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Tournaments | Story | 7/25/2018

PG World Series Notes: Day 5

Photo: Cale Lansville (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 | Day 3 | Day 4

The No. 1 player in the state of Colorado for the class of 2021 is righthanded pitcher Cale Lansville (2021, Centennial, Colo.) and he was the starter on the mound in the Slammers first playoff game of the day. Lansville sat mostly 86-87 mph with his fastball while that range did dip some after a few innings. He topped out at 88 mph while doing so in the first. The delivery Lansville pitches from is very clean for his age and he can repeat it well enough to fill up the zone consistently.  He pitched to his 95 pitch limit on this day showing a variety of pitches. The LSU commit’s fastball is mostly straight while sinking it at times. His curveball was his best secondary offering as the pitch flashed really sharp bite and maintained 75-76 mph velocity. Lansville’s curveball is already a swing-and-miss pitch and will only continue to improve as he matures. He also showed a changeup to lefthanded hitters with lots of fading action. Lansville is still young being a 2021 graduate but has all the pieces to be a big-time arm as he continues to progress along the way.

In the final game of pool play for Royals Scout Team, Stone Hewlett (2020, Leawood, Kan.) was the given the ball in a starting role and in terms of stuff was very impressive. Hewlett sat 83-86 mph with his fastball that had some command issues at times but was still overall impressive with the amount of swing and miss the pitch did get when located in the strike zone. In 3 2/3 innings of work, Hewlett totaled six strikeouts in all. The southpaw pitches has nice tempo to his delivery that comes across his body. He lands closed and when the arm is on time, he can locate his pitches to either side of the plate effectively. The 6-foot-1 frame can be projected on as well. It is an athletic build and an athletic delivery as well with plenty of arm speed. His fastball is mostly straight, but he mixes in a curveball that is a wipeout pitch that gets hitters of either handedness to chase down or out of the zone.

Carter Holton (2021, Guyton, Ga.) gets better each time he pitches and Tuesday was no different as the lefthander delivered a first round win for Team Elite. The lefthander continues to climb in velocity as well as on this day he reached 89.5 mph with his fastball per Trackman. Holton delivers the baseball from a low arm angle with plenty of arm speed and tempo to the windup. The ball comes out cleanly as he releases slightly on the side of the baseball generating a lot of life either to the arm or glove side. Holton’s low arm angle and crossfire delivery make him a tough opposition for lefthanded hitters. Overall, Holton is really coming into his own as a pitcher and it is fun to watch him pitch and progress.

Izaac Pacheco (2021, Friendswood, Texas) looks every bit of the part of a heavy hitter in the heart of the Team Elite lineup and what he did on Tuesday showed his massive raw pop. Pacheco hit one of the farthest balls recorded on Trackman at Lakepoint in recent memory. The pitch he drove out was delivered thigh high over the middle of the plate and Pacheco put a fast and strong swing to the ball depositing it deep over the right field wall. Traveling 418 feet per Trackman the ball left his barrel at 95 mph. Pacheco stands at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds and can really impact the baseball with a lot of strength to and through extension. When on time, as he was on this swing, the ball can travel a long way. The lefthanded hitting third baseman also plays a clean hot corner with nimble actions and playable hands.

Pitching at the Jr. National Showcase in June and then again during 17u WWBA, Andrew Painter (2021, Pompano Beach, Fla.) has pitched plenty of innings at Perfect Game events and is maturing into a big-time pitching prospect. Already running his fastball up to 90 mph, the 24th-ranked player continues to trend in the right direction on the mound.  Painter pitches with such low effort getting downhill with a full arm action and online delivery. He repeats his delivery relatively well for his size and mixes three pitches for strikes. His fastball sat in the upper-80s while touching 90 mph once in the first inning before settling in.

Drake Varnado (2021, Sulphur, La.) was a threat to the opposition both at the plate and on the mound during Elite Squad’s playoff run Tuesday. Varnado has tremendous arm strength and it is evident as he can run his fastball up to 90 mph while consistently living in the upper-80s. He was a bit inconsistent with his full arm stroke but when the pieces worked together he overpowered opposing hitters with the fastball. What was more impressive was ability at the plate including a clutch game-winning double in the first game of a double header. Varnado ripped an inside fastball down the pull side line getting his hands inside quickly on the 83 mph pitch. The future South Carolina Gamecock has come into his own quickly and is continuing to improve as an all around baseball prospect.

