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Tournaments | Story | 6/8/2019

South Invite: Day 1 Scout Notes

Jerry Miller      Connor Spencer      Andrew Jenkins     
Photo: Izaac Pacheco (Perfect Game)
The 2019 South Invitational kicked off a day later than originally scheduled after the Houston area was inundated by heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning dawned beautifully, and the teams and the field at Houston Baptist University were in perfect form, as this inaugural PG event saw some truly well-played baseball.

Righthanded pitcher Coltin Atkinson (2020, Porter, Texas) toed the bump to start the first game of the day for the Sons of Thunder. The rising senior at Porter HS pitched with outstanding poise and pace and hammered the strike zone with two quality pitches. Using smooth, repeatable mechanics, and a high three-quarters arm slot, the 6-foot-1, 145-pounder pitched off his well-commanded 84-85 mph fastball that showed plus arm-side run and sink. He complimented his heater with a tight-spinning, 12-to-6 breaking, 66-67 mph curveball that showed late depth at the plate.

Crosby HS rising junior James Woodruff (2021, Crosby, Texas) flashed some raw power for the Sons of Thunder. The barrel-chested 6-foot-1, 195-pound righthanded swinger drove home two big runs for his club hitting out of the three-hole. He showed advanced bat-to-ball ability with each swing and incorporated a sound lower half with every pass.

Jaden Adams (2020, Richmond, Texas) is an athletically gifted middle infielder for the Hunter Pence-Endsley club. The speedy leadoff hitter is a toolsy player who is the catalyst for his team. He has a flatter bat path and the ability to consistently get his bat on plane and to contact. His speed and base-running ability make him a plus offensive prospect. Adams is also a truly gifted defender. His arm plays at any position on the infield and he is an instinctive fielder with outstanding first step quickness.

Kevin Lavine (2020, Spring, Texas) can swing the stick. He flashed some serious raw power and his booming two-RBI double to deep center field was unquestionably the loudest knock of the game. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound strong and twitchy righthanded swinger has a short and quick swing path and the ability to consistently drive the ball to both gaps.

The Houston Mustangs slugged their way to an impressive 7-0 win in the second game at HBU on Friday afternoon. Bradley Batterson (2021, Houston, Texas) is a stout 5-foot-9, 175-pound switch-hitting catcher from St. Thomas HS who can swing the stick. He has a smooth and quiet approach at the dish and sees pitches deep in the zone. His flat bat path and ability to get the barrel to contact is impressive.

The Mustangs Alejandro Estrada (2020, Houston, Texas) found himself in the middle of a lot of action. The 5-foot-7, 130-pound dynamo flashed some serious raw power with a lightning quick stroke and a great sense of timing and an advanced ability to get his barrel to the ball. His towering double in the Mustangs’ three-run fifth inning gave his club a comfortable lead that they would never relinquish. The rising senior at Spring Woods HS is a gifted athlete who also possesses top-end speed.

Austin Green (2020, Diana, Texas) helped pitch and hit the T.H.A. Stix 17U Mathews club to an impressive 5-3 win over a very talented Hunter Pence-James team in the third contest at HBU on Friday afternoon. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound righthanded pitcher threw with a veteran’s poise and pace, using highly-repeatable mechanics and a smooth, quick arm action. His active fastball that showed plus arm-side run and heavy sink at the plate, was consistently clocked in the 85-88 mph range and touched 89 mph more than once. He complimented his heater with a sharp 11-to-5 breaking slider that was thrown in the 70-72 mph range and showed late depth at the dish. The senior-to-be at Klein Oak HS opened the eyes of a number of college coaches on hand today at HBU.

Handling the T.H.A. Stix pitching staff was Matthew Houston (2022, Longview, Texas). The 6-foot-2, 200-pound backstop, who is one of the younger players participating in the 17U event, was outstanding behind the plate. He calls an advanced game and receives with an ease and confident receiving skills usually seen at a much higher level. He has a plus-average throwing arm that is highly accurate and should continue to improve as he gains experience. Houston can also swing the stick and his two-hit day helped drive home two big runs. He has a short, compact stroke and a middle-of-the-field path and plus-average bat-to-ball ability. His complete game makes this rising sophomore at Hallsville HS a talented player to watch over the next few years.

The middle infielders for the Hunter Pence-James club are very talented players who bring a gritty edge to the park and play with great energy and ability. Klein Oak HS rising senior Tucker McEnroe (2020, Spring, Texas) is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound gifted athlete and the very smooth fielding shortstop for the HP-James club. His first step quickness, soft hands, and powerful arm allow him to make the very difficult plays on the left side with great confidence and relative ease. His double play partner is Jacob Evangelista (2020, Spring, Texas). The cat-quick Evangelista is a blur on the field. He is ultra-smooth with the glove and has a plus arm at second base. He can make all the plays on the right side and his outstanding anticipatory ability allow him to always be in position to make even the toughest plays. The senior-to-be at Klein Collins HS uses his quick transfer skills to turn the double play like a veteran.

