Tournaments | Story | 7/2/2019

17U WWBA: Day 4 Scout Notes

Greg Gerard         Matthew Arietta         Jacob Martin         Brian Treadway         Jered Goodwin         Ben Milks        
Photo: Garret Guillemette (Perfect Game)
2019 17U WWBA National Championship: Day 1 Notes | Day 2 Notes | Day 3 Notes

Vanderbilt has always done an outstanding job with recruiting as highlighted by the National Championship the Commodores won this season. Hunter Owen (2020, South Portland, Maine), a lefthanded pitcher from Maine, is another one of those key pieces that they have added in the 2020 class. Owen is a lefthander with outstanding physical projection and a fastball that sits in the upper-80s right now with plenty more to come. His fastball topped out at 90 mph on this day on one pitch while maintaining his velocity in the 86-89 mph range. The breaking ball and changeup each project very well and flashed well in this outing. The curveball sat in the low-70s and the changeup in the upper-70s while each flashed above average on the professional grading scale and project extremely well moving forward. On top of the stuff, Owen has outstanding physical projection standing at a strong and broad-shouldered 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. The delivery is mostly clean and when he stayed online to the plate, the Vandy commit got plenty of swings and misses from his opposing hitters. Owen finished his day with seven strikeouts in four innings and showed some of the most promising stuff in the entire event thus far.

Opposing Owen for Marucci Elite Texas Thames 2020 was Houston commit Cameron Caley (2020, The Woodlands, Texas). Caley is a young framed lefthander with room to fill throughout who has a quick and clean arm as well as a feel to spin and carve hitters up with a healthy changeup. Caley can run his fastball up to 90 mph on Monday morning while keeping hitters off balance primarily with his sinking changeup. The pair of breaking balls were mixed in as well with the curveball appearing as the sharper more advanced pitch and the slider with more compact biting action. Caley did find the barrels on a few occurrences in this game when over the heart of the plate but has all the makings of a crafty lefty at the next level.

Garret Guillemette (2020, Yorba Linda, Calif.) had an extremely loud day at the plate that included three barreled baseballs with each leaving his bat at a high rate. Guillemette rocketed a pair of doubles in the contest; one to the left-center field gap, one down the line in left and just missed a third that was hit extremely hard as well right at the third baseman. Each of his doubles left his barrel with exit velocities above 98 mph with the one roped down the line at 99.1 mph per Trackman. The ball hit the foul pole in left field just under the fence line missing a home run by inches. Guillemette, still uncommitted according to his Perfect Game profile, not only showed lots of bat speed and strength, but also moves well laterally behind the plate. Showcased two weeks ago at PG National, Guillemette logged a 1.82 second pop time in drills and a 2.12 second pop time in game action. The footwork plays and the quickness as well as his arm strength are evident. Guillemette is an uncommitted back stop with a really high ceiling to continue to improve.

Najer Victor (2020, Clemont, Fla.) may not be the most physical pitcher, but what he brings to the mound is plenty more than just his size. Standing at a skinny listing of 6-foot-2 and likely more compact than that, Victor is an elite level athlete with noticeable athleticism in his delivery. The mechanics of his operation are pretty deliberate prior to take back before firing a quick and online arm action to the plate producing fastball in the 91-94 mph range early on in his outing while also touching 95 mph once in his fourth inning of work. Victor has above-average arm speed and is only going to continue to throw harder and more efficiently with proper development. The UCF commit worked on a downhill plane to the plate and filled up the strike zone at a high rate. Victor mixed in a curveball with solid average spin at 2,300 RPM per Trackman as well as nice 12-to-6 depth. Victor did a nice job of locating his pitches, especially in his first two innings that were pretty electric. The righthander originally from the Virgin Islands has plenty of upside moving forward and plenty of room to fill out and get stronger.

Josh Grosz (2020, Camp Lejeune, N.C.) is a tall, projectable righthander committed to East Carolina. Grosz has plenty of projection remaining to his 6-foot-4 build. Grosz sat in the 86-88 mph range mostly with his fastball while also touching 89 and 90 mph once each. Grosz featured a slider that shows two-plane shape and plenty of potential moving forward. The ECU commit as an overall pitcher shows plenty of projection with a slight crossfire delivery and a full arm action. His arm works although it does become mistimed at times causing him to miss up and out of the zone with his fastball. Grosz did a nice job of correcting his mechanics when struggling with command in this one while also missing barrels as well. Grosz finished the day with just one hit allowed and two strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings of relief on the mound.

One arm who had to have walked away on a positive leaving the mound was uncommitted righthander Ernie Day (2020, Chicago, Ill.). Day pitched in front of a slew of collegiate recruiters who surely must be excited about this rising senior. Day showed feel for four pitches already with an effortless delivery and a clean arm stroke. There is no reason to believe that there is plenty more in Day’s tank moving forward as his fastball already reaches 89 and has been up to 92 mph recently as well. The Chicago native featured a four-seam fastball in the upper-80s, a cutter that is a really interesting and effective pitch at 84-85 mph, a sweeping curveball that has the makings of a plus pitch in due time, and a changeup at 83 mph that showed late sinking action. Day has a bright future ahead of him as a high upside righthander standing at a durable 6-foot-3, 205 pounds.

