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Tournaments | Story | 7/2/2019

14u WWBA Day 4 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown      Taylor Weber      Colton Olinger     
Photo: Kade Anderson (Perfect Game)

14u WWBA Scout Notes: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Documented in an earlier recap after his performance on the mound after which committed to Louisiana State, outfielder Kade Anderson (2023, Madisonville, La.) continued to impress this week and repeatedly found the barrel during his team’s doubleheader Monday afternoon. At a long and slender 6-foot, 160-pounds the physical projection is near endless for the young two-way player who, after Monday’s action, is hitting a robust .727 on the tournament. While he doesn’t have the present physical strength of teammate Keilon Parnell (who is detailed below), Anderson did show an innate ability for finding the barrel from the left side as he did in the first inning of game one where he tripled and connected for an inside-the-park home run in the same inning.

Smooth and easy are two adjectives for describing Anderson’s swing as he remains rather simple in the box with a subtle load and lets the barrel do the work, staying direct to the ball while spraying line drive contact anywhere from center field to the right field foul line. He’s only going to get stronger moving forward and with said strength will see additional juice develop in the bat and undoubtedly another jump or two on the mound in the near future.

There aren’t too many other players in the tournament who look like outfielder Keilon Parnell (2023, Pascagoula, Miss.) who’s equipped with physical strength throughout his listed 5-foot-8, 160-pound build. Hitting behind Anderson in the middle of the Louisiana Knights lineup, Parnell is able to generate advanced bat speed through the zone while incorporating his physical strength at the point of contact with consistent loud jump off the barrel. Monday was my first live look at Parnell and he did nothing but find the barrel, doing a nice job of getting his arms extended out front and shows big carry off the barrel even when he gets caught out front. In game two of the double header he picked up a couple of base knocks, including a hard, line drive single which he turned on with ease.

Cale Comeaux (2023, Breaux Bridge, La.) certainly looks the part when he and his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame toe the rubber and he brings the athleticism he shows at shortstop with him to the mound as well. His overall operation on the mound is smooth and efficient, showing a deliberate tempo throughout as he gathers well on his backside and remains short with his arm stroke while generating good extension out front. The shorter, quick arm stroke is key as it allows the long limbed Comeaux to repeat his release point and ultimately fill the strike zone as he did Monday morning, scattering a couple hits without issuing any walks.

The fastball comes out of his hand cleanly and he worked on top of the ball well, generating short running life while topping out at 83 mph and lived comfortably within the 79-82 mph range. Comeaux was able to induce some weak ground ball contact with the heater and given the overall quickness of his arm and the ample physical projection, it’s only a matter of time before he takes that next step in terms of velocity. He also mixed in a curveball up to 72 mph, which showed downer action with quality spin and has the potential to develop into a swing-and-miss offering down the road.

Dylan Lonergan’s (2023, Duluth, Ga.) ability both on the diamond and the grid iron have already been well documented to this point in his young career, and while he may have to make a decision somewhere down the road, he’s proving he’s more than capable of doing both at a high level right now. After arriving in Hoover from a football, Lonergan played first base in the Georgia Jacket’s doubleheader though it was the last inning-plus of the second game where the physically gifted, 6-foot-1, 190-pound righthander got to show off his loudest tool.

Summoned from the bullpen to close out the game and record the final four outs, Lonergan did just that while working around a couple of free passes, showing one of the easier fastballs we’ve seen this weekend with a pretty simple set of mechanics. Working out of the stretch due to runners on base in the bottom of the fifth, Lonergan quickly went to work with a very low effort release from a high three-quarters slot from which the ball jumped out of his right hand and sat comfortably in the 86-88 mph range, bumping 88 multiple times.

And if the 88 mph readings on the radar gun weren’t enough to attract your attention, it’s only a matter of time before that number jumps yet again as Lonergan doesn’t fully utilize the strength of his lower half driving down the mound, though he does work on top well to generate plane with heavy sinking life at times. The delivery itself is a simple one out of the stretch with limited moving parts and he looks like he’s playing catch with his fastball which average 86 mph, with a quick and efficient arm stroke. He also flashed a couple of curveballs that had power to them up to 77 mph with tight spin and late biting action with 11-to-5 shape. The talent and athleticism are obvious and he’ll be an interesting prospect to watch moving forward as he continues to get additional reps on the mound.

One bat who seemed to find the barrel repeatedly over my looks on Monday for the Georgia Jackets was 6-foot-2, 195-pound David Luigs (2022, Marietta, Ga.). A strongly built righthanded hitting first baseman, Luigs opened his day with an opposite field triple and continued to swing a hot stick with a pair of doubles in the nightcap, raising his average to .545 on the tournament. Showing the ability to work to the opposite field with the aforementioned triple, Luigs went pull side with his first double, deep into left field before getting his arms extended on an outer half fastball and showing the strength in his hands to power another double to the opposite field gap to help propel his team to a big pool play win.

