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Tournaments | Story | 7/4/2019

17U WWBA: Day 6 Scout Notes

Brian Sakowski         Greg Gerard         Jacob Jordan         Ben Milks         Brian Treadway        
Photo: Irving Carter (Perfect Game)

17u WWBA Scout Notes:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Team Elite 17u Scout Team ran their record to 6-1-1 and secured their spot in the playoffs on Wednesday afternoon via a 7-0 victory and dominant pitching performance. Christian Little (2021, St. Louis, Mo.) got the start and the win, throwing four shutout innings on only 54 pitches, allowing just one baserunner while striking out five. The No. 2 player overall in the class of 2021, Little was in complete control from the get-go, pounding the zone consistently with three pitches in any count and wholly dominating. The fastball worked in the 86-91 range, mostly pitching in the upper-80s and reaching back for 91 whenever he needed it, showing the ability to command both sides of the plate with the pitch as well as work north-south at times.

The curveball was excellent on this day as well, and he did an especially good job of adding/subtracting on it to great effect, spinning a bigger-breaking, 11-to-5 shaped curveball in the low-70s to throw for strikes, then showing the ability to throw it firmer, in the mid- to upper-70s, with a bit more sweep to it but sharper, more powerful break to get swings-and-misses. His changeup was working very well in this one as well, a low-80s pitch with excellent arm speed deception and fading action. He’s far more polished that the average rising junior, not to mention the fact that he’s not quite 16 yet, and given that in conjunction with his physical projection, it’s easy to see why the upside is so lofty.

Following Little’s dominance, Team Elite turned to lefthander Logan Wood (2020, Macomb, Mich.), who threw three shutout innings of his own, allowing just one walk while punching out seven. Wood has a good bit of funk and a ton of deception to his delivery, hiding the ball through the back and really letting the ball jump at opposing hitters with that combination of deception and somewhat herky-jerky operation. The fastball peaked at 89 mph on a few of the scout guns behind the plate, working mostly in the 84-88 mph range. Wood’s profile is highlighted by his propensity to spin the baseball, both in curveball and slider form, and both with legitimate plus spin.

The curveball is thrown in the mid-70s on a traditional 1-to-7 shape with hammer depth, and the slider is thrown firmer, in the upper-70s with sharp, late bite that’s he’s able to throw against righties and lefties. He has a solid changeup as well in terms of action, though he does tend to drop his slot a bit when throwing it, which will need to be ironed out eventually. A Michigan commit, Wood highlights what is a solid class prep class in the state of Michigan in 2020, and will be on the draft radar throughout the summer and into next spring.

Giants Scout Team-FTB picked up an opening-round win in the playoffs on Wednesday night over GRB Rays, who were really impressive all week as well. Luke Baker (2020, Gainesville, Fla.) was excellent for three frames in his start, allowing just one hit and striking out five. Baker is a good-sized lefty with high-end pitchability, doing a really nice job of mixing and matching his entire arsenal and keeping hitters off balance. The fastball cruised in the 83-86 mph range and hit 87 mph a handful of times, with good angle to the plate and solid arm side life. He worked in both a curveball and slider for strikes, with the slider doing a good job running under the hands of righthanded hitters and the curveball grabbing strikes over the arm side edge. He’s committed to Ole Miss.

Jovan Gil (2020, Fort Myers, Fla.) shut the door out of the bullpen for FTB and went the final four frames, allowing just one walk and striking out seven. He overpowered with the fastball at times, running it up to 92 mph and sitting 87-91 mph, getting swings-and-misses at the top of the zone. The slider missed bats as well with late, sharp bite that plays well of off his fastball. He’s a physically strong player who looks the part of a durable, potentially innings-eating type of arm at the next level, where he’s committed to Stetson.

FTB leadoff hitter Nate Clow (2020, Federal Way, Wash.) has some of the better hands in the country when it comes to hitting; loose and whippy through the zone. His hand-eye coordination stands out as well, and that in conjunction with his hands gives him really impressive barrel control, allowing him to match plane well and consistently find the barrel in an authoritative way. He barreled several balls in this look alone, using the pull side for the most part, and showing the ability to leverage the ball into the air with good carry. He’s physically projectable and should continue adding strength, which should allow him to get to more and more power, giving him legitimate offensive upside.