As shown from the video above, Braylon Bishop (2021, Texarkana, Ark.) has elite bat speed and still has a year until he is draft eligible. The Arkansas commit has a smooth swing with extremely quick hands getting the barrel through the hitting zone. The No. 4 ranked player in the 2021 class whips the barrel and making loud contact when squared. The bat stays level through the hitting zone as well with a line drive swing plane. Bishop’s night on Monday included a pair of hard barreled balls including a double to the opposite-field gap and a single through the pull side hole. Bishop has high level speed running a 6.58 second 60 recently at PG Jr. National. He showcased that speed on the base paths as he rounded first base with a 4.33 second home to first with a turn from the left side. On top of those tools, his outfield play was able to be displayed in this game too, gliding to baseballs in either gap with ease and clean routes. Bishop is the real deal and one of the highes- level players in this tournament regardless of graduation year.

A high school teammate of Bishop’s, Cody Adcock (2020, Texarkana, Ark.) started what turned into an outstanding travel baseball game between two loaded programs in Sticks Baseball Academy and Team Elite 17U Prime. Adcock is committed to play his college baseball at Ole Miss and topped out at a new personal best with his fastball in this masterful start at 91 mph. The heater lived in the 89-91 mph range in the first inning before having to sit for an extended period of time due to a lightning delay. Adcock still showed outstanding command to his repertoire from start to finish with a weather delay sandwiched in the middle of the start. His 10 strikeouts, one hit, and no walks in six complete innings of work was a pretty special stat line in front of many professional scouts. Adcock had the stuff to get hitters out as shown by the double-digit strikeout total. His curveball flashed 45 on a professional grading scale in the 74-76 mph range. The arm action is full coming from a tough angle as Adcock works across his body to the plate without effecting his command. He maintains his velocity in the stretch and works quickly in between pitches.

Relieving Adcock after six marvelous innings was Arkansas commit Markevian Hence (2020, Pine Bluff, Ark.). Hence shows plenty of velocity as well, topping out at 93 mph with his fastball in which he touched a few times in his scoreless inning of work to keep a very tight game tied at 0-0 where it also concluded with that score. The righthander is likely more compact than his 6-foot listing but shows the arm speed and breaking ball to be an effective arm. Sitting 91-93 mph with his fastball, Hence mixed in a curveball with sweeping action to it and flashed solid average spin to it as well. The righthander maintains velocity from the stretch and throws with some intent at release. The operation is relatively raw, but the arm speed as well as the two-pitch combination project.

Uncommitted righthander William Haberstock (2020, Roswell, Ga.) impressed at the National Uncommitted showcase as well as the Sunshine Gulf Coast showcase recently and Monday night at 17U WWBA is no different. The tall, athletic righthander has room to fill to his frame and projects well physically on the bump. The fastball tops out at 87 mph and he fills up the strike zone with it. Haberstock was facing a loaded lineup in this game and managed to carve hitters up with a mid- to upper-80s heater, low-70s breaking ball with feel to spin it and a changeup in the upper-70s as well. The uncommitted righty tossed five really solid innings striking out a batter per inning and spreading out three hits over the course of the outing.

A primary shortstop who has shown the ability to swing the bat with present ability and solid bat speed, it was what Austin St. Laurent (2020, Elon, N.C.) did on the mound in this outstanding contest between Sticks Baseball Academy and his Team Elite 17U Prime squad. Pitching from a compact arm action with lots of intent behind his pitches out of the bullpen, the East Carolina commit produced a fastball that read 91-93 mph on radar guns while also touching 94 also. He featured a short-breaking slider to go with the low-90s heat that worked to the plate at 80 mph. St. Laurent is another mound presence who is not going to blow scouts away with his physicality, but the arm is quick and the intent to blow fastballs by hitters is certainly worthy of note.

-Gregory Gerard

The Scorpions 2020 Founders Club ran their pool play record to 5-0 on Monday morning via a 5-4 decision, using a three-run fifth inning to take back the lead and never relinquish it. They got contributions up and down the lineup, but the decisive blow came when Zac Veen (2020, Port Orange, Fla.) launched a ball into the stormy air for a three-run shot, which put the Scorps ahead for good. Veen’s been on the radar since the spring and finds himself currently as the No. 33-overall ranked player in the class of 2020, given his pretty lefthanded swing, present power, and potentially plus-plus power projection long term. Scouts in Florida as well as nationally will be following him closely for the remainder of the summer as well as into next spring, where he’s got a chance to be a first round draft choice. Veen is committed to the University of Florida.

