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High School | General | 3/15/2019

High School Notebook: March 15

Greg Gerard         Steve Fiorindo         Jerry Miller        
Photo: Maurice Hampton (Perfect Game)

The high school notebook is designed to share notes and video on players that stand out during the high school season and new features will be released regularly. This will include in-game looks, reports, analysis and video from Perfect Game's scouting staff. If you have news on a player in your area that is performing at a high level that we should have eyes on please reach out to Vinnie Cervino at Also feel free to share your video highlights on Twitter @vcervinopg.

High School Notebooks: March 1 | March 5

Wes Burton, RHP, Windward School (Calif.)
Burton is a big bodied righthanded pitcher and he showed out nicely in his start against Paraclete last week. The Mississippi signee was in full on attack mode with the fastball working primarily in the 88-91 mph range while touching a few 92s and 93s early on in the start. He doesn't really hold back on the mound, throwing with effort and grunting at the point of release but really comes right at hitters and has that classic bulldog mentality on the bump. He's coordinated well for his size, a fairly large 6-foot-7 frame, and the velocity increase this spring is notable. As far as secondaries go he showed a hard slider in the low-80s that he could command nicely and also showed some feel for a changeup. As with most 6-foot-7 high school prospects, Burton's delivery can get out of sync at times as he would miss up but the stuff really looked good when he would attack the lower half of the strike zone, particularly in terms of the life he creates on the fastball when working in that area. 

Joseph Naranjo, OF/1B/LHP, Ayala HS (Calif.)
Naranjo is a bit undersized in terms of being a professional prospect at first base so the Fullerton signee has been spending more time in the outfield this spring which could help to increase his draft stock if he continues to show that he can stick there. Early returns have been positive with scouts praising his routes and instincts which shouldn't be surprising as he draws similar praise for his work around the bag at first base showing soft hands. We didn't get to see him in the outfield during this look as he's also one of the more polished arms in the state but what really stands out about his ability on the mound is the way he handles himself. He doesn't have particularly loud stuff, working mostly in the mid-80s this past summer with good feel, he continually finds ways to dominate the opposition as he did during this look by tossing six innings of one-hit baseball. He is a hard worker and has a great feel for the game and all that bodes well for his transition to the outfield. Naranjo has some of the best barrel-to-ball skills in the entire class and he collected one hit and another well struck barrel to centerfield during his three at-bats. 

Cole Koniarsky, OF, Ayala HS (Calif.)
Naranjo's teammate at Ayala, Koniarsky is a prospect to keep a close eye on as he has an uber-projectable, 6-foot-4 long limbed frame to dream on with some present tools. Also committed to Fullerton, Koniarsky is a wiry prospect that bodes well for a strength-based profile with more weight that he can fill out into. He has the potential to be an impact type of prospect and already shows tools such as projectable power potential and arm strength as well. 

– Steve Fiordino

Sanson Faltine III, RHP/SS, Fort Bend Travis Senior HS (Texas)
Fort Bend Travis Senior and PG All-American, Sanson Faltine is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound, righthanded pitcher and a University of Texas commit. Faltine is long and lean with tons of strengt to be added to the frame. The righthander is a high energy righthander who isn't afraid to show emotion on the mound and competes on every pitch. His fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range and showed heavy sink and consistent arm side run. His curveball is a sweeping hybrid that was clocked between 72-74 mph. Faltine’s change up, which he could probably throw a little more to lefthanded hitters, was a solid 78-80 mph. His big upside is his plus arm talent. He uses a high 3/4 slot that he routinely repeats with a free and easy arm action. He lost his feel a little in second inning but got it back quickly. The last pitch to last batter in second inning was clocked at 93 mph. Faltine struck out the side in the first, second, and sixth innings as he missed a ton of bats on the night. His line finished at six innings, two hits (both to Texas A&M commit, Caden Homniok). He needs to develop a little more consistency with secondary stuff but for an early season outing he was very impressive and has a very high ceiling. 

