Tournaments | Story | 6/17/2019

18U WWBA: Day 1-2 Scout Notes

Drew Wesolowski         Brian Treadway         Colton Olinger         Jacob Jordan         Jacob Martin        
Photo: Logan Tanner (Perfect Game)

Michael Kravitz (2020, Johns Creek, Ga.) made a huge splash on the scene early in the action in the morning. The righthanded pitcher entered from the bullpen and shut the door on one of the best teams in this week’s event. He showed a medium frame with a lean, athletic build and plenty of room to fill out down the road. Kravitz utilized sound mechanics with fluid actions, delivering from a high three-quarters arm slot. His mound presence was confident, to say the least, as he took the game into his own hands and knew what he had to do. With low effort, he pounded the corners while working down in the zone. The projectable righty ended up with four strikeouts and gave up no hits in two innings pitched while helping Team Elite pick up the win. His fastball sat in the mid-80s while topping at 87 showing late life while he used a big 11-5 curveball in the mid-70s with tight spin. Keep an eye on this uncommitted righty to continue to fill up the strike zone and keep getting swings and misses.

Shep Hancock (2020, Sharpsburg, Ga.) flashed some serious power in today’s pool play action. He showed a large frame with a strong, mature build. The big lefthanded hitter got it going early, launching a home run over the right field wall in the first inning. The Team Georgia squad tallied up nine runs in the first inning with his home run accounting for two of those runs. He showed a slightly spread out stance with a little bat waggle helping him with timing. He then used a balanced leg lift before creating separation. He utilized an uphill swing path as he looks to hit the baseball for power and does so with ease. With his physical stature, the sky is the limit for this young man. Keep an eye out on this uncommitted lefty as he has all the tools already in place with pure, raw strength to add to the equation.

Colin Ahearn (2020, Lakeville, Mass.) made the trip down to Atlanta from Massachusetts and has made the most of his time down here. The projectable lefthanded pitcher showed a bigger frame with an athletic build and plenty of room to fill out down the road. He worked with a quick coil before delivering from a higher release point at high three-quarters arm slot. Stayed on plane throughout his outing while filling up the strikezone. He flashed mature mechanics with repeatable actions that he will continue to grow on. He did a great job of working both sides of the plate with all three of his pitches. His fastball showed good arm side run while sitting in the upper-80s and touched 90. His off-speed arsenal consisted of a great changeup with late break in the upper-70s and big 1-7 curveball in the upper-70s showing tight spin. He ended up going five innings while picking up the win for the East Cobb Astros Navy. He struck out eight batters as well and only gave up one hit. Keep an eye on the University of Tennessee commit to continue dealing off the mound before he makes his way to Knoxville in the near future.

-Drew Wesolowski

Knox Preston (2020, Nashville, Tenn.) is a 5-foot-11, 202-pound catcher and infielder. Starting at third base for East Cobb Astros 17U Orange, he showed what he could really do at the plate. Preston stands in the righthanders batter’s box with his stance pointing straight back to the pitcher. He has a compact swing that carries quite a lot of strength with it. The Lipscomb commit has a good approach at the plate as he seeks to go with the pitch instead of trying to pull it and saw good things happen. The Nashville native put together back to back great at bats as he smoked each of his hits back up the middle.

Brandon Haston (2019, Douglasville, Ga.) is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound outfielder. Haston showed the threat he is on the bases with his speed. The Douglasville native demonstrated his burst with a quick acceleration out of the batter’s box which really rushes the defense. At the plate, the Georgia State commit has a long but quick swing that can really go down and get a pitch with power. He exhibited this with a no-doubt home run as he hit the ball over the right field wall.

Chandler Simpson (2019, Atlanta, Ga.) is a 6-foot, 160-pound shortstop. At the plate, Simpson helped the Georgia Bombers 17U-Gaines with two RBI. The lefthanded batter stands at the plate with straight up stance and absolutely no movement before the pitch comes. His hands stay low, already starting at his left pec while his elbows stay pinched into his body. As the pitch comes, he has a good load where all of his weight shifts to his back leg and his hands come back a little bit. However, through all of this movement, his head remains steady as his eyes are focused on the pitch. The UAB commit showed his speed multiple times out of the box and on the base paths, taking extra bases and beating out throws to first base.