Like Lonergan above, righthander Bryson Moore (2023, Fairfax, Va.) excels both at baseball and football as was handed the ball for MVP Terps National team to square off against the Georgia Jackets National. Moore stands at a long and lean 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, looking the part of a high-end athlete with long limbs and ample projection while showing big stuff on the mound at present. He worked out of the bullpen earlier in the tournament where he topped out at 87 mph with his heater and while he didn’t quite run it up that high in the look and the final stat line wasn’t what he wanted, the talent and upside are definitely there.

There’s lots of projection with Moore not only in terms of his frame but also with his mechanics as he can continue to incorporate his legs into his drive towards the plate and into his finish, though the ease of the arm stroke can’t be overlooked. Comfortably sitting in the 80-84 mph range, bumping 85s along the way, Moore shows present quickness through the back and creates some angle to his heater through the zone with occasional cut action. His athleticism allows him to repeat his mechanics fairly well as he maintained his velocity over his four innings of work, both out of the windup and stretch.

While he didn’t go to his secondaries often, both his curveball and changeup show solid potential. Working anywhere from 67 to 71 mph with his curveball, Moore’s release on the ball varied as he’d occasionally get around it to give it sweeping shape, though when he remained on top of it like he did the 71 mph offering it showed solid depth with 11-to-5 shape. And like his breaking ball, the changeup progressed as he threw it, eventually finding the release as he went to it on a right-on-right matchup at 75 mph with late fading life towards the hitter’s back foot for a strikeout.

Chase Krewson (2023, Bridgeville, Pa.) and Joe Karpierz (2022, Cohoes, N.Y.) are two solid athletes atop the US Elite lineup who showed off their abilities on both sides of the ball Monday afternoon.

Krewson, who we were able to see earlier this spring at the 14u Northeast Showcase, is a rangy center fielder who showed off his athleticism on a fly ball towards the right-center field gap with which he was shaded well over to the left-center field gap, but with a quick first step was able to cover ground and make the sliding catch. He didn’t fill up the box score offensively but there are tools in the batter’s box to be successful as there’s quickness to his hands and fluidity to his stroke overall though he’ll get overextended at times and onto his front side early. That said, there’s athleticism and lots of physical projection with Krewson and he’ll be followed throughout the summer.

The team’s starting shortstop, Karpierz, showed his athleticism in the dirt with a quick transfer and release on his throws across, fielding the ball out front before showing off a strong arm with plenty of carry which he used to complete a bang-bang play early in US Elite’s first game Monday morning. With a couple of doubles on the tournament, Karpierz shows a loose swing overall in the batter’s box and twice lined out hard to the center fielder in my look, getting the barrel out front with some back spin coming off which would’ve gone for extra-base knocks had they of found the outfield grass.

Sandwiched between two of the more physical players in the tournament of Aaron Walton and Stone Lawless, Knights Platinum two-hole hitter Caleb Anderson (2023, Franklin, Tenn.) did nothing but find the barrel on Monday afternoon, utilizing a simple contact-oriented approach which yielded consistent results. At 5-foot-9, 145-pounds, Anderson handles the barrel very well, showing a smooth path through the zone, and though he may not be overly physical, he’s consistent with his mechanics and finished the day going 2-for-3. Both knocks were singles, one to his pull side and another he shot back up the middle, remaining balanced throughout, raising his average up to .357 for the week.

Jaxon Burch (2023, Denham Springs, La.) made his second start of the week for the Louisiana Tigers, the young lefthander threw well and showed things to like on the mound over his six innings of work against the Banditos Scout Team. With a broad shouldered and physically strong build which is listed at 5-foot-9, 155-pounds in the program (looks taller and stronger), Burch shows a long and quick arm stroke through the back, fluctuating between an over-the-top and high three-quarters release point. Between the high slot and closed front foot landing, Burch was able to generate some solid angle and plane to his fastball, topping out at 84 mph and consistently worked in the low-80s throughout. His breaking ball morphed a bit between a curveball and a slider as he’ll slow on the release at times, but when he maintained better like he did the 67 mph offering, Burch was able to generate slider shape to the pitch which is when it’s at its best. Overall the uncommitted lefthander struck out six and scattered mostly weak contact around the field, filling the zone while showing an uptick in velocity.

Always making a run in Perfect Games tournaments, it’s no surprise the Banditos are doing so once again and two bats who stood out in today’s game were catcher Conner Bennett (2023, Spring, Texas) and lefthanded pitcher/outfielder Seve Martinez (2023, San Antonio, Texas).