Another perennial powerhouse, Canes National also ran their pool play record to 5-0 on Monday, taking a 4-0 win over Team Nike New England at McEachern High School. Following a short rain delay, Ricky Williams (2020, Lexington, S.C.) trotted to the hill and delivered three shutout innings for the Canes, throwing 79 percent strikes on only 29 pitches, allowing only a single baserunner and striking out two. Williams is wiry, lankily-built with good projection remaining, and has legitimate ease of operation on the hill. The arm works pretty well, and he extends out front, allowing his fastball to play up from the 87-90 mph velocity, generating good life and absolutely pounding the zone with the pitch. He’s got excellent feel for his breaking ball as well, thrown anywhere from 74-80 with sharp, late, two-plane break. He can manipulate the shape of the pitch a bit and does an excellent job of throwing it both for strikes and burying it down and out of the zone, getting swings-and-misses over the top of it. He’s committed to Clemson.

Dominic Johnson (2020, Edmond, Okla.) has a truly impactful combination of athleticism, speed, and bat speed, giving him one of the higher upsides in the class if it all comes together for him, and his ranking at No. 82 overall in the class of 2020 reflects that. A true center fielder who can really go get it out there, Johnson ran a blistering 6.22 second 60-yard dash at PG National, then in the Canes game on Monday turned in a 3.91 time down the line on a bunt single, from the right side of the plate. There’s still some rawness to his game overall but there’s no denying the tools and potential upside of the profile, and there is high draft potential here as a result, be that next spring or after a few years at Oklahoma State, where he’s committed.

Exposure 17U Prime also ran their pool play record to 5-0 in pool play on Monday, picking up a 5-0 win over at Paulding County High School. Ryan Hagenow (2020, Knoxville, Tenn.) drew quite the scouting crowd anxious to see how he’d follow up his dominant performance at PG National a few weeks ago, and he certainly did not disappoint. Hagenow went 6 1/3 shutout innings, scattering four hits and two walks while racking up 12 strikeouts, the vast majority of which came on swinging third strikes. He’s an extremely projectable righthander who, while not possessing necessarily perfect mechanics in terms of his arm stroke and delivery, has a high level of ease of operation on the mound and the stuff is lights out. He ran his fastball up to 92 mph early on, settling more into the 87-91 mph range and then eventually being more 86-89 as he got his pitch count up. The fastball is high-end when located down, which he did often, generating above-average life and doing a nice job of commanding the pitch to both sides of the plate and mostly working at the knees. The slider was the equalizer on this day, and he showed extreme trust in the pitch and threw it frequently. It’s thrown mostly around 80 mph give-or-take a tick, with very good tunnel for the most part (he’d drop slot on it occasionally), often showing plus with late, dynamic bite at the plate. He buried it and got swings-and-misses over the top of it consistently, as well as showing the ability to back off of it and land it for strikes. The changeup, while behind the slider, still showed solid-average on several occasions with good fade at the plate and solid control of the pitch, though he’s still refining the consistency. He threw three pitches for strikes all game long (68 percent strikes overall), and was wholly dominant. He’ll be followed as closely as anyone in that area heading into next spring, and has the upside of a high draft. He’s committed to Kentucky.

In what was a very competitive game throughout, the decisive blow was struck in the fifth inning when Carter Edge (2020, Chattanooga, Tenn.) hit a three-run bomb to give Exposure a cushion that they would not let go. Edge is a lean, projectable athlete who did a nice job behind the plate catching Hagenow, and showed off some legitimate arm strength on his throws down to second base, and then obviously showed off some raw pop by hitting that bomb, which certainly was not a cheapie. He’s uncommitted at this time but that shouldn’t last long given the tools and ability behind the plate he showed in this one-game look.

-Brian Sakowski

Adrian Castillo (2020, Laredo, Texas) is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthanded pitcher from United High School in his hometown. Castillo earned the start for his club Banditos Scout Team 17U this morning at East Cobb going 4 2/3 innings allowing only three hits, walking two, and punched out six in the run ruled shortened affair. Castillo has good size and strength to his physically mature build. He delivers from the far first base side of the rubber and has a good tempo to his delivery. He uses a drop-and-drive type leg lift and delivers around a stiff front leg, yet arm works well and is loose through delivery. He releases from a side arm slot and has a herky-jerky arm action that adds a lot of deception to his offerings. On the day, Castillo was up near 80 mph with his fastball (77-80) with run through the zone. What helps Castillo’s effectiveness is that nothing he throws is straight, yet he controls his repertoire enough right now to be effective. To compliment the fastball, Castillo uses a low-70s curveball and a low-70s changeup that was the better of the two off-speed offerings. Castillo has good sell to his change, and when it is right it has heavy arm-side fade for a fringe plus pitch right now. Received a lot of swing and miss on the changeup during his start. Curve has more of a slurvy break, but he was around the zone with it and mixed well which added to its current effectiveness. Overall, Castillo is a good athlete that pitched with confidence and really embellished a huge lead given to him by his offense by competing hard and closing the door on his opponent. Did everything he needed to do during the blowout win. Knows how to pitch and it will be exciting to see how he develops further into his senior season next spring.

