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Tournaments | Story | 7/23/2018

PG World Series Notes: Day 3

Vincent Cervino      Jheremy Brown      Greg Gerard     
Photo: Christian Little (Perfect Game)

14u PG World Series: Event Page
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15u PG World Series: Event Page
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16u PG World Series: Event Page
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Scout Notes: Day 1
 | Day 2

Alex Champagne (2021, Littleton, Colo.) is a scrappy baseball player and a fun all-around talent for Slammers 15u. The lefthanded swinging middle infielder put the barrel to the baseball on several occasions during Sunday’s action including a triple to his pull side and a pair of singles to either side of the field. For a still growing 5-foot-7, 130-pound prospect, Champagne gets the head of the bat through the zone quickly. Champagne also has clean footwork up the middle and will only improve as he continues to grow and get stronger.


Max DeJong (2020, Powder Springs, Ga.) continues to impress at PG events this summer as he started on the mound for BigStix Gamers and sat 88-90 mph early with his fastball. DeJong’s delivery is simple with a belt high leg lift and a long reaching front side. His arm is very fast producing flashes of life to his fastball especially when down in the strike zone. He drives well off of his back leg and filled up the zone very nicely on this day. DeJong flashed sharpness to his breaking ball in the mid-70s as well as the pitch had big-time bite when thrown with intent. The uncommitted righthander keeps getting better each time out on the mound and it should be fun to continue to watch him make strides on the mound.

One of the cleaner deliveries of the day combined with outstanding pitchability makes UCF commit Grayson Moore (2020, Longwood, Fla.) one of the more promising pitching prospects of the event. Moore has a very clean delivery that he repeats well. The arm stroke is loose and he releases the baseball out in front with solid extension. Moore’s fastball ranged from 85-87 mph while touching 88 mph once as well. The righthander did dip in velocity as the outing wore on but the overall command of his fastball, curveball and slider mix was still very impressive. He worked each pitch in and out of the strike zone with the ability to get swings and misses with both of his breaking balls. Moore showed advanced feel to spin each pitch and finished the day with a complete game shutout and seven strikeouts.

Two-way talent Michael Braswell (2021, Mableton, Ga.) has impressed both in the infield and on the mound during the summer circuit and Sunday was no different as he showed good actions at the hot corner in game prior to a weather delay and on the mound after the weather delay subsided. Braswell was 83-85 mph after throwing in relief yesterday where his fastball reached as high as 86 mph and struck out the side. His command from his uptempo and fluid delivery is advanced for his age as he creates a steep plane and lots of angle from his 6-foot-1 frame. He works the fastball to either side of the plate and misses barrels consistently. The righthander has advanced feel to land his curveball for strikes as well.

One of the young 2019 pitchers eligible to throw in the 16u PG World Series is Clemson commit Gavin Collyer (2019, Buford, Ga.). The righthander has been seen a lot by Perfect Game and continues to impress each time out. The tall skinny righthander ran his fastball up to 90 mph in this viewing and has been as high as 92 mph on the radar gun. Collyer has long limbs and a very loose arm that gets through the arm circle very quickly. His combination of pitches includes his 88-90 mph fastball as well as a slider that shows the potential to be a plus pitch with continued added development. The pitched flashed high level horizontal bite at times but was a bit inconsistent in this viewing. Collyer projects for plenty more velocity as well as he continues to fill into his skinny 6-foot-1 frame. The righthander’s ceiling is as high as anyone’s on the mound if he continues to trend upwards in both stuff and command.

Jackson Nezuh (2020, St. Cloud, Fla.) has already received offers from Division I programs as the uncommitted righthander pitched in front of countless coaches on Sunday night. Nezuh sat in the upper-80s with his fastball with such a clean delivery for his age. The righthander’s arm really works well producing a fastball up to 89 mph. The pitched showed plenty of life to it as well while straightening out the harder he threw the pitch. Nezuh stays online throughout the windup and, when he repeats the delivery and extends out in front, the final result is pretty. Standing at a listed 6-foot-1 and likely shorter than that, Nezuh features a lot of things to like on the mound continuing on with his pretty low effort delivery and ultimate projection moving forward.

