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Tournaments | Story | 6/10/2019

WWBA Qualifier: Day 2-3 Notes

Greg Gerard         Drew Wesolowski         Jacob Martin         Jacob Jordan         Brian Treadway        
Photo: Brad Grenkoski (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA National Qualifier: Day 1 Notes

Big-time two-way prospect Brad Grenkoski (2020, Kennesaw, Ga.) had a huge day in the East Cobb Astros pair of victories on Sunday evening. The righthanded hitting outfielder made a loud impact at the plate going deep to his pull side gap for a 380-foot home run per Trackman. His frame is already a professional body and projects well moving forward as well. The swing has outstanding strength with plenty of jump to the gaps as seen on his home run. The verbal commitment to Georgia Tech was just as impressive on the mound in terms of stuff. The righthander came into relief for the Astros sitting 88-92 mph with his fastball and touching 93 mph once as well. He mixed in a curveball that flashed plenty of potential and already showing above average (55) on a professional grading scale. The intent Grenkoski throws with is a reason he is able to create such great velocity on his fastball while the command was a bit astray as well. He was able to work around it and make big pitches when it counted to fire a scoreless inning in relief.

Rem Maxwell (2021, Winder, Ga.) is an intriguing two-way talent in the middle of the lineup for Team Georgia as the primary righthanded pitcher worked a pair of scoreless relief innings. The righthander has a full arm stroke that works through the back up to a high three-quarters arm slot at release. His fastball sits in the 85-89 mph range from his loose right arm and flashed sinking action to it as well. Maxwell did not show any offspeed offerings in this viewing but has flashed a curveball up to 76 mph in previous Perfect Game events. His arm works and he is able to get the fastball to both sides with good command given his age. At the plate, he delivered a pair of RBIs for his team that included a single to left field. The uncommitted righthander is certainly a name to follow this spring as he continues to pitch on the summer circuit and builds his resume of a potential two-way collegiate prospect.

Traveling from Colorado to Georgia and playing for Beast Mode Prime, Cameron Hassert (2020, Longmont, Colo.) has had a huge first two games in the WWBA National Qualifier with all of his hits going for two-baggers. Hassert has a really loose lefthanded stroke and a great eye at the plate. He has a knack for hitting the baseball on the barrel of the bat and did so throughout Friday and Sunday’s contest. He uses a leg lift trigger into his swing while staying balanced at the plate and times the baseball well. The Villanova commit creates leverage to his swing path and has a pull side approach that he showcased by stroking a double down the right field line in his first at-bat on Sunday.

Ben Riley Flowers (2020, Saraland, Ala.) is a lefthanded pitcher with present arm strength who made the trip from Alabama to pitch for Team Georgia. Flowers topped out at 86 mph with his fastball that showed late life to arm side. The ball comes out heavily as it works on a downhill plane to the plate. The arm is a bit long through the back with pure arm strength and intent into his release. Flowers worked primarily off of his fastball to the arm side of the plate, but would also mix in a curveball in the low-70s with late biting action. Flowers is a physical pitcher with strength present in his lower half, and it’s obvious by the way the ball jumps out of his hand. The uncommitted southpaw work 3 1/3 innings of relief for Team Georgia displaying plenty of potential as a future collegiate arm.

Anthony Westbrook (2020, Parrish, Fla.) was the hero on Sunday afternoon as he knocked a walkoff two-run home run over the right field fence with his team down one. Prior to the bottom of the seventh inning heroics by Westbrook, the uncommitted two-way prospect was in the mid-80s on the mound pitching with a short arm action. He would come in with the game tied at 5 before allowing the go-ahead run score via a balk in the top of the seventh. He made up for it in a big way with his walkoff blast from a lefthanded swing that really displayed good bat speed to the point of contact. The quickness of his hands as well as his strength jolted the ball over the fence putting his Beast Mode Prime team on top. Earlier in the event, Westbrook played his primary catcher position showing outstanding arm strength behind the plate and some quickness out of his crouch. Westbrook has legitimate two-way potential with the bat and arm strength especially to stick behind the plate at the next level.

