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Tournaments | Story | 6/21/2019

18U WWBA: Day 5-6 Scout Notes

Drew Wesolowski      Brian Treadway      Colton Olinger      Jacob Jordan      Jacob Martin      Matthew Arietta     
Photo: Zachary Maxwell (Perfect Game)
2019 18U WWBA National Championships: Day 1-2 Scout Notes | Day 3-4 Scout Notes

Fernando Gonzalez (2020, Acworth, Ga.) continues to show why he is one of the top uncommitted catchers in his class. He flashed a medium build with a strong, mature build. The righthanded hitter showed a slightly spread out stance with high hands before working into separation. Gonzalez utilized very strong hands to create bat speed before attacking the baseball out front. He does a good job of keeping his weight balanced and uses his strong lower half to his advantage. When he gets extended, he shows good pop to all fields. He also did a great job behind the plate for Team Elite. He showcased soft hands around the plate and did a great job receiving two completely different pitchers. With his arm strength, he kept opposing teams running to a minimum. He also showed great leadership being the first one out of the dugout each inning. Keep an eye out for this uncommitted catcher as he will be a very interesting follow as the summer rolls on and into high school ball next spring.

Ben Brantley (2019, Hernando, Miss.) is another prospect who continues to make a splash on the scene before he heads to college this upcoming year. The Louisiana Tech commit showed an extra-large frame with a big, strong build with lots of maturity. The lefthanded hitter started with a slightly spread out stance while sitting into his backside. He used a small toe tap trigger and go before creating some separation with higher hands. Brantley did a good job of staying inside the baseball while creating lag before getting the bat head extended. He took an upper-80s fastball on the outer half and drove it over the left field fence for an opposite field home run in the quarterfinals for Team Georgia. With his size and growing tools, he should be an interesting follow in the upcoming years drafts.

Reed Trimble (2019, Brandon, Miss.) is also a member of a loaded Team Georgia roster who shows up each week ready to play. He shows a medium frame with a lean, athletic frame and room to fill down the road. The fast twitch shortstop proved to be a huge asset for Team Georgia this week. He flashed great instincts with mature footwork and very strong arm across the diamond which he was accurate with from all angles. The Southern Miss commit did a good job of working through the baseball and utilizing his momentum through the throw to the target. While he is known for his great defensive skills, he also got it done at the plate in the final day of playoffs. He showed a balanced stance before working into a slight leg kick and go. With his fast-twitch abilities, he showed off the quick hands creating bat speed. He was short to it, and long through it while getting extended. He took an upper-80s heater right back up the middle with an exit velocity of 102 mph, according to Trackman, while knocking in a run to help push Team Georgia deeper into the playoffs.

Zachary Maxwell (2019, Acworth, Ga.) was a 30th round draft pick by the New York Yankees and showed why that was the case this week. He flashed an extra-large frame with an already filled out, strong build. This big righthanded pitcher utilized a long, loose arm strong while working downhill from a high three-quarters arm slot. He seemed to be on cruise control showing he had plenty more in the tank if need be. His mechanics are maturing and is still in a developmental stage which is even more reason to believe his upside is huge. The Georgia Tech commit struggled to find the zone at first but then got comfortable and started to fill up the zone. His fastball sat 91-95 mph while topping at 96 while blowing opposing hitters away. His slider showed great depth when he got on top of it and kept it down in the zone sitting in the upper-70s. He should be an interesting follow in years to come as he seeks to get to the 100-mph club, which is not a stretch for this young man.

Tiger Borom (2020, Jonesboro, Ga.) put on a show in the playoffs today showing why is a top outfielder in the state for his class. He showed a medium frame with an athletic, lean build and plenty of room to fill out down the road. The smooth-swinging lefthanded hitter put on a show at the plate. He started with a slightly open stance before working with a big leg lift trigger to help with timing and get his momentum through the baseball. His swing showed to be easy and fluid while getting the bat head out front and getting extended. Borom showed a linear swing path while squaring the ball up and using an all fields approach. He took a 94 mph fastball into the right-center gap for a three-RBI bases clearing stand-up triple to help push the East Cobb Astros into the Championship game. Not only did he get it done at the plate for his team, but he showed very well in the outfield as well. With speed and athleticism, he played a great rightfield stealing hits and holding runners from extra bases with a strong, accurate arm. Keep an eye on the Lipscomb University commit to continue his impressive run this summer and carry that confidence eventually into his college playing days.

