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Tournaments | Story | 7/6/2019

16u WWBA: Day 1 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Jered Goodwin         Greg Gerard         Jacob Jordan         Jacob Martin         Brian Treadway         Matthew Arietta        
Photo: Rawley Hector (Perfect Game)
In what has become a summer tradition at LakePoint, righthander Rawley Hector (2021, Van Alstyne, Texas) was fantastic on the bump once again for the Dulin Dodgers and if not for what appeared to be a blister, he looked destined for a complete game effort. Ultimately the Texas A&M commit went 4 2/3 innings of quality baseball, punching out six while running his fastball up to 91 mph.

Hector, a primary shortstop growing up, has continued to refine his craft on the mound and has already established himself as one of the pitchers in the entire 2021 class, not only because of his velocity but the overall package on the mound. Standing at a broad shouldered 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, the physical projection is near limitless, which when combined with his overall athleticism, gives you one of the top arms with the ability to pound the zone with one of the best arsenals. The velocity comes easy for the future Aggie as his arm action is online and plenty quick through the back, sitting in the 87-90 mph range throughout with little effort at release. And while the pitch showed occasional cut when getting to his glove side, it showed mostly sinking action while living down with the pitch, arguably his third best pitch in this look.

It’s not often a 91 mph fastball would be considered a third-best offering at a 16U tournament but that speaks to the overall arsenal of what Hector brought to the mound on opening day. His slider lived in the low-80s throughout and he was able to pick up six swing-and-misses with the offering, creating tight spin on the pitch with late tilting life, proving to be a potential plus offering in the very near future. Like the slider, Hector maintained both his arm speed and release point very well on his changeup, an 81-84 mph pitch that showed fading life down in the zone, mimicking his fastball out of the hand. Both of his secondaries are tunneled well and when you take the athleticism and ability to pound the strike zone into account it becomes clear why he’s ranked No. 11 in the class of 2021.

David Jeon (2021, Coppell, Texas) was able to make an impression offensively in a game in which his team only connected for four base hits on the day. A physically built 6-foot, 200-pounds, Jeon got the start behind the plate and though he’s listed as a primary righthanded pitcher, college recruiters will be certain to take a look as his arm strength (87 mph on the bump) translates well to behind the dish as he showed plenty of carry on his throws with a quick transfer and release as well. He showcased his physical strength well in his second at-bat of the game as he kept both his weight and hands back just enough on a hanging breaking ball to muscle it into center field, still finding the barrel. Jeon’s next at-bat resulted in a loud out with a hard, barreled fly out to left field, but he again squared it up, this time an 86 mph fastball.

Righthander James Peyton Smith (2021, Springfield, Tenn.) drew quite the crowd of college recruiters behind the backstop as the uncommitted Tennessee native locked horns with Dulin’s Rawley Hector in what had a playoff-type atmosphere despite it being day one of pool play. The last time we saw Smith was in the 2018 15U WWBA World Championships, a tournament he’s scheduled to play in again this year due to being young for the grade, where he topped out at 85 mph, a mark he never dipped to on Friday. Instead he went the distance and took the tough-luck loss, scattering just four hits while maintaining his upper-80s fastball throughout, still touching 90 mph late into the content.

At first look one may think Smith wouldn’t maintain his velocity given the up-tempo pace to his delivery but that didn’t deter him in the slightest as he continuously pumped the strike zone and provided a complete look at a true three-pitch mix. With a long and projectable 6-foot-1, 167-pound frame, Smith utilizes a long, whip-like arm stroke through the back, generating plenty of arm speed and deception and for the most part was on time with nearly every pitch, filling the strike zone. From his first pitch to the last the uncommitted righthander lived in the upper-80s fastball, peaking at 91 mph and still bumping 90s in the last inning of work, showing the same sinking life to the pitch that one would imagine given his release point.

In this look the breaking ball varied for Smith, ranging anywhere from 69-75 mph with shorter curveball depth at the lower velocities and more late tilting action at the higher end of the band which was also the more effective version. He’ll tend to slow his energy on the release of his slider, but Smith maintains his release point and shows the ability to spin a quality breaker, helping induce consistent weak contact while living away from the barrels. Smith also mixed in a low-70s changeup which may arguably be his best off-speed pitch with consistent and late fading life from a mirrored release point to complete the three-pitch mix.

While he may not have been a household name prior to his start, James Peyton Smith certainly left his mark and demanded the attention of all the recruiting coordinators behind the backstop who certainly took notice of his excellent six innings of work.