Nezuh’s counterpart, also uncommitted getting a lot of exposure in front of numerous college coaches, was Slammers 16U righty Jenner Kehe (2020, Golden, Co.). Coming from a more old-school step behind windup and a quick arm action, Kehe ran his fastball up to 87 mph and pounded the strike zone tallying up nine strikeouts in his five innings. The righthander really mixed his three pitches well and continually kept hitters off balance allowing just one hit as well. His fastball ranged from 86-87 mph in the first inning before settling in at 84-86 mph after the first. The pitch is mostly straight and he mixed in a curveball with potential in the upper-60s as well as a good fading changeup from 70-72 mph that he used to lefthanded hitters. The changeup shows a pretty wide range away from his fastball but the arm speed is still similar on both of the pitches. Kehe is an intriguing talent standing at 5-foot-11 as it will be interesting to see how he fills into his frame as the outstanding arm speed already gives a good indication that he will likely continue to keep climbing in velocity.

In the late night hour a pair of hard throwing righthanders took the mound. Top Tier pitcher and Wake Forest commit Camden Minacci (2020, Tampa, Fla.) got the start and ran his fastball up to 88 mph. Minacci throws with intent and a full arm circle with some deception and animation to the overall wind. The fastball shows some angle when down and the pitch was commanded well. He complemented the upper-80s heater with a sharp slider that had frequent late bite diving away from righthanded hitters.  The pitch was a good out pitch for the Wake Forest and he commanded it well.

The other hard throwing pitcher in the late games on the north quad was Arizona commit Tyler Whitaker (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.). Whitaker had been up to 86 mph during West MLK in January and on this night showed a fastball consistently in the upper-80s topping out at 88 mph. His fastball is lively showing plenty of armside life. The arm speed is very fast and while it did drag at times causing the pitch to be left up, Whitaker did a nice job of adjusting and getting the arm through on time to land his three pitch mix for strikes. He threw a curveball with sharp bite in the 72-74 mph range and a changeup to lefthanded hitters at 80 mph. The righthander has such a clean and explosive delivery and it is no surprise that the Arizona commit’s velocity has steadily climbed quickly.

Gregory Gerard.

After bats dominated the recaps during the first two days of the 14u World Series, it was the arms who stepped on day three as several teams needed to make a push in pool play in order to secure a spot into the playoff round.

Don’t let the final stat line fool you as uncommitted lefthander Renzo Gonzalez (2021, Carolina, Puerto Rico) was in control of the game prior to allowing all five runs in the final frame as well as five of the seven hits he gave up. Strongly built and appearing taller than his listed 5-foot-9 frame, Gonzalez has been a two-way threat for the Kangaroo Court Roos and took his talents to the mound to help his team advance.

With some gather on his back side before driving to the plate, Gonzalez shows a short and quick arm stroke through the back, helping to produce a fastball velocity that sat in the 83-86 mph range, bumping upwards of 87 mph early in the contest. His arm actions works freely and cleanly through his arm stroke with an easy release, all elements that allowed him to stay on time with his release early on which resulted in plenty of strikes to either side of the plate. His fastball and the consistent running life he was able to generate on the pitch would have been enough to make it through his outing though he showed both a curveball and changeup for strikes. Gonzalez shows a nice present feel for his 76-80 mph changeup which was highlighted by his comfort and ability to go to the pitch in an 0-0 count early in the game for a strike to the four-hole hitter.

Detailed earlier for his abilities with the bat, outfielder Lorenzo Carrier (2021, Baer, Del.) took to the mound for the final inning of the Keystone War Eagles’ game and quickly captured the attention of everybody in attendance. The athleticism and projection are evident in the way Carrier controls his 6-foot-3, 175-pound, long levered frame and the ease of operation will quickly lead to the belief that there’s more velocity coming in the near future. As it is now the uncommitted Carrier sat comfortably in the 86-89 mph range, bumping 90 mph with a long, whip-like arm action which featured a clean and easy release and helped generate short running life on the pitch. Carrier doesn’t incorporate much lower half presently into his delivery though he did show an advanced feel for a breaking ball for a secondary pitcher, spinning the pitch in the mid-70s while showing the ability to land it for strikes or bury it for chases.

Over the first two days of the World Series third baseman Victor Lizarraga (2022, San Diego, Calif.) impressed with his abilities at the hot corner where he showed athletic actions and a strong arm, as well as a short, quick stroke from the right side. That arm strength was once again on display only this time it was on the mound as he threw six shutout innings for the San Diego Show in which he allowed just four base hits and struck out nine.

