Tournaments | Story | 1/21/2019

West MLK Scout Notes: Day 3

Greg Gerard         Taylor Weber         Ben Milks        
Photo: Ethan Long (Perfect Game)

West MLK Championship Scout Notes: Day 1 | Day 2

Plenty of scouts rolled into the White Sox quad at Camelback ranch to get a glimpse at righthander Ryan Vanderhei (2019, Goodyear, Ariz.) on the hill Sunday. The 6-foot-6 righty has an ideal pitcher’s frame that one can dream on filling out as he continues to mature. His projectability is enticing to a scout along with his fastball velocity that lives in the upper-80s and reached as high as 91 mph a handful of times early in the contest. His delivery is quite deceptive with a bit of a longer arm action at take back and a shorter stride down the mound given his length. The delivery is very clean, however, and he repeats it well. The ball jumps out of his hand and the velocity comes very easy as he throws with minimal effort at release. The command was not pinpoint on this day, but when in the zone the fastball did not find barrels. The heater also showed plenty of life when down in the strike zone. The Kansas Jayhawk commit did flash a pair of secondary offerings in a curveball that projects and a changeup that retired lefthanded hitters on multiple occasions.

Making the trip from Illinois to Phoenix, Arizona, Nathan Rintz (2019, Schamburg, Ill.) had a nice showing on the mound for the Sticks Baseball Academy. Rintz ran his fastball up to 89 mph and worked the strike zone well with his fastball and his sharp downer curveball. Rintz accumulated six strikeouts in his 2 2/3 innings of work getting lots of swings and misses with his fastball, curveball combination of pitches. Rintz has a lean frame with room to fill throughout. The delivery is relatively easy while he creates plenty of angle to the plate. The arm path is full and loose through the back releasing up to a high three-quarters arm slot. His feel to spin and the overall bite of his breaking ball is what sets him apart. The Arkansas commit can land the pitch at the knees or bury the pitch for swings and misses.

A highly talented freshman playing for NorCal in the Freshman event is Jeffrey (Jc) Osorio-Agard (2022, Hayward, Calif.). The primary third baseman made both of his starts on Sunday in the outfield and really showcased a big-time potential hit tool. The juice at the plate for Osorio-Agard is advanced for his age and it showed in both of the doubles that he struck on this day. Osorio-Agard is pretty physically advanced as well with present strength on his 5-foot-11 frame. The righthanded swing is pure with an easy shift into contact. He utilizes his strength into his swing with a naturally lifted path. He worked the baseball to all parts of the field displaying pop from gap to gap on Sunday. The bat speed will continue to improve as he develops, but the raw ability to flat out hit currently is a high level carrying tool for the freshman.

Another player making quite a long trip to Arizona is Wisconsin native John "Jack" Erickson (2020, Hudson, Wis.). The shortstop for the Minnesota Blizzard had a nice day all around showcasing elite range in the middle infield and the ability to swing the bat at a high level. Attacking the first pitch he saw on this day, Erickson ripped a middle-in fastball for a line drive double down the pull side line. His approach is aggressive as he jumped on the first pitch multiple times in this game. His swing is compact and quick through the hitting zone with the ability to make solid contact especially to his pull side. The range was the first aspect of the uncommitted shortstop’s game that this scout noticed. Ranging deep into left field to track a pop up on once occurrence and then following that up keeping a hard up the middle ground ball in the infield, Erickson’s quickness of his footwork stands out in his game.

This tournament may have not gone how the Pacific Northwest Freshman team may have wanted it to, but their final game really showcased a pair of their players’ ability at the plate. Tyce Peterson (2022, Kirkland, Wash.) and Hayden Dearie (2022, Seattle, Wash.) each have huge raw bat speed for their age and each of them connected on multiple hard hit balls producing high exit velocities off of the barrel.

Peterson squared up everything in their game Sunday at Camelback and the primary shortstop’s hand strength is extremely advanced. That hand strength combined with his aforementioned bat speed allows him to hit balls, most kids his age cannot. His 3-3 day at the plate was very impressive in itself, but the double that one-hopped the left field wall was remarkable. The ball came off of his bat with a different sound.

Dearie, on the other hand, creates his bat speed with a high leg kick that allows him to torque his hips and shift hard into contact. That weight shift allows for the bat to rip through the hitting zone and send balls off of his barrel at a high rate. Balls left his bat quickly on multiple occasions in this game. He did not quite have a perfect day at the plate like Peterson did, but he did finish with a pair of hits and his hardest hit coming on a screaming line drive that went right to the third baseman.

