-pitch mix. His curveball shows more depth with 1-to-7 shape up to 75 mph as opposed to his mid- to upper-70s slider which he tunnels well and shows late action along with the ability to get to the backfoot of righthanded hitters

Changing looks and varying tempo on the mound has been on display throughout the tournament from a multitude of pitchers, including uncommitted lefthander Timothy Williams (2021, Shenandoah, Va.). But unlike other arms, Williams was able to consistently fill the strike zone whether it was with a double hand pump, an old school rock step, a hesitation at the top of his leg lift, or when he was dropping down to a near sidearm slot from his regular three-quarters.

Plenty projectable with a 6-foot, 155-pound young and slender build, Williams’ ability on the mound to manipulate his looks and throw hitters off balance is advanced for a pitcher coming off his freshman year, though he also has the stuff to back it up. Williams fastball lived in the 82-85 mph range, once touching an 86 and an 88, with plenty of arm speed and athleticism throughout his delivery. Working out of the lower slot Williams was up to 82 mph, showing more sink while still filling the zone.

Like his delivery, Williams shows the ability to manipulate the shape of his breaking ball, working in the 69-71 mph range with varying degrees of bite and depth. The feel for the pitch was there as he tripled up on it at one point for a punch out, one of his five on the day. His velocity will only continue to tick up with physical maturity but his current feel on the mound is something that’s unrivaled by many his age.

– Jheremy Brown

The East Coast Sox Select had no issues in their early game on Monday morning, winning 10-0 in five innings, and were paced offensively by leadoff hitter TJ McCants (2020, Cantonment, Fla.). McCants is an extremely slender, lithely-built shortstop prospect and lefthanded hitter who is committed to Ole Miss, and shows the makings of a high-level college hitter. The hands are very fast through the swing and create excellent overall bat speed, covering the plate well and showing the ability to move the barrel around the zone. Despite his extremely slender build, the bat speed McCants creates allows for him to generate some present pop, which he showed by driving an extra base knock over the right fielders’ head in one at bat. With the present hitting tools and overall athleticism that McCants displays, it’s almost scary to think about his ultimate upside once he starts to develop more physicality. 

Team Elite Prime won a pair of games on Monday to move to 5-0 in their pool, outscoring opponents by a total of 18-1. They took a 10-0 decision at Allatoona High School on Monday morning, and uncommitted lefthander Wyatt Crowell (2020, Cumming, Ga.) got the win on the mound. Crowell is a very slender, athletically-built lefthander with a quick arm who has some serious funk and deception to his delivery and overall stuff. He extends way out to a low three quarters slot and creates significant angle to the plate as a result, and while there is some violence to the arm action, it doesn’t impact his ability to throw strikes at this juncture. He worked in the 82-85 mph range with his fastball, peaking at 86 mph early on, generating good arm side run and sinking life to the pitch, which he was comfortable throwing to both sides of the plate down in the zone. He pounded the strike zone with roughly 95 percent fastballs, but did show some feel for a fading changeup that clocked in at 77 mph. 

If Crowell is all about deception from the left side, then Brady House (2021, Winder, Ga.), who came on in relief, is all about power and attack. House, a righthander committed to Tennessee, came in out of the pen and just blew his fastball right by hitters. He worked mostly in the 88-91 mph range with a fair amount of sink to the pitch, with a pretty simple delivery that just gathers and fires downhill. He’s very well-built for his age and is also a legitimate two-way talent as it sits right now, and he put that strength on display by hitting a bomb in the game as well. We’re still three years away from the 2021 MLB Draft, but House is a serious must-follow leading up to that. 

Team Elite Prime is loaded offensively top to bottom, and it all starts at the top with the No. 1 player in the 2020 class, outfielder Austin Hendrick (2020, Oakdale, Pa.). Hendrick has been written about repeatedly by Perfect Game over the years and continues to develop as a hitter and overall player, with all of the makings of a high-level MLB Draft choice in a few years. The bat speed from the left side of the plate is tremendous, as is the strength he possesses in his hands and wrists. He’s able to drive the ball to the deepest part of the ballpark on a line while being collapsed onto his front side at contact, something that evaluators don’t see very often, making him an extremely special hitter. 