Strongly built at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds and projecting for more strength moving forward, Lizarraga set the tone early as he pounded the strike zone early and often with his fastball in the first inning. Utilizing a full and quick arm action that features plenty of looseness, Lizarraga sat comfortably in the 84-87 mph range with more 7s than 4s in the early going but more impressively was able to work to either side of the plate with intent and comfort. On top of the velocity and command Lizarraga was able to create short running life to the pitch which helped induce weak ground ball contact around the infield. Similar to Carrier above, Lizarraga doesn’t fully utilize his lower half into with his delivery yet but he showed comfort with his curveball as he tripled up on the low-70s pitch to end the second inning showing 11-to-5 shape and depth through the zone.

In what was his second appearance of the World Series, uncommitted lefthander Nicholas Solis (2021, Mercedes, Texas) worked the final two outs of the game for the Banditos, showing better command than he did opening day while recording both outs via strikeout. Currently ranked No. 126 in the class of 2021, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Solis needed just ten pitches to finish the game, sitting in the 83-86 mph range with his fastball while showing short cutting life through the zone. He’s able to generate the life due to his cross-body finish and showed comfort working to his close side part of the plate with better timing to his release than his previous showing.

Making his Perfect Game debut in the 15u World Series, shortstop Jabin Trosky (2021, Carmel, Calif.) stood out in a big way defensively and it’s easy to see why the Oregon State coaching staff picked him up as early as they did. While Trosky may not be as physical as some of the other players on the field with his 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, his athleticism will match anybody’s between the lines and his defensive actions were on full display. The first play Trosky made to stand out was on a ground ball hit sharply to his right, taking him into the hole. With runners on first and second, Trosky simply went with his momentum, picked the ball and delivered a strike to third base mid stride to get the runner. The looseness and fluidity to his hands continued to shine throughout the game, whether it be on a ground ball or coming across the bag to complete the double play with comfort dropping his arm slot to finish on to first base. He was held hitless on the day but did show his speed component, swiping a bag and accelerating well to come around and score the first run for Trosky Baseball.

Trosky Baseball rolled out four arms on the day with 2021 righthander Jonathan Cymrot (San Jose, Calif.) getting the start, an Arizona commit who ran his fastball up to 85 mph and showed a true weapon pitch in his mid- to upper-70s slider which featured hard, late break at the plate away from righthanded hitters. The next arm to come in was an interesting one in uncommitted righthander Thatcher Hurd (2021, Lafayette, Calif.) who is listed as a primary catcher and didn’t even pitch in his last Perfect Game event last September.

Hurd only worked 1 1/3 innings of work but the college recruiters who were able to see the 6-foot-2, 185-pound California native were impressed and will be certain to check back in. His lower half mechanics will continue will only continue to improve with reps on the mound though his arm action is plenty loose and works well coming through the backside. Hurd’s heater lived comfortably in the 85-88 mph range, showing a string of 88s to close out his final frame though the late running life he was able to generate and harness back over the glove side part of the part. He worked heavily off of his heater, only flashing a curveball in the upper-60s a time or two.

Sal Stewart (2022, Miami, Fla.) was detailed earlier this tournament for his abilities with the bat just as he was throughout the 14u WWBA and day three of the 14u World Series proved to be no different as he continues to establish himself as one of the top bats in the early juncture. Despite getting jammed and not fully extended at the point of contact in his first trip to the plate, Stewart showed his strength and still managed to one-hop the wall in left field for a double, the first of two on the day which can be seen here. He managed to get more barrel on it for his second double, sending the ball deep over the center fielder’s head -registering 91 mph off the barrel- and just shy of the warning track to the deepest part of the park.

Speaking of impressive swings, catcher and Vanderbilt built commit Anthony Migliaccio (2021, Wyandotte, Mich.) put one of the nicer strokes seen throughout the day on the ball in his first trip of to the plate in the Ironmen’s late-night game against the Canes. While not overly physical at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, Migliaccio has present strength to his frame and quickness to hands and overall movements, all of which were highlighted on his opening frame triple off a mid- to upper-80s lefthander. Working with a 3-2 count, the future Commodore did an excellence job of generating extension while showing looseness to his wrists in driving the outer half pitch to the right-center gap for his first of two hits on the night.

– Jheremy Brown

The St. Louis Prospects Scout Team lost a heartbreaker in the 15u World Series with a late, comeback grand slam, however there were a number of position prospects on the team who showed out well including Grant Strong (2021, Overland Park, Kan.) and Shea McGahan (2021, St. Louis, Mo.).