Michael Campagna (2019, La Jolla, Calif.) is a large framed catcher who moves well behind the plate for Northeast Baseball National. Campagna blocked well moving laterally with some quickness. His ability to catch and throw was exceptional in this contest as he did so on some instanced while receiving tough throws. He was receiving good velocity in this contest and handled that well too. At the plate, the UC-Davis commit belted a grand slam to ultimately seal the win for NEB. The future Aggie displayed huge pop on the swing with impact strength and the ability to drop the bat head on the baseball.

Ethan Long (2020, Gilbert, Ariz.) is one of the highest ranked players at the event and he showed why on Sunday sending a bomb to left-center field for a no-doubt-about-it home run. Long was also highlighted yesterday for topping out at 94 mph on the mound in a one inning stint. The two-way potential is elite and at the top of his class. Long is a physical presence standing at 6-foot-2, 218-pounds with strength proportioned well throughout his build. The Arkansas commit has a raw bat speed at the plate and combining that with his strong build allows for easy juice off of the barrel when squared. He did not miss his pitch in this contest as the ball left his bat at a high launch angle and left no doubt to spectators and scouts that it was going out.

Heading out to La Joya High School for the first freshman playoff game Brock Porter (2022, Milford, Mich.) took the hill for the Tri State Arsenal Scout Team and the projection for the young righthander is immense. Porter already stands at 6-fot-2 and his frame is highly projectable with lots of room to fill and still a ton of time to do so. In the first inning the righty’s fastball ranged from 82-85 mph while reaching 86 mph once as well. His fastball settled into the low-80s after the first and featured varying directions of life both cutting to glove side and tailing to armside. Porter throws with some intent while taking his arm back to a mostly online arm action that stays loose throughout the arm stroke. Porter mixed in a big 12-to-6 breaking ball as well that he showed a feel for and froze hitters frequently with the secondary pitch. He filled up the strike zone well and the pitchability combined with the projectability of both his frame and delivery make Porter a big-time young Division I prospect on the mound.

– Gregory Gerard

It was a back-and-forth game in the early goings during the final pool play game between the Sticks Baseball Academy and Sandlot Baseball 2020. Providing the early offense for the Sticks was a pair of lefthanded bats in Nicholas Griffin (Monticello, Ark.) and Josh Pearson (West Monroe, La.).

Griffin is one of the top-ranked players in the 2020 class at 34th overall. The Arkansas Razorback commit is an athletic 6-foot-4, 175-pounds and swings the stick as well as any in his class. He’s smooth to the ball with a slightly lifted plane creating line drive contact off the barrel, which he finds early and often in counts. He got around a pitch on the inner half for a triple into the right field corner. He also showed off his speed around the bags on the hit.

Griffin’s teammate, Josh Pearson, displays a slightly more compact profile with a bit more strength in his build at 5-foot-10, 195-pounds. He flashed some strong jump off the bat on his triple that carried to the deep part of center field and rolled to the warning track. The Louisiana State commit creates a high amount of torque through his hips and can really impact the baseball when staying to the middle of the field. Pearson is also another highly ranked player in the 2022 class, currently sitting at the No. 28 spot on the latest rankings.

It was a pair of relievers, one on each side, that kept the game close through the middle innings. First for the Sticks, righthander Will Gross (Cotter, Ark.). Gross came in at crunch time when he couldn’t let the game get any further out of reach, and he was able to do a solid job. He ended the day with three complete innings allowing just a single earned run off a solo hit. The Arkansas State commit is presently strong at 6-foot, 205-pounds, and paired with his above average arm strength can get his heavy fastball up to 87 mph with relative ease. Working primarily from the stretch, Gross is able to get down the mound well using the back side and creates hard plane to his pitches to the plate.

Over on the Sandlot side Roddy McGee (Mountain View, Calif.) was outstanding in the final 3 1/3 innings. He kept a strong lineup to just two hits and no runs. He does a very good job of filling the zone with his fastball that reached up to 85 mph. He works his downward fastball early in counts and comes at hitters late with a sharp curveball with a tight spin landing for strikes around the knees. McGee, who is a primary middle infielder, is a guy going forward to keep an eye on the mound.

McGee also helped out at the plate for the Sandlot team. He finished their first game with a perfect 2-for-2 game with two walks as well as a run scored. In their second game of the day the uncommitted McGee added another hit.

