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Tournaments | Story | 7/3/2019

16u South Day 4-5 Scout Notes

Nate Schweers      Andrew Jenkins     
Photo: Luke Williams (Perfect Game)

2019 16u WWBA South Scout Notes: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Days four and five at the 2019 WWBA 16u South National Championship brought marquee matchups, exciting finishes and a number of noteworthy performances. In the first time slot of day on Monday, Banditos Scout Team 16u rolled out three arms with power potential.




Victor Loa (2021, Los Fresnos, Texas) tossed 2 1/3 innings on Monday, allowing just one unearned run and striking out six. Loa was on the attack throughout his outing, pitching at 84-88 mph with a heavy fastball that had late life to the arm side. The southpaw has young frame with plenty of room to grow, and the arm works well from a three-quarters slot. Loa has excellent feel for a sweeping curveball that was very tough on left-handed hitters Monday, generating swings and misses off the plate. The curveball has tight, sweeping action through the strike zone at 70-72 mph, and that and the fastball was plenty to give hitters fits throughout. Loa is currently uncommitted in the 2021 class.

After throwing all fastballs and retiring the side on less than 10 pitches Saturday, I was able to get a much better look at John Rizzo (2021, The Woodlands, Texas) during his 1 1/3 innings of relief on Monday. Rizzo pitched off that same, lively fastball on Monday, and showed some developing feel for a hard slider at 79-81 that flashes plus at times. The recent Texas A&M commit is still developing the ability to throw the slider for a consistent and quality strike, but when the hand speed stays the same and he gets that tight spin, it is a special pitch.

Jacob Guzman (2021, Alice, Texas) was the other righthander to throw out of the bullpen for the Banditos on Monday morning. Guzman tossed 1 2/3 innings, while striking out four without allowing a walk. Guzman has a 5-foot-10, 165-pound frame, and he uses it well to gain momentum down the hill with drop and drive actions and good linear direction foot strike. Guzman’s fastball was up to 85 mph on Monday, and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley commit was able to throw three quality pitches for strikes. Though the front side bleeds out at times forcing misses to the arm side, there is a lot to like about Guzman as he continues develop and add strength.

Nick Moore (2021, Plano, Texas) got the start for D-BAT Elite – Clementz on Monday morning, tossing six innings while allowing four hits and striking out nine. Moore has an athletic frame with room to fill out and add strength, with a loose and fast arm from a mid three-quarters slot. Moore used a heavy dose of the fastball in the mid-80s, topping at 89 mph. The most impressive pitch in Moore’s arsenal on Monday was the changeup in the mid-70s. Moore maintains excellent hand speed with the changeup, tunneling it well with the fastball and flashing it plus at times. The fastball/changeup combo was complemented with a good breaking ball that Moore showed the ability to use both in the zone and in the dirt as an out-pitch.

Grayson Gates (2021, Benton, Louisiana) was dominant in his start on the mound Monday, tossing 4 2/3 innings and allowing just three hits while striking out four. Gates attacked hitters with a heavy dose of the fastball at 82-85 mph, and he was able to pair that well with a curveball with 11-to-5 shape in the low-70s. Gates also flashed some feel for a changeup in the upper-70s that was a nice wrinkle to the arsenal when down in the zone. Gates has an athletic, 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame, and it will be interesting to see how adds strength and velocity as his career presses on.

Jacob Stephens (2021, Plano, Texas) showed some tools to like during Monday’s games as well. Stephens, who has a physical and athletic build in the outfield, displayed some present bat speed and direct hand path to contact during his at-bats. Though he had only one hit to show for it on Monday, Stephens was able to create consistently hard contact at the plate. Stephens picked up right where he left off in Tuesday’s action, driving a pair of hard-hit doubles down the left field line. In the outfield, Stephens has a quick first step and present arm strength that will play at any of the three outfield spots. A top 200 outfielder in the 2021 class, the Texas native will be an exciting name to follow as he continues to mature at the plate.

Jesus Zambrano (2020, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was another righthanded pitcher to put together an excellent start at Lupton Stadium on Monday. The Florida native allowed just four hits over six shutout innings, striking out five batters as well. Zambrano has a physical build at 6-foot-2, 183-pounds, and he gets good downward action to his fastball that was at 84-87 mph, topping at 89 mph. Zambrano was fastball heavy in his outing Monday, flashing developing feel for a mid-70s curveball at times. The uncommitted 2020 has a clear plan of attack on the mound, and he showed advanced pitchability throughout.

Mario Gomez (2021, Aguascalientes, Mexico) had one of the more impressive swings of the day Monday, driving a ball deep over the wall in right field at Lupton Stadium. Gomez has a smooth and fluid swing from the left side of the plate, showing some present bat speed and power with intent to drive the baseball. In the outfield, Gomez makes good and comfortable reads to the ball with present arm strength and accuracy.

Logan Mercer (2021, Hewitt, Texas) had a strong day at the plate for Texas Twelve Silver on Monday night. Mercer was 2-for-2 with a walk and a double, and he was able to showcase good barrel feel and control at the plate during all three of his at-bats. With a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate, what stuck out to me was Mercer’s present power that comes from such an easy swing. Mercer’s double carried deep to the wall in right field, and he made it look easy in the process.