Samuel Infante (2020, Hialeah, Fla.) is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound middle infielder yet played third base today for his club Banditos Scout Team 17U. A senior in the fall at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in neighboring Miami Gardens, Infante was impressive this morning at East Cobb showcasing a plethora of advanced tools. At the plate, he uses a slightly-open wide stance and hold his hands high near his ear. He uses a toe-tap trigger for timing, and does a nice job keeping his hands and weight loaded a long time through hip fire for optimal torque and power. Hands and wrists are very quick move fast through the zone creating a lot of bat speed and leverage. On the day, Infante went 1-for-2 with a loud home run way out over the left-center field wall. Very strong for his size, and swing already indicates future average power that occurs in games already in his current state. In the field, Infante’s athleticism shines as he is a sure-handed fielder with sound defensive actions. He has soft hands and can handle the hot corner. Arm strength is there and appeared to be plus with consistent on target throws with carry through the bag. Moves well on the bases as well. Overall very high upside ability and current tools. It is apparent he knows how to play the game and thus so plays loose and with a lot of confidence. Committed to continue his playing career at the University of Miami following his senior season next spring.

Joe Morgan (2020, Albany, Ga.) is a 6-foot-5, 218-pound, physically mature, strong righthanded pitcher from Deerfield-Windsor School in his hometown. A senior in the fall, Morgan took the mound for his club East Cobb Patriots 17U and was impressive this morning logging 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing only three hits and striking out 10 on the way to collecting the win. Morgan is sound mechanically and delivers his two-pitch mix of a sinker and slider from a high three-quarters slot. Fastball gets on you quick with a lot of life and some cut when down in the zone. Touching 90 mph in the early going, Morgan stayed consistent over the course of his 107-pitch outing in the high-80s with average control, often filling up the zone and getting ahead of his opponents before unleashing his slider for a lot of swing-and-miss and most of his 10 punchouts. Slider works well and has good tilt and bite to it. Morgan is able to throw it for strikes and occasionally moved it out of the zone for chase. A good athlete for his size, Morgan was able to field his position inducing a lot of soft contact when his connected which was often. Unfortunately, Morgan found himself in a pitcher’s duel this afternoon as offense stalled for either team, giving Morgan a no-decision as the game ended in a scoreless tie. Very high upside righthander with a bright future in the game. Currently uncommitted yet that won’t last if he continues to produce this summer like he did today on day four in Georgia.

Tre Richardson (2020, Kingwood, Texas) is a 5-foot-10, 160-pound middle infielder from Kingwood High School in his hometown. An extremely strong and athletic ballplayer, Richardson showcased tools all over the field at East Cobb Monday morning at East Cobb. At the plate, Tre’ put up a 2-for-3 performance collecting six total bases in the process with a triple, double and walk. At the plate Richardson uses a small step trigger and has a quick fluid stroke as he gets his hands and wrists on plane and through the hitting zone with a quick swing path. Richardson has a good eye and is patient in the box as well rarely shown to get cheated during his at-bats this morning. He has good feel for the barrel currently, causing the ball to shoot off his bat with loud consistent contact. Power is to the gaps, yet he is very strong, and creates good leverage. A spectacular athlete, Richardson moves very well out of the box which put pressure on the defense. A green-light guy, Tre has keen first step quickness and aggression on the bases making him a hassle for a battery to deal with once he reaches. In the field, Richardson does everything you need him to do anchoring down the infield from the six-hole. Similarly to on the bases, he has good anticipation and firs- step quickness and agility that gives him ample time to get in a good fielding position. He is able to get to all balls hit his way with good range and feel. He is a solid defender with soft hands which he pairs with strong present average throws across the diamond that have carry and accuracy. A very polished player with natural instincts, Richardson’s future potential is off the charts. Tre will attend Baylor University upon completion of his senior season. Extremely fun player to watch play as he plays loose and has fun playing the game the right way. Currently hitting .429 at WWBA National Championship this week, paired with a current on-base percentage of .529. Exciting player to watch.

Ryan Targac (2020, Hallettsville, Texas) an extremely athletic, tool-studded center fielder from Hallettsville High School in his hometown. Already committed to continue his baseball career at Texas A&M in the fall of 2020, Targac, a highly-ranked shortstop, played center field for Banditos Scout Team 17U this morning at East Cobb and was impressive in all facets of the game. At the plate, Targac went 1-for-2 with a single up the middle, a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base. He is a very strong and physically mature athlete at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, and uses his current size at the plate as he makes strong contact to all fields with good control of the barrel and keen hand-eye coordination. He uses a square stance at the plate and a high handset and is very quick through the hitting zone with good plate coverage, and easy direct swing path. He has run producing power to the gaps, with obvious strength and bat speed. Targac displays good athleticism and moves well out the box and in the outfield displaying plus range and anticipation in the field. His arm is average currently, but throws are on target to bases with on-line carry. On the bases, Targac has aggression yet instincts to steal bases and put pressure on the defense. Very high upside ballplayer, currently hitting .333 at World Wood Bat 17U National Championship with an on-base percentage of .500.