– Brian Sakowski


Virginia commit Nick Bitsko (2021, Doylestown, Pa.) had an impressive day at the plate for East Coast Sox 17u Select collecting three hits including two singles and a home run. The physical 2021 grad showed a slightly elevated barrel plane through the zone with good barrel control creating consistently driven contact. Flashed power to all fields on the home run waiting back on a breaking ball and taking it deep to the opposite field.

Cannon Pickell (2020, Mayock, N.C.) was dominant on the mound Wednesday for Canes National. Pickell worked three innings allowing no hits while striking out six batters. The strong, athletic 2020 grad features a long, loose arm action with good arm speed. The North Carolina commit features a fastball with late cut up to 92 mph complemented with a tight slider with tilt creating a lot of empty swings at 92 mph.

A very projectable, still uncommitted 2020 grad Ryan Sveningson (2020 Ladera Ranch, Calif.) features a long deliberate delivery with explosive actions and arm speed while moving down the hill. He showed some developing control at times of a heavy fastball up to 90 mph complemented with a sharp 9-to-4 slider at 81 mph creating a lot of swings and misses. In 2 2/3 innings of work Sveningson scattered three hits while striking out three batters.

Tavian Josenberger (2020, Kansas City, Mo.), the leadoff hitter for Royals Scout Team 17u, showed some juice in his bat with a massive home run to right field in the game on Wednesday. The Kansas commit showed fast hands to the baseball with the ability to get the barrel out front with good bat speed creating loud jump off the barrel to the pull side when on time and squared.

Getting the start on the mound Wednesday for MountainWest 2020 was Owen Mortensen (2020, Riverton, Utah). Mortensen features an explosive, high intent delivery with a body whip at finish creating deception to the hitter. He displayed interesting arm speed as well. In two innings of work he only allowed one hit and no walks while striking out five of the batters he faced. The Utah commit showed a heavy fastball up to 91 mph complemented by a sharp slider creating a lot of swings and misses, and called strike takes, at 77 mph.

Getting the call on the mound in the first game of the playoffs for DRB Elite 17u was Hudson Sapp (2020, Dawsonville, Ga.) Sapp worked four innings in his start only allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four batters. The lefty features a low three-quarters arm slot with crossfire actions in the delivery creating a lot of deception to hitters. The Ole Miss commit showed a fastball with heavy lefty tail up to 91 mph complemented with a sharp slider that is very tough on lefthanded hitters at 78 mph. At the plate Sapp added a game-tying two RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Working a five-inning complete game to help Marucci Elite Texas Thames 2020 advance in the playoffs was Hayde Key (2020, Missouri City, Texas). In those five innings the Texas Tech commit scattered three hits while surrendering no walks and striking out 12 batters. Key features a deliberate delivery with athletic actions working towards the plate. He showed a fastball with heavy life through the zone up to 91 mph creating a lot of swings and misses when thrown up in the zone complemented with a big 11-to-5 curveball with good depth to keep hitters off balance at 74 mph.

– Ben Milks


Wyatt Nelson (2020, Chesapeake City, Md.) is a two-sport athlete who has shown well both on the baseball diamond and the gridiron. Nelson is an uncommitted righthanded pitcher who showed the potential to be a top recruit in baseball on top of his football background. Nelson sat in the 89-91 mph range with his fastball in a two-inning start while showing some feel as well as more potential with a breaking ball in the 74-76 mph range. Nelson, a native of Maryland, has a high-energy delivery with plenty of intent behind his pitches as well as life to the arm side on his fastball. The physical righthander is listed at 6-foot-2, 215-pounds and looks every bit as physical of that on the mound. Nelson is still somewhat raw with his mechanics on the bump but when getting to full extension out in front at release, he is able to locate to the bottom third of the strike zone and lands the breaking ball to either side. The ball comes from an extended three-quarters arm slot as Nelson concluded a pair of solid innings to start Wednesday morning for the Stick Baseball Academy and lead them to an 8-1 victory.