Bennett is no stranger to these recaps nor is he unfamiliar with finding the barrel as the wiry strong righthanded hitter shows plenty of whip to the barrel through the zone and over the course of the week has shown no hesitation digging in against premium velocity at the 14u level. Monday morning proved to be no different as he turned around an inner half fastball for a double down the line, staying compact through the zone while pulling the barrel in well at the point of contact. He also brings athleticism behind the plate, doing a majority of the pitch calling this week where he bounces well side-to-side and shows good arm strength on his throws, delivering a 2.11 in game pop down to second base.

Martinez came in out of the bullpen for the Banditos where he ran his fastball up to 81 mph from an extended slot, generating the velocity with relative ease and projecting for plenty more as he continues to develop physically. He threw four innings of shutout baseball, scattering just four hits while showing a complete three-pitch mix with which he could throw for strikes. 

Ranked within the top 200 prospects nationally (196th) in the latest iteration of the 2022 class rankings per Perfect Game, Broadheads’ catcher Brooks Bryan (2022, Opelika, Ala.) continues to put his big lefthanded bat on display throughout the 14u WWBA Championships. Monday’s contest marked the fifth straight game in which he collected at least one base hit, singling through the right side in his second at-bat of the game, finishing the day with a .467 thus far through the tournament. Strongly built at 6-foot, 212-pounds the lefthanded hitting Bryan utilizes that strength well in his swing to generate some whip to the barrel through the zone with bat speed that stood out amongst his peers. He also showed some quiet receiving skills behind the plate, sticking pitches well while showing a strong arm with carry down to second base.

– Jheremy Brown

Day 4 of the WWBA 14U National Championship got underway as the Diamond Jacks Super 14s kept the ball rolling grabbing their fifth win of the event with a 13-1 victory. Griffin Mills(2023, Califon, N.J.) got the team off to a great start just four pitches into the game as a he drove a ball deep to center field racing around the bases for an easy triple. Just a few pitches later he would be driven in to start the scoring.

Mills would later display his speed and power combination with a three-run inside-the-park home run, again to straight-away center field. He would end the day 2-for-4 with a couple of runs scored and three RBI. It was clear from the start that Mills really looks to put the ball in play controlling the barrel extremely well, able to make solid contact in every at-bat. He consistently works the ball to the middle of the field and creates loud contact off the barrel.

Ryan Jaros (2023, Cranford, N.J.) made the Day 3 Scout Notes and is showing up again on Day 4. He continues to crush the ball every time he steps into the plate. On Sunday he continually worked the ball to the pull side, but Monday it was all power to the opposite field. He finished the day a perfect 3-for-3 with all three hits being opposite field triples that rolled to the fence. His big emergence in this event should have him on teams’ radar moving forward and he’s definitely a player to keep an eye on as the tournament carries on.

Another outstanding performance in the Jacks lineup was cleanup hitter Mark Gialluisi (2023, Westfield, N.J.). He kept the lineup rolling in the exact fashion as his teammates in the first inning following up Jaros’ triple with a three-bagger of his own. He finished the game with two extra-base hits as well, as he doubled in a run in his second at-bat. Gialluisi was also impressive behind the plate. He moves well and keeps the baseball in front of him. He displays quick transfers when going after runners and was able to back pick a runner at second base with a throw right on the money.

It was a battle of top teams in their pool between the 4-0 Florida Burn 2023 Platinum and the 3-1 Indiana Elite 14u teams. After losing their opening game, Indiana Elite has been on a strong win streak and needed to keep it going to keep their chances alive. It was a back-and-forth game in the early goings with the back-and-forth being mostly between the Indians’ Caden Bottorff (2023, Shelbyville, Ind.) and the Burns’ Nevin Hernandez.

Bottorff came up clutch in the first inning with a two out single with a runner on third to open the scoring early. In the third inning and the Indians with a one run lead, he came to the plate again driving a ball into the left-center field gap to drive in the runner from third and pulling into second base himself. Bottorff has a stocky build with some strength and swings the bat looking to do some damage.

Hernandez responded with a couple of hits of his own, including a two out triple in the bottom half of the first, later coming in to score and tie the game. In his second at-bat he drove a ball into the gap that hoped the fence for an RBI ground rule double. Hernandez doesn’t get cheated at the plate and is aggressive looking to damage early in the count. His hard swings allow him to create some bat speed and whip through the zone, impacting the baseball with a naturally leveraged plane and getting the ball into the air.