Blaze Jordan (2021, Southaven, Miss.) continues to swing the bat at an elite level seemingly each day at the plate. The strong righthanded hitting corner infielder drives the baseball with ease. His swing is so powerful while staying controlled throughout. The bat rips through the hitting zone with ease and huge raw bat speed. Jordan barreled numerous baseballs on Tuesday that resulted in exit velocities greater than 90 mph including a single to left field that left his barrel at 100 mph. Jordan is the number one ranked player in the 2021 class and committed to Mississippi State. The juice is obvious in his swing and not to mention he can run his fastball on the mound up to 92 mph as he did on this day in a save situation as well.

Although listed as a primary lefthanded pitcher Logan Ott (2020, Montoursville, Pa.) had himself a really nice day at the plate for US Elite connecting on two home runs in three games. The athletic lefthanded hitter has strength present on his frame as well as in his swing. Ott has plenty of wrist strength allowing for the hands to be quick to the ball. The barrel works on a downhill plane creating back spin at the point of contact. The verbal commitment to Maryland drove each of his home runs to the pull side and really proves to be a power threat in the middle of the US Elite lineup.

Trevor Haskins (2021, San Jose, Calif.) made a really nice impression early in Tuesday night’s contest as he made a smooth play at shortstop, ripped a single up the middle and immediately stole second base showing tools that play all over the field. Haskins is a quick-twitch athlete and his hands play really softly out in front. His swing his quick getting the bat head through the hitting zone quickly and the contact is loud when squared. The uncommitted shortstop’s foot speed stands out as well as he gets a quick first step and showed early on that he is a legitimate stolen base threat on the basepaths.

Gregory Gerard

Turning in a stellar performance during the championship game of the 14u World Series, Hayden Murphy (2022, Chula, Ga.) showed a lot of presently impressive tools on the bump as well as what the future might hold for the young prospect. The lean, slender 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame is ripe with present athleticism and room for physical projection on the body, with a pretty fluid and easy delivery. There is some effort at the release point, but the arm stroke is loose, if not a bit long, through the back but releases from an extended arm slot which creates some sink and run on the fastball; the pitch worked up to 86 mph and sat mostly in the 82-85 mph range. The slider was an intriguing pitch that he could add and subtract from, working in the 70-75 mph range varying between some two-plane shape and more horizontal break as well. Murphy threw a lot of strikes, he only walked one batter, and departed after six strong innings while allowing only one unearned run.

A highly projectable, upper-Northwest arm that we haven’t had eyes on since last September made a noticeable jump in terms of stuff and velocity as righthander Reilly McAdams (2020, Seattle, Wash.) was very impressive during a start in the 15u consolation bracket. The young-for-the-grade rising junior has an ideally projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds with very long limbs, broad shoulders, and tons of room to fill out. The first two innings were very strong for McAdams as the fastball worked 85-87 mph while topping out at 88 mph and commanding the pitch extraordinarily well to both sides. He would settle in around the 83-86 mph range for the majority of the start, but the ease and looseness of the delivery is a very good sign and indicates that the fastball command will be consistent from start to start. The delivery and release is super low effort, with a very loose, easy arm stroke through the back and repeats it very well. He will drop slot at times, but the fastball command is a difference maker. The breaking ball was a good pitch in the low-70s that he could land and throw with consistent shape. The curveball projects nicely and McAdams has a very strong uncommitted profile that shouldn’t remain that way for long.

One of the early commits for the Oregon State class, Mason Guerra (2021, Beaverton, Ore.) has had a fairly good week in the 15u World Series and showed out again on Tuesday. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame gives him ideal size and projection with a very young build and lots of room for growth. Guerra is hitting a hot .357 on the tournament and his day was capped by a 96 mph triple that he hit to the pull side. The approach is very patient at the dish, though the swing itself is fluid and generates some barrel whip at contact. There are a lot of foundational pieces there to project upon going forward, good hands and feel defensively with present hitting tools, and Guerra looks to have a high ceiling in the class of 2021.

After impressing during the 15u WWBA National Championship, and getting his first start of the 15u World Series cut short by weather, righthander Anthony Ursitti (2021, Fort Myers, Fla.) showed off what makes him a very intriguing follow for the class, topping at 89 mph with a very projectable frame and requisite arm speed.

Ursitti set the tone early by making quick work of the first three batters and sitting 87-89 mph while pounding the strike zone. The delivery allows him to gather his weight nicely over the rubber, but some directional inconsistencies can lead to some misses. Regardless, the arm is loose, whippy, and fast through the arm circle and allows him to generate very good velocity toward the plate. The righthander stands at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds and projects nicely with good athleticism throughout. The breaking ball was a solid pitch that he could land for strikes, but Ursitti just overpowered fastballs by the lineup for the most part and turned in a stellar performance of a complete game shutout on only 87 pitches while striking out nine batters.