Fellow Team Elite Prime masher Jack Bulger (2020, Bowie, Md.) has also established himself as one of the best position players in the 2020 class as a catcher, and hits in the middle of the Team Elite lineup. Bulger is an extremely physical and strong young prospect, with one of the smoother swings and some of the easier power in the class as well. He’s very quiet in his set up and approach without much in the way of extraneous movement, but the swing itself is the perfect combination of smooth and violent. He circles the barrel extremely well and gets it on plane before entering the hitting zone, working up to the plane of the pitch, and as a result has no trouble driving the ball into the air with authority and significant carry. He looks every bit the part of a power-hitting catcher that will be a hot commodity on draft day in a few years. 

Later on Monday night, Team Elite Prime won again, this time taking down the East Coast Lumberjacks by a score of 7-1. Alex Edmondson (2020, Simpsonville, S.C.) got the start, going three scoreless innings and racking up four strikeouts. Edmondson is very athletically built, with long levers and tons of projection remaining, and he’s done an excellent job of cleaning up some of the mechanical inconsistencies we’d seen from him in the past. He creates lots of angle to the plate from an extended three quarters slot, and while there is some violence to his delivery, he does a good job of throwing strikes. The fastball explodes out of the hand at 88-92 mph in this outing, and working in a good slider with late tilt in the upper-70s to low-80s. 

Prime let loose a cavalcade of arms in this one, all on limited pitch counts as they will likely be brought back for the playoffs, but nonetheless impressive in short burst. Luke A. Wagner (2020, New Cumberland, Pa.) showed off very impressive arm speed with a fastball up to 90 mph from the left side to go along with a wipeout, late breaking curveball in the 74-77 mph range. Wagner is committed to Georgia. Alex McFarlane (2019, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) got a scoreless inning of his own, working his fastball up to 94 mph with a lightning quick arm. McFarlane is very young for the 2019 class and will barely be 18 by the time the draft rolls around next June, and the arm speed he creates in conjunction with his physical projection give him vast upside. 

CBA Marucci moved to 4-1 in their pool via a victory on Monday afternoon at Lake Point, and Kevin Sim (2020, San Diego, Calif.) certainly did his part in the victory both with the bat and on the mound. Sim is a strong-bodied third baseman prospect committed to his hometown San Diego, and showed off some serious two-way upside in this one. He has a very good approach at the plate and is more than content to work a walk, which he did several times in this one, but the real draw is the power he has, something he again put on display in this game by launching a bomb to the pull side that got out of LakePoint in a hurry. On the mound, he had some bouts of command issues in his close-out inning, but still worked up to 89 mph with his fastball and showed some feel for spinning a breaking ball. He’s one to watch closely on the West Coast as we work towards the 2020 MLB Draft. 

The Georgia Jackets and Baseball U locked in a battle on Monday evening that wasn’t decided until the final inning, with the Jackets prevailing to move to 5-0 in pool play. Jaden Agassi (2020, Las Vegas, Nev.), one of several PG Select Festival alums here this week, got the start for the Jackets and was very solid. He’s done a good job beginning to fill out his large, athletic frame, and still projects well moving forward. The mechanical components of his delivery and arm action have cleaned up some and he’s now more adept at throwing strikes than he’s ever been, a very good development to keep an eye on continuing forward. He worked his fastball up to 90 mph early on before settling into the 85-88 mph range for the most part, showing some sink to the pitch when located down in the zone and also demonstrating the type of arm speed that, when taken in conjunction with the strength he still has room to add to his frame, give him a very high velocity ceiling. He showed a curveball in the low- to mid-70s that flashes good spin and depth, and he can land it for a strike when he needs to. 

On the other side, Patrick Reilly (2020, Freehold, N.J.), an uncommitted righthander, got the start for Baseball U and was very good. With a long, lean build, Reilly projects well physically moving forward and has plenty of room to continue filling out. He worked up to 89 mph early on per Trackman before settling into the 82-86 mph range for the most part, showing the ability to move the fastball around the zone some as well as work down in the zone. He’s athletic on and off the mound and with his whippy arm speed and physical projection, possesses no doubt Division I baseball type of upside. 

Zach Zobel (2020, Westport, Conn.) provided the entirety of the offense for Baseball U, when he jumped all over an Agassi fastball in the 4th inning and sent it out of Field 12 at Lake Point, giving the Jackets a 2-0 lead at the time. Zobel is compactly-built with solid strength, and showed a quick, direct stroke that is capable of timing up big velocity, which he showed in this game. There is strength there, as evidenced by the bomb he hit, and he shows the ability to generate leverage off of his front side when he’s timed up. 