A recent Texas commit (as in less than a couple days ago), righthander Joshua Stewart (2021, Georgetown, Texas) was handed the ball for Lonestar Baseball and while he ultimately took the loss, it’s easy to see why the Longhorns locked up this in-state talent. Strongly built at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, there’s still room to his frame for Stewart to grow stronger which will only continue help his arsenal play up given the amount of arm speed he’s able to generate at present.

The future Longhorn ran his fastball up to 88 mph early in the contest and continued to pump the zone with mid- to upper-80s fastballs throughout, regularly sitting in the 85-87 mph with some cut action that he creates from his shorter stride release. Stewart showed comfort working to either side of the plate with his fastball from an extended arm slot and when he was on top of the ball there was some big plane and late, heavy life through the zone. Despite working mostly off of his fastball, Stewart did show a tight spinning curveball in the mid-70s with subtle depth and also mixed in a changeup up to 79 mph, though it was the fastball that the catcher signaled for the most.

Every year a player comes into the WWBA with buzz due to tools and a strong performance in the spring, both of which quickly get put on display and have recruiting coordinators scrambling for a look. We’re only one day into the tournament but it appears GBG shortstop Maxwell Muncy (2021, Camarillo, Calif.) may very well be that player this year as he had a loud day one prior to the skies opening in front of a host of onlooking recruiting. Currently ranked No. 173 in the 2021 class, the fast-twitch 6-foot, 170-pound Muncy wasted little time in making an impact from the leadoff position.

On just the second pitch of the game and on a 1-0 curveball, Muncy quickly showed off his athleticism and hand-eye coordination as he sat back on a curveball and ripped the pitch down the left field line for the first of two doubles on the day, turning around first base in 4.40 seconds. The bat speed and overall whip to the barrel will rival anybody’s in the tournament as it took just a single swing to announce his presence. That said, in case you needed to see more, Muncy doubled again in his next at-bat (click here to see on Twitter) and this time played pepper off the center field fence with a line drive shot, showing more leverage to his stroke with the same standout bat speed. Along with the bat speed, Muncy’s foot speed plays on the bases, as do his instincts, with a couple of thefts and the ability to disrupt the game overall.

Scott Ellis (2020, Newbury Park, Calif.), a young uncommitted 2020 graduate, made the start on the hill for GBG Marucci and delivered 4 1/3 innings of hitless baseball, leaving little doubt that he’ll remain uncommitted for much longer. Not overly physical at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, a key to Ellis’ success was his quick and compact arm stroke which allowed him to repeat and regularly fill the strike zone with a fastball that sat in the mid- to upper-80s throughout, bumping 90 mph regularly in the first inning. The pitch showed short running life through the zone and as a result was able to induce weaker contact off the barrel and also work ahead in the count which in turn, unlocked his secondary offerings. His curveball shows potential as a swing-and-miss offering up to 76 mph with late biting action and tunneled a nice changeup at times with fading life up to 81 mph.

As has become almost expected to this point, the Canes National 16U team is loaded up with talent once again, bringing in some of the top talent from across the country and came out ahead in their pool opener with a 7-1 victory. Their talent stands out all over the field with plus arm strength from third baseman Alex Mooney (2021, Rochester Hills, Mich.) and catcher Luke Davis (2022, Garden Grove, Calif.) and big time bats scattered throughout the lineup. While Mooney and Davis had relatively quiet days at the plate, and we’ll be certain to get additional looks this week, both Daylen Lile (2021, Louisville, Ky.) and Satchell Norman (2021, Sarasota, Fla.) put a couple of highly-intriguing swings on display with loud results to match.

In his first at-bat, during a left-on-left matchup, Lile (who has notably filled out physically since last summer) pulled his hands in and showed off his strength with a shot to the opposite field, staying compact and fluid through the ball with a double over the left fielder’s head. There’s quick-twitch to his overall profile and once on the bases he showed his speed, as well as his reads, to eventually come around and score. Similar to Lile, Norman went over the left fielder’s head but also cleared the wall at Allatoona High School for a no-doubt blast to lead off the bottom of the third. There’s no doubting the bat speed as it stands out even on a team like the Canes as the Florida State commit goes to the plate looking to hurt the baseball just as he did with a hard, rising line drive home run.