Showing out offensively for Sandlot was leadoff hitter Bryce Cannon (Santa Rosa, Calif.). The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder is about as smooth as they come in the 2020 class with the bat from the left side. He keeps his path to contact short and simple with a line drive, high-contact approach. Cannon was able to work the ball to all parts of the field with a double into the pull-side gap as well as a double in his following at-bat to the opposite field. As he begins to fill out his large frame he could and should begin to add some pop in his bat.

New Level Prep baseball team snagged a tough win over at Sunrise Mountain High School with a 1-0 victory to remain undefeated in pool play. Their one run came off a long home run by three-hole hitter Antonio Guerrerro (Fife, Wash.). The 6-foot, 190-pound uncommitted junior hit one of the hardest, as well as farthest, balls not only on the day but throughout the entire tournament. When the ball left the bat there was no doubt among anyone in the vicinity that it was going to leave the yard, and it did, In a hurry.

Batting a spot behind Guerrerro was Portland commit Evan Scavotto (Puyallup, Wash.). He had just as good a day at the plate as his teammate going 2-for-2 with a couple of extremely hard-hit balls. He consistently found the sweet spot of the bat while being able to wear out the middle of the field. His multiple hits were line drives straight back up the middle for a pair of singles.

Chase Ingram (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) led the NorCal Baseball 2022 Blue to a win in the first round of the Freshman age division playoffs by going 2-for-2 with a couple of runs scored. Ingram, a 2022 grad and just 15-years old, already displayed advanced power in his bat, knocking the ball around the park all game. He swings the bat with intent and has barrel speed that matches hitters several years older than he.

Also mashing with the bat for NorCal was Robby Snelling (Reno, Nev.). Though he took a walk in his only other at-bat, Snelling made his swing count as he crushed a ball to straightaway left field that stayed on a line until it was out. Snelling has a lifted path through the zone and looks to put backspin on the ball of the bat. His swing is repeatable but also tries to impact the ball with authority. His two-run homer capped a three-run third inning.

– Taylor Weber

Aaron Cazares (2022 Eastvale, Calif.) started the day off for CBA on a good note striking out the side in his first inning of work. The California native flashed an impressive fastball topping out at 83 mph and complemented by a smaller quick 10-to-4 curveball.  A 2022 grad, Cazares has plenty of room on his frame for added strength and velocity. Through his 2 1/3 innings of work Cazares racked up five strikeouts while only allowing one hit and no walks.

Jared Lewis (2022, Mountain House, Calif.) has a small, compact build and the shortstop took charge of the infield for his 3D team. The California native flashed impressive actions in the field including polished footwork and soft hands. With some added size and arm strength Jared could be a force to be reckon with for a long time.

Gabriel Tirado (2023, Newington, Conn.) flashed impressive power for 3D gold in their first game of the day. Tirado hit a loud double to the left-center field gap, coasting easily into second base as a result. The Connecticut native also showed plus speed on the basepaths by stealing third base during the game.

Ben Patacsil (2019, Renton, Wash.), a Portland commit, led the way Sunday for Pacific Northwest Regional Baseball Upperclass, collecting three RBIs and two hits. His most impressive hit of the day was double crushed down the left field line.

Nathan Diamond (2019, Oak Park, Ill.) was dominant in his 3 2/3 innings of work posting eight strikeouts while only allowing three hits and one walk. The Pepperdine commit has a physical presence on the mound standing at 6-foot-4 with lanky limbs and really good extension at finish. Diamond showed the ability to throw three pitches for strikes including a fastball sitting at 83-86 mph complemented by a big curveball at 71 mph and a good changeup with downward action at 75 mph.

Sonny Fauci (2019, Old Bridge, N.J.) showed a high intent delivery with an athletic, lanky build. The St. John commit worked four innings for eXposure West, showing a fastball that topped out at 88 mph that he complemented well with an 81 mph changeup with good sinking action as well as a 10-to-4 curveball with good depth. Fauci collected five strikeouts while only allowing one hit and no runs during his outing.

Nation Wood (2019, Kirkland, Wash.) started the hitting for GBG NW Marucci with a double crushed into the right-center field gap, collecting an RBI and tying the game at 1-1. Woods also showed an impressive ability to run down balls in the outfield with good speed and great routes to the ball.

Jonas Kim (2019, Puyallup, Wash.) was having bad luck at the plate for a majority of the game, smoking two balls into the outfield that were caught. However, in his last at-bat of the day Kim was able to break through with another ball crushed into the outfield that this time fell for a double, giving Kim two RBIs and breaking the game open for GBG. Along with loud contact at the plate all day Kim showed soft hands and good feet as well as a strong arm at third base.

– Ben Milks

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