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Tournaments | Story | 5/25/2019

West Memorial Day: Day 1 Notes

Connor Spencer         Ryan Hutchison        
Photo: Tyler Stone (Perfect Game)

Summer is here with the beginning of the PG WWBA West Memorial Day Classic and the games kicked off with the only 14u game at the Goodyear complex between Dykstra Baseball 2023 and the San Diego Stars.

The star of the game was freshman Maddox Haley (2022, La Mesa, Calif.), going 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. In his first at-bat Hayley crushed a ball to the warning track on his pull side. With an upright stance and a back foot that is shaded towards his pull side, Hayley does a great job of staying inside the baseball, and his back side stays tall and strong throughout his swing. Haley possesses some maturity at the plate for his age, and if you stop his swing at the apex of his load it looks as strong as many of the top 2022 swings.

LVR defeated PfrHd 8-0 in an offensive brigade in the 18u bracket. Arizona commit Tyler Whitaker (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.) had a nice day at the plate, especially for not having a single plate appearance since September. He has simple load and finish and works his hands quickly down through the zone. He does a nice job of working his barrel flat through the hitting zone giving himself a large margin for error.

From the PG Identifier-Underclass Showcase in Los Angeles to the WWBA West Memorial Day tourney in Phoenix, righthanded pitcher Eldridge Armstrong (2021, Simi Valley, Calif.) has been playing a ton of ball over the past few days. Against MAC Elite 2022 he went two innings with three Ks. Eldrige bested his PG Identifier velocity by one topping out at 87 mph on the day. He has a free and easy motion, is quick down the mound and has a three-quarters arm slot. He tends to mix up his timing to plate, sometimes turning himself closed or holding his leg lift at his apex, which is effective in throwing off a hitter’s timing.

Lefthanded pitcher Jace Dominic (2022, Rio Rancho, N.M.) pitched 2 1/3 solid innings for MAC Elite 2022. Dominic has a long and lengthy frame, a long arm and an over-the-top slot. He slightly hunches over his front side as he moves through his motion and he slightly slows his motion into separation. His fastball sat around 78-79 on the day but was extremely effective paired with his 12-to-6 curveball. Although he primarily pitched with two pitches, the fastball was an effective kill pitch after nulling hitters to sleep with his breaking ball.

Young-framed catcher Michael Parkman (2021, Woodinville, Wash.) impressed with the bat lacing a triple into the right-center gap. Parkman has a developing frame but showcased solid speed on his triple. Behind the plate, Parkman sat around 2.15 seconds with his pop times. He does nice job of getting a lot of his frame in his swing via weight transfer, and while his hands travel a long way down and back into his load, he stays tall on his back side and fires his hands flat through extension.

Possibly the most impressive measurable of the day was from freshman Oregon State commit Tyler Gough (2022, Perris, Calif.). Gough had one of the highest velocities at the Goodyear complex sitting 90-91 mph and touching 92. He has a very short and quick arm with a three-quarters arm slot. He has a mid-leg kick and a conventional motion down the mound. His 11-to-4 curveball isn’t the sharpest biting pitch in the world, but was baffling hitters, especially paired with his velocity. Even in the 18u division it felt like hitters simply did not want to face him as 92 mph for a 2022 graduate makes Gough unbelievably projectable.

3D Gold had a dominant performance against the Reapers in the 16u division. The 55th-ranked 2022 prospect, Demitri Diamant (2022, Las Vegas, Nev.),smoked a double that one-hopped the left field fence. Diamant’s hands work with his backside firing down and extending through the zone. He has a wide stance and a simple load as his hands fall down and back. He activates his lower half well and stays tall on his backside through contact.

Oregon State commit Tanner Smith (2021, Chandler, Ariz.) also had a great game for 3D Gold, impressing on both sides of the baseball. At the plate, Smith stays very upright throughout his swing. His hands don’t move much into his load and he doesn’t have much weight transfer. His quiet swing is very simple with a low leg kick and feels fluid throughout. On the bump, he has a quick motion, three-quarters arm slot and a short arm that sat an easy 83-84 mph.

In the 18u division AZ T-Rex Easton first baseman and New Mexico commit Tyler Stone (2020, Scottsdale, Ariz.) showcased a solid amount of power at the plate after peppering the bottom of the center field batters’ eye. He keeps his barrel just off his shoulder while possessing a small circular bat wag. At his load he looks unbelievably strong with a solid weight transfer and beautiful shoulder plane rotation. In his third at-bat, he was beat and out in front with his timing on an off-speed pitch but was still able to show the maturity to keep his hands back to find the barrel and drive a line drive base hit.