Caden Homniok, SS, Sweeney HS (Texas)
Texas A&M commit Caden Homniok is a gifted two-way player at Sweeny HS. The athletic and twitchy shortstop, who is also his team’s number one pitcher, shows easy advanced footwork and smooth actions with a glove on his hand. He shows outstanding anticipatory skills and moves quickly to position and field. He ably transitions to use his advanced projectable arm strength. His throws are true and firm. He has the frame to add girth and muscle and will no-doubt benefit from the conditioning program in Aggieland. At the plate, he uses a flatter bat path and a short quick stroke to drive the ball with authority. His approach is more gap-to-gap. Once on base he uses his plus running ability to press the action. Homniok is heady and mature and fits the Texas A&M baseball profile. He is a high ceiling player who will dominate the smaller Texas High School level. Many scouts in attendance believe that he will ultimately find his greatest success on the mound.

Travis Phelps, RHP, Angelina HS (Texas)
In the tradition of Alvin HS power righthanded pitchers, Angelina College commit, Travis Phelps toed the bump in the opening game of Alvin Varsity Tournament at Nolan Ryan (the original Alvin Express) Field. Alvin is also home to Boston Red Sox RHP, Nathan Eovaldi. Phelps, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound, long and lean hurler, is a strike thrower who works with advanced pace and rhythm. In his first true outing of the spring in front of 20+ MLB scouts, Phelps threw four innings, by design. His well-commanded heater sat consistently in the 88-90 mph range and touched 91. Those in attendance were told he has consistently hit 93 in workouts. His fastball shows plus life especially down in the zone. Easy and smooth mechanics that he repeats well. Tight spinning slurve of a breaking ball (72-74 mph) that needs some refinement and a plus changeup 82-84.

JJ Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
In front of numerous National Cross Checkers and a few front-office types, did 6-foot-3, 175-pound, Texas A&M commit JJ Goss ever impress with his first extended outing of the spring. The PG All-American looks to have added some muscle to his frame and his now maturely developed lower half only helps with his projection. His top end stuff is easy and he has more in his arsenal too. His mechanics are easy, smooth, and repeatable. He competes, but, is composed on the mound as observers can't tell if everything is great or not. He just pulls his hat down over his eyes and goes. His presence, poise, pace, and rhythm are on another level. His fastball velocity was 92-94 mph and he carried that velocity into the 6th (tournament game called - time limit). The last fastball he threw in game was 93 mph with riding life. Goss shows a tight spinning slider that is a wipe out pitch at 82-83 mph. He has an advanced changeup, that he has great feel for and command of, and was clocked at 82-84 mph. Most pitches are thrown from same tunnel with the same arm action. He'll occasionally drop his arm slot just a little to righthanded hitters, just to mess with their minds and it's almost unfair. His command and control are outstanding, especially for a HS senior. Goss is a highly projectable talent who, looking at the folks watching him pitch today, is on the top of a lot of draft lists.

Andre Duplantier, RHP, Summer Creek HS (Texas)
University of Texas commit, Andre Duplantier is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound standout at Summer Creek HS on the northeast side of greater Houston. The athletically built, well-proportioned righthanded pitcher looks like a college football free safety. He is high waisted and has longer arms than most six-foot-three athletes. He is technically sound and combines a short takeaway and arm circle and extended finish to fill up the strike zone. His quicker arm stroke and simple, repeatable mechanics add some deception to each pitch. As he matures physically, he should make a velo jump. He has a high ceiling and talent that is truly projectable. His FB velo sat between 87-90 mph and touched 91. His heater showed consistent arm side run and sink and is a heavy pitch. His curveball (73-76 mph) shows sharp, late, 12-to-6 break. He throws his well-commanded curve harder than a lot of HS kids. His advanced breaking ball is a knee buckler to righthanded hitters. His changeup (79-80 mph) is thrown with the same arm action and out of same window as the fastball and shows late tumble at the plate. His change is a swing and miss out pitch to lefthanded hitters.