-Jheremy Brown

Auburn commit Parker Carlson (2021, Mobile, Ala.) made quick work of his three innings, completely dominating from start to finish. The young righthander tossed three innings of work striking out seven and not walking a batter. He also displayed three pitches for strikes with a fastball in the 85-87 mph range, a curveball with 12-to-6 shape and some tightness as well as a tumbling changeup. He worked off of the fastball attacking hitters with it before going to his offspeed stuff. The pitchability is off the charts for his age keeping hitters off balance, working the corners and showing comfort with tossing any of his three pitches in any count. Carlson’s arm works really well and he repeats his mechanics so well that the ball repeatedly comes out cleanly and inline to the plate. Carlson gets downhill and throws with some effort and wrap to his arm stroke, but the overall operation with his arm speed and projectable are each really projectable.

A pair of bats for the East Coast Sox showcased themselves well on day one of 16U WWBA National Championship. Jordan McCants (2021, Cantonment, Fla.) and Riley Maddox (2021, Pearl, Miss.) each swung the bat well and have plenty of athleticism. McCants is a really impressive athlete with a compact lefthanded stroke and the ability to manipulate the barrel of the bat. Going the opposite way on a double in his first at-bat, the No. 203 player in the 2021 class went the other way with the pitch and burned down the line. McCants turned around first base with a 4.55 second home-to-first time with the aforementioned turn from the left side. McCants did a nice job going the other way with the pitch and working it to the opposite field.

Maddox, the other Sox hitter of note, has one of the smoother swings on the entire Sox team, showing plenty of looseness to his hands and a line drive barrel plane. Maddox struck a ball well to the opposite field for a single, meeting the ball on time and out in front. The righthanded hitting infielder certainly has the frame to project on as well as strength to his hands and a confident approach.

Zachary Lewis (2021, Winston Salem, N.C.) made quite the first impression in front of this scout at this year’s 16U WWBA. Lewis made a significant velocity jump from the fall where he was up to 82 mph per his PG profile and now touches 89 mph with his fastball. The righthander throws with intent and sat 86-89 mph while creating some plane when down in the strike zone. The uncommitted righthander pitched a pair of innings in front of numerous college recruiters striking out four batters in the process. The righthander did shy away from his command at times but when staying online to the plate and getting his arm stroke through on time to the point of release, Lewis was unhittable and could get his fastball to both halves of the plate. His offspeed pitches each are developing with a changeup that displayed on this day to be the better of the two with sinking action in the upper-70s. The breaking ball was very firm with short movement and has potential as he keeps the same arm speed as his fastball with each of his secondary offerings. Lewis helped pitch the Dirtbags 16U Bad Company to a Day 1 victory as they went on to run rule their opposing team.

The Dirtbags team as a whole has lots of talent from top to bottom and leading the charge at the top is one of the fastest players, potentially, in the entire event. Rj Johnson (2021, Franklinton, N.C.) has elite impact speed for his age and he showed it throughout swiping three bags in the game and staying disruptive on the base paths throughout the contest. Johnson roped a single to his pull side in his first at-bat of the day as well, showing a compact swing getting his hands inside to the point of contact. Johnson met the baseball out in front and got the bat head to it well. Johnson is a quick-twitch athlete with present tools throughout his game.

The Dirtbags catcher is Coastal Carolina commit Derek Bender (2021, Latham, N.Y.). Bender is a physical righthanded hitting backstop with quickness out of his crouch and a really strong arm. Bender had a loud day all around in the middle of the Dirtbags lineup as he doubled a pair of times and made strong throws to second base from behind the dish. The future Chanticleer has plenty of strength to his frame combined with a strong swing with plenty of bat speed that projects for lots of power potential moving forward. Bender has clean catch and throw actions behind the plate on top of his other outstanding tools. The exchange coming out of his crouch is clean while he shows easy movements and quickness behind the dish. Bender is an all-around nice talent for the Dirtbags and is off to a very strong start in this event.

Brandon Clarke (2021, Ashburn, Va.) is one of the top uncommitted arms in the 2021 class, as he showed on Friday afternoon. Pitching in front of nearly 30 college recruiters, Clarke did not disappoint as he sat 87-90 mph and touched 91 mph once for a swing-and-miss as well. Clarke is a skinny and still plenty-projectable 6-foot-3 southpaw with a live arm and plenty of arm speed. Clarke also featured a firm changeup at 84 mph and a slider that projects as a plus pitch moving forward as well. Clarke throws with some effort, but creates a tough angle to the plate for hitters working from an extended three-quarters arm slot. The arm really works and it is easy to believe that with the projection of the body and the arm speed that there may be even more in Clarke’s tank moving forward. The uncommitted lefty will surely have offers to play in college after this week in Georgia and it is only a matter of time before the projectable lefty is off the board.

