Tournaments | Story | 6/3/2019

Florida World Series: Day 2 Recap

Perfect Game Staff         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Luis Rodriguez-Gallo (Perfect Game)
2019 PG Florida World Series: Day 1 Recap

As pool play began to wrap up on day two, many teams were battling for a spot in the playoffs of the Florida World Series down in Fort Myers, Fla. 

The first standout of the day would go unnoticed in that aspect as the Coastal Prospects weren’t fighting for a playoff spot in game three, but Jake Young (2020, Jacksonville, Fla.) has the stuff from the left side to find a home at the next level. Inheriting the bases loaded with no outs, Young attacked hitters with a fastball that showed a ton of late life running it up to 89 mph from a smooth and repeatable delivery. He would finish that lone inning of work with three strikeouts using only the lively fastball.

Army commit Trevor Kole (2020, Parkland, Fla.) continued his stellar performance at the plate by crushing two doubles to the pull side fence in two at-bats. Kole’s control of the barrel and ability to hold it well through the zone from his strong and athletic body will play well into his ability to succeed against some of the top arms in the class.

Another hitter to make his presence known in his pure ability to hit was US Elite 2020 International Scout Team’s catcher Luis Rodriguez-Gallo (2020, Miami, Fla). Rodriguez-Gallo picked up three more hits on the day, two coming in the late inning rally that would eventually send his team to the 17u Semifinals on Monday morning, improving to 6-for-8 and reaching 10 out of 12 times through the first four games.  

Pitching at a maturity level well above his age was Power Baseball 2022’s large righthander Kolten Smith (2022, Ocala, Fla.). His ability to command and work downhill with the fastball up to 85 mph, was a major part of his success in creating consistent weak contact and missing bats. Smith also flashed a hard-breaking curveball with 12-to-6 shape that proved as a plus out pitch on his way to four solid innings, allowing only two hits and one run while striking out eight.

The youngest standout on the day was a good one in lefthander David Davila (2023, Opa-Locka, Fla.) who worked two dominant innings, striking out five without allowing a hit. Davila showed advanced feel for commanding the lower part of the zone as he worked his fastball at 85-87, topping out at 88 mph, while also flashing a breaking ball with good change of speed down to 71 mph. He worked out of a very smooth and efficient delivery that allowed him to repeat his mechanics and fill the zone well.

Another good, young arm to make his way to the mound in that same game for Elite Squad 15u National was right-hander Maison Martinez (2022, Lake Worth, Fla.). Martinez also worked his fastball up to 88 mph out of a smooth and efficient delivery, but would use only that pitch, with occasional cut, to create consistent weak contact over his two no-hit innings of work.

Having himself a day at the plate in game three for FTB-Tucci 55 was switch-hitting infielder Edwin Arroyo-Agosto (2021, Arecibo, P.R.). Arroyo would take his first two at-bats from the left side, crushing a triple into the pull side gap and following it up with a hard-hit single to the same place, driving in two of his three runs batted in. His third at-bat would come from the right side and would produce a very loud fly-out just short of the warning track in the left-center gap. Arroyo showed a great deal of bat-speed and control of the barrel from both sides of the plate, while also putting his athleticism and arm strength on display as he played a strong third base. 

Probably the most dominant performance on the mound on Sunday at the Player Development Complex came from FTB-Tucci 55’s Christian Olazabal (2021, Hialeah, Fla.). The righthander works out of a very efficient delivery where he strides well to the plate causing the ball to jump on hitters. His fastball, ran up to 88 mph, showed a bit of cut as he commanded it to both sides of the plate, while he also flashed a mix of a curveball and a plus slider to create a great deal of swing and misses. His ability to command three good pitches in virtually any count led to Olazabal striking out five of the six batters he faced across two innings of work.

-Tyler Russo

While pitching was seemingly at a premium on day two, the performance by uncommitted prospect Layton Deloach (2021, Hollister, Fla.) was one of the best. Working out of a three-quarter arm slot, he had good life and run to his fastball, sitting in the low 80s, and kept batters guessing by mixing in a tight breaking ball at 70 mph early in counts. Deloach was able to spot his pitches all game only allowing only two hits and no walks, while striking out ten over six very good shutout innings.