Matthew Thompson, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS (Texas)
PG All-American, Matthew Thompson is the other half of the Cy Ranch HS dynamic duo (JJ Goss). Clearly, both Thompson and Goss are aces. Like Goss, Thompson is a Texas A&M commit. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthander, was completely dominant from his first pitch to his last. His final line, in front of a packed house and numerous scouts: seven innings, complete game. No runs. No hits. Three walks. Ten strikeouts in a 5-0 victory for a tradition-bound program that many currently have slotted as the number one 6A club in the state. He has an athletic build with a slender frame and long limbs with plenty of room to add strength. He could be a tad bigger in both height and weight than he is currently listed. Looks like he has benefitted from the fall/winter off-season workout room. Smooth, easy and repeatable mechanics. Loose, clean arm action. All pitches are thrown from the same window with the release point. He has advanced arm quickness and speed. His arm stroke is a bit longer on the backside and he extends after release at a three-quarters slot. He controls pace and rhythm of the game like a veteran. His fastball velocity sat in the 90-93 mph range and he touched 94. His heavy two-seamer shows consistent arm side run and sink. His four seamer flashes riding, explosive life up. He was still throwing 92 in the seventh inning. His curveball was clocked at 76-78 mph and is a tight spinning 12-to-6 hammer. He has advanced feel for, and execution of, his breaking ball. His curve is a wipeout out-pitch to righthanded hitters. It locks hitters up and/or buckles their knees. His changeup, 79-81 mph, was thrown exclusively to lefthanded hitters, and shows late tumble at the plate and tunnels from same window as his fastball.

– Jerry Miller

Maurice Hampton, OF, Memphis University High School (Tenn.)
It is hard to climb up draft boards in just your first high school game of your draft year, but two-sport start Maurice Hampton did just that in his. Going deep to left in his first at-bat of his senior season, Hampton showed some of the best raw pop in the 2019 prep class and did so with a really clean swing. His timing, bat speed, hand quickness, strength and hip torque were all showcased on one swing of the bat and the ball exploded off of his bat. There is not much wrong with the swing when it is on time to the baseball, but the one noticeable aspect that appeared problematic in this game at the plate was Hampton’s glasses. The southern Mississippi humidity was nearly 100 percent and his glasses did seem to fog over quite often appearing to limit his eye sight. The ability to read spin was the key to getting Hampton out for his opposing pitchers. The righty did chase multiple breaking balls down and out of the zone while others were also located well to the outer half of the plate freezing the LSU commit.

This game Hampton went 1-for-3 with the aforementioned towering home run showcasing his 65 raw pop. The ball had a 6.70 second hang time prior to hitting a tree beyond the high left field fence, a ball that made each scout in attendance raise their eye brows. His arm was able to be shown if in this contest as well with a pair of throws from center field. His arm grades out at a 55 having topped out at 89 mph at PG National this past June and 91 at Jr. National the year prior. Hampton finished his night with a strikeout on a low breaking ball and popping out to second base. The ceiling for Hampton is so high given the fact that he is not just an elite baseball player. He is committed to play football at LSU on top of the baseball commitment. The skill-set is truly remarkable and it is going to be fun to continue to follow along as Hampton continues the rest of his senior spring season.

Jerrion Ealy, OF, Jackson Prep (Miss.)
Jerrion Ealy  solidified himself last summer as one of the top baseball players in the 2019 class as well as one of the best running backs in the country in football. Ealy’s talent is something scouts have not seen in many years as a dual sport athlete like Hampton who is Division I bound in both skillsets. The Ole Miss verbal commitment played in front of numerous scouts in this look at the Battle at the Beach. His swing is very raw with pure strength combined with bat speed. He hits the baseball out in front and meets it there with the bat head. In this look, taking in seven at-bats, Ealy showed a patient approach at the plate taking his pair of walks and seeing pitches like a prototypical leadoff hitter should. His swing, however, was a bit late with his timing in multiple instances. The trigger is late and the ball seemed to get on him sooner than he expected to rushing his leg lift trigger down to the ground.

The sheer raw talent is what is intriguing for Ealy’s sake. The righthanded hitter outfielder has some of the best compact strength and is built like one would expect an SEC committed running back to look. There is noteworthy strength throughout and his arm is outstanding in the outfield as well. Ealy did struggle with a fly ball that he lost in the sun in the first game of his team’s trip to the gulf coast. Besides that, his ability to track balls in center field and work through the baseball into his throws are noticeably talented. The future Rebel is a big-time talent with as much ability to swing the bat as anyone at the top of the 2019 Draft class. This may have not been the best look offensively only squaring up one ball and collecting just one hit in seven chances, but the swing and timing can be refined as he has shown throughout the summer of 2018 that he is deserving of a high-end ranking.

