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Tournaments | Story | 10/14/2018

Ways to Play Day 2 Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Cy Nielsen (Perfect Game)

2018 Ways to Play powered by MLB & PG: Daily Leaders | Day 1 Notes

The On Deck O’s dropped the first round playoff game but Ronald Evans II (2019, Raleigh, N.C.) certainly did everything he could to keep his team in the game with a 3-4 performance including a smoked home run to the pull side. Evans, a UNC-Wilmington commit, has a pretty physical frame at 6-foot-2, 215-pounds that exudes strength throughout with a solid build in the lower half. He utilizes that strong lower half nicely when working through the point of contact and can really create a good amount of backspin and carry when turning on the ball to pull. The cleanup man showed the ability to consistently handle some pretty good velocity and along with the long homer Evans also added a double to the pull side and a single for a pretty solid day at the office.

The Canes featured a number of very strong pitching performances that culminated in the championship, and one such was the outing by Thomas Schultz (2019, Mount Carmel, Pa.) in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday morning. The Vanderbilt commit was electric in a five inning start that saw him allow only three hits while striking out ten batters during that scoreless time period. The 6-foot-6 righthander obviously looks the part on the mound with long limbs and a long, loose, and quick arm stroke. This arm stroke produces pretty significant sinking action on his fastball which worked 87-90 mph and touched 91 mph once or twice. Schultz attacked hitters with the fastball and showed a feel for his big breaking curveball to land it for strikes, but the size, projection, and life on the fastball all bode well for Schultz moving forward.

Proving to be one of the Canes’ more consistent hitters, Anthony Volpe (2019, Watchung, N.J.) barreled the life out of the ball in seemingly every at-bat, hit or not, and was a constant offensive threat at the top of the lineup. The PG All-American, and Vanderbilt commit, has a pretty sweet swing from the right side as he shows advanced hand-eye coordination to go along with whippy hands and plenty of the raw tools needed to succeed at the next level. Even when getting out he got the barrel to the baseball and was unfazed by anything pitchers threw him all weekend long. Volpe’s a pretty solid athlete too, and grades out around an average runner on the Major League scale, but Volpe’s feel for hitting to go along with pure up the middle tools and a well-rounded skillset will make him a very attractive target for professional scouts.




Turning in a pretty intriguing look for MLB Breakthrough Series was Spencer Bauer (2019, Manasquan, N.J.) and the Elon commit had some things to like on the mound. The low effort and repeatable delivery, Bauer fired exclusively from the stretch on Saturday, allowed him to throw strikes at a solid clip and to mix in his breaking ball often. He’s pretty physical, listed at 6-foot-2 and 205-pounds, with a loose arm stroke that stays mostly online though the back. The fastball showed some sinking life to it and worked mostly in the 86-89 mph range on the afternoon, though he hides it some so the pitch will get up on hitters quickly; these components helped him to effectively miss bats with the fastball, even while up in the strike zone. The breaking ball is going to be a very good pitch for Bauer at the next level and showed the makings of a legitimate out pitch. It worked mostly in the upper-70s with mostly slider-like life and though inconsistent, projects nicely moving forward as does Bauer’s profile on a whole.

The South Charlotte Panthers fell in the semifinals but showed some physicality and thunder in the middle of the lineup thanks to Caleb Cozart (2019, High Point, N.C.) and Will Butcher (2019, Arden, N.C.).

Cozart, a North Carolina commit, has a very strong and physical frame at 6-foot-4, 240-pounds and that translates into legitimate strength at the point of contact when squared. He only notched one extra base hit on the weekend, but hit a couple of baseballs hard at the barrel and flashed some of that juice particularly to pull. Cozart is also a primary righthanded pitcher and hopped on the mound to deliver a very efficient four-inning, hitless outing. The rightander worked his fastball mostly in the mid-80s, topping out at 86 mph on the day, while also showing a solid breaking ball with shape, sharpness, and feel. Butcher, a North Carolina State commit, is another man-sized prospect at 6-foot-1, 220-pounds with juice in his barrel. The righthanded hitter has a full swing path with lots of strength, particularly in his wrists when he gets fully extended and leverages the baseball to pull. Butcher notched two hits in the semifinals, including a double, and has all the makings of an immediate run-producer at the next level for the Wolfpack.




Attending his first PG event since 2015, Cy Nielsen (2019, Santaquin, Utah) certainly stood out in a big way with a semifinal win to send the Canes to the championship game. The lefthander jumped onto the national stage following his performance at the Area Code Games this past summer, and looks the part of a prospect who should be followed closely heading into next spring.

The southpaw stands at a very physical and well-built 6-foot-3, 204-pounds with a mature frame and plenty of strength. Nielsen’s delivery is pretty good, as he loads and clears his lower half nicely while creating a ton of deception and angle with a big crossfired landing foot and extended arm slot. The arm stroke is loose, compact, and quick through the zone while he does a fairly good job at repeating and throwing a lot of strikes. The BYU commit lived at the knees for the majority of the contest and sat 87-91 mph throughout the start. Nielsen’s slider has all the makings of a true swing-and-miss pitch while even flashing that high potential a number of times on Sunday. The pitch worked up to 79 mph with good tilt to it, and as he continues to refine the consistency of the bite and break the pitch will get deadlier and deadlier. Nielsen’s command of the fastball wavered slightly as he went on, but was still very impressive nonetheless with six strikeouts in a little over five frames on the bump.

It seems as we continue to see Nasim Nunez (2019, Lawrenceville, Ga.) the more evident it becomes that superlatives aren’t doing his abilities enough justice on a baseball diamond. The Clemson is an absolute defensive wizard at shortstop and he made numerous plays throughout that show off not only his raw defensive chops, but his instincts, arm strength, and motor at shortstop. The Clemson projects to have a bevy of plus tools at the next level including his glove, arm, and run tools. A couple of plays stand out in which Nunez broke up the middle, turned, and fired to nail runners; a play in which he was blinded by the baserunner across and still maintained and fired a strike and of course numerous 4-6-3 double plays where a prospect with a lesser arm wouldn’t be able to get both outs. Nunez profiles nicely as a leadoff/nine-hole type athlete who will steal bases, he stole eight in four games this weekend, and will always be in the lineup due to his otherworldly glove work.



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