-Matt Arietta

Arkansas commit Clayton Gray (2020, Cabot, Ark.) played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball for Rawlings Arkansas Prospects-Menard. With a medium 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame, he has room to fill out and projects well to the next level. Defensively, the center fielder displays great range due to his superior speed and athleticism. He also took good jumps and had efficient routes to fly balls. Has an above-average and accurate arm. The lefthanded hitter starts in an open stance with an inverted back foot and high hands. Using a toe tap and medium leg stride, he showcases extremely quick hands and a short swing. Has superior contact abilities and barrel-to-ball skills. Level plane through the zone and ability to stay linear. Typically strikes the ball with force on a line to all fields. His speed and line drive hitting tendencies assisted in his 3-for-3 effort with three doubles and a walk during the fourth day of the tournament. Really projectable all-around player.

Another Arkansas commit and member of Rawlings Arkansas Prospects-Menard is Ethan Bates (2020, Hot Springs, Ark.). The righthanded pitcher showcased a medium 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame with some projectable lankiness and room to fill out. The starting pitcher worked primarily out of the stretch and used a high and athletic leg lift before transitioning downhill and online to the plate. He generated power from his lower half and with some decent arm action from a high three-quarters arm slot. Had repeatable mechanics throughout his start. His fastball averaged 86 mph with some run while touching 88 mph on several occasions. He also featured a sharp breaking ball that never got below 75 mph and a really good fading changeup away from lefties around 80 mph. Based on the speed and movement, it could have been either a circle changeup or heavy breaking sinker. Bates threw three innings with seven strikeouts, one walk, one unearned run, and only one hit allowed.

Ace Akers (2020, Nixa, Mo.) showcased a medium 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame with room to fill while pitching in relief for Bates. The lefthanded pitcher looks like an interesting uncommitted player with strikeout ability. Using a medium and athletic leg lift, he works downhill and online with some decent arm action from a mid three-quarters slot. His delivery is repeatable yet deceptive. The arsenal included a cutting fastball with late movement and some downward action averaging 83 mph but touching 85 mph a few times. The spin rate on the fastball stayed below 1900 rpm and was cited in the 1700’s on several occasions. Due to the late action and downward break, it played as a deceptive swing-and-miss pitch. He also threw a good breaking ball in the low-70s and a changeup around 76-78 mph which looked like his fastball but with straighter and additional break. Across 3 2/3 scoreless innings, he racked up seven strikeouts while allowing no walks and only one hit.

Kentucky commit Marcus Brown (2020, Springdale, Ark.) proved why he is the top-ranked shortstop in Arkansas for his class. The quick-twitch player showcased a really smooth glove, excellent range, quick transfers, and an above-average arm. His highlight play showed him moving to his right and making a sliding catch on a line drive. His 6-foot, 185-pound frame is projectable with athleticism and some current strength in the build. The lefthanded hitter starts with a wide base in an open stance. Using a leg-lift trigger and long stride, he transfers power from his lower half into a level swing with some upward extension. Hands were really quick and lead through the zone as he displayed an ability to hit the ball to all fields. Typically hit the ball on a line with hard contact. Projectable all-around player moving forward.

Dallas Baptist commit Reid Robertson (2020, Marietta, Ga.) threw a no-hitter for the 643 DP Cougars. The lefthanded pitcher has a small and lanky 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame with room to fill out. Showcased excellent pitching skill and current projectable ability. The delivery is smooth and repeatable with really live arm action. His fastball averaged 84 mph across seven innings while touching 87 mph several times. The other pitches in his mix include a fading changeup around 78 mph and a slider with sharp movement that averaged 74 mph. Across his 107-pitch outing, he compiled seven scoreless and hitless innings with 13 strikeouts and only two walks allowed.

Mark Black (2020, Pittsburgh, Pa.) is an impressive catcher with a medium 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame and current strength in the build. The St. John’s commit displayed some good receiving skills behind the plate. He assisted his pitcher in getting called strikes on the corners of the strike zone and he had some good blocking abilities. Footwork was quick behind the plate and displayed a quick transfer on throws to second base. Arm strength is above-average and he had really good accuracy. The righthanded hitter starts with a wide base in a straight stance and uses a toe-tap trigger for timing. He typically hits the ball out front with a level to moderately upward swing plane and upward extension in his backswing. Created backspin off the bat and elevated the ball frequently with loud contact. The swing combined with his current strength showed him hit a line drive double that one-hopped the left field fence.

Alabama commit Bryce Eblin (2020, Greenwood, Ind.) showcased a medium and athletic 5-foot-11, 160-pound frame with room to fill out. The Indiana Bulls 17U Black shortstop displayed plus range, good instincts, a smooth glove, and a powerful arm while manning the middle infield. His highlight play showed off his range while hustling into the outfield and making a running snag by the left field foul line on a blooper. The speed and athleticism played well on defense and on the base paths. The lefthanded hitter starts really close to the plate in an even stance and a narrow base with low and tight hands. Using a medium leg lift, he has a smooth and fluid swing with hands to match. Swings on a linear plane and typically hits ground balls or line drives with some force. Ball makes loud contact off the bat and his speed extends singles into doubles. In his fifth game of action, he went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, one run, and two RBI.