Isaac Webb (2020, Owasso, Okla.), Nelson’s teammate on the Sticks Baseball Academy as well as the team’s leadoff hitter, has an outstanding feel for the barrel and seems to always perform at Perfect Game events. The switch hitter only got reps from the right side in this game, but the ability he shows with loose hands and plenty of quick-twitch to his actions help provide him with plenty of hard contact. Webb gets downhill with his hands and hits the baseball on a line as he did in this one leading off the game with a triple to the pull side gap. Webb is an above average runner as well with quickness on the base paths in game. Although he is not overly physical, with additional strength to his frame the Oklahoma Sooner commit is only going to improve the pop off of his consistent barrel.

Patrick Dunn (2020, Flower Mound, Texas) is a pitcher that a righthanded hitter would not want to face coming from a tough angle and his low three-quarters arm slot. Dunn generated good fastball on top of his uncomfortable opposing at-bats sitting in the upper-80s velocity from his projectable 6-foot-6 frame. Dunn, a pitcher for D-Bat Elite Gavin, pitched a really impressive game for the second time during the week of 17u WWBA. His feel for three pitches is extremely impressive given the entire package of his delivery and frame. A pitcher with his size and arm angle usually do not throw as many strikes, especially with all three of his offerings, as Dunn does. The fastball topped out at 89 mph with natural running life to the arm side while mixing in a sharp slider with depth and Frisbee-type bite in the upper-70s. His first off-speed pitch he went to, however, was a changeup with low-80s velocity and sink to retire lefthanded hitters. The uncommitted tall, lanky righthander has seen a dominant time on the mound in Georgia working 10 2/3 total innings with 13 strikeouts over two separate outings.

Giuseppe Ferraro (2020, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is a physical infielder who started at third base for Elite Squad in the first round of playoff action Wednesday night. Ferraro, a Miami commit, connected on an opposite field double in this contest. His strength at impact is really impressive as shown by this double and his 96 mph exit velocity he produced off of a tee at PG National. His physicality plays well at a corner infield position as shown by his above average arm that he was able to showcase on a slow roller play during Wednesday night’s action. The Miami commit certainly looks the part of a high level prospect.

There are not many pitchers in the entire 2020 class with a cleaner and more repeatable delivery than UCF commit Ben Vespi (2020, Boynton Beach, Fla.). Vespi is not going to blow many hitters away with his velocity, but he will reach back and touch 90 mph at times as he did in relief during playoff action on Wednesday evening. Vespi pitched mostly in the 86-89 mph range with a curveball that shows potential in the 73-77 mph range with plenty of depth and 11-to-5 shape. Vespi only tossed an inning of work where he struck out a batter and walked a batter as well. The arm really works and it really is only a matter of time before Vespi really pops in a big way with his velocity. The delivery is so balanced and the UCF commit is such an athletic kid standing at a projectable 6-foot-3 while also recently running a 6.72 second 60-yard dash at PG National.

Cameron Foster (2020, Douglasville, Ga.) has had a strong showing this week at 17u WWBA, and although Foster did not collect a hit in this contest, the frame as well as the swing both project in a big way. Foster has knocked balls to the pull side with authority and high exit velocities throughout the week on top of showcasing tools that project at the next level. Foster is one of the top uncommitted players in the state of Georgia with some rawness to his swing but has the ability to be a big-time prospect if all of the pieces come together. Foster is a physically advanced 6-foot-3, 195-pounds with a spread out stance at the plate and real bat speed. The bat whips through the hitting zone and when on time to the baseball, the ball really jumps. Foster is certainly worth a follow and has an outstanding academic track record as well.

Jd Gregson (2020, Frisco, Texas) made a loud impact late into the night of playoff action in the Arlington A’s playoff victory. The Baylor commit showed plenty of extension and strength to his swing roping a ball that looked like a home run off of his bat before drilling the left-center field fence on a line. Gregson hit the baseball with an exit velocity of 99.5 mph per Trackman and the contact was extremely loud. The righthanded hitting Gregson shows some bat speed through the hitting zone combined with that strength from his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. The catcher also showcased an above average arm behind the plate in between innings making throws on a line with quickness out of his crouch.