In Friday’s final contest, the Dynasty Black 16U club was dominant in their three-inning, 16-1 run-rule victory. The Dynasty’s powerful offense saw every hitter in the lineup get at least one base hit. They were paced by their clean-up hitter, Hunter Caldwell (2021, Liberty, Texas) who had two knocks on the day and drove in four runs. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound powerfully built rising junior at Hardin HS flashed raw power and shows that his bat will unquestionably make him a prospect over the next few years.

-Jerry Miller

Performance Baseball Texas 17U got off to a hot start thanks to a solid outing by Texas A&M commit Wyatt Tucker (2020, Douglass, Texas). Tucker went three full innings with three strikeouts. He has a three-quarters arm slot and a short yet loose arm action that he freely whips up into the three-quarters slot while falling off to the side. The combination of these elements makes his slider especially effective to a righthanded hitter as its true 10-to-4 shape sweeps across the plate with hard, late bite at times. When facing lefties, Tucker tended to manipulate the shape of his breaking ball, turning it into more of an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that had downward bite towards the backfoot of lefties. His fastball sat around 89-91 mph on the day and had some solid two-seam action especially to his arm side. He flashed a changeup on a few occasions, but missed with the pitches arm-side, it sits around 78 mph. At his apex, his hands come up and he basically turns open his glove and tips off the hitter to what he’s throwing but expect Texas A&M to tweak this action. 

Dual threat  Tanner Dieleman (2020, Krum, Texas) for Dallas Patriots 17U had a solid game on both sides of the baseball. On the mound he has a short arm action with an over-the-top slot. He separates late, has a mid-to-high leg lift and his fastball sat around 84-87 mph while touching 89. He has solid command to the left side of the plate, but his front side releases early and he tends to miss when locating arm side. As a position player he has soft hands and athletic actions at the hot corner while having a loose and free flowing stance at the plate. Dieleman has an upright stance with a high back elbow and a large methodical bat wag that dances in sync with a slight body sway. Although Dieleman has solid rhythm with the pitcher, his hands have a tough time quieting down into his load, and they’re still moving as he launches them. However, he does a nice job keeping his hands inside the baseball, and his barrel generates a lot of whip as his free-flowing feel leads to some solid coil between his upper and lower half. 

Dallas Patriots 2020 Scout’s  Jaxon Chaney (2020, Sulphur Springs, Texas) showcased some raw power with a towering fly ball to centerfield that just kept carrying to the wall for a triple. Chaney has a large frame with a narrow upright stance that he crouches down into as he loads and strides. He’s still understanding his timing, but the load is relatively quiet and simple. He has a tendency of getting over the plate a little bit, causing his barrel plane to dip through the zone. However, his strong hands are a solid foundation and he’ll only improve and get stronger as his swing matures.

Top rated 2021 shortstop in the state of Texas and Texas A&M commit Izaac Pacheco (2021, Friendswood, Texas) impressed at the plate for Hunter Pence 17U-Calhoun. Going 2-for-2 on the day with a walk, Pacheco showcased quick hands, solid pop, and maturity at the plate. He has an upright stance, conventional hands, and stays pretty backloaded until launch. As he loads, he crouches down into his back leg, his hands go down and back, and he strides out reading to unload his hands. His swing works in to out, constantly forcing his hands inside the baseball. His swing is comparable to DJ LeMahieu in the way he fires his backside through while constantly working his hands inside. There’s still a lot of room for Pacheco to coil his upper half as he sells his pop slightly short by not creating that tension. However, his barrel is very flat through the zone, he’s a very handsy hitter, and his plate maturity is surprising for his age.

Zac Addkison (2020, San Antonio, Texas) pitched a great game for SA Missions Hackshack. Addikson has a tall large frame on the bump with a short quick arm action and three-quarters to high three-quarters arm slot. As he works through his motion, his hands come down and then back up again into separation. As his hands come up, he crouches over and down as he really uses his back leg to shove down the mound. His fastball sat around 85-to-88 mph and he touched 90mph. It also has some cut action to it, especially when throwing it up to the left side of the plate. With his length and quick arm action, it feels like it gets on hitters quick. Moreover, there’s some break Z there, meaning the velocity of his fastball does not waver much from the point he releases it to the point it reaches the plate. He wasn’t afraid to throw in on the hands of hitters, and he was mixing his pitches effectively. He went three full innings while fanning seven.

In the evening slate at the University of Houston,  Kolby Parker (2020, Shelbyville, Texas) showcased his maturity and poise on the mound of his future field. Parker is a crafty lefty with a short arm action that hides the ball well along with a high three-quarters to over the top arm slot. He’s especially tough on lefthanders as he sweeps his leg lift up and down the mound while pushing his kick out towards the first base dugout making it feel like he’s throwing from behind a lefthander. Throughout his motion, his front side stays low, and the way he works low down the mound feels funky to the hitter. His fastball isn’t going to burn anyone at 80-82 mph but is effective paired with his plus slider that he was able to locate to the back foot of righthanders with consistency. It has a 10-to-4 shape and has hard, late bite when thrown down and across his body. He has more of a sweeping motion when left over the plate. Parker profiles to a perfect left-on-left matchup arm out of the pen at the next level.