Dalen Thompson (2021, Bunnlevel, N.C.) is a slick middle infielder for the Dirtbags who certainly looks the part of an outstanding athlete and a he shows it on the baseball diamond. Thompson has plenty of tools with his glove in the middle infield as well his bat speed at the plate. Thompson, a rising junior from North Carolina, has plenty of quick-twitch to his actions both in the field and at the plate. His hands work well into his swing with plenty of quickness to the ball to generate that raw bat speed. His hands up the middle are clean as well, giving Thompson the total package in a young middle infielder for the next level.

-Gregory Gerard

Jose Felix (2020, New York, N.Y.) is a righthanded pitcher with a medium 5-foot-10, 185-pound frame playing for the NY Gothams 16U. Build has some present strength and athleticism. The righty starts with a pointed-foot medium leg lift and works downhill with a strong follow through towards the first base side. His live arm action from a high three-quarters slot was preceded by a full circular motion. The live arm combined with some lower half force generated a fastball that sat around 87 mph and touched 89 mph several times. He also featured a sharp 11-to-5 curveball that played as a true swing-and-miss pitch around 75 mph. Working both sides of the plate, he showed confidence throwing to the edges of the strike zone and located well. His command played well today but he did lose the feel for a couple of pitches that he either spiked or threw way over the strike zone. Despite this, he worked an efficient and scoreless three innings across 38 pitches with six strikeouts, no walks allowed, and only one hit allowed.

At the plate, Felix went 2-for-2 with a double, triple, and an intentional walk. The righthanded hitter uses a large leg lift with a medium stride after starting in a slightly open stance with a narrow base and high hands. Hands are quick through the zone and create bat speed as he hits the ball with force. They usually led through the zone as he showed an ability to hit the ball to the opposite field, the triple was hit hard down the right field line. He typically hits line drives, but he has the ability to create backspin and elevate the ball. He displayed really good skills during the first day of the tournament and is an interesting talent moving forward.

Christian Orduna (2021, Miami, Fla.) is a lefthanded pitcher who displayed a lot of pitching ability and skill with a small 5-foot-8, 147-pound frame and clear room to fill out. Starting with a moderately-high leg lift, he works downhill online with smooth and fluid mechanics. Throwing from a high to mid three-quarters arm slot, he repeats his mechanics incredibly well and maintained velocity throughout his start. Locating really well and working both sides of the plate, his unpredictable pitch mix generated 13 strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings with two unearned runs allowed, one walk, and two hits. He showed confidence and aggressiveness working the corners and not giving in during hitter’s counts. The fastball only averaged 80 mph but touched 82 mph several times, including his last inning of work. That is the definition of maintaining velocity. His arsenal was rounded out with a 12-to-6 curveball around 70 mph and a changeup around 73 mph. He used all of his pitches in all different counts and displayed true pitching skill. Due to his small frame, he could gain velocity if he fills out additionally.

Casey Artigues (2021, Hammond, La.) showcased a medium 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame with present athleticism and room to fill out while playing for Elite Squad 16U Gulf South. The lefthanded hitter starts with a wide base in a moderately open stance while using a toe-tap trigger as a timing mechanism. Taking a contact-oriented approach, he can work the ball to all fields with his fluid hands and linear swing plane. It appears as if he typically hits line drives and ground balls, as he made contact with a medium hit line drive and ground ball both resulting in singles during the first day of the tournament. His speed played well on the bases as he stole a base and scored a run. The speed also played well on defense, as the primary center fielder took good jumps on balls and made efficient routes with solid range. Despite batting lefthanded, the outfielder throws with his right hand, showcasing an above-average arm on throws back into the infield.

Will Rogers (2021, Shoreview, Minn.) is a primary catcher with projectable ability on both sides of the ball. He has a 6-foot, 190-pound frame with present strength and athleticism. Behind the plate, he showcased a good arm and athletic footwork behind the plate, making quick transfers on throws to bases. His pop times were all around two seconds, give or take a few milliseconds. He also received the ball well, assisting his pitcher on getting called strikes on the edges of the strike zone and making athletic blocks. The righthanded hitter starts in a moderately open stance with an even base. Using a long stride, he incorporates his lower half into the swing well, generating power and maintaining balance. The swing is smooth and fluid with quick hands to match on a linear plane. He made loud contact on every swing, hitting the ball up the middle or to the pull side. Just overall really projectable ability to the next level. During the first day of the tournament, Rogers went 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI, and a run scored. His one out was a hard line drive right to the shortstop.

