Showcase | Story | 5/21/2019

Baseball Australia Scout Notes

Tyler Russo        

PG welcomes Australian team

Monday, May 20

The Baseball Australia A-Roos continued to put it all on display cruising to a 14-1 win in their second exhibition game Fort Myers, Fla., displaying a wide variety of arms along the way.

Lachlan Waite (2020, Perth, WA, AUS) got the start on the mound, going two solid innings, only allowing a single hit while striking out three. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound athlete is projectable with some room to fill out in the upper half. Waite worked predominantly with a two-pitch arsenal, attacking hitters with the fastball (81-83 mph) early in the count and changing speeds with a hard-biting slider through a repeated arm action. Waite consistently commanded the outer half of the plate, working downhill and flashing arm-side run as he changed arm slots. His ability to control the run game was on display as he worked quick to the plate, changing up looks consistently and picking a runner off second base.

Continuing the trend, Patrick Day (2021, Helensvale, QL, AUS), cruised his way through two perfect innings, racking up four strikeouts in the outing. Strong bodied at 6-foot, 200-pounds, Day also worked a solid two-pitch mix, pairing a 81-83 mph fastball with late life and good arm-side run with a tight 10-to-4 slider at 71 mph. His smooth mechanics and simple leg lift allowed for a repeatable delivery in which he could work downhill, commanding pitches to both sides of the plate.

Showing some of the livelier stuff of the day, Stuart Tharle (2020, Greenway, AC, AUS) brought a three-pitch mix to the game in the fifth. The thin-bodied righthander worked from a slow, but simple windup with a long, power arm action. His over-the-top slot created repeated downhill action with his 84-86 mph fastball, allowing him to work down in the zone. His strong and stable lower half kept him balanced and online throughout his delivery, while also allowing him to bounce off the mound in athletic fashion to field his position comfortably.

The only southpaw to make his way out to the mound for Baseball Australia, Cooper Morgan (2020, Duffy, AC, AUS) also had himself a nice outing. On the smaller side, Morgan stands at 5-foot-10, 150-pounds with an athletic body. He works with a simple, quick leg lift and very fast arm that gives his heavily used 80-82 mph fastball late life and his 11-to-5 curveball hard bite in the 65-67 mph range. Morgan fills the zone early and often, not afraid to attack hitters and get early count groundball outs.

The last pitcher to make his way out for game two, Jack Waters (2021, Gold Coast, QL, AUS), closed out exhibition game two with a strikeout in a perfect inning. The 6-foot, 182-pound righthander presented mature mechanics, displaying good lower half stability and a very clean arm stroke. Waters, a consistent strike thrower, attacked hitters with his 80-82 mph fastball and changed pace nicely with feel for a 77 mph changeup with good depth and arm-side sink.

Tuesday, May 21

On their third day of action in Florida, prospects from the Australia National Team made their way out to JetBlue Park to put their talents on display at the 2019 International Showcase. On a day that started out quiet beneath the Green Monster of Fenway South, the Australian natives put on quite a loud showing for the scouts in attendance.

Batting practice got us started after a quick batch of 60s and it didn’t disappoint. One of three standout lefthanded hitters, Chris Burke (2020, Camberwell, VI, AUS) showed a great deal of bat speed and the ability to control the barrel very well, getting consistent barrels from different parts of the zone. In his two rounds, he showed good pull side pop and natural lift as the ball jumped off his bat consistently. Behind the plate, Burke is an athletic catcher with quick feet and a quick, strong arm. He gains ground well and keeps his throws low and on line, popping a showcase-best 1.85.

Another lefthanded hitting catcher who showed out at the plate and behind the dish was strong bodied 5-foot-11, 200-pound catcher Jake Burns (2021, Sylvania Waters, NS, AUS). Using his good lower half rotation and strong swing, Burns showed consistent pop to the pull side with natural lift. Behind the plate, Burns showed very quick and clean actions, transitioning his body well into his throws, staying on line with good arm strength.

The speedster of the group, athletic bodied Solomon Maguire (2021, Castle Hill, NS, AUS) showed multiple tools that will play well at the next level. At the plate he showed a good feel for handling the barrel and getting his hands inside, creating some carry on balls hit to the pull side. In the outfield, Maguire is a natural runner with great instincts in getting to and receiving the ball. He plays smooth throughout and throws to all bases with strength and ease.

Zak Skinner (2020, Mount Martha, VI, AUS), another catcher to stand out at the plate, put together a loud round, showcasing power to all fields with good use of his lower half and bat speed that should play well at the next level. Behind the plate, Skinner used quick feet, a quick release and a strong arm to pop consistently under two seconds. In the infield, he profiles out as a third baseman, but is a good athlete for his current size and build, showing good actions moving to the glove side with good arm strength.

Taking a good round of batting practice, but greatly improving his overall look in the simulated at-bats was wiry outfielder Dylan Martin (2021, Castle Hill, NS, AUS). His 6-foot-3, 183-pound body leaves plenty of room to fill out, but provides enough strength to give power to both sides of the field from a fast bat. In the outfield, Martin reads the ball well off the bat, positioning his body behind the ball well to get on line with his throws and create a smooth delivery to bases.

One of two young standouts on the day, Clayton Campbell (2022, Quakers Hill, NS. AUS) is a big-bodied third baseman who had an all around sound day. At the plate, Campbell has present strength and uses his lower half well on pitches on the inner half to create backspin on live drives to the pull side. In the infield, he is light on his feet and soft with the glove, showcasing good tools that will play well with his arm strength as he matures.

The other young prospect to make an impression on the day was infielder Jimmy Nati (2022, West Pennant Hills, NS, AUS), who raised some eyebrows throwing 93 mph across the infield in workouts. Nati’s athleticism in his 5-foot-11 frame allows him to move well around the infield with solid glove work and throw from various angles and arm slots with strength and accuracy. At the plate, he works a simple line drive approach and shows a good feel for getting the barrel to the ball and spraying the middle of the field.

Putting on the most impressive outing on the mound, attacking hitters with a four-pitch mix, was lefthander Liam Evans (2019, Rowville, VI, AUS). Evans works out of a very smooth and controlled delivery, using his strong lower half to repeat his mechanics and command the zone with all four of his pitches. He showed consistent life with his fastball, working at 85-86 mph with downhill sinking action that will only continue to improve as he matures. His breaking balls tunnel the same 2-to-8 shape and he showed a good ability to command them in the lower half of the zone. The curveball, at 71 mph, showed good spin and rotation, while the slider, at 77 mph, showed a bit more bite and tighter rotation. Evans also flashed a changeup at 79 mph with good depth and late arm side tumble that could be a plus fourth pitch as he moves to the next level.

– Tyler Russo

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