- Gregory Gerard


Coby Mayo (2020, Coral Springs, Fla.) turned heads on Wednesday with a loud home run to left field for Elite Squad 17u National. The University of Florida commit went 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBIs. The power the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder generates big-time and power and bat speed with a fluid compact swing. Mayo played one inning defensively at third base where he flashed a strong arm. Physically, he is filling out well with present strength with more certain to come. Look for Mayo hit many more home runs throughout the course of his career.

Shane Panzini (2021, Spring Lake, N.J.) was impressive during a one-inning relief appearance. He struck out three and walked one while allowing no hits. The Virginia commit worked primarily off of an 88-90 mph fastball and he paired it with a sweeping 11-to-5 curveball. His arm works easily through a fluid compact arm action. He gets downhill well and pounds the strike zone. After watching Panzini throw 89 mph as easily as he did, it is not crazy to think that he presently has at least 91 in the tank and a mid-90s projection in the near future. Physically, his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame is filling out well but still has room for more muscle mass.

Nick Chittum (2020, Grand Ile, Mich.) showed some upside in his appearance Wednesday for Little Caesars Baseball. Control was a bit of an issue throughout the outing but the potential the uncommitted righthander posses still shined through. He paired an 87-89 mph fastball that was up to 91 with a fading changeup at 80, a sharp slider in the low-80s, and an 11-to-5 curve in the mid-70s. Although he showed better control with the curveball, the slider was nasty and if further developed would be a very impressive power slider. The mechanics are clean and the long arm action is fluid with a high three-quarters arm slot. Physically, his 6-foot-2 frame projects well along with a smooth arm. Chittum is very projectable and with a few adjustments, and continued development, he can live up to his great potential.

Carlos Anziani (2020, Bronx, N.Y.) had a very solid outing for Canes Midwest on Wednesday afternoon. The righthander threw three innings, allowing one run, no hits and three walks while posting six strikeouts. His arm works extremely easy and he gets good extension down the mound while creating a good downward plane against hitters with his overhand arm slot and 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame. A mid-80s to low-90s fastball is complemented nicely with a sweeping 11-to-5 curveball with depth. The uncommitted 18-year old projects well in all phases and could be a big arm in the future.

- Jacob Jordan


Working from the stretch for the majority of his time pitching in relief, Cole English (2020 Locust Grove, Ga.) kept the Bullpen Redstitch 108 17u in contention for the win. Runners got on base early for English but he did his job to keep them stranded and avoid any damage. Working mainly with his fastball, the East Tennessee State commit was working comfortably in the upper-80s. Maxing out at 89, English struck out two batters. The Georgia native is quick to the plate from the stretch and located the fastball accurately. Elevating the fastball was a plus for him. Standing at 6-foot-3 on the mound, he carries a good frame on the mound.

Tyler Cotten (2020 Yorktown, Va.) turned in a solid performance offensively for the Richmond Braves 17u National as he went 2-for-2 with a deep home run to left field and a hard-hit double to left as well. The righthander has a smooth swing at the plate that can generate a lot of power when he makes contact with the ball. The UNC – Greensboro commit has exceptional bat speed and the bat stays in the zone for a long time, which helps him generate the contact. The baseball shoots off of Cotten’s bat when he makes contact and with his speed he can easily get extra bases on hard-hit balls.

As the backstop for the Canes Central 17u, Michael Groves (2020 Holly Springs, N.C.) provided solid defense for his pitchers and did a good job guiding them through the game. Standing at 6-foot-3, Groves looked extremely agile and athletic behind the plate. He showed flexibility as he got his body into positions to frame pitches to the best of his ability. The UNC-Asheville commit was good at framing too. His pitchers got quite a few borderline pitches on the outside corners because of Groves and his ability to sell those pitches. On groundballs in the infield, the North Carolina native ran up the first base path every time. Throws to first base were accurate every time and gave the middle infielders chances to make plays.