-Jake Martin

James Wood (2021, Olney, Md.) hit the ball hard all day Friday. With three exit velocities at 100 mph or over, one of which was a triple, the uncommitted 16-year-old showed effortless power throughout his two games. He generates his power in a long and strong lower half with good bat speed. Even balls that he just missed flew off the bat. Wood stands in at 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, with a long lanky build. When he adds more muscle and weight to his frame as he continues to develop, the power that could come with it would be daunting. The centerfielder is more than just a big bat, he also showed impressive speed on the bases and sound defense with range in the outfield.

Noah Mrotek (2021, Bowie, Md.) had a monster day at the plate for ADI National, with a triple in one game and an opposite field home run in the other. The Maryland commit barreled the ball up extremely well and made loud contact. Both hits were to the opposite field and were hit extremely hard. Mrotek’s muscular build on a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame projects well and his strength clearly translates to on field play. Although he hit the ball hard, his pure hitting ability was just as impressive. He’s patient in the box and doesn’t miss his pitch. Defensively, he showed a sound ability to play first base and a strong arm when throwing across the diamond to third base. Impressive young player.

Malachi Lott (2021, Portland, Texas) was solid all around in his 2-2 performance on Friday morning. The Houston Commit hit a hard line drive double down the right field line and a base hit up the middle. The lefthander has pop in his bat and speed that plays well. He gets extended down through the zone and makes contact out front. He could stand to stay back a bit more but that did not affect his success on Friday. Defensively, Lott was good and right field. He made all his plays and flashed a strong arm when he one hopped a ball to third from right field. A 5-foot-8, 155-pound frame is filling out well, but he is sure to keep growing.

Austin Stracener (2021, New Braunfels, Texas) was an extremely impressive talent on Friday. The shortstop was a vacuum on the infield and did some good things at the plate as well. Although he went 0-for-2, the Texas A&M commit made contact in both at-bats and showed incredible speed in a home-to-first when trying to beat out a chopper to the third baseman. Defensively, everything looked extremely easy for Stracener. He has arm strength with a smooth arm action with soft hands and a great glove. He also showed great range and an ability to throw on the move. Physically, the 6-foot, 165-pounder shows present muscle in his lean athletic build. All around great athlete with raw talent and big upside.

Jose Guzman (2020, Indianapolis, Ind.) was nothing less than dominant on Friday in his start for Canes Midwest. The righthander threw five innings while allowing no runs on three hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. Armed with an 88-90 mph fastball that was up to 93, a sweeping low-70s curveball, and a changeup in the low-80s, Guzman carved throughout the game. The arm is on the higher side in terms of effort but he sustains his velocity extremely well. The arm action is compact and whippy with a three-quarters arm slot. He does get down the mound well and delivers with intent. The Cincinnati commit is currently listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, with a lean build and filled-out lower half that he uses well.

Austin Bode (2021, Columbus, Ind.) had a great game Friday for Canes Midwest. The catcher went 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles, two RBI, and a run scored. The lefthanded hitter hit both doubles to the pull side with one in the right-center gap and the other down the right field line. There is certainly pop in the bat that works well with a pull approach. He makes contact out front and uses his lower half well while getting extended down through the zone with quick hands. Defensively, the Louisville commit was extremely comfortable behind the plate and performed well. He framed well with soft hands and move well laterally. He keeps the ball in front and flashed a strong arm.

Deamez Filipe' Ross (2022, Melbourne, Fla.) showed big upside on Friday for FTB Tucci 16U Orlando. He went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. The lefthander pulled his home run 330 feet over the right field wall and had a base hit up the middle. Ross’ swing is smooth and impressive. After starting in a slightly open stance with a wide base, the uncommitted 16-year-old stays back and gets into lower half. With quick hands he keeps the barrel on plane down through the zone and gets nice extension. Defensively, he played well in right field with an arm that is certainly a threat. Currently, he is listed at 6-feet, 167 pounds. He fills out his frame pretty well but is likely not done growing yet.

Marlon Sanchez (2020, Kissimmee, Fla.) raked on Friday, going 2-for-2 with two doubles, one RBI, and three runs scored. The uncommitted first baseman hit with power to pull side with one double in the right-center gap and the other going down the right field line. He generates his power in a strong lower half after a big leg kick. He aims to generate lift and hit line drives into the gaps. From a defensive standpoint, the righthander played extremely well at first. He executed all his plays with ease and picked the ball well while showing his ability to stretch on balls in the dirt. Sanchez fills out his 5-foot-10 frame well and shows present strength.