Caleb Maloof (2019, Atlanta, Ga.) is a 6-foot-5, 240-pound righthanded pitcher. After the game got off to a rough start for Georgia Bombers 17U-Gaines, Maloof came into the game and provided some relief and helped slow the damage. The Southern University commit threw five innings of one-run ball while striking out five batters. The righthander has a very quick windup with very little feet movement and a swift leg kick. He mostly throws from a high three-quarters arm slot but occasionally will throw over the top. His fastball was sitting in the low-80s while maxing out at 84. As he works to get more control of his off-speed pitches, he showed that his 12-to-6 curve and slider can be used in high leverage situations to generate outs.

-Brian Treadway

Dylan Strickland (2020, Loganville, Ga.) a Georgia Tech commit is an athletic middle infielder with a long lean build. He starts at the plate with a tall, balanced stance and a high hand set. His low leg kick and quiet hand load create good separation. His smooth swing path showed some loft to it. Strickland was 2-for-3 on the day and showed some pull side pop with a long double off the left field wall. The natural loft to his swing allows him to get the ball in the air and should project for more power as he continues to fill out. In the field he showed good range to his left making plays behind the second base bag. His feet work well through the ball to get him on line to make a strong accurate throw with his good arm. Around the bag his quick transfer and good feet allow him to make adjustment and still get off a strong throw well turning the double play.

Ben Peoples (2019, Goodsprings, Tenn.) a Xavier commit and 22nd round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays showed a low-90s fastball that topped out at 95 mph while going five scoreless innings and striking out seven. He showed a compact simple delivery with a long, smooth arm action and high arm slot. He creates good plane to the plate when down in the zone while attacking hitters on the corners of the plate. His curveball showed big 12-6 break as he continued to get a better feel as the game went on. He maintained a good arm speed and a consistent release point with the curveball that sat 71-73 mph. With a 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame there is still room to fill out the frame and a potential for more velocity.

Chris McElvain (2019, Thompsons Station, Tenn.) came up with the biggest hit on the day for Knights Baseball 18U Platinum breaking up a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-RBI double off the fence in right-center field. The Vanderbilt commit displayed a compact line drive approach with his smooth level swing path. His quick hands and great use of his lower half through his swing allow him to split the gaps with line drives for extra bases. He displayed good power to all fields and projects well to add more as he continues to fill out. Behind the plate his broad shoulders allow him to present a solid target with soft hands working well to stick pitches on the corners. He displayed a big arm with good feet and quick transfer, sitting 1.90-1.95 seconds with his pop times which included a caught stealing on a back-pick to second base.

-Colton Olinger

Thomas Wilhite (2019, West Monroe, La.) was electric on the mound Sunday afternoon. The righthander threw five innings, allowing two hits, one walk, while recording eight strikeouts. An 88-91 mph fastball (that was up to 94) with life worked all game for the LSU commit and was paired with a plus changeup in the 78-80 mph that Wilhite threw to both lefthanded and righthanded hitters. He also flashed a sweeping curveball at 72 mph. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder fills out his frame well and shows present strength in a lean muscular build. He utilizes a high three-quarters arm slot and long whippy arm action, his throws look effortless. Wilhite has the potential to be special and is very projectable.

Brandon Nikitaides (2019, Marietta, Ga.) pitched well for 643 DP Cougars 18U Beasley on Sunday. He pitched three innings, giving up no hits, no runs, and three walks. The southpaw commanded an 83-86 mph fastball with arm side run that touched 88, a changeup at 77-78 mph and a slider at 73-75 mph. He showed feel for all three pitches and was very efficient. The East Tennessee State commit shows plenty of upside and will add higher velocity to already impressive pitchability. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, there is more than enough room to add muscle to his lean frame.

Noah Williams (2019, Atlanta, Ga.) stood out Sunday for Phenom Southeast. The uncommitted shortstop went 1-for-2 at the plate with a triple, run scored, and intentional walk. He also flashed athleticism and sound defense with a strong arm at short. Offensively, the 18-year-old flashed gap-to-gap power with a hard triple in the left-center gap. He rounded the bases with ease showcasing dangerous speed. Defensively, Williams showed great range in the infield with soft hands and the ability to throw accurately on the run. Williams is long and athletic with a 6-foot-2, 170-pound projectable frame that has plenty of room to add muscle.