Used mainly as a hitter in the last game in pool play for the St. Louis Pirates, Drew Gray (Swansea, Ill.) has a pretty swing and it’s one of the reasons why he is the top outfielder in his graduation class in Illinois. Gray has a smooth swing and quick hands as he is really able to meet the ball out front and make solid contact. The ball rifles off of the bat when he is able to get ahold of one. The Arkansas commit has a bit of a loft to his swing. Though he didn’t generate a hit in the game, the Illinois native still was able to get on base and do some damage as he scored a run. Gray has a quickness on the basepaths as his 6-foot-2 length gives him long strides, and with plus instincts he is dangerous on the bases.

- Brian Treadway


Irving Carter (2021 Boynton Beach, Fla.) started on the bump for the Elite Squad National 17u to open up the playoffs on Wednesday night. Carter is an ultra-competitive young hurler that never takes a pitch off. He fired 87-90/91 fastballs for six consecutive innings with the same intent on the first pitch as the last pitch. He mixes a slider with depth and swing-and-miss potential in the 75-78 range. He does a very good job off hiding the ball behind his body until the last second and repeats his release point on all three of his offerings. His changeup was 79-80 and will be a very good pitch as he continues to get feel for it. At its best it was down in the zone and had late sink which should produce tons of groundballs. In his 72 -pitch outing he gave up a single hit while striking out six batters to only one walk. The exciting young arm was in complete control from the first pitch.

Sebastian Jimenez (2020 Miami, Fla.) stood out in the final game of his tournament on Wednesday for the Florida Hurricanes. He is a standout defensively with loose hips, the ability to handle velocity and obvious leadership skills. He excelled at the plate during game action Wednesday going 3-for-3, falling a double short of hitting for the cycle. On the home run he ambushed a fastball to left field that got out in a hurry. Later he did a good job of seeing an outer-half pitch and hitting it off the center field wall. His long levers keep his swing through the zone for a long time and the flick in his wrists allow him to attack at the last possible second. Jimenez stood out the entire week hitting .474 with seven extra-base hits while tallying a 1.474 OPS.

Matthew Milone (2020 Farmingville, N.Y.) played center field and hit in the leadoff spot for Tri State Arsenal NY 17u National. He has a proportioned 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame with plenty of room to fill out and good present strength. He tracked balls well in center field with a quick first step and good anticipation. At the plate he had an aggressive approach, attacking pitches that were left over the plate. He hit a double in the left-center field gap in his first at-bat and never stopped squaring balls up after that. He finished 3-for-4 with a double and a line drive home run over the left field wall, while the uncommitted righthanded hitter also added three runs and two RBIs on the day.

Logan Martin (2019 Cartersville, Ga.) threw a complete game for Tri State Arsenal NY 17u Wednesday morning. He is a 6-foot-2 righthanded pitcher with long arms for his size and very good projection. He was absolutely fearless with his pitch sequencing, throwing any pitch at any time. He used a mid- to upper-80s fastball to all four quadrants. He did a great job of sinking a two-seam down in the zone early and then elevating his fastball when he was trying to finish the hitter. Martin used his slider to back-door or back foot lefties. The 10-to-4 shape on the pitch was sharp with late break. He also mixed a changeup, which may be his best future offering. His hand speed was exceptional and he sunk the pitch under multiple barrels during his outing. Martin worked seven innings giving up two runs to record the win.

Devin Burkes (2020 Ocala, Fla.) the catcher is tall with long limbs and is very athletic. He is very quick, both to block balls and beating a pitch to the spot. The uncommitted athlete is having a great week, currently hitting .471 with four doubles and a homer. On Wednesday night he put together a couple quality at bats. He works counts well, identifies pitches and has the ability to uses the use the entire field. His bat-to-ball skills are very good and the ball jumps off his barrel when it’s squared. He hit a hard line drive single to left field and recorded both RBIs to lead the Scorpions to a 2-1 playoff win while also playing stellar defense. He should not be uncommitted for long.

– Jered Goodwin



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