Christian Moore (2021, Brooklyn, N.Y.) was extremely impressive on Friday with his 2-for-2 performance. He had a triple, a run scored, and three RBI. At the plate, Moore makes loud contact and drives the ball into the outfield. He’s a pure hitter that sees the ball well and is disciplined at the plate. Using a strong longer half effectively, the University of Tennessee commit generates lots of pop off the bat. Defensively, the shortstop’s raw athleticism shows as has great ranged and flashed soft hands with quick transfers to a strong arm. From a physical standpoint, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame is filled out with a muscular build. It is certainly not the body of an average 16-year-old. Overall, Moore is a highly-projectable raw talent with a bright future in the game if he continues to develop at this rate.

Kobe Andrade (2020, Corpus Christi, Texas) showcased a strong arm in a relief outing for the Banditos 16U Scout Team on Friday. The southpaw commanded an 87-89 mph fastball and a mid-70s 11-5 curveball. Although Andrade relied mostly on his fastball, he showed feel for his curve later in the outing. The Texas A&M commit has a quick arm that works from a fairly compact arm action with a three-quarters release.  Physically, the 16-year-old’s 6-foot-1, 165-pound frame gives him plenty of room to fill out. Certainly his velocity will continue to rise as he grows into his body and develops more strength. Exciting young arm for sure.

-Jacob Jordan

Taking over the first base duties for the API National, Josh Moylan (2020 Stoney Beach, Md.) showed why he is one of the top players in Maryland for his graduation class. The lefthander turned in a strong performance at the plate. Going 1-for-3, the East Carolina commit had a tough time getting going but turned in a triple with his last at-bat. The Maryland native has quick hands and a smooth compact swing. With good hand placement before the pitch comes, Moylan has the ability to reach a variety of pitches that are thrown over the plate. The ball he struck was shot up the right-center gap and Moylan high-tailed it to third. With decent speed, Moylan has a considerable stride with his 6-foot-5 frame and makes running the bases easy as he covers a lot of ground easily.

Though he is a primary shortstop, James Triantos (2022 McLean, Va.) took the mound as the starting pitcher for Molina Stars 16U. Turning in four innings of work, the righthander provided enough room for his team to take the lead and eventually the win. The North Carolina commit ran his fastball up to 88 mph while sitting comfortably in the upper-80s throughout his stint. From both the windup and the stretch, he kept his velocity consistent. Delivering from a high three-quarters slot, Triantos worked with mostly his fastball but occasionally cashed in on a 12-to-6 curve that would sit in the lower-70s. At the end of four, Triantos had struck out three batters while only allowing one run in a big pool play victory.

Jake Poindexter (2021 Chickamauga, Ga.) started the game for Exposure 16U Prime and turned in a gem with six strong innings of work. Working from a windup, the righthander was rather quick and abrupt with his pitching routine as he delivered his pitch. He used all of his 6-foot-1 frame on the mound as he would explode off the mound with a large step towards home. Working from a low three-quarters arm angle, he worked with a fastball and a curveball that had both deception and movement. The Georgia commit’s fastball ran up to 89 mph while maintaining its velocity in the upper-80s throughout. Complementing his fastball was an 11-to-5 curveball that had some extra movement and benefited from the angle which the righthander came at the hitters from. With almost an approach of throwing across his body, the Georgia native turned in an impressive job of only allowing one run through his six innings of work in the victory.

After a couple of lightning delays, Hayden Durke (2020 Abbeville, La.) got the start for Sheets Baseball, but it didn’t stop him from turning an absolute masterpiece with five innings of no-hit baseball. Taking the mound, the strong 6-foot-2 righthander began pounding the zone with hard fastballs that maxed out at 94 mph. Throughout the entirety of the game, the velocity never dropped that much as he consistently was hitting 90 in the fifth inning. He complimented the fastball with a sharp 12-to-6 curveball that would sit in the upper-70s. Occasionally the Louisiana native would use a changeup but that would be sparingly as his go to pitches were the heater and the breaking ball. Through the first few innings, Durke was able to place the fastball magnificently while the curveball wasn’t hitting it’s spot the way he wanted. However, in the fifth there was almost a switch as the fastball wasn’t hitting the zone but he commanded the breaker tremendously. Though he walked four batters in his stint on the mound, the Louisiana-Lafayette commit dominated with 10 strikeouts, ending his time in the game with three consecutive breaking balls for his tenth.