Ursitti’s teammate Tayden Hall (2021, Tampa, Fla.) had impressed throughout the week and continued to add hits to his hot bat during the game on Tuesday. The lefthanded hitting catcher has a very impressive frame for a backstop with a strong 6-foot-3, 185-pound build. The swing has some strength and lots of leverage to the path as he is looking to extend his arms out and drive the ball to pull. He showed looseness to his hands and the ability to adjust to pitched balls, particularly offspeed pitches, and does a good job at getting the barrel out. There is some rawness to his actions behind the plate, but the arm strength and general feel are both advanced and project nicely for a power-hitting, lefthanded hitting catcher.

The Canes ultimately came out on the losing end of their high-intensity playoff matchup against Elite Squad, but that shouldn’t diminish the start that Gage Ziehl (2021, Macedon, N.Y.) provided. The righthander competed well and left all he had on the mound as he provided five shutout frames while showing good stuff too. The righthander is a well-built pitching prospect with projectable strength and size throughout the lower half. The delivery is very clean with good direction as he clears his crossfired lower half nicely. Ziehl sat in the 85-87 mph range throughout the start, locating his fastball nicely in the lower third of the zone but not being afraid to challenge up in the strike zone either. Ziehl’s deception and ability to hide the ball, while tunneling his offspeed pitches, allow his stuff to play up and generate a lot of swing-and-miss within the strike zone, particularly with the slider. The pitch operated in the 74-77 mph range and he has a really good feel for throwing the pitch. The pitch has good movement that flashes two-plane action and his ability to locate it to either side was huge and generated a good amount of swing and miss; Ziehl also flashed an interesting changeup at 79 mph.

One of the more impressive position prospects this week has been Baseball Northwest middle infielder Jordan Donahue (2020, Mililani, Hawaii) as the Oregon State commit has a very loose, whippy swing and solid defensive actions with athleticism to boot. The 5-foot-9, 145-pound has good instincts defensively and bursts out of the box nicely with some speed that he can use to exit the lefthanded batter’s box quickly. The swing itself is super whippy, with very loose hands that generate good momentum through contact with plenty of bat speed to impact the ball. The swing plays to all fields as he will shorten up with two strikes and work to the opposite field as he did for a double down the line during the game on Wednesday. Donahue certainly looks the part of one of the top prospects in Hawaii with a very good swing and solid feel all around.

Donahue’s teammate Logan Mercado (2020, Pasco, Wash.) turned in a stellar performance on the mound and showed off a lot of present pitching tools with the athletic frame and arm speed to project as an impact arm at the next level. The Oregon commit showed an impressive arsenal, highlighted by his clean, compact, and fast arm stroke that allowed Mercado to attack with fastballs. Mercado struck out nine batters while allowing just three hits and one earned run over four strong frames on the bump and the fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range while topping out at 92 mph on the evening game. There is some effort there but the extremely athletic delivery offers tremendous velocity upside and he whips the arm well into the strike zone. He attacked with fastballs, moving the pitch to either side and loved to go up in the zone to entice chases on the pitch. The slider has good spin and was buried low often while he also flashed a changeup in the low-80s. The slider could be a pitch that he uses more with very good shape, some bite to the pitch, and could be an impact swing-and-miss weapon in the future for him. Regardless, Mercado has all the makings of a top-flight prospect from the Northwest and looks to only be improving the more we check in on him.

The 16u Georgia Jackets had a big win over the Canes, and one of the standouts offensively has been Garrett Staton (2020, Gainesville, Ga.) as the shortstop has had a good week on both sides of the ball. The athleticism shines over at shortstop, where the arm is currently playable, but he moves well with some quick-twitch displays and gets to balls well on either side. The offensive approach is short and to the ball, with a line-drive oriented swing that he can use to drive the ball with intent to any field. The first hit on the day came as a double to the opposite field gap, something he’s done now multiple times on the tournament, and there is some deceptive speed too as he registered a turn time at first at 4.6 seconds from the righthanded batter’s box. Staton is a quality player and the Jackets had a very strong effort in a big 5-2 win on the evening.

Though his team came out on the losing end, one of the more impressive power bats this week has been Alex Urban (2020, Lexington, S.C.) and he showed that pop in a big way with a long home run late in the game on Tuesday night. The Clemson commit crushed a pitch that left the bat at 95 mph and kept carrying out and deep to the pull side. Urban has always had a very good feel for controlling the barrel but the swing looks a bit more uphill in an effort to leverage more and unlock more of that power. The frame certainly looks stronger with a more physical present build and still good balance throughout the swing. He just missed a couple of baseballs during the early portion of the game, getting out in front of some pitches and roping them foul and off to the line. The approach has gotten a bit more pull happy but the way all the components work together give him a very intriguing right field, power profile at the next level. 

– Vincent Cervino

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