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Tournaments | Story | 6/18/2019

FL Qualifier: Day 1-3 Scout Notes

Tyler Russo         Perfect Game Staff        
Photo: Mac Guscette (Perfect Game)
It was a hot start for many players in a very brief day one of the WWBA National Championship Qualifier down in Fort Myers, Florida.



Putting his team in the win column early on was highly projectable righthander Michael Guerrero (2020, Dom. Rep.) of CBC Elite. Guerrero, standing every bit of what looked like 6-foot-6, worked an effortless delivery that produced a fastball up to 88 mph while mixing in a sweeping slider that had hitters waving to the outer half. Guerrero commanded all parts of the plate with confidence as he worked in the zone consistently on his way to 10 strikeouts in seven innings of one-run work.



University of Florida commit Mac Guscette (2020, Nokomis, Fla.) proved once again why he is one of the best hitting catchers in the 2020 class going a strong 4-for-6 across his first two games, including a double and a triple while driving in five and scoring three times himself. Guscette, ranked No. 115 nationally by Perfect Game, rarely gets cheated as he drives the ball to all fields with very present strength out of a strong and smooth swing that pulls the barrel well through the zone. Behind the plate, he showed a strong arm and good actions that allowed him to receive well and adjust his body to pitches around the zone. Guscette also pitched on Day 2, running his fastball up to 85 mph and flashing three different off-speed pitches.



Guscette’s teammate Ramses Cordova (2020, Orlando, Fla.), an Embry-Riddle commit, also put forth a strong day at the plate in the first two games as he went 3-for-5, including a very loud triple to the pull side. Cordova’s athleticism allows him to both run well on the bases and pair with good hands at shortstop to show why he is a plus defender with a rapidly improving offensive game. The strength is starting to improve, and with the hands he has at the plate and in the field, Cordova is a name to watch over the 2019 summer circuit.



Helping the Florida Burn 2020 Platinum team to their second no-hitter of the day was uncommitted righthander Trace Goforth (2020, Palmetto, Fla.) as he threw 2 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball, while striking out five. Goforth, listed at 6-foot, 167 pounds, has a nice pitcher’s frame with long, strong legs with plenty of room to fill out and add arm strength. In the outing, he commanded a fastball with occasional arm side run at 82-84 mph to both halves of the plate, while dropping in a very good breaking ball out of 11-to-5 shape that kept hitters off-balanced, creating weak contact and missing bats. Goforth’s approach to hitters and confidence with both pitches led to his success on the mound and is an interesting prospect to watch as he continues to add strength and improve the velocity on the fastball.



It is difficult to put into words just how hot Chet Lemon’s Juice shortstop Jake Fox (2021, Plant City, Fla.) was through the four pool play games of the WWBA Qualifier. In his 15 plate appearances, he reached 11 times going an unreal 9-for-12, including two doubles and two triples while driving in 12 runs and scoring seven times himself. Fox, a lefthanded hitting shortstop, has very advanced feel for getting the barrel to the ball as he drives to all parts of the field with strength even against some of the best arms in the tournament. He showed the ability to hold his hands back on breaking balls and drive them the other way while also turning his hands inside and driving it to the pull side like he did on an 87 mph fastball up and in which he took the right field wall for a triple at Terry Park. Defensively, Fox showed a very good set of tools as he made multiple plays to his backhand, showing a maturity in his ability to find the best hop and move through the ball, gaining ground to first and throwing with strength. Listed at 6-foot, 170 pounds, he still has some room to muscle up, but currently projects well as a power lefthanded hitting shortstop who is highly athletic. Fox is uncommitted as he has gone under the radar, but will very soon become a hot commodity on the recruiting market.



Fox’s teammate, hitting out of the leadoff spot, sat right behind him in terms of his success at the plate across pool play. Uncommitted outfielder Jalen DeBose (2020, Sanford, Fla.) is highly athletic as he reached base 10 times in the first four games, going 9-for-14 while scoring nine times and stealing six bases. At the plate, he showed a great deal of bat speed and ability to gets his hands inside and spray the ball to all parts of the field. On the bases, he is very aware of his speed and athleticism as he took the extra base and read throws well. In the outfield, Debose covers ground very well as he takes efficient routes to the ball and gets around it well.



Hitting between the two prospects mentioned above was middle infielder Ryan Jenkins (2021, Winter Haven, Fla.). Jenkins stands out a little less physically in comparison to his top-of-the-order teammates, but the tools stand out. At the plate, he shows a very compact swing path with good bat speed that allows him to drive the ball out of his 5-foot-11, 160-pound body. He handles the barrel well and showed good wrists as he reacts well to getting off-time on certain pitches. Defensively, he is very smooth at second and showed a good ability to get around the ball and get on line in his throws.

Lefthanded hitting catcher Tayden Hall (2021, Tampa, Fla.) had a great day at the plate in the Florida Burn’s second game of the tournament as he went a perfect 3-for-3 while driving in a couple. Hall has a nice loose swing with a good ability to get the barrel to different parts of the zone and drive the ball to all parts of the field. In this game he took a lower outer half fastball to the backside gap for a loud double. The body is a good one at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and profiles out as a potential power-hitting catcher/first baseman at the next level.