Trevor McDonald, RHP, George County High School (Miss.)
The most scouted game of the trip from Hoover, Alabama to Biloxi, Mississippi was the game that matched up George County, the home of Trevor McDonald and Logan Tanner, against Jerrion Ealy and Kelly Crumpton’s Jackson Prep squad. No less than 50 professional scouts were in attendance filling the bleachers behind home plate and down the foul lines. McDonald has seen his name pop up in a big way after his performance at the PG World Showcase in January that resulted in him topping out at 95 mph with a wipeout slider. The listed 6-foot-2, 180-pound righthander was dominant in this game as well finishing up the day with a win going five innings of one hit ball and punching out 12 batters.

The fastball was not quite what the showcase had to offer in terms of velocity as he sat 91-92 mph in his first inning while leveling out at 89-90 mph for his next four innings of work. The slider was similar in terms of velocity and was a wipeout pitch for him on this night. McDonald’s ability to locate to both sides of the plate with his fastball and slider were what allowed him to miss so many bats. He would get ahead with his fastball and put hitters away with his slider seemingly with every opposing at-bat. The life on his fastball was noteworthy running in on righthanders and away from the barrel of lefties. He flashed a straight changeup that was mostly firm at 83 mph, but the pitch flashed even though he did not have to use it often. The overall outing of McDonald was a huge one for his draft stock and the South Alabama commit certainly did not disappoint in front of a ton of heat. If his velocity can trend back to where it was at the World Showcase with his ability to command and repeat his long arm action delivery, McDonald could hear his name called very early in June.

Logan Tanner, C, George County High School (Miss.)
Perfect Game All-American Logan Tanner was highlighted in multiple instances over the course of 2018 with what he was able to do at the plate, behind the plate and on the mound. Tuesday’s contest in which he was catching for South Alabama commit Trevor McDonald was no different as he went 1-for-3 at the plate while showing off a really strong arm behind the plate. In between innings, Tanner had no problem giving the 40-plus scouts in attendance what they wanted to see as he released the baseball from his knees firing strikes to second base. Tanner’s swing at the plate was a bit out in front on this day as he wasn’t facing outstanding velocity, but the swing clearly presents itself with strength and barrel whip. Tanner’s first about resulted in a hit over the second baseman while missing the barrel of the bat, but his third at-bat was the hardest hit ball with a pull side rope down the third base line where he eventually reached on an error. Tanner’s swing will likely see him pepper balls to the pull side gap and down the left field line. His arm behind the plate was the big-time tool that stood out in this game.

Kelly Crumpton, SS, Jackson Prep (Miss.)
A teammate of Ealy’s, Kelly Crumpton made an impact to both of Jackson Prep’s games on Monday and Tuesday squaring up the baseball and showcasing advanced balance at the plate. His swing generates lots of juice as he utilizes a very high leg kick while staying balanced exploiting true timing at the point of contact. Crumpton saw the ball well in these two contests as he barreled up the baseball with each trip to the plate. Crumpton accounted for a pair of doubles and a pair of singles in the two games. His four hits came to either side of the field working from foul line to foul line with his high exit velocity line drives. The Ole Miss commit’s hands are quick to the baseball staying through the baseball and online with his lower half. He does play well at shortstop as well moving to the baseball with balance as well and soft hands.

Colt Keith, 3B, Biloxi High School (Miss.)
Colt Keith is a recent transfer into Biloxi High School and his team faced off in the nightcap Monday night against Memphis University High School. The highly projectable lefthanded hitting third baseman had a big day in front of around 30 professional scouts. Keith plays a clean third base, but what he did with the bat is what really stood out for him. His ability to spray the ball to all parts of the field during the contest combined with his line drive swing plane and quick bat allow him to already hit at a high level. The 63rd-ranked player in the 2020 class ripped a ball down the opposite field line for a double and that swing made multiple scouts nod their heads in approval. Standing at an athletic 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, Keith still projects physically already showing some present strength to his build. Keith and his team won in run rule fashion in this game and the Arizona State commit’s 3-for-4 night was a big part of it.

Gregory Gerard

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