Speed was the name of the game for Kael Babin (2021 Gonzalez, La.) as he went 2-for-3 with three runs in the blowout victory. Standing at only 5-foot-6, power is not really a tool that Babin possesses right now but that didn’t stop him from making a dramatic impact on the game. Getting on base is crucial to his game and he did it in a variety of ways. The righthander got a hit by sending a ball over the shortstop’s head in one at bat and then followed that up by beating out a groundball to the second baseman. He followed those two at-bats with a hit-by-pitch that put him on base. With the tremendous speed that he has, the uncommitted outfielder continued to put pressure on the defense. The quickness that the Louisiana native translates as well to the outfield as the centerfielder patrolled a large part of the field easily.

-Brian Treadway

Spencer Boynton (2021, Tampa, Fla.) is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound utility infielder and righthanded pitcher from Seffner Christian Academy, in the Tampa suburb of Seffner, Florida. Playing first base today and hitting ninth for his club, Top Tier Roos American 2021, Boynton capitalized on the opportunity of playing in the WWBA National Championship and started off the week red-hot going 2-for-2 with two doubles, with two RBI and a run scored for his club. At the plate, Boynton hits from the right side and has a short, quick bat path with plenty of barrel control and current power to the gaps. He really gets into his large lower half, generating torque and leverage on his swing when he connects. Spencer runs well on the bases with good awareness. His athleticism carries to the infield as he’s listed as a utility infielder, yet played first this afternoon, and he showcased very athletic actions around the bag and had soft hands making him a good receiver on all balls thrown and hit his way. His size and strength make him an ideal target for first base, as he already plays into his size which makes him very projectable for the position. Bat is definitely an early carry tool for Boynton, and it will be exciting to see him capitalize at the plate throughout the week.

Benjamin Hamacher (2021, Marietta, Ga.) is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound utility infielder who played second base this afternoon for his club East Cobb Astros 16U Z. An incoming junior at Blessed Trinity Catholic in Roswell, Ga., he hit .400 on the day for his club with a single, double, two walks, five runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. Off to a great start at WWBA 16U, Hamacher hits second for East Cobb, and has a narrow-yet-open stance at the plate with upright posture and hands low near his pec. He has a double toe-tap trigger, and does a nice job loading his hands back before consistently matching pitch plane and unloading through the hitting zone with a quick, short stroke with good extension through contact. Current power is to the gaps, yet he plays to his strengths and has good hand-eye coordination and barrel control which makes him a tough out. Hamacher already showed that he can handle wood, and consistently connected on hard contact to the gap. Hamacher has an athletic frame and is very toolsy with utilityman type skills that translate mostly to the middle infield yet can be used all over if need be. Hamacher played third base in the 2 p.m. spot at East Cobb and showcased good athleticism and soft hands at the hot corner with arm strength and accuracy on his throws. He moves well both at third and on the bases making him a vital asset to his team’s success. We are looking forward to seeing more out of Ben in all facets of the game as the week unfolds for him and the talented East Cobb Astros 16u Z.

James Hill (2021, Trinity, Fla.) is a teammate of aforementioned Boynton above, and also performed well at East Cobb this afternoon for their club, Top Tier Roos American 2021. Hill showcased his advanced abilities on both sides of the ball yesterday, as he went 1-for-2, with a run scored, and a RBI from the five-hole in the win. Hill has quick twitch actions in the box from the right side, and displayed good vision, and hand-eye coordination making solid contact and line drive result to the gap on his single. Hill is a good athlete and moves well on the bases and out of the box as well. Hill came in to pitch in the fourth after Nokona Baseball 16U Chiefs scored their second run and slammed the door for the remaining 2 1/3, allowing two hits, an earned run and recording six of the seven outs via the strikeout. Hill uses a balanced, up-beat windup with clean arm action and good athleticism releasing his repertoire out front and then finishing over his front side. He executed his two-pitch mix effectively and efficiently, using his fastball (82-84 mph) and curve (65-69 mph) in all counts. He even doubled up with his curve, occasionally bookending batters with it, which helped him get ahead and make hitters uneasy all afternoon. A good athlete, Hill showed the ability to field his position during the couple opportunities hit his way as well as move well off the mound to cover bags when needed. Hill has good size and strength to his current build, as he is listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. He is an incoming junior at JW Mitchell High School, in New Port Richey, Fla., a suburb to his hometown. Hill has tremendous upside on both sides of the ball and showed it today as he helped lead his team to victory on day one of WWBA 16U in Georgia.