Uncommitted Tyler Zylstra (2020, Port Charlotte, Fla.) worked a very nice outing for the Florida Burn 2020 Platinum team as he picked up seven strikeouts across 3 2/3 shutout innings. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound righthander has a very good pitcher’s body with a strong lower half that allows him to stay balanced throughout his delivery and work hard downhill toward the plate. The fastball, with present arm-side run, worked at 84-86 mph, topping out at 87 mph. He showed a good ability to move it around the zone and keep hitters from getting the barrel to it. Zylstra also flashed a good 12-to-6 shaped curveball at 68-70 mph that showed good depth through the zone and created weak contact.



South Florida commit Tyler Dietz (2021, Trinity, Fla.) didn’t post his desired results in the final game of pool play, but the fastball is lively and the frame at 6-foot-2 with long legs is highly projectable at the next level. Using predominantly a fastball that showed consistent heavy arm side run at 87-90 mph, Dietz moved it around the zone with good downhill action. The delivery is clean and efficient and the arm is smooth and loose. Dietz will greatly improve as a prospect for the next level as he develops a bit more consistency with the breaking ball and changeup that flashed some promise in warmups, but weren’t used much in-game.



The most polished arm of the tournament made his way out to the mound in the first round of the playoffs. Anthony Ursitti (2021, Fort Myers, Fla.), a University of Florida commit, is a highly projectable 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthander who works the fastball consistently at 87-90 mph with significant downhill action. The arm is very smooth as it comes out of a clean and efficient delivery that gets on line to the plate. He worked the outer half very heavily in this outing as he created a great deal of weak contact and missed bats. Ursitti mixed in a very good breaking ball out of 11-to-5 shape in the low-70s that showed great depth through the zone on his way to 11 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of work.

-Tyler Russo

 


Florida Burn 2020 Platinum’s starter Santino Cervone (2020, Fort Myers, Fla.) dominated on the mound. Cervone, who is uncommitted, was running his fastball up to 87 mph and was sitting 83-85. His fluid delivery and ability to work down the mound is what gives his fastball some life. Cervone showed a curveball with 12-6 movement at 68-69 mph, and he also showed a strong slider with sharp break at 73-75 mph. He threw 4 2/3 innings while striking out seven and allowing only two hits. He also helped himself out, at the plate he went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

West Florida Scorpions 2020 Select’s catcher Dylan Robertson (2020, Nokomis,Fla.) was a wall behind the plate. Robertson showed off his 2.05 pop time while throwing out multiple runners. He has very strong hands behind the plate and has great framing abilities, as he steals some strike calls for his pitchers. Robertson takes charge on the field as he is very vocal and a natural leader. Robertson also had a 2-for-3 day as he hit a missile to the opposite field late in the game. Robertson is currently uncommitted.

CBC Elite’s starting pitcher was Jaison Ulises (Virgin Islands). Ulises went six innings, striking out 12 and only allowing two hits. He showed an electric fastball at 85 mph and it had a lot of movement to it. Ulises also snapped of some curveballs at 72-75 mph with 11-5 break that was buckling hitters all day. He has a very smooth delivery with a very easy arm action. He got down the mound well and used his strong legs helps him command his pitches. Ulises kept the tempo up all day working at his pace as he dominated his entire outing.

Another CBC Elite player that shined was Epi Rondon (2020, Fort Myers, Fla.). Rondon had himself a day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and four RBI. Standing at 5-foot-8, 130 pounds, there is still a lot of growth left for Rondon. He has a short, compact swing and he generates a lot of pop using his legs as he drilled a ball to deep center field. Rondon also has great speed as he runs down balls easily in center field. Rondon, who is uncommitted, is going to be looking to drive the ball all summer as he continues to get stronger.

X Team 2020 received a great start from righthander Dustin Snyder (2020, Coconut Creek, Fla.). Snyder, who is committed to the University of South Florida, showed some good stuff on the mound. He ran his fastball up to 87 mph while sitting at 84-86 and it had a lot of arm-side run. Snyder also has a firm slider with tight break at 76-78 mph. Snyder uses his long, lengthy arms to reach down the mound, which helps him control the ball on the both sides of the plate. Snyder is very athletic coming off the mound and has no problem fielding his position. Snyder threw five innings and struck out seven while not allowing an earned run.

Florida Burn 2020 Beisner’s starter Andrew Vieceli (2020, Cape Coral, Fla.) threw a gem. The lefthanded uncommitted pitcher had his fastball at 83 mph, with a lot of movement and throwing it wherever he wanted. Vieceli also spun off some swing-and-miss curveballs at 70-73 mph. Standing at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, his big frame uses a high leg kick both in the windup and out of the stretch. Vieceli uses his high leg lift out of the stretch as a read move to see what the runner is doing, as he was able to pick a runner off when he darted to second. Vieceli threw three innings while striking out seven.

FTB-Nugent’s starter, Benton Edwards (2022, Glenville, Ga.), threw five innings of shutout baseball. Edwards, standing at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, uses his big frame very well while on the mound, running his fastball up to 79 mph. He also showed a 65-69 mph curveball that he liked to use ahead in the count that produced a lot of weak contact. He struck out eight batters on the day. Edwards also produced at the plate. He went 1-for-2 with a bases-clearing double to the left field wall and would later score. Edwards is built very well and uses his strength to drive the ball to the pull side.

-Parker Fronk
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