-Gregory Gerard

Tanner Bastings (2020, Dallas, Ga.) showed a bigger frame with a strong, stocky build. The big righthanded pitcher worked with a longer arm action. He delivered from a three-quarters arm slot while pounding the lower half of the zone. He mixed up pitches well and proved to be deceptive. He showed repeatable mechanics while staying on plane to the plate. His fastball sat in the mid-80s while topping out at 86 and his curveball had slurvy actions in the mid-70s. He picked up the win today for the Duluth Noles while going five innings and striking out 10 batters.

Caleb Ketchup (2020 Jonesboro, Ga.) flashed some serious athleticism with a medium frame and strong, lean build. The University of Georgia commit liked to work with a narrower stance at the plate with relaxed hands before working into creating separation. He showed very quick hands while getting the bat head out front. The fast-twitch shortstop got it done defensively as well. He showed great instincts with quick feet. His range, combined with his arm, showed why he is a top-ranked prospect in the state for his class. Look for Ketchup to continue to fill out physically and continue to hone in on his already-mature skill set.

Dwight Allen (2020, Milton, Ga.) showcased a larger frame with a very mature, athletic build. He showed off his athletic build in the outfield with great instincts. Allen also showed a strong, accurate arm. The University of Georgia commit proved to not only be able to get it done in the outfield, but at the plate as well. He worked with a balanced stance with relaxed hands. He relied on pure strength to get the bat head through the zone and did so easily. He stayed compact and got extended, crushing baseballs to all fields. He tallied a triple in today’s action while knocking in a run and scoring two himself. After the action today, he is hitting .667 combined in this week’s action.

Hudson Sapp (2020, Dawsonville, Ga.) proved to be a versatile athlete while showing an average frame with a stocky, athletic build. The smooth swinging lefty got it done at the plate with a relaxed stance starting slightly open. He then liked to work back in toward the plate while creating separation. He used a downhill swing plane while looking to create backspin and drive the baseball deep. He also showed good footwork in the outfield with an arm that was not tested by the opposing team. The Ole Miss commit tallied an RBI to his name in today’s action while making loud contact in each at-bat. While not being a true speed guy, he flashed great instincts on the base paths by taking bases when possible and creating runs.

Robert Willis (2020, Montgomery, Ala.) showcased a lanky frame with a lean, wiry build and plenty of room to fill out in the future. The tall, righthanded pitcher worked quickly while filling up the strike zone. He liked to work with a big leg kick and then drove downhill while he pounded the lower half of the zone when on. His high three-quarters arm action proved to be deceptive to hitters trying to pick up pitches early out of hand. Willis showed mature mechanics while staying on plane with repeatable actions. Not only did he fill it up, he showed great mound presence with a confidence easily visible. The uncommitted righty showed a fastball at 81-83 mph with some serious sink and slight cutter run. His curveball showed slurvy movements in the mid-70s that had some late bite to it when kept down in the zone. He went five innings while striking out six batters and only gave up two hits to a stout DRB Elite lineup. With his projectable build, the sky is the limit.

-Drew Wesolowski

Pirmin Brechbuhl (2020, Duluth, Ga.) showed off light-tower power for the Ninth Inning Royals. Standing at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, the righthanded slugger has a large frame with present strength and athleticism. Starting with a crouched stance and a short heel lift trigger for timing, he transitions into a smooth swing with simple mechanics. He consistently hits the ball on the barrel of the bat with a lofted swing plane that elevates the ball. A combination of hard contact and elevation resulted in a long home run to left field during his game action. The ball was absolutely crushed. He plays the corner outfield with advanced athleticism. While playing left field, he showed clean glove actions and usually played the ball out front. His arm is above-average, as he gets on top of throws and makes quick transfers. Also possessing above-average speed, he could certainly play center field if needed.

Breon Horne (2021, College Park, Ga.) is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound outfielder with a muscular and athletic build. Playing center field for Team Halo, he had really good reads on fly balls and line drives, resulting in efficient routes and positive reaction steps. When he tracks a ball, running it down is no issue, he glides across the outfield. His elite speed was on full display in the outfield and on the base paths. He easily reached on a drag bunt down the third base line. The switch-hitter only batted from the right side of the plate during game action. He has a selective approach and looks to get on base to showcase his speed. His swing starts with a medium leg lift for timing and he employs an opposite-field approach as the hands lead through the zone. For now, he is a contact hitter, but with his projectable frame, he has the potential to be a legitimate power/speed player.