Third-ranked 2020 shortstop in Texas and Texas commit  Aaron Nixon (2020, Mission, Texas) displayed why he’s so highly scouted, showcasing his quick hands and all-around athletic actions on the diamond. He has a wide conventional stance that rocks back and forth for rhythm. He uses a mid-high leg kick and his hands are extremely quiet throughout his load and launch. He gets his barrel on plane quickly and gets a solid shoulder rotation, getting his elbow into the slot, and using his lower half as the catalyst to fire his hands through the zone. His stalky frame is extremely projectable at the next level, and it’s easy for the casual baseball fan to see his above-average talent on the diamond.  

Brayden Musgrove (2020, Spring, Texas) has alarge frame and is listed as a primary outfielder and third baseman but he competed his tail off on the mound for Team Houston III. He has a short infield-type arm action with a 79 mph fastball, but he located well, filled up the zone, and threw his three-pitch mix with conviction. His curveball has an 11-to-4 shape and was missing bats paired with his off-speed. Throughout his outing he constantly had Banditos Scout Team 17U out on their front foot and guessing. Moreover, he has a fantastic leadership capability in the dugout, and his competitiveness was infectious among his teammates. He struck out seven through 5 2/3 innings. 

-Connor Spencer

Brayden Murphy (2021, Baytown, Texas) listed as a primary shortstop, started on the mound for Vendetta Baseball. He lived primarily off his fastball, showed good command to both sides of the plate and sat 78-83 mph. His slider flashed potential with good action and late break at 72-75 mph. Using his wiry frame and smooth high three-quarters arm slot, he worked downhill with an easy delivery, generated swings and misses and created weak contact.  Murphy worked 5 2/3 innings, struck out nine and allowed four hits on the day.

Consistent contact from outfielder Eric Ramos (2021, Friendswood, Texas) was on display as the PBA Stars 17U White took on Dialed In Baseball/Cougars. His middle-of-the-field type approach and level swing plane worked in his favor, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk. He laced two balls up the middle, one going for a base hit into center field. Ramos showed above-average speed as he nearly beat out a ground ball up the middle in his first at bat. He also showed good actions and awareness in the outfield with average arm strength.

Lefthanded hitting outfielder Eliazar Garcia (2020, Galveston, Texas) was another standout for PBA Stars 17U White, going 2-for-2 with three RBI. The small framed outfielder, who has an open stance with a high leg kick, showed a smooth, balanced swing and good barrel control.

Catcher Chance Reisdorph (2021, New Braunfels, Texas) has an athletic frame with room to grow. He was very active behind the dish, had average catch and throw ability, moved well and stayed low. His throws were on-line, had slight carry and maintained a pop time between 2.05-2.12. At the plate, Reisdorph showed a sound approach, drawing two walks and scoring twice on the day for Dialed In Baseball/Cougars.

The strong-framed corner infielder Matt Pawelek (2020, New Braunfels, Texas) impressed at the plate for Dialed In Baseball/Cougars. He collected two hits and three runs batted in on the day. Pawlek showed pull-side pop, created good backspin, and showed slight leverage in his swing.

Western Texas College commit Keegan Turner (2019, Liberty, Texas) has a mature, physical frame. Listed as a primary third baseman, he showed good reactions, average footwork and arm strength at the hot corner. Turner went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a single in his first two at-bats, showed pop to his pull side with good bat speed.

Zack Shannon (2020, Victoria, Texas) showed off is skillset despite only going 1-for-3 on the day. The versatile prospect who has an open stance, with smooth quick hands, made loud contact in all three of his plate appearances. He hit a laser to center field that jumped off his barrel for an out, followed by a hard single to left field in his second at bat. In the field, Shannon’s athletic ability shined at first base, as he made an over the head grab in foul territory, a diving grab on a rocket hit to his glove side and picked balls with ease.

Two-way threat Humberto Martinez (2020, Houston, Texas) took the mound for Vendetta 2020. The lean-framed lefthanded pitcher had a three-quarters arm slot, loose arm action with a long arm circle in the back, repeated well and filled up the zone with his fastball that sat 78-80 mph. He flashed an above-average curveball that had good, late break at 66 mph. He worked 5 1/3 innings, allowed three hits and zero earned runs. Martinez also hit for himself, as he stands with an open stance, has a smooth, easy swing and went 2-for-3 with a single and a double.

Kevin Bazzell (2021, Forney, Texas) has a projectable frame, room to fill with broad shoulders. The primary shortstop has infield instincts, above-average range, soft hands, good first step and the tools to be a solid middle infielder. Bazzell has an aggressive approach, gets the barrels into the zone quick, elevates the ball with ease and should hit for more power with added strength.

Catcher Ian Collier (2021, Plano, Texas) has a large, physical frame, strong lower half and a projectable body. His strength and leverage generated raw power and displayed solid bat speed. Collier went 3-for-3 with two singles, one double and four RBI. He is an advanced receiver, moved well behind the plate and has a good, accurate arm, logged a 2.01 pop time.

-Andrew Jenkins
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