Strong is a very physical, well-built lefthanded power hitter who worked in the middle of the Prospects Scout Team lineup. He got the scoring started right away with a long, no-doubt shot in the second inning of the game that left the bat at 93 mph and traveled an estimated distance of 340 feet. Strong had launched a ball very far but foul the pitch prior and did a good job at staying in against a lefthanded pitcher to still get his hands extended. The bat speed is good and the strength at impact is tremendous, while the path is short yet uphill in order to elevate the ball and get it into the air effectively. The swing is a bit upper-half dominant, which is certainly fine because Strong is, well, strong enough to impact the baseball with authority, however the power is the calling card with the profile and he should be a terror to impacting the baseball to pull.

McGahan had a very good day behind the plate and it’s very easy to see why Missouri wanted him to commit as the defensive skills and raw athleticism behind the dish is most impressive. The 5-foot-11, 177-pound backstop moves well with fairly impressive flexibility back behind the plate and blocks the ball well to either side, particularly the arm side as well. The arm strength is certainly an asset as he popped in the low 2.0s in between innings while posting a best pop time of 1.98 seconds when he nailed a runner early on in the game.

The hero of the game for the San Diego Show was Shun Sakaino (2021, San Diego, Calif.) as the second baseman launched the go-ahead grand slam and provided two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. Sakaino is only listed at 5-foot-5, 130-pounds, but he turned hard over an inner half fastball to clear the fence and give the Show the win. You can read more about Sakaino and the Show here in this story by our own Nate Schweers.

In what has seemingly become an expected feat every time out, Christian Little (2021, St. Louis, Mo.) went out and delivered another strong performance that culminated in a win for his Team Elite squad. The Vanderbilt recruit is having a very good summer thus far and worked his fastball up to 90 mph on the afternoon en route to a quality appearance.

Little has filled out and matured nicely since he was selected as a PG 14u Select Festival participant under a year ago as he is now more physical, both size-wise and in terms of strength, as compared to last year. The mechanics are as pristine as ever with a simple, fluid delivery that allows him to get downhill while commanding the strike zone, mostly with his fastball, to either side of the plate with intent. He touched 90 mph early on before settling in the 85-88 mph range with a clean, loose, and whippy arm stroke featuring significant arm speed and an undefined limitation on the velocity and impact profile. The offspeed pitches were both good as he could land his curveball with intent and the pitch shows solid, consistent shape. Little is certainly a prospect to watch as he has already made strides from the prospect he was a year ago, still a very good one, and it will be fun to monitor his progress as he continues to develop and refine his stuff.

Getting the start at shortstop behind Little was fellow PG Select Festival participant from a year ago, Izaac Pacheco (2021, Friendswood, Texas). The Texas A&M commit has also made strides physically with a very potent lefthanded stick that doesn’t really sacrifice any athleticism or fluidity to his movements or actions in the middle infield. The swing features a very easy, simple trigger to start with looseness throughout the stroke and some natural loft at the end. He is particularly adept at handling fastballs, or any pitch, over the inside part of the plate and up, which is a rare feat for a young prospect. He delivered a big blow in a four-run first inning for Team Elite as he crushed a two-run double to the pull side gap. Pacheco showed off the athleticism during the game with two stolen bases and a number of smooth plays at shortstop including one that saw him move well to the glove side, gather, spin, and fire a strike across to nail the runner.

Proving to be one of the top rising freshman names to know out west for his class, Luke Davis (2022, Garden Grove, Calif.) impressed for the second day in a row during the World Series, this time showing off his chops on the mound. Listed as a primary catcher, there are a lot of projectable and advanced tools on the mound, and both days he showed that he has a clean, if not different, swing from both sides of the plate as the left side swing is a bit shorter and contact-oriented while the righthanded swing features a smooth barrel plane and some pop.

On the mound the arm stroke is loose and fast with present arm speed and allowed him to bump his fastball up to 87 mph early on in the game and settled around the 82-84 mph range following the first inning. Davis only pitched a little more than one inning on the bump, the pitch count started to creep as he walked a few batters, but showed that he has feel for both a breaking ball and a changeup. The changeup is presently more advanced with good sink and life out of the hand and only a slight difference in effort-level upon release while the breaking ball showed some positive ingredients and factors that could develop nicely into an out pitch. Davis will likely see the mound again later in the tournament but his bat in the three-hole should be an important piece for CBA throughout the week.