Favyan Suarez (2022, Davie, Fla.) took complete control of the game for the 14U Hurricanes Platinum in the early morning on Sunday, throwing 6 1/3 innings, striking out 12 while only allowing a single run to come across. Suarez throws from a three-quarters arm slot, using his low-80s fastball to get ahead in counts, before mixing in his sharp 12-to-6 curveball to keep opposing hitters guessing at the plate. He showed great command of the zone, spotting both of his pitches well on his way to no walks over the six-plus innings of work.

15u ELEV8 Select continued their hot start to the tournament on day two with an exceptional performance on the mound by Wilder Puertas (2022, Pembroke Pines, Fla.). Throwing a strong five innings and surrendering only one hit, Puertaz uses a max effort delivery where he reaches back, comes straight over the top, and drives downhill to create life on his fastball that he can run up to 85 mph. Puertaz does a good job of getting his chest over his front knee to allow him to live low in the zone throughout the outing. He was able to keep batters guessing at the dish by mixing in a strong curveball with good 11-to-5 shape, while also flashing a changeup with good tumble at the plate that allowed him to punch out eight over his five innings of work.

Another 15u ELEV8 Select player that made an impact for his team was Manuel Souffrain (2021, Miami, Fla.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, the lefthanded hitting prospect has a large frame and long arms that help him generate power to all parts on the field. Souffrain stands tall in the box with his back elbow up and does an impressive job of getting his arms extended at the point of contact. He started his day 2-for-4 with a single to the pull side and a double he laced down the back side line, scoring both times he reached base. In game two, Souffrain showed his willingness to play hard as he got caught out front and rolled over to the second baseman only to bust out of the box and beat out the throw for an infield single.

In a strong line up for the 15u ELEV8 Select roster, no one stood out more on day two than  Jason Torres (2022, Miami, Fla.). The big-bodied first baseman, standing at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, generated a ton of run support for his team, driving in six runs in two games. Torres does a great job of holding his weight back and allowing the ball to travel into the zone, where he then keeps his hands inside the ball and looks to drive the ball into the right-center gap. He had a slow start to the day going 1-for-3 in game one but flashed his hit tools when he laced a triple into the right center gap, scoring two. As the morning began to heat up, so did Torres as he went 3-for-3 in game two, displaying a mature approach, getting deep into counts and waiting for a pitch he would be able to drive for extra bases. In his last at bat of the day, Torres blew the game, driving a bases clearing, three-RBI double to the right-center wall.

Jose Pena (2022, Winter Haven, Fla.) put together an outstanding performance today for FTB Tucci – Cleveland 2022. The righthander showed an overpowering fastball, running it up to 87 mph, as he provided his club with three shutout innings, allowing only two hits, striking out seven. Pena showed a powerful leg kick that allowed him drive down the mound and stride towards the plate, causing the fastball to jump on hitters. He worked out of a three-quarters arm slot with a very loose arm, showing an ability to tunnel the arm action as he mixed in a tight breaking ball on his way to punching out seven of the eleven hitters he faced.

Tj Dunsford (2023, Grand Bay, Ala.) had a solid showing at the plate for Resmondo FTB on day two. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound prospect stands tall in the box with a slightly open stance, where he used a strong lower half to create consistent good contact. He showed the ability to generate power to the opposite field with good hands and strong wrists that allowed him to hold the barrel well through contact on his way to a 2-for-2 game.

FTB Tucci - Cleveland 2022’s Elijah Green (2022, Windermere, Fla.) put his tools on display as he reached base in all three plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. The Miami commit went 1-for-1 in the game, ripping a double down the right field line, before putting his discipline on display, walking in he next two at-bats. Green’s speed allowed him to score all three times he reached base as wreaked havoc on the bases, stealing four bags.

Cameron Collier (2020, St. Petersburg, Fla.) had an impressive showing for the 16U Florida Rebels on Sunday. The uncommitted prospect stands at 6-foot, weighing 180 pounds with broad shoulders and plenty of room to add muscle. In his first at bat of the day, he roped a stand-up triple to the right-center gap. He showed great plate discipline later in the game, battling back from a 1-and-2 count to work a walk, then flashing his speed in stealing second on the first pitch. Collier would continue his success at the plate in game two of the day, going 2-for-2 and picking up another disciplined walk to stay perfect in reaching base on the day. 

-Ron Filipkowski

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