Chase Daniels (2020, Alpharetta, Ga.) was dominant on the mound for Georgia Bombers 17U. The righthander threw five innings, allowing no hits, no runs, and one walk with seven strikeouts. An 81-84 mph fastball with arm side run was Daniel’s bread and butter. He commanded his pitches extremely well while remaining extremely poised on the mound. His secondary was a tight curve at 66-70 mph that he landed for strikes. The uncommitted 18-year-old gets downhill well and releases from an over hand arm slot. A lean 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame is highly projectable, and gives Daniels the potential to add muscle and velocity going forward.

-Jacob Jordan

Riley Davis (2019, Collierville, Tenn.) showcased his power hitting potential from the right side of the plate for Easley Baseball Club. Projectable 6-foot, 180-pound frame could fill out more and add additional strength. The righthanded batter starts with a slightly crouched and slightly open stance. A small toe-tap trigger is used as a timing mechanism followed by a swing with good upward extension and barrel to ball skills. He is typically a line drive or fly ball hitter with hard contact. That upward extension and hard-hitting approach resulted in a 1-for-2 day at the plate with a home run and another fly ball to the warning track. Davis is listed as a catcher but was slotted in the lineup as an extra hitter. Based on his current strength and build resulting in plus power, he could be an even bigger power threat moving forward as his frame fills out. Dallas Baptist commit.

Reid Robertson (2020, Marietta, Ga.) pitched well in relief for the 643 DP Cougars. The lefthanded pitcher has a lean 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame with clear room to fill out. His delivery is smooth and repeatable. He has really live arm action as the fastball averaged 86 mph and touched 87 mph. The repertoire also included a fading changeup around 77-79 mph and a sharp slider that sat around 72-74 mph. A primary outfielder, the lefthanded hitter was slotted as an extra hitter before pitching. Starting with a crouched and open stance with a tilted bat, he employs a leg lift that comes back towards his body before extending towards the pitcher. A balanced approach and quick hands that lead through the zone on a level path combine for line drives and ground balls to the opposite field. His plus speed plays well on the base paths and presumably on defense. He could be a legitimate two-way threat in the next level.

Logan Tanner (2019, Lucedale, Miss.) proved why he is one of the top catching prospects in the nation. Behind the dish, he displayed loose and flexible actions behind the plate receiving and throwing. His elite arm strength gives him the ability to make accurate and strong throws on almost any pitch from any position. He had a 1.85 second pop time to second base from his knees. A righthanded hitter with a projectable frame and strong build, he makes loud contact consistently. He typically hits balls to the pull side or up the middle with his smooth, fluid, and compact swing. The Mississippi State commit has a lot of potential and projectability.

Ben Brantley (2019, Hernando, Miss.) is a corner infielder with a large 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and a strong build. The Louisiana Tech commit swings the bat lefthanded with an intent to do damage. He starts with a wide stance and a toe-tap trigger for timing. The swing typically leads the hands through the zone as he hits the ball in the air to the opposite or the middle of the field. When the ball makes contact with the barrel, his raw strength makes loud contact and sends the ball a long way. He went 1-for-3 during his game action with a triple to left-center field and a pair of major league fly balls. Southern Mississippi commit.

Reed Trimble (2019, Brandon, Miss.) is a switch-hitting middle infielder with a projectable 6-foot, 175-pound frame. While manning the shortstop position, he showcased a smooth glove, good range, quick transfers, and an above-average arm. During game action, he made a pair of nearly identical plays ranging into the six-hole and making an off-balanced yet accurate throw to first base. He displayed good instincts and above-average athleticism. Despite being a switch-hitter, he only hit lefthanded during his third game of action. He starts with a slightly open and wide stance with a toe-tap trigger. His swing is pretty smooth and level throughout the zone. Contact is typically made out front and pulled to the right side of the field on a line or on the ground. The speed and athleticism play well on the base paths.

-Jake Martin

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