Uncommitted, 6-foot-4 righthanders who can touch 89 mph with their fastball are often in high demand and Tucker Shalley (2020, Grafton, Ill.) of the St. Louis Pirates fits that mold well as he turned in a quality start late on Sunday night. The righthander struck out eight batters over four innings while allowing no runs, two hits, and helping his team to victory against a tough Team Georgia squad.

Shalley has a bit of a funky delivery, with a very exaggerated side step into a very high leg lift and a long, loose arm stroke through release. The moving parts create some deception, but none moreso than the tremendous sink he gets on his fastball when leveraged low. The effort evel is fairly low upon release and Shalley pounded the lower third of the strike zone to either entice swings-and-misses or weak, rollover ground balls to the pull side. The big delivery makes it hard to repeat at times, Shalley walked three batters, however he didn’t miss by much when he did as he kept the ball down nicely. The breaking ball showed the makings of an impact pitch for Shalley, as it would just simply change direction at times but was best when running down and away from righthanded hitters to get bad chases. The sink on the fastball, physical projection, and breaking ball all make for a very intriguing profile, and though his velocity settled into more of an 84-86 mph range, there is still significant stuff there to attract Division I level attention.

DRB Elite’s Zander Sechrist (2020, Buford, Ga.) turned in what might have been the performance of the night in a complete game effort as he allowed only one run over seven full innings while striking out thirteen batters. What stood out most about Sechrist’s performance was the confidence and swagger he had on the mound: going right after hitters, throwing any pitch in any count, and, quite simply, missing a ton of bats with his stuff. The lefthanded started touched 87 mph early in the game and settled in nicely around the 82-85 mph range for most of the start. Sechrist pounded the strike zone and mixed so many looks in the delivery, whether it was pausing at the balance point, double pumping with the leg, or quickpitching and attacking hitters out of the windup to mess with the opposing hitters’ timing. The breaking ball was a good pitch that he mixed in nicely and he also showed feel for a changeup; both secondary pitches were disguised well and were able to be thrown for strikes too. Sechrist went right at hitters showing some emotion on the mound as well; it was clear he was fired up for getting the ball in DRB’s opener in the 16u World Series and he certainly showed how successful of a pitcher that he can be.

The offense for DRB had two impact contributors as both Robert Hassell (2020, Franklin, Tenn.) and Cameron Fisher (2019, Knoxville, Tenn.) had strong games to power the offense that ultimately led to the win.

Hassell, the No. 51 overall prospect in the class, was a barrel-finding machine at the plate showing off a compact, very fast stroke through the hitting zone and the ability to impact the ball with significant strength. You would think that a prospect with that kind of impact force and power would swing-and-miss a lot but that wasn’t the case with Hassell as the swing is very balanced and controlled while the barrel control certainly stands out. Everything off the Vanderbilt commit’s bat came off hard as he hit crushed a triple to straightaway centerfield early on while adding an opposite field double and a smoked pull side single later in the game.

Fisher was the offensive hero of the game for DRB as his late, two-run home run deep into the night ultimately gave DRB the deciding blow in the game. The Ole Miss commit lofted a bomb to the pull side that was a no-doubter leaving the bat at 95 mph and traveling an estimated distance of 380 feet. The left fielder on field 12 over on the other quad might have had to look behind his shoulder to see where it landed as Fisher knew he got the pitch as soon as it left the barrel all while showing off his loud power in the process.

Another dominant effort on the mound came during the last slot of the evening as Gage Bradley (2020, Clarksville, Tenn.) of the Canes National team twirled a complete game shuout to open up the 16u World Series. Bradley, a Vanderbilt commit, was in control of the game from the get-go and attacked hitters with around 90% fastballs to induce a lot of weak ground ball contact and allow his strong defense to make plays. The delivery is farily simple with not a ton of effort at foot strike, and the arm stroke is compact, clean, with very good arm speed throughout. This created a heavy, sinking fastball that sat mostly 87-90 mph while sitting 90-91 mph in a quick first inning. Bradley had to battle through some command inconsistencies, though for the most part he kept everything around knee-level in the strike zone and even lower to get some chases on fastballs. The slider wasn’t used often but has every making of a plus pitch going forward with hard biting action in the mid- to upper 70s and registering spin rates of around 2700 rpm. He got around the slider on occasion, in fairness he threw about four of them on the night, and cruised to a shutout victory while reminding everyone that he is one of the top arms to follow for the 2020 class.

– Vincent Cervino

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