-Jake Martin

Jayden Carbonell-Smith (2021, Alpharetta, Ga.) is a 5-foot-10, 160-pound second baseman. Standing at the right side of the plate, Carbonell-Smith has a straight approach in the box. He keeps his elbow high at the plate while keeping his lead left foot off the ground except for the top of his foot. On the base paths, he shows good speed and exceptional reads on balls that are in the dirt. His secondary leadoffs are great, allowing him to have good jumps when a ball hits the dirt.

Chase Honeycutt (2020, Southaven, Miss.) is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound catcher. Honeycutt is a vocal leader for the team, making himself heard on balls that are put into play which allows his team to know what to do. The uncommitted backstop never takes a play off as he is constantly in the right spots on balls in play. He provides excellent insurance for the first baseman in case of an errant throw. The Southaven native moves well behind the plate and is athletic enough to move around well and help his pitcher by blocking wild pitches. At the plate, he carries a smooth swing as he drove a bases-clearing double to the left-center gap. With more room for his frame to fill out, he has the potential for more power to that swing.

Shep Hancock (2020 Sharpsburg, Ga.) is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound first baseman. The lefthanded batter has a strong physique at the plate. He has a slightly open stance with a bit of a squat. The hands start near his neck and sticks his left elbow out. As the pitch comes in, he has good load and makes good contact with the ball. The uncommitted first baseman can make contact with pitches in and out of the strike zone and has enough power to drive it for a hit.

Zac Corbin (2020, Jefferson, Ga.) is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound shortstop. Corbin is an effective fielder with a plus glove and arm. The Kennesaw State commit showed multiple times his fielding prowess by charging groundballs and throwing off-balance darts to the first baseman to get outs. At the plate, the switch-hitting batter would have some arm movement to his stance while maintaining his hands near his neck before loading up. Though he didn’t get a hit, he showed his ability to make contact with the ball, driving each ball deep into the outfield before they were caught.

-Brian Treadway

Carson Swilling (2020, Smith Station, Ala.) was lights out Sunday night when he took the mound for the East Cobb Astros 17U Navy. The Auburn commit pitched three innings with six strikeouts, allowing no hits, and no walks. The righthander ran his fastball up to 93 mph but he sat in the 88-91 mph range. Swilling showed feel for three pitches, throwing all of them for strikes. He flashed a changeup to lefthanded hitters at 76-78 mph and a sharp 11-5 curveball at 71-73 mph. Swilling’s arm works easily and smoothly. He releases the ball from a high three-quarters arm slot and throws with a long arm action. At 6-foot-1 185 pounds, the 17-year-old’s body projects well and leaves him plenty of room to add muscle.

Zachary Murray (2020, Buford, Ga.) had a strong outing in relief Sunday. The righthander threw two innings, allowing two hits, two walks, and no runs while striking out two. The LSU commit’s fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range, with a sharp power slider at 76-78 mph, while flashing a changeup at 80 mph. The 6-foot, 170-pounder releases the ball from a three-quarters arm slot. He gets downhill well with a fluid arm action. The 17-year-old has plenty of time to grow into his frame and has a promising future.

Mason Patel (2020, Knoxville, Tenn.) pitched well Sunday afternoon for the East Cobb Astros 17U Navy. The uncommitted righthanded pitcher threw four shutout innings while only allowing one hit. He walked none and struck out two. With a fastball that sat 83-86 mph and a sweeping curve at 72-75 mph, Patel drew weak contact all game, pitching very efficiently. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a smooth action. He gets down the mound well and has good command. The 17-year-old should be off the board soon, as he is listed as a Top-500 player in the country.

Ben Arnett (2020, Florence, Ala.) had a strong day at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a walk, grand slam, five RBIs, and two runs scored. The second baseman also showed talent in the field. He flashed quicks, quick transfers, and the ability to stay under control when throwing on the run. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, the righthander possesses more power than you might expect in his frame. He is strong and lean, with plenty of room to grow. Arnett is uncommitted but certainly shows upside and could turn out to be a special talent.

-Jacob Jordan

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