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Tournaments  | Story  | 6/10/2019

South Invite: Day 3 Scout Notes

Connor Spencer      Andrew Jenkins     
Photo: Rawley Hector (Perfect Game)

2019 PG South Invitational: Day 1 Notes | Day 2 Notes

Up to this point, the WWBA South Invitational has showcased a myriad of high-end nationally ranked talent on both sides of the baseball, but on Day 3 a number of uncommitted gems emerged that one day could be diamonds in the rough for coaches at the next level.

Uncommitted righthander Jalen Davenport (2020, Spring, Texas) surprised scouts at Kempner High School, lighting up the radar gun for his frame while using a three-pitch mix with confidence. Davenport sat 88-90 mph with his fastball and has a whippy, longer arm action from a high three-quarters to over-the-top slot. Even with a smaller frame, he’s still able to get on top of the baseball and gets some downhill angle to the plate. He uses a high leg lift and completely turns himself closed at his apex. At times, he’ll mix up his timing to the plate by slowing to almost a dead stop at his apex then turns himself completely towards the outfield much like a Hideo Nomo motion. His breaking ball is a large shaped 11-to-5 curveball that is a plus pitch when thrown back foot to a lefthanded hitter. He does slow down his arm action on the pitch dramatically at times, but its sharp bite to the left side of the plate shows promise.  His changeup is straight, and he tends to push the pitch, but his confidence with mixing all three pitches in any count was an encouraging sight for the college coaches in attendance.

Dynasty Black 16U’s Shane Martin (2021, Spring, Texas) pitched well going three full innings while allowing just one hit. He has a medium athletic frame and possesses a very conventional motion, stays tall throughout, and works straight down the mound. He has a short arm with a three-quarters arm slot and has the ability to locate to both sides of the plate. His mid- to high-80s fastball has some arm-side run especially when locating arm side, and he was getting in on hitter’s hands with quick motion down the mound. When his breaking ball was on, it had more of an 11-to-5 shape with a slight hump and bite down. When he missed with the pitch, it turned into more of a 12-to-6 shape and the depth of the pitch weakened. Martin is listed as a primary corner infielder; however, he has the ability and the stuff capable of being a two-way player for Wichita State.

Texas A&M commit Austin Stracener (2021, New Braunfels, Texas) showed patience and maturity at the plate by walking twice and scoring both times he was on base. Stracener has a quiet swing with a handsy approach, however his elite tool is his defense, and his fluidity and advanced rhythm with the baseball cannot be understated. Stracener has a strong arm across the diamond, no matter the slot he chooses to throw from, and soft hands that value the baseball. He checks off many boxes at the shortstop position and is an extremely projectable ball player for the next level.

Uncommitted catcher Cayden Phillips (2021, Amarillo, Texas) feels like a college coaches dream with his technical ability behind the plate, competitive playing style, and natural leadership ability with his team. He displayed plus athleticism with his blocking and receives the ball well. When you look at his frame and see his charisma, he looks like a catcher. At the plate, Phillips has a wide stance with a toe tap trigger and his hands and backside fires his hands down into the hitting zone well. His hands stay quiet into his load and he finds plenty of barrel day in and day out. His interactions with his pitcher during the game leaves no doubt that he could one day be the leader of a college defense. All around projects to be a future gamer for any club he plays for.

Yet another uncommitted righthander Jackson Blue (2020, The Woodlands, Texas) threw four full innings of no-hit baseball for Performance Baseball Texas 17U. Blue has a lengthy frame with a long arm action and three-quarters arm slot. He uses a high leg lift and his front leg feels loose and whippy throughout the lift. Feels like a slinger type of pitcher, he gets the ball out in front and gets great extension down the mound. His fastball has some hard two-seam run and sink, and it sat around 85-88 while touching 89 mph. He loves his slider and threw it early and often. It has a low 11-to-5 shape and he manipulates its shape with intent. Early in counts it has a looser get-me-over feel while later possessing hard, late bite, especially to the left side of the plate down. With his fastball moving one way and his slider moving another, there’s a lot of room to grow and have success for Blue.

Jordan Perez (2020, Kingwood, Texas) helped Team Houston 17U to a 7-0 win, going five full innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. He has a short arm with a quick easy motion and flew through the Dialed In/Cougars lineup. His fastball topped out at 86 and he was hitting all four quadrants with ease. He mixed in his 11-to-5 shaped curveball frequently and was missing bats with it. Free easy motion and looked comfortable throughout his outing.

-Connor Spencer

No. 5 nationally ranked 2021 righthanded pitcher and Texas A&M commit Rawley Hector (2021, Van Alstyne, Texas) was on the mound for Dulins Dodgers-Godwin. As advertised, throwing from a three-quarter arm slot, he created heavy run and angle on his fastball that sat in the upper-80s, a 78-81 mph slider and a solid fading changeup. Hector had a good feel for his secondary pitches, filled up the zone with a three-pitch mix and continued to show that he is a high-end prospect.

Uncommitted Conner McGinnis (2021, Frisco, Texas) is a 6-foot-2 second baseman for Dulins Dodgers-Godwin. At the plate, he stayed inside the ball with a smooth lefthanded swing, controlled the barrel well, and hit to all parts of the field. McGinnis proved he can handle the bat, going 2-for-3 with a double down the left field line, and a single up the middle. Defensively he had a good first step, lateral agility, soft hands and made all the routine plays.

Houston commit Brandon Burckel (2021, Lindale, Texas) is a quick-twitch, two-way athlete that started on the bump for Houston Banditos Scout. He had an easy, online delivery with fluid arm action. His fastball was 84-86 mph, he was able to create run and cut with intent and flashed a 12-to-6 curveball at 68 mph that had good depth. Burckel threw three innings and struck out two. Also hitting leadoff for Houston Banditos Scout, he went 1-for-2 at the dish, showed quick hands, a level swing plane and above average speed.

Tyson Neighbors (2021, Rockwall, Texas) is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound uncommitted righthanded pitcher for Dallas Patriots 16U Sherard. He showcased a large frame, broad shoulders and a good lower half. His mechanics were raw with a max effort delivery but had swing-and-miss stuff when he repeated. He ran his fastball up to 92 mph and sat 87-89 mph with late life. He showed glimpses of a plus-plus slider when he was consistent and a changeup at 70 mph. He threw three innings and struck out five. Neighbors will project well once he gains a feel for his mechanics on the mound.

Sam Houston State commit Reid Taylor (2020, Woden, Texas) toed the rubber for Performance Baseball Texas 17U. The righthanded pitcher threw three innings, struck out five and allowed one hit. Standing 6-foot-2, he threw from an over-the-top arm slot that created good downhill angle with slight sink. His fastball was in the upper-80s, touched 90 mph and showed good feel for his slider that had tilt at 78-81 mph.

-Andrew Jenkins