– Brian Sakowski

Many college coaches and recruiters flocked to Field 11 at LakePoint for the 8:00 a.m. time slot to see uncommitted Ty Floyd (2020, Rockmart, Ga.) get the start on the mound for 643 DP. Floyd is an athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound righthander with lots of projection moving forward. The ball Floyd throws with comes from a compact arm stroke as he hides it really well through the back side. The arm strength and the quickness of the arm is tremendous. Floyd gets to both sides of the plate with his fastball and threw three pitches for enough strikes to gets hitters of the opposing team out consistently. The fastball ranged from 86-89 mph while topping out at 90 mph on one occurrence. The pitch is mostly straight but did show signs of heavy life to armside as well. The curveball is a sweeping one with 10-to-4 shape and the changeup is straight at 77 mph. Although usually an overlooked aspect, it is also worth noting that Floyd showed a very quick pickoff move in his game as well. Floyd is a high level pitcher and is certainly worth monitoring very closely.

Getting the start against the Canes National team was uncommitted righthander Jackson Cothren (2020, Fayetteville, Tenn.) who really pitched well against a loaded lineup. Cothren pitched to the daily maximum of his pitch count and was outstanding throughout with his fastball, curveball and changeup trio of pitches. Cothren sat 87-88 mph early with his fastball while topping out at 89 mph on one occasion as well. The ball comes from a full arm action and some effort at release leading to a slight dip in velocity as the game wore on. There is good tempo to his delivery as he maintains fastball arm speed on his nice changeup. The pitch, early in the contest was 81-83 mph and dipped as the game went along with the fastball. The command was good throughout, however. Cothren threw one out shy of a complete game picking up the win and striking out four hitters.

A very recent commit to the University of Missouri made his start on the mound Monday as Parker Wright (2020, Columbia, Mo.) of the Missouri Gators took the hill in a winning effort. Wright showed outstanding command of his three pitches from a long and wrapped arm action that continually got through on time and out in front. His fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range consistently for three innings as he did not throw a fastball below that average the entire outing. His slider has short break to it up to 79 mph and his changeup flashed sink with similar arm speed. The most noteworthy aspect of Wright’s delivery is the deception that comes with it. He did not find a barrel during his outing and will likely pitch again soon as he threw a small total of 37 pitches in his three quick innings of work.

C.J. Funk (2020, Bellefonte, Pa.) had a big day at the plate on Monday and it all started when his 104 mph exit velocity double caught this scout’s eye. The ball was struck with incredible impact and showed his true strength to his swing. The first hit was no fluke either as he went on the hit two more balls hard in his next two at-bats as well. First an opposite field single and then a second double that left his bat at 88 mph. Funk has strength to his swing, extending through contact well, and the ball jumps off of his barrel at a high rate when squared and his hands stay direct to the baseball. The uncommitted primary outfielder swung the bat well on Monday and has a raw hit tool worth following closely.

One of the top fastball commanding pitchers of the day was uncommitted righthander Turner Swistak (2020, Hattiesburg, Miss.). The pitcher from Mississippi threw 66% strikes during his 5 1/3 innings and struck out seven while not allowing a walk. Swistak worked his fastball to both sides of the plate primarily at the knees creating lots of angle from his projectable 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. His fastball range from 86-88 mph early on in the contest while sitting more mid-80s after his first two innings. He also shows great feel for his curveball that sat mostly in the low-70s with 11-to-5 shape.

Blade Tidwell (2020, Loretto, Tenn.) closed out the first game of a back-to-back doubleheader before making the start in game two. The Tennessee commit topped out at 90 mph with a loose arm stroke and relatively easy effort. He lands closed off but gets out over his front side well. He mixed in a breaking ball and a changeup that both showed promise moving forward. The curveball sat in the mid-70s and his changeup showed the similar velocity as well. After the quick turnaround, Tidwell came out to start game two and showed similar control of his pitches and the same velocity as well.