-Drew Wesolowski

Caswell Smith (2019, Ball Ground, Ga.) is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthanded pitcher. Starting the game for Nelson Baseball School, Smith filled up the stat sheet as he led his team to a quarterfinal victory. The College of Charleston commit works with multiple pitches that have quite a bit of movement to them. His fastball comes in around the lower- to mid-90s, maxing out at 95. His two-seam fastball moves in on righthanded batters. He also has a sinker that works effectively, helping him out of a few jams he got into early in the game. He has good control of his slider which has a hard break towards the back foot of lefthanded batters. The Ball Ground native’s windup is simple, and he worked efficiently and quickly. He pitched from a three-quarters arm slot and ended the game with 10 strikeouts in only six innings of work.

Ethan Anderson (2019, Woodstock, Ga.) is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound catcher. Starting in the outfield for Nelson Baseball School, Anderson showed his worth for his team by producing in the two-hole in the win. The Tennessee commit stands straight up in the box and keeps his stance slightly open. He has a very smooth swing and is able to put the ball into play. On the base paths, the Woodstock native showed aggressiveness and great instincts. He was able to take the extra base multiple times due to his reads and assertive leads. Occasionally, his gambles on taking bases wouldn’t pay off but the times he was able to move up, it proved crucial in his teams win.

Will McCrum (2019, Kennesaw, Ga.) is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound shortstop. McCrum looked most comfortable playing defense and that’s where he showed the most skill. The University of Delaware commit is a top defensive talent, continuously making the tough plays look routine for him. McCrum focused on keeping the ball in front of him on hard hit balls and would make sure that balls that were hit hard his way didn’t make it into the outfield. He has a plus arm with strong accuracy and is a benefit to any pitcher on the mound.

Blade Tidwell (2020, Loretto, Tenn.) is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound righthanded pitcher. Tidwell has a smooth windup that is easily repeatable. He usually works out of a high three-quarter arm slot but will occasionally switch up his slot in different counts to deceive hitters. The Tennessee commit has good control of his pitches which was exemplified by only allowing one hit and no walks through five innings of work. His fastball sits in the upper-80s and lower-90s, maxing at 92. The Loretto native also carries a slider in his arsenal that has sweeping movement across the plate. His pitches carry enough movement that’s difficult for hitters to be able to pick up, which showed by striking out eight batters in the winning effort.

-Brian Treadway

Harrison Aulds (2020, Macon, Ga.) is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound, physically strong and athletic outfielder from First Presbyterian Day School in his hometown. An incoming senior in the fall, Aulds showed tools all over the field on Thursday at East Cobb. At the plate, Aulds uses a slightly-closed stance with hands near his ear. He uses a rather large leg kick to square where he simultaneously does a nice job loading his weight to his backside. Aulds shows nice rhythm and timing at the plate, and used a short, quick swing with a slightly uppercut path. Harrison’s hands regularly stay inside the baseball with good feel for the barrel. Aulds’ keen mechanics helped him at the plate where he went 2-for-3 with a deep triple down the line, a steak, and a run scored. Currently Aulds’ power is to the gaps, yet strength and consistent barrel contact makes it easy to project more is there. On the bases Aulds displayed good acceleration and aggression. Runs steady with instinct. Harrison has really good athleticism, and his speed translates from the bases to the outfield. In the outfield, Aulds is a true center fielder with good anticipation and first step quickness. Very mobile fielder, he showed the ability to let nothing fall with a smooth glove, and disregard for his body as he made a play in the gap in a full extension dive to rob his opponent an extra-base hit. Overall, a fundamentally sound outfielder with the makings of a consistent, line-drive producing bat and athletic runner. Plenty of carry tools and athleticism here makes Harrison a solid prospect to monitor into his senior year.