Back at Lupton Stadium on Tuesday morning, Luke Heefner (2021, Cedar Hill, Texas) did a little bit of everything for Thrive – Haugen. Heefner was 2-for-3 at the plate with a hustle double, a walk, and one RBI. Like Mercer, Heefner has a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate, showing the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. Heefner is as sure-handed as they come in the middle infield, and he was able to showcase his talents on Monday at both shortstop and second base. The feet move well and the glove actions are clean and smooth. Heefner looks and plays the part on the field, doing high-level things with confidence and ease. This uncommitted member of the 2021 class can be a great captain of the infield at the next level.

Luke Williams (2021, Taylor, Texas) was the second player of the week to drive the ball out of Lupton Stadium. Williams drove a 1-1 pitch deep over the wall in left field for a three-run home run. Williams finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate, adding a single to right field in his second at-bat. The primary shortstop has room to fill out and add strength in his frame, and I was impressed with his smooth actions and clean glovework in the infield on Tuesday. The uncommitted member of the 2021 class has the ability to throw from multiple slots in the infield, and the present arm strength across the diamond is nice as well.

Wallace Clark (2021, Tulsa, Okla.) continued what has been an impressive tournament at the plate on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a lot of loud contact at the plate. Clark starts from an upright and slightly open stance at the plate, with a direct path to contact and some present barrel feel and control. Clark shows an advanced ability to drive the ball the other way, and the primary shortstop also has some present arm strength in the infield. With a sound approach at the plate, the left-handed hitter works deep into counts, forcing pitchers to attack him with their best stuff.

Jonathan Lowe (2022, Royce City, Texas) is an intriguing arm in the 2022 class, and the righthanded pitcher was impressive in his playoff start on the mound Tuesday night. Lowe has a tall and slender frame with plenty of room to fill out and add strength. Lowe has a fast arm from a high three-quarters slot, and gets good linear direction down the mound with the lower half. Lowe’s fastball was 84-86 mph with good downward plane on Tuesday; however, the most impressive pitch in his arsenal is a low-70s changeup. The changeup has some late run and sink, and Lowe does a great job of maintaining the same hand speed as his fastball. Uncommitted in the 2022 class, Lowe is an arm to keep an eye on as his career goes on.

– Nate Schweers


Creed Willems (2021, Aledo, Texas) is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound primary catcher that had a productive day for Academy Select 16u Ingram, going 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. At the plate, the lefthanded hitter started with a high hand-set and a high back elbow, took his hands back to into his load and created leverage with his lower half. He made loud contact in each of his four at-bats, consistently getting the bat head to the ball. Defensively, he is a solid receiver, moves well behind the plate and had online throws with carry. With a slight fix to his long arm action, Willems will be an interesting follow over the next two years for college coaches.

Arkansas State commit Jackson Harris (2021, Texarkana, Arkansas) was impressive on day four action for Sticks Baseball Academy. In his first at-bat, Harris hit a back-side triple and followed that with a double down the left field line in his second at-bat. Standing at 6-foot-1, the primary third baseman has a feel for the hot corner, showed good footwork, present arm strength and the ability to make the back-handed play.

Baylor commit Casen Neumann (2021, Tomball, Texas) for Banditos Scout Team 16u is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound primary first baseman. He is a linear type hitter with a quick, compact swing that created slight lift with his lower half and has some pull-side pop. He was very impressive defensively and showed good footwork and athleticism around the bag and had the ability to pick it with ease.

Walker Janek (2021, Portland, Texas) is an athletic catcher who showed out defensively. He did a nice job of getting underneath the ball with good presentation and moved well side-to-side.  Janek had a playable arm with quick, loose actions, good footwork on throws and advanced blocking skills. He showed the ability to handle a pitching staff and helped get calls on the corners.

Texas A&M commit Kobe Andrade (Corpus Christi, Texas) came in as a relief pitcher and earned the save for Banditos Scout Team 16u. Listed as a primary outfielder, Andrade allowed zero hits and struck out two in one inning of work. Andrade worked his fastball consistently in the 85-87 mph range with sink while also showcasing a 70-72 mph curveball. He had a whippy arm action, got downhill and worked the strike zone to both sides of the plate with two pitches.

Lucas Davenport (2022, Prosper, Texas) started on the mound for Academy Select 16u Ingram. Standing 6-foot-4, 180-pounds, he showcased an athletic frame with room to fill and a smooth, easy delivery with a high three-quarters arm slot that created downhill plane. His fastball sat between 82-85 mph and mixed in an above average slider at 75 mph. He allowed zero hits and struck out four in three innings. Davenport should keep improving on the mound with slight adjustments to mechanics.

New Mexico commit Nathaniel Price (Fort Worth, Texas) had a very productive day at the plate for Academy Select 16u Ingram. The righthanded hitter had a gap-to-gap approach, created good separation in his load and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored on the day. Leading the way offensively, Price hit one double and a deep home run to center field. Price is an interesting prospect and should be a good fit for New Mexico.

Uncommitted Kevin Bazzell (2021, Forney, Texas) continues to impress each game for Dallas Patriots 16u Sherard. Listed as a primary shortstop, Bazzell was behind the plate and showed good presentation, solid footwork and good athletic ability.Bazzell has an aggressive approach, gets the barrel into the zone quickly, elevates the ball with ease and showed present power by hitting his third home run of the tournament. This uncommitted prospect is hitting .538 through five games and showed to be an all-around gamer who could end up being a high-end prospect over the next few years.

– Andrew Jenkins



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