MGBA 14u is a team that has the talent to make a deep run into the playoffs. They showed that beating a tough opponent at the JV field at Hoover High School. Termarr Johnson (2022, Atlanta, Ga.), mostly known for his ability at the plate and in the field, took the mound for MGBA. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings surrendering just a single earned run. His extreme athleticism is a big part in his third overall ranking in the 2022 and he brings that on the mound as well. He’s quick to the plate producing arm speed through a simple release. He works around the zone at 81 mph and mixes in a sharp breaking ball that produced swing-and-miss as well as weaker contact.

Though he was very good on the mound, Johnson, of course, produced at the plate as well. He drove a triple down the line and showed off his top end speed racing around for an easy triple. He really shifts his weight into contact and drives the ball on a line. In his next at-bat he worked the count and drew a walk.

Hitting behind Johnson was 6-foot, 180-pound lefthander Khamari Bush (2023, Atlanta, Ga.). Bush is another extremely athletic player that patrolled the outfield and really displayed his range tracking down several balls in each direction. At the plate he keeps things simple with a direct path to contact. He works with quick hands and can hit a pitch in any quadrant of the plate taking an outside pitch the opposite way for a single. Later in the game he put his speed to the test laying down a bunt and reaching.

Hitting behind Bush was three-hole hitter and another highly touted player, Cam Collier (2023, Austell, Ga.). Collier, yet another very athletic player for MGBA stands at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. He strong frame supports his strong swing and he can really drive the ball with authority when squaring it up. He has a good eye when in the box and works the count until he gets a pitch he can drive. Collier worked a walk early in the game and added a couple of doubles to the pull-side gap.

– Taylor Weber

Jack Renaud (2023, West Creek, N.J.) definitely catches a lot of eyes when he takes the mound. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound righthander came out pounding the zone with all three of his pitches. His fastball sat 78-80 mph and topped at 82 while mixing his four-seam and two-seam which showed some arm-side life. He backed that with a slider that showed good bite with the ability to start it in the zone and break it off the plate. His changeup showed good arm speed with late arm-side life as it reached the plate. His simple delivery rolls into a quick arm action and a consistent three-quarters arm slot. He gets good extension getting out over his front side while drive off his tall backside. With his large physical frame he projects well to continue to add power as he continues to mature.

Macon Winslow (2023, Hertford, N.C.) does a great job behind the plate handling the loaded pitching staff for his Canes National 14U squad. His receiving is very sound as he is able to work his body around the ball and use his soft hands to funnel everything back towards the center of his chest. When blocking the ball he does a great job of moving laterally to square the ball up on his midline while keeping it close and saving free 90s for his team. His pop time sat between a 2.01-2.11, his quick hands and feet allow him to get through the transfer faze quickly and into a throw that showed good carry as he does a great job of staying in his legs and driving through with his backside on his throws.

Reid Haire (2023, Hudson, N.C.) a lean, quick-twitch center fielder showed some defensive prowess with his ability to make tough plays look easy. His good reads and plus speed allow him to cover gap-to-gap like he showed with a great over-the-shoulder catch he made to end the first inning running a ball down in the left-center field gap. At the plate, hitting out of the leadoff spot he does a great job of working the count and seeing pitches. He starts with a slightly open stance, high loose hands and his weight pre-shifted to his backside. His direct bat path works short to the inside part of the ball with a level finish creating solid line drives. At contact his stiff front side allows him to create good drive off the backside while staying over the ball and getting extended through the point of contact. Once the ball is in play good luck getting him out as he get down the line in a hurry. Haire is hitting .444 with two triples and a double on the tournament and with his plus speed anything that gets down in the outfield has a chance to turn into extra bases.

Tommy Roldan (2023, Poolesville, Md.) flashed big offensive upside with his ability to drive the ball to all fields. He starts with an open stance and high hands. From there he creates separation with a low leg kick and subtle hand load. His hands stay connected and inside the baseball as his smooth bat path creates lift on the ball through the natural loft and high finish of his swing. His lower half works efficiently through the swing as the back side provides drive into a stiff front leg allowing him to keep his front side in and hit the ball to all fields. His 6-foot-1 175 pound frame leaves him with plenty of projectability. As he continues to grow and mature his clean swing will only produce more power. 

Payton Martin (2022, Kernersville, N.C.) is a rangy middle infielder that can get it done at short. His ability to go to the whole or back up the middle and get to a ball and make a play is a testament to his great athleticism. He fields the ball very soundly out front with good glove presentation as his footwork carries him into the throw where, his strong arm provided to be very accurate even from all different angles on the field. His great footwork also helps him out around the bag as he is turning the double play allowing him to adjust to an offline throw and quickly get himself reset to get off a strong throw. He is always in the right spot defensively allowing himself better opportunities to make plays and help his team win. His lean build projects well moving forward as he has plenty of room to fill out as he continues to grow and mature.

– Colton Olinger

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