Brayden Rowe (2020, Warrior, Ala.) is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound, long and lean righthanded pitcher with an athletic frame and room to fill to reach physical maturity. Rowe uses an up-tempo, balanced windup from the first base side of the rubber. Arm and body work well and he had good sync throughout his outing. Showed good load on his backside giving his arm ample time to work through his smooth, long-circled, unrestricted arm action, consistently delivering his repertoire from a three-quarters slot. Arm is unrestricted through release with some recoil upon finish which was more upright around a stiff front leg. Rowe was dominant on the morning, using his above-average three-pitch mix throughout his outing, keeping his opponents off balance while he consistently got ahead early and often. Fastball (86-87 mph, 89 mph max) was down-plane with some tail and sink arm-side. Control is better than command at this point, yet he filled the zone all game long, and showed promise to develop more command with continued maturity in the game at the next level. Curveball has some depth and three-quarters break which he showed to control and throw for strikes as well as extend out of the zone for chase. Changeup worked well to compliment his other deliveries and he showed good feel and arm speed to add deception. Changeup showed a lot of fade and sink and kept hitters off balance as well. Overall, the University of Alabama commit is a good athlete who pitched with confidence and used his above average three pitch mix to cruise to a win this morning helping his team, Team Georgia 17U National advance to the semifinal in the WWBA 18u National Championship.

Cade Smith (2020, Southaven, Miss.) is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound, strong and athletically built righthanded pitcher from Desoto Central High School in his hometown. An incoming senior in the fall, Smith pitched his club, Team Georgia 17u National, into the final of the WWBA 18U National Championship at East Cobb this afternoon with a masterful no-hit performance on the mound. Cade went the distance allowing no hits, two walks, and struck out 10 batters he faced. The Mississippi State commit has a repertoire of a Major League average fastball which sits 90-91 mph yet was up to 94 in the early going, a curveball (73-75 mph) and a changeup (80-81 mph). Smith’s fastball is down plane and heavy at times with good control and some idea of command. Smith showed feel for both off-speed offerings with his curveball having three-quarters break and depth, and a change which displayed arm speed, and some occasional late sink. Cade led with his fastball all afternoon, helping him get ahead of hitters, giving him plenty of wiggle room to start mixing in his off speed making him very effective. Very confident and showed good pitchability all afternoon on the way to the win and title bid. Very high upside arm with good athleticism and feel for what he needs to do on the mound. Gifted, with plenty of ability to perform and continue to develop at the next level. Exciting career to monitor moving forward.

Logan Tanner (2019, Lucedale, Miss.) is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound, strong, sturdy and athletically-built catcher who recently graduated from George County High School in his hometown. In both the quarter and semifinal games this morning at East Cobb, Tanner went 2-for-4 collectively with a deep home run to left field, a single and two runs scored. At the plate, Tanner uses an open stance with a high-hand setup. He demonstrated good hand-eye coordination and feel for his barrel this afternoon making a lot of strong barreled-up contact. He has quick hands and wrists, and showed on his quick-exiting homer to the pull side that he can really drop the bat head on an inside delivery and catch it out front with the barrel adding leverage which translated into some current raw power and future plus raw power projection. Currently, very strong in his present state, Tanner moved well for his size on the base paths with natural instincts and enough speed for his position. Behind the plate, Tanner is a good receiver and worked well with his battery-mates all morning in both games. He is confident in his talent showed to be very quiet and light on his feet behind the plate. Tanner has a strong, accurate arm to the bases, and does well blocking pitches in the dirt. Overall, very high upside backstop with current tools all over the field with the bat and behind the dish. Exciting prospect to watch moving forward.

-Matthew Arietta

Jason Hodges (2019, Park Forest, Ill.) an Arkansas commit and a 34th round pick of the Cincinnati Reds definitely looks the part of a highly-ranked national prospect. With a 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame there is plenty of present strength from top to bottom in his build. His strength and raw power were on full display in his third at bat when he launched a home run over the powerlines, across a street, and into the neighboring forest. He starts with a slightly open stance and wide base with loose hands. The swing is triggered by a low leg kick and weight transfer to the backside. His loose hands allow him to be quick to the ball while creating great whip with the bat through contact. When on time his raw power and swing path produce light tower power to all fields. It will be interesting to keep an eye on him as he continues to refine his plus ability to barrel up baseballs.