– Connor Spencer

Tulane commit Malikai Wickley (2020 Los Angeles, Calif.) continued to showcase his upside at the plate from the PG Identifier-Underclass event. His bat and defense both play at both third and first base. Wickley has soft hands on the field and quiet hands while at the plate. His plate coverage and maturity is impressive for a 2020 grad and he creates a great rubber band effect with his hands while at the plate. He has power to all fields and has a plan when he gets up to the plate. During the game, Wickley muscled a sac fly to right field, in which once the ball was caught in medium right field Wickley had already made it halfway to second showing his hustle.

Coby Morales (2020 Downey, Calif.) is a first baseman for the PFA Cavs. He has a clean and fluid stroke from the left side of the plate. Morales had multiple line drives and hard-hit balls throughout the day. His toe tap helps him with his timing and adjustments at the plate if he is late or early on a pitch. Morales gets good separation in his load and doesn’t get a lot of movement with his head when hitting the ball.

August Williams (2019 Bellingham, Va.) is a Haverford college commit. His fastball sat around 84 mph throughout the game and he had a good velocity separation with his changeup at 74 mph. Williams really used his 6-foot-3 frame well, getting downhill plane of the mound to his advantage and did a nice job of incorporating both his upper and lower body to drive the ball through the plate.

Oscar Y. Diaz (2020 Los Angeles, Calif.) is a young lefthanded batting catcher for the West Coast Bandits with a strong accurate arm from behind the plate. He is able to get small with his frame and give the umpire a good look at the pitch. He has a compact swing that goes straight to the ball. Diaz has a good ability to hit the ball where it is pitched and hit the ball to all fields with authority.

Justin Rios (2020 El Monte, Calif.) is a righthander with a solid arm, producing a fastball that sat between 83-86 mph the entire game. His curveball sat at 72-74, a pitch he had plus control of and he kept it low in the zone which limited the chances of getting burned with it. He has control of his pitches and is able to paint around the corners, blowing pitches by people in situations that need it. Rios threw 90-plus pitches in the five-plus innings he pitched. With the last batter he faced in the game he stuck the batter out with 89 and 90 mph heat at the end the at-bat, showing a poise in which he doesn’t let the game affect him.

Connor Mattison (2023, Litchfield Park, Ariz.) is a righthander for the Utah Yard Dawgs in the 14u division. Mattison has a fastball that tops out at 80 mph and hovered around 76-79 throughout the game. He has good control of his curveball that stays between 63-64 mph. His control at a young age should develop even more as he gets older and strong. This projectable young pitcher drives the ball downhill which give him some extra zip on his fastball.

Christian Roncal (2023 Glendale, Ariz.) is an outfielder and pitcher for AZ Athletics 14u Orange. Roncal has an aggressive approach at the plate while showing good power to the opposite field and the ability to stay behind the baseball for a young player. He can drive the barrel of the bat to the ball and has a good transfer of power. As a pitcher, he sits at 73-75 MPH while throwing a 55 mph curveball. His curveball has a lot of spin, not much float at such a low speed, and when he pitches he keeps his body together with not a lot of moving parts.

Nalijah Alexander (2021 Phoenix, Ariz.) is a projectable 6-foot-3 righthander from Sunnyslope high school. Alexander sits at 78-81 mph on his fastball with a breaking ball that sits around 67 mph. He stands tall on the mound, giving him added confidence, and powers down when driving his body off the mound. He had good downhill action as a result and can control his fastball on the corners of the plate.

Nuri Todd (2024) is a young projectable player who can play on both sides of the baseball. As a pitcher, Todd sits 76-78 mph while throwing a breaking-ball that has a lot of loop to it. For a young player he does a great job on staying on top of the baseball when he pitches. He stands tall on the mound and uses steps with the downhill of the mound, not over it. At the plate he is very relaxed and patient. He isn’t afraid to hit behind in the count and creates a lot of torque and separation.

Xavier Delgado (2022 Laveen, Ariz.) is a projectable infielder that has a lot of baseball IQ. Throughout every at-bat of the last game of the day, Delgado was adjusting his stance and hands in the batter’s box to adjust to the different pitchers he was seeing during the game. He has a lot of discipline at the plate with a two-strike stance that you don’t see much of in the game. He is very athletic and has good acceleration. Delgado should get bigger and stronger as he gets older.

– Ryan Hutchinson 

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