Nolan Bowser (2020, McCordsville, Ind.) is a catcher with a medium and athletic 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame with room to fill out. Behind the dish, he showed really good blocking and receiving skills. Blocked a lot of tough pitches while shifting to his right. Displays quick and explosive footwork behind the plate with a quick transfer to his decent but accurate arm. His efficient transfers resulted in several pop times around 1.95 seconds. The lefthanded hitter starts in an open stance with low hands and a tight back elbow. Takes a pretty long stride towards the pitcher and generates power from his lower half. Displayed good hands and pretty quick bat whip through the zone. He made contact consistently on a level plane and hit the ball moderately hard. Short arms through the zone could benefit from some additional extension to hit the ball on a line.

Auburn commit Michael Bello (2021, Oak Ridge, N.J.) displayed an advanced bat and a physically mature 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame with lots of athleticism and strength. The righthanded hitter started with an even stance and high back elbow. Using a long leg stride but keeping weight back for balance, he shows a really smooth swing with quick hands and a lot of bat speed. Bat enters the zone on a level plane, but the ball jumps off his bat as he elevates the ball consistently with hard contact. He went 1-for-3 with a double to left-center field and his other at-bats resulted in outs but were hit with loud contact. Defensively, the center fielder took efficient routes to fly balls. He showed above-average range with good jumps and an average arm back into the infield. Projectable all-around player moving forward.

-Jake Martin

Alex Stone (2020, Andover, N.J.) is a 6-foot-5, 222-pound catcher. Starting behind the plate for Diamond Jacks Super 17, Stone showed big offensive abilities and leadership qualities throughout the course of the game. The catcher would be there for his team, encouraging them and his pitchers as well as hustling to the dugout as the defense is coming in and giving them his support. He could tell when his pitcher began to start letting up on their pitches and knew to go to the mound and calm them down before the situation got dire. As for his display at the plate, the Duke commit showed plus power to the opposite field with a very smooth swing. Standing back in the box, the righthander would take a small step forward and really drive his weight forward. He doesn’t have too much unnecessary movement to his swing and the path of the bat stays in the zone long enough to make contact. With his natural power, Stone drove the ball to the opposite side for a home run that easily cleared the fence. The next at-bat, he drove another pitch deep over the right fielder’s head. With that consistent power and approach to go with the ball, the Andover native really was able to get the most out of his body.

Drew Conover (2020, Pittstown, N.J.) is a 6-foot-5, 175-pound righthanded pitcher. Towering on the mound, the righthander delivered a strong performance for his team and helped them to a victory. Working from the stretch, Conover exercised good command of all of his pitches. His slider had a sharp break to it that he used consistently against righthanded batters. The pitcher worked that slider in with a strong two-seam fastball that racked up seven strikeouts. The two-seamer that the Seton Hall commit held had a sharp movement back towards the righthander’s batter’s box and jammed multiple hitters. Maxing out at 90 mph and sitting comfortably in the mid- to upper-80s, his fastball was dominant and he placed it wherever he wanted around the plate. As if those pitches weren’t enough, the Pittstown native would introduce a curveball that had a tight curve. Working from a low three-quarters delivery, Conover showed exceptional stuff that has him as one of the top righthanded arms in New Jersey.

At the shortstop position for Chet Lemon’s Juice 17U, Jake Fox (2021, Plant City, Fla.) made difficult plays routine and helped his team stay competitive in a well-fought game. Fox handled the shortstop position rather easily as he smothered balls hit his was way and made consistent strong and accurate throws to first. With a plus arm and great range, nothing was out of range for the uncommitted shortstop. At the plate, the lefthanded batter stood in the box with an open stance and a solid load. The Plant City native had a quick swing and has quick acceleration out of the box. With plus speed, any grounder was something that he made difficult for the defense. Fox showed hustle on each play and tried to impact the game any way that he could.

Taking the mound for Georgia Bombers 17U, Anthony DiMola (2020, Cumming, Ga.) controlled the game from start to finish as he led his team to a well-earned victory. Working from the windup mostly, DiMola had very little movement and kept things simple in his delivery. With a high three-quarters arm slot, the lefthanded pitcher continued a barrage of fastballs that he had total control over. He could place his fastball wherever he wanted and with the tailing action that he had going, hitters had a tough time doing anything with it. The Georgia Southern commit also had a sinking fastball that he used to induce groundballs. Extremely effective in high leverage situation, his pitches got him out of innings as he twirled a one-hit shutout. Maxing out at 88, DiMola sat mostly in the low-80s with a curveball that he brought in at the low-70s.

