Tournaments | Story | 7/29/2018

PG Showdown Notes: Days 8-9

Photo: Caleb Ketchup (Perfect Game)

16u Summer Showdown: Event Page
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Scout Notes: Days 1-2
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The Duluth Noles continue to impress here at the PG Summer Showdown with their strong play and were represented Friday by Caleb Ketchup (2020, Marietta, Ga.). Ketchup is a smaller, twitchy shortstop and displayed smooth glovework in this viewing. He is very athletic in his movements while possessing a good internal clock, and while the arm is not the strongest, it plays well enough at the present time. Ketchup consistently puts together good at bats at the top of the lineup and tailors the approach to the build with a contact-oriented, singles mindset. With a low elbow set, his bat starts in a good position to swing and the swing itself is short and uncomplicated. Ketchup is currently the fourth-ranked shortstop in the Georgia class and remains uncommitted.

Kade Grundy  (2021, Somerset, Ky.) flashed two-way potential in a win for the Cincinnati Spikes. The Louisville commit launched a ball to the opposite field for a ground-rule double, showing the ability to go the other way with an outside pitch. A strong and muscular player who is playing up an age group, Grundy immediately gained the respect of the opposing team as he drew an intentional walk later on in a crucial spot with the go-ahead run on third. He also made a very brief relief appearance and was up to 87 mph with a short, quick arm stroke and a simple delivery. The velocity is extremely impressive for the age and it will be interesting to see Grundy, the second-ranked pitcher in the Kentucky class, continue to progress in other aspects on the mound.

Uncommitted bat Nate Shipley  (2020, Marietta, Ga.) looked good at the plate for 643 DP Cougars Sterling, showing nice power potential. He has a swing with a lot of natural loft to it, and even if it can be a slightly longer swing at times, he compensates with very good bat speed. He is also a disciplined hitter with good plate coverage and will wait until he gets his pitch to unload rather than hacking away at anything close. Shipley played right field today and really has an ideal outfielder’s build with his tall, lean, and athletic frame. He moves around the bases better than most and is currently the 15th-ranked outfielder in the Georgia class.

Jay Thomason (2020, Auburn, Ala.) batted cleanup for Astros Team East Cobb 16u Zilleox and had himself a productive showing at the dish. He displayed the ability to make hard contact to the opposite field with a laser double to left-center and showed good wheels and hustle in beating the throw to second. The lefthanded Thomason hits with a slightly open stance and makes good use of the lower half with good hip rotation. A compactly-built, strong player with a feel for the barrel, he is another player that exudes some interesting power potential going forward. Additionally, even when he isn’t getting hits he finds ways to make productive outs, seen in his second at bat where he advanced runners with a groundball to the right side, which speaks to his situational awareness. The second-ranked third baseman in the Alabama class, Thomason remains uncommitted to this day. It was more of the same the following day in a playoff victory, as Thomason tripled to deep center and doubled to deep left for three RBIs.

Teammate Will Sanders (2020, Atlanta, Ga.) was given the ball in a playoff tilt and showed a lot to like in a blowout victory. If one was to look up “projectable” in the dictionary, there could very well be a picture of him next to it, as he is a lean and lanky 6-foot-5 player. While the 80-85 mph velocity doesn’t jump off of the page just yet, there is still big potential to see increases in that department soon. With a deliberate pitching motion and loose arm action, Sanders was around the zone all day and occasionally had some arm-side run to the fastball, although he may have caught too much of the plate at times resulting in the opposition tallying some base knocks. He wields a 10-to-4 shaped slider that he showed good feel for and wasn’t afraid of throwing in succession for strikes. The uncommitted Sanders is the 28th-ranked righthander in the Georgia class, and also impressed at the plate with three hits and four RBIs.

Jon Campbell Jr (2019, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), a Boston College commit, started on the mound for Arsenal Baseball 16u. While he was let down by his defense and struggled with command at times, he was otherwise lights out, with eight strikeouts in just four innings, at one point punching out six batters in a row. Most of the strikeouts came via the fastball, which sat 84-87 and garnered a ton of late swings and misses. It is a simple and low-effort motion for Campbell Jr., who tunneled a 69-72 curveball with fairly good drop effectively, albeit with slightly slower arm speed. A primary shortstop who is ranked second there in the Michigan class, he displayed athleticism in his delivery and in fielding the position.

Possibly the most intriguing look at a pitcher Saturday came from Ty Floyd (2020, Rockmart, Ga.). Floyd displayed short and quick arm action and threw an occasionally-cutting fastball that was at 90-91 mph early on before settling in to average around 88. He was also able to throw two secondaries for strikes, a changeup and a curveball, and it was the former that was most impressive. He threw the changeup with the same arm speed and it was an effective strikeout pitch to lefties as he was able to cut about 10 mph off of his fastball and had the feel to locate. He is a ranked shortstop, third in the Georgia class, and the athleticism necessary for middle infield was shown on the mound, too, as his quick footwork allowed him to pick off a runner at second. He remains uncommited, but this is unlikely to remain the case for much longer.

Xander Stephens (2020, Lilburn, Ga.) is another uncommitted arm who impressed in a playoff game on Saturday. A sturdy pitcher with a high release point, Stephens generated good downward plane on a fastball that was anywhere from 83-88 mph. It served as his primary strikeout pitch and also proved difficult to barrel up with some running life to it. He also possesses a changeup and curve but is still developing the feel to throw them where he wants. Both showed a good deal of potential, however, as the changeup had some fade to it and the curveball, with 12-6 shape, had good depth. Stephens, the ninth-ranked righty in the Georgia class, has hit 90 mph in the past and has really added a lot of velocity in a short amount of time. It will be interesting to see the gains he continues to make.

– Cameron Hines

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