Kendall Ewell (2019, Calumet City, Ill.) an Eastern Kentucky commit and 40th round selection of the Colorado Rockies showed the ability to drive the ball all over the park with authority racking up two triples. His balance upright stance has a lot of pre-pitch movement before settling down with a low leg kick and weight shift to the back side upon the delivery of the pitch. His ability to stay connect through his swing allows him to take balls from gap-to-gap with serious carry provided by his strong lower half and present loft in his swing path. With a 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and coming in on the younger side of the 2019 class there is still room to project more power in his already dangerous swing as he continues to grow and mature.

-Colton Olinger

Zachary Murray (2020, Buford, Ga.) threw a dominant six inning shutout in a run rule win Wednesday morning for the East Cobb Astros 17U Navy. The LSU commit finished the game with 10 strikeouts while allowing one hit and one walk. The righthander worked off of a high-80s to low-90s fastball with run and a sharp, late breaking, slider that sat in the 77-79 mph range. He commanded his pitches very well all afternoon. Murray showed impressive arm speed within a fluid arm action and three-quarters arm slot. He gets into his lower half extremely well and uses his hips to get all his momentum going downhill. At 6-foot, 170 pounds, his body projects as well. As he grows into his body and adds muscle, that low-90s fastball could turn into a mid- to high-90s fastball soon.

Colin Ahearn (2020, Lakeville, Mass.) had an impressive day at the plate as an extra hitter for the East Cobb Astros 17U Navy. The University of Tennessee commit went 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. His first double of the day was a hard line drive to the right-center field and the second was a hard line drive to left-center field. Ahearn steps into the batter’s box with intent to drive the ball into the gaps and he was very successful in doing so. The lefthanded hitter utilizes a high leg kick and big hand load to start his swing. He gets his hands out front and swings the barrel up the through the zone. The nationally-ranked lefthanded pitcher is a pure athlete with a projectable 6-foot-2, 180-pound lean frame.

Brad Grenkoski (2020, Kennesaw, Ga.) had a strong game Wednesday. He went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBI, and three runs scored. The Georgia Tech commit generates exceptional power to the pull side. He sets up in the box with a square stance and wide base, standing tall in the box. A toe tap and small hand load start the swing. He drops his back shoulder and gets fully extended through the zone. He does a good job getting into his lower half and getting his momentum going forward. Grenkoski’s 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame and lean athletic build leaves him room for added muscle going forward. He also flashed sound defense in right field.

-Jacob Jordan

Purdue commit Jake Parr (2019, Huntsville, Ala.) displayed present strength and generated loud contact at the plate for Knights Baseball 18U Platinum. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound first baseman has a large frame with a strong build and still additional room to fill. The righthanded hitter starts with a slightly crouched and open stance. He uses a large leg lift that helps him transfer power from his strong lower half. His swing is on a level plane through the zone and creates upward extension through the backswing. The ball explodes off of his bat, typically to the pull field. During his game action, he went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a double that hit off the left-center field fence.

Blaine McIntosh (2019, Pleasant View, Tenn.) is a speedy outfielder with a projectable frame. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound centerfielder was drafted in the 13th round by the New York Mets and is committed to Vanderbilt. The lefthanded hitter stands nearly straight up and in the front of the batter’s box. He uses a toe-tap trigger as a timing mechanism and swings on a moderately downward plane, generating a lot of ground balls. Employing a selective approach, he swings when the ball is in his hitting zone but draws a large number of walks. McIntosh has blazing speed on the bases. He went 2-for-3 in his game action with three stolen bases. The center fielder received minimal action on defense, but his athleticism and speed should surely play.

Tennessee Tech commit Luke Jones (2019, Greenbrier, Tenn.) showcased advanced offensive and defensive ability during game action. The 6-foot, 200-pound catcher has a medium frame with current strength in the build. Behind the plate, he showcased a smooth glove with an ability to frame pitches. The righthanded hitter has an open stance with barely any separation between his feet. He employs a large leg lift which assists his strong lower half to transfer power into the swing. The swing is on a level plane through the zone and can get some lift on the ball. He typically hits hard line drives to all fields, especially the gaps. The catcher went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a line drive to left-center and a line drive to right-center.

-Jacob Martin
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