Will Carpenter (2020, Aurora, Ohio) is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound shortstop. At the plate, Carpenter has the ability to provide for his team as the Team Ohio Pro Select showed what he could do offensively. The lefthanded batter stands at the plate with a bit of an open stance and his hands held high at his head. As the pitch comes in, the Penn State commit puts almost all his weight on his back foot then drives his left foot forward at the beginning of his swing. Carpenter has good control of his bat and has a violent swing with quick bat speed and can generate a lot of power. The Aurora native is able to get to any pitch that is in the strike zone and can at least do something with it that could provide some spark for his team. On the base paths, Carpenter has good speed and a hit into the gap could easily turn into a triple for the shortstop. It’s no wonder why he is one of the higher-ranked players in the state of Ohio.

Reid Taylor (2020, Woden, Texas) is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound righthanded pitcher. Coming out of the gate strong, Taylor turned in spectacular performance as his team needed him to pitch an almost-perfect game and he answered the call. The strong righthander worked with three different pitches: fastball, curveball, and changeup. Taylor’s fastball maxed out at 92 but kept it around the upper-80s and low-90s throughout the whole of the game. The Sam Houston State commit was able to locate his fastball at will and it almost had late life on it as he would elevate it against batters. The curveball was no funny business either as it had a tight break to it with an 11-to-5 movement. Clocking in at the upper-70s with his curveball, this pitch complemented his fastball tremendously. The changeup sat in the low-80s and would drop right before it got to the plate. Working from an over-the-top delivery, Taylor commanded movement and placement on his pitches which kept him in control of the game through its entirety. The Woden native finished with 16 strikeouts on only 87 pitches while allowing only one hit and no runs through the course of his seven innings worked. The pace in which he worked and the effectiveness in which he had spelled disaster for the other team and dominance for himself.

Konnor Lewis (2020, Lexington, Ky.) engaged in a rubber match throughout the game and he wasn’t going to back down. The 6-foot-2 pitcher showed why he has one of the top righthanded arms in the state of Kentucky. Starting for KBC 17U Prime, Lewis showed high velocity as he maxed out at 91 mph but sat in the upper-80s throughout the whole of the game. The Kennesaw State commit was able to place the fastball where he wanted and continued to baffle hitters as he ended the game with 12 strikeouts. Elevating his fastball worked well and the use of his curveball complemented the fastball and kept hitters off balance. The Lexington native’s curveball came in with a 12-to-6 break to it. The velocity varied widely throughout the game as it moved from the low- to mid- to upper-70s at any time. The change of velocity helped his fastball which he would elevate for swing and misses. Lewis kept things simple with his delivery and came at the pitcher from a three-quarters arm slot. Finishing the game with only hit and one earned run was everything the team asked for as the righthander kept his team in the game and gave them a shot to win.

-Brian Treadway

Sean (Grady) Maguire (2020, Tampa, Fla.) was very good today from the two-hole in Ostingers line up today. He has a skinny, wiry frame with tons of room to fill out.  At 6-foot and 160-pounds he will add strength and continue to gain explosiveness. The lefthanded hitter has excellent feel for the game as you found him in the right spots defensively and looking to pressure the defense from an offensive standpoint.  He stuffed a box score on Monday with a bunt single, a walk, two stolen bases, and scored a run.  Defensively, he has a quick first step and showed anticipation while reading the swing. He throws on the run well and showed he can make all the throws a shortstop will need to make.  The uncommitted prospect is a must see for anyone looking for a middle of the field player at the next level.

Brock Wilken (2020, Valrico, Fla.) is a very exciting player to watch.  His country-strong frame at 6-foot-4 already looks different than his peers.  He has developed forearms and looks like he has elite hand strength as he extends through contact.  His swing is explosive and the barrel flies through the zone.  The hips are quick, and his long arms get good extension.  He had four quality at-bats today finding two barrels, one for an infield hit, and walked twice.  He recognized spin well and did not expand the zone on anything. He moved well at third base and his arm was very good with carry.  He made a play coming in that he had to transfer and throw quickly, which he made with ease and showed plenty of arm strength to record the out.  He should be a fast riser as he continues to develop.

Kole Tauzin (2020, Tomball, Texas) is a physically-developed 6-foot and 200-pound righthanded pitcher that took the mound for Premiere Baseball Futures-Mathis on Monday.  He sat 86-90, with a balanced and compact delivery.  He has a strong lower half and uses it well throughout his delivery.  The uncommitted righthanded pitcher kept very good hand speed through the ball on his slider which had short break and was a tough pitch when he landed it in the zone.  He drifted a bit which caused his release point to change on occasion, but he has very firm stuff when on time.

River Ridings (2020, Carrollton, Texas) was very good for the Dallas Tigers Arias club in the night portion on Monday.  He has a free-and-easy arm action and the ball comes out very clean.  His 85-88 fastball had life and missed the barrel frequently.  He moved it in and out, kept his velocity, and forced soft contact consistently.  He mixed a slider with 10-4 shape that got swing and misses when he was in the zone.  His changeup could be a very good future pitch, with hand speed and depth, but was spotty at times today.  When Ridings matures and adds weight, he will make a natural jump.