Ryan Johnson (2021, Red Oak, Texas) is a 6-foot-6, 182-pound righthanded pitcher from Red Oak, Texas and came into yesterday ranked as the No. 9 righthanded pitcher in the state for the 2021 class. Ryan has a lot of room to fill to his lanky frame, yet is athletic, and moves well for his current size. Johnson got the start for his club, Dallas Tigers 2021 Hernandez, and performed really well on the mound, shutting down the opposition, and helping his club jump out to an eight-run lead by the time he exited after three full innings of work. On the bump, Johnson starts from the first base side of the rubber, and slides into his step, carrying momentum into a low leg kick that he uses to really drive down the mound. He gets into his back leg well, and has a quick, short-circled, clean arm action that delivers his pitches from a low three-quarters slot. Johnson showcased an advanced three-pitch mix of a fastball (85-88 mph) with life, a curveball (70-71 mph) with 12-6 rotation, depth, and heavy bottom at times, and a changeup (76-78 mph) with good sell and fade late through the zone. Johnson showed keen pitchability during his start scattering two hits and striking out three during his quick 36-pitch outing. He continually filled up the strike zone showing better control than command, yet a 69 percent strike percentage garnered weak contact and kept him in control. Johnson is a good athlete and moved well off the mound, fielding his position, and covering bases when needed. Depending on how well the Tigers fair in the early going of this tournament we will most likely see Johnson again on the mound soon, and he will be someone you don’t want to miss moving forward.

Carlson Reed (2020, Marietta, Ga.) is a 6-foot-4, 182-pound, tall and lanky righthanded pitcher from Marietta High School in his hometown. A senior in the fall, Carlson has good size and plenty of room to fill to his current frame making him really projectable on the mound moving forward. Reed showed present tools on Friday, and a live arm that held many scouts and college coach’s attention throughout his outing. Carlson came into the day ranked as the No. 14 righthanded pitcher in his home state for the 2020 class and showed why, as he led his club to a win in the early going of the WWBA 16U in Georgia. When all was said and done, Reed went three innings, where he scatted two hits, allowed three runs, and struck out seven. He used a two-pitch mix of a fringe-average fastball (high of 93 mph) and a good curveball with plenty of depth and bottom when he got it right. He used his fastball to get ahead most of the time and it generated plenty of swing and miss, and weak contact, especially when down in the zone, which generated natural tail making it tough to connect. As Reed got comfortable near the end of his start, he began to mix in all counts increasing his pitchability and causing his opponent headaches in the box. A good athlete, Reed fields his position well, staying under control and pairs his glove with strong, accurate throws to bases. Sky is the limit for Reed, as he is definitely a prospect you want to monitor moving forward for the rest of the week and for the remainder of his amateur career.

-Matt Arietta

Dylan Taylor (2021, Ellaville, Ga.) is a well put together athlete that is 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, with broad shoulders and a proportioned body.  He is a functional athlete that is always under control and works in rhythm on both sides of the ball.  He showed solid footwork at the shortstop position with the ability to work around and through the baseball, it is not flashy but steady throughout.  He has good hands and enough arm to make all the throws from the left side of the infield.  The uncommitted prospect showed a quick lefthanded swing on Friday, with the ability to drive the balls to all fields.  His load is short and allows him to stay tight during his turn while letting the ball travel very deep in the zone.  He has plenty of bat speed and will hit for power as he fills out.  The lefthanded hitter smoked a ground-rule double to the opposite field gap in left-center field today, collecting two RBI and scoring a run for 5 Start National 16U Burress.

Keagan Perez (2021, Casselberry, Fla.) has long limbs and a ton of projection as he fills out his 6-foot-3 and 145-pound frame.  The arm speed shown indicates he will have a jump in velo given time for the body to fill out.  His delivery has a short sidestep to clear his hips and he does a great job maintaining connection with his back side to drive down the mound.  His arm has a full circle on the back and comes through quickly, with a very repetitive release point.  He was up to 83 mph with sink, Friday morning with a ton more to come. He mixes a usable 11-5 curveball that is developing nicely.  His changeup has the makings of a real out pitch due to the hand speed he maintains on it and the tunneling effect it has with his fastball. He does a good job of mixing all three pitches and has no fear throwing any pitch in any spot.  He is confident on the mound and pounds the zone. He threw four great innings today, striking out seven and did not give up and earned run.

Jackson Mayo (2021, St Johns, Fla.) is an uber-athletic lefthanded hitter that looks the part of a rangy center fielder at the next level.  He has a great body to add weight and not slow down a bit.  He has a 6-foot-1 frame with long arms and a high waist. He has fluidity in everything he does and seems to float when getting going around the field.  Mayo showed good range in center field and excellent first step instincts.  His swing is effortless and gets good extension through the ball.  His approach and pitch recognition improve every time he is seen.  He identified and outer half fastball today and got extension with his whippy swing, hitting a no doubt homerun to centerfield.  He added three RBI and