Masyn Winn (2020, Kingwood, Texas) has outstanding arm strength and it has been documented often at PG events this year. Winn is a twitchy athlete who has proven himself as a legitimate two-way talent. Winn throws with effort and can ran his fastball up to 92 mph on this day and has been as high as 95 mph in past viewings. His uses his lower half extremely well and gets the most out of his lean 5-foot-9 frame. Winn throws enough strikes and mixes in a curveball as well as a changeup. The changeup he offers to lefties and has similar arm speed to the fastball but does slow it minutely. The curveball has slurvy 10-to-4 shape with lots of depth. The Stanford commit’s arm speed is elite as he blew the pitch by hitters for a total of five strikeouts in three innings.

One of the top arms in the 2020 class made his appearance on the mound out of the bullpen for the Banditos Scout Team in Victor Mederos (2020, Miami, Fla.) on Monday. Mederos is a physical 6-foot-2, 190-pound righthander who appears even larger than that on the mound. In previous viewings Mederos’ arm slot was higher than the three-quarters arm slot he showed Monday in relief. The Miami commit has a long arm action but gets it through on time with some recoil at the end of his delivery. Mederos gets some extension out in front but appears to leave himself a bit short of his full potential.

The righthander’s fastball ranged from 89-92 mph with occasional life to either armside or glove side. The curveball had some depth to it and 11-to-5 shape up to 77 mph while flashing some hair to it when thrown with conviction. Mederos has been near the top of the 2020 class for multiple years now and Monday afternoon’s contest certainly showed why.

Ben Hernandez (2020, Chicago, Ill.) has an elite changeup for his class and is able to throw the pitch for strikes consistently while complimenting it off of his fastball well. The Illinois-Chicago commit has a loose and clean arm action while the velocity comes easy. The righthander’s fastball sat in the 86-89 mph range early while dropping with more usage. Hernandez uses his lower half well and stays online with his quick arm. The aforementioned changeup had good sink to it with the same arm speed that he uses on his fastball. The righty pitched very well on Monday morning but did take an unfortunate loss while only allowing a run on four hits and striking out eight batters.

The performance of the day on the mound seen by this scout was from Mississippi State commit Cade Smith (2020, Southaven, Miss.). Smith pitched 6-plus innings with six strikeouts and just four hits, all coming off of soft contact. The righthander maintained his 88-90 mph velocity for the first two innings before living in the 86-88 mph range for his next four frames. The fastball is straight but was well located to either side of the plate. His delivery is very balanced while the arm works really well and is quick through the full stroke. He showed outstanding feel for a 12-to-6 curveball as well that flashed sharpness when thrown with fastball arm speed. The ceiling is high for Smith as there is still more projectability to his frame moving forward. The verbal commitment to Mississippi State stands at 6-foot-1, 170-pounds with plenty of room to fill with added strength. With that added strength, the final product could be special.

From one Smith to the other on Team Georgia as Calin "Cal" Smith (2019, Peachtree City, Ga.) had a well struck double to his pull side in the game. The Mississippi State commit helped lead his team to a 3-0 win in their afternoon contest with the hit. The ball left his bat in a hurry as he created leverage and drove the ball deep for a ground-rule double. The young 2019 outfielder showed that he can run as well getting down the line with home-to-first times of 4.32-seconds and 4.37-seconds in the contest.

Wyatt Langford (2020, Trenton, Fla.) unloaded on a fastball in the late time slot of the day at Lakepoint and sent it out to left-center field for a home run.  The ball left his bat at 100 mph with an extreme launch angle that towered in the air. The ball traveled 392 feet per TrackMan as Langford show some serious pop and hang time for his class. Langford, a primary third baseman and Florida commit, got the start at first base in this one and showed good footwork around the bag as well.

– Greg Gerard

Blayze Berry (2020, Columbus, Miss.) started Day 4 of the 16u WWBA National Championship off with a bang. Berry tossed a complete game (five innings) no-hitter in the day’s first time slot. Berry ran his fastball up to 87 and sat in the mid-80s throughout, and he was able to throw three pitches for strikes. Berry gets the most out of a 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame, and uses his legs well to get down the mound. Berry showed excellent command with all three pitches on Monday, as he was just one walk shy of a perfect game. Berry also has quick and deceptive arm action, and it was clearly deceptive to hitters in the box as he struck out five.

At the plate, Dalton Cook (2020, Long Beach, Miss.) had a strong day barreling up a pair of balls. Cook delivered a bases-clearing double in his first at-bat of the day, and was the victim of great defense placement on another roped ball later in the game. Cook has a slightly open and athletic stance in the box, and the hands are quick while going directly to the ball. There is not much movement in the swing, and while the power tool isn’t necessarily strong, he showed great ability to catch barrels. Cook also looked comfortable behind the plate. There wasn't much action on the bases with Berry throwing a no-hitter, but Cook’s between inning pop times were anywhere from 2.0-to-2.2 seconds.

Over on Field 16, William Clements (2020, The Woodlands, Texas) turned in a solid outing with much improvement since his last Perfect Game outing. Clements worked up to 89 with a good fastball before sitting from 84-87 for the rest. While the fastball had life on Monday, Clements’ best pitch is a 12-to-6 curveball he could throw for both strikes and as a put-away pitch. Clements’ curveball had tight spin and good shape and was a knockout pitch, coming from his over-the-top arm slot. Clements has a big 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, and he was able to create good plane with all of his pitches. Clements is an uncommitted member of the 2020 class, but the physical frame and good curveball are both intriguing components.

In what was one of the more impressive hitting displays in this week’s tournament, AJ Vukovich (2020, Mukwonago, Wis.) went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a single on Monday. Vukovich is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound primary third baseman that just has a knack for hitting. He had a pair of 90-plus mph exit velocities on Monday, and showed an ability to go the opposite way on two different occasions. Vukovich stays tall and athletic in the box, and he really showed an ability to identify good pitches to hit. He is committed to Louisville, and is currently ranked as the best 2020 player in the state of Wisconsin. Vukovich runs well for 6-foot-5, turning a 4.43 time to first on his single. Vukovich is a complete package as a hitter, and he will be a player to keep an eye on as his prep career continues.

Hayde Key (2020, Missouri City, Texas) was dominant in his six innings of work this afternoon. Key worked in the upper-80s with a good fastball, running it up to 91 in his first inning of work. Key gets the most out of a 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame, and he had very clean and repeatable mechanics in the lower half. Key has quick and compact arm action, and he was also able to show great feel for a low-70s breaking ball he could throw for strikes at all times. Key is an excellent athlete, and he was able to make a couple of really nice plays off the mound today. The athleticism helps him in his delivery, and there is a mobility there that allows him to get so much out of his delivery. Key was able to get a lot of soft contact on Monday, and it will be interesting to follow him as he grows and progresses through his career.

– Nate Schweers

High-caliber pitching was in abundance Monday, including an entertaining pitching duel between Austin Amaral (2020, Debary, Fla.) and Ryan Lynch (2020, Granger, Ind.).

Amaral left the game in line for the victory. The physical and sturdy righty was up to 88 mph with the heater, settling in to average 85. He features some loose and quick arm action and occasionally gets some running life that resulted in plenty of weak contact. While he fills the zone with strikes and limits walks, he was able to flash some strikeout potential as well, preferring to drop in a breaker with two strikes that sometimes looked more like a slurve than a true curveball. Amaral controlled the run game well and displayed some nifty footwork in a pickoff of a runner at first. He ended his outing with five strikeouts over five scoreless Innings for Power Baseball 2020 and is currently uncommitted.

Lynch, a Notre Dame commit, was highly impressive in his own right and pitches with a smooth and clean delivery that he is able to repeat well. He was hitting 83-87 from the left side early on, although this figure dwindled some in the later innings. The first five hitters Lynch faced punched out, and in variety of ways. He would paint the corners with the heater to freeze hitters or elevate it and blow it by them. He would also get some whiffs with a 12-to-6 curveball that was most effective when buried. Pitchability looks to be a staple in his skillset as he successfully changed locations while adding and subtracting velocity. Lynch throws from a high, over-the-top arm slot and generates plane down in the zone. He attack hitters and frequently gets ahead, and there is a ton to like about his mound presence. Lynch did struggle a bit with control late in the game but ultimately struck out ten over 4 1/3 innings for Canes Midwest while allowing a lone hit. He currently stands as the top lefty in the Indiana class.

Casper Clark (2020, North Vernon, Ind.) came on in relief of Lynch and showed good physicality on the mound. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Indiana commit filled the zone with 87-88 mph heat and threw an outrageous 83 percent of his pitches for strikes. Four of his five outs were recorded via strikeout and his dominance kept the Canes right in the game. His monstrous presence atop the hill bodes well for some velocity gains in the future and it is encouraging that he has more than an idea of where the ball is going. He is currently ranked as the second-best righthander in the Indiana class.

A shortstop by trade, Jordan Thompson (2020, Chula Vista, Cali.) looked good on the mound, too. The LSU commit maintained high-80s velocity in his three innings of work, topping out at 89. He pitches with a high leg kick but reins this in with a shorter stride when runners are on and is able to throw with the same velocity. Thompson pounds the zone with strikes and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot that gives him some arm-side run. He flashed a curveball with short, late break that was tunneled well and wasn’t easy to pick up. He is an athletic presence, not surprising given he is the eighth-ranked shortstop in the California class, and notched a single up the middle while hitting for himself.

Florida State commit Nick Gorby (2020, Port St. Lucie, Fla.) showed great feel for a curveball, which looked like the primary offering in his repertoire. The southpaw was very comfortable dropping it in any count, starting or finishing batters with it frequently. The pitch has a good amount of depth to it and is thrown from the same arm slot, resulting in numerous swings and misses. Gorby’s fastball was no slouch either, sitting 86-87 mph throughout his outing, and there is an element of deception to his delivery as keeps the ball hidden in the glove a long time and torques the body back. Gorby has a large frame on the hill, which should keep him durable against the rigors of a season and currently stands as the second-ranked lefty in the Florida class.

Alex Greene (2020, Edgewater, Md.) was lighting the radar gun ablaze in a start for the Richmond Braves National squad, touching 93 mph and settling in to average around 88-92. He boasts some of the quickest arm speed this scout has seen in the tournament so far with very loose and whip-like action. Now, the heater may have been a bit straight at times, as the opposition was occasionally able to get the barrel to it and string together some hits off of it. However, the velocity was exceedingly high for the age group and there is potential for a little more in the muscular and well-proportioned frame. Greene, a Virginia commit, threw the curveball from the same arm slot and got good vertical movement on it. It would occasionally resemble a slurve with some horizontal movement as well and got at least one batter to punch out swinging. Greene is the top outfielder and overall player in the Virginia class and looked good at the plate with a short swing and plenty of bat speed. With the potential he exudes on the mound, he has the look a legitimate two-way threat.

Devin Futrell (2021, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) got the call for a three-inning save in a tight game. He shut the door on the opponents with aplomb, punching out five without allowing a hit. With a simple and repeatable delivery, the Vanderbilt commit sat in the mid-to-low 80s with the fastball and is plenty projectable at a tall and slender 6-foot-3 frame. He should be able to gain some juice on the fastball in coming years, and as a rising sophomore playing up an age level, has plenty of time to deliver on the promise. The current product does just fine, too, as his three-pitch mix left hitters guessing and unable to muster any sort of offense. Futrell showed good feel for a changeup that dropped about 10 mph in velocity and was repeatedly located for a strike down in the zone. His curve cut even more velocity and induced weak ground balls. The second-ranked lefty in his Florida class, Futrell displayed an advanced skill set for his age and the potential for more dominant outings like this in the future.

John (TJ) Curd was a tough customer at the dish Monday. He laced a pair of singles and worked a long at bat for a walk, scoring twice as the opposition was unable to retire him on a productive day. The Florida hits with a relaxed, open stance and possesses a keen eye. When he gets his pitch, he swings with intent and generates easy bat speed. A strong and athletic type, his athleticism is not wasted at first base where he shortens infielders’ throws with a long and nimble stretch. He made a spectacular sliding catch on a deceptively tough pop-up right behind the pitcher’s mound. These type of plays are bungled more than they should be, but Curd rushed in and took control when the infield converged and appeared confused on whose ball it was. Curd showed the ability to make consistent solid contact and recently impressed at PG Junior National with his power. With this contact and power combo, the top first baseman in the Florida class figures to give pitchers headaches for years to come.

Yet another impressive arm Monday was Bryce Eblin (2020, Greenwood, Ind.). The Purdue commit isn’t the most projectable but has plenty of arm strength that he used to run the radar gun up to 86-89 mph. He maintained these levels as he progressed deeper into the game and was economical as he pounded the zone with strikes and pitched to contact to pocket some quick outs. A primary shortstop, Eblin flashed very good command, painting the corners repeatedly for called strikes. His curve showed sharp downward bite and got plenty of whiffs. He threw this offering whenever he wanted, and often several times within the same at bat. Eblin is plenty athletic on the mound and currently stands as the top shortstop in the Indiana class.

– Cameron Hines

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.