Nolan Schanuel (2020, Boynton Beach, Fla.) has done nothing but hit in 2019.  He hits in the three-hole for the FTB Rockets and is having a monster tournament thus far.  He has a big body with plenty of room to gain strength as he physically matures.  He creates very good lag in his swing and his long torso helps create elite core speed.  He has the ability to make hand adjustments mid-swing, and put the barrel on nearly anything thrown.  Monday morning, he put together a few good at-bats hitting a line drive to left followed by a walk.  In his last at-bat, Schanuel took a low pitch and drove it hard down the right field line for a triple and an RBI. He is slashing a 1.250 OPS to this point, already compiling four extra-base hits.

Jack Sharpe (2020, Jupiter, Fla.) looked great on the mound on Sunday afternoon for the Rockets.  He is a stocky lefthanded pitcher that continues to get better each he takes the mound.  He hides the ball well and has an easy arm action, the ball seems to jump at hitters.  He held his mid-80s velocity during his outing and peaked at 87.  He showed a breaking ball with hard downer action that missed barrels Sharpe is uncommitted but looks like he can go get outs right now, with a very good two-pitch combination that was very tough on hitters today.  He threw four-plus innings without giving up a run to help the Rockets secure the win.

Steven Ondina (2020, Gurabo, P.R.) is a pleasure to watch play.  He may have the best stop-and-start ability with his feet of any shortstop in his class.  His body control while he moves his feet to adjust to hops is elite.  He made multiple movement plays today and his arm is easily plus, with a quick transfer and release.  He made a “wow” play on a ball hit to the gap in right-center field. He lined up as the cut man, when the throw came in the ball did not seem to even touch his glove before it was on its way to third for a bang-bang out to get the runner trying to stretch a triple. Offensively, he showed good bat speed while also controlling the strike zone.  He worked two walks and collected a pair of stolen bases for IBHS.

-Jered Goodwin

Alan Espinal (2020, Viera, Fla.), an uncommitted 2020 grad, showed an easy, athletic swing with impressive bat speed. Flashed present gap-to-gap power with a loud line drive into the right-center field gap, taking the opportunity to show off his speed beating out a close throw for a triple. Espinal contributed two RBI on the triple to the Elite Squad 17U National effort on their way to a 8-0 win on Monday.

Getting the start on the mound in the first game on Monday for Sticks Baseball Academy was Missouri State commit Noah Burkey (2020, Poplar Bluff, Mo.) Burkey worked 3 2/3 innings only allowing one hit and surrendering two walks while collecting five strikeouts. Burkey features an athletic delivery staying online throughout. Showed a long arm action going to a mid three-quarters arm slot at release with good arm speed. Noah showed a three-pitch mix keeping hitters off balance throwing all three pitches for a strike consistently. Flashed a fastball with good control to both sides of the plate and good downhill plane up to 88 mph complemented with a 12/6 breaking ball with big depth creating a lot of swing and miss and a harder slider with shorter depth at 78 mph.

Jake Killingsworth (2020, Headland, Ala.) enjoyed a loud day at the plate. In his three at-bats, Killingsworth was able to collect two doubles. The uncommitted 2020 showed a strong swing with good bat speed and staying strong at contact. Flashed a slightly elevated plane through zone. Showed jump off the barrel to all fields hitting one double to the right-center field fence and the next double to the left center field fence.

University of Georgia commit Dwight Allen (2020, Milton, Ga.) showed an easy swing, creating good bat speed and easy line drive gap-to-gap power. Dwight collected two extra base hits on the day, including a loud line drive double to left-center field and a mashed line drive triple to the right-center field gap driving in three runs.

Tanner Bastings (2020, Dallas, Ga.) was lights out coming out of the pen for the Duluth Noles on Monday. Bastings worked three innings in relief while only allowing one hit and striking out one. The uncommitted 2020 showed a compact arm action moving to a low three-quarter arm speed creating good arm side run on a fastball up to 87 mph also showing a 11/5 curveball creating a lot of soft contact and empty swings at 74 mph.

Anthony Garcia (2020, Clermont, Fla.) showed pop to all fields in the game on Monday, collecting two extra base hits. Garcia showed a swing with good bat speed showing the ability to get the barrel out front. Flashed impressive lower to the pull side with a long and high home run to left-center field.

Throwing a one-run complete game for Rawlings Arkansas Prospects-Menard on Monday was Walker Williams (2020, Springdale, Ark.) The Arkansas State commit showed a smooth delivery with explosive actions working down the hill. Worked seven innings, only allowing one hit and one walk while striking out six. Williams features a two-pitch mix including a heavy fastball with good control to both sides of the plate up to 86 mph and a 1/7 curveball with good depth and sharp break creating a lot of swing and miss throughout the outing.

Jackson Rodriguez (2020, Kingwood, Texas) worked 5 1/3 innings for Marucci Elite Texas Thames 2020 on Monday on the way to a 8-2 win. The uncommitted 2020 only allowed three hits while fanning 11 batters during the outing. The lefty features a long, loose arm action moving to a mid three-quarter arm slot with some arm speed. Showed a fastball with heavy lefty run up to 86 mph and a curveball with 1/7 shape thrown for a strike consistently in all counts up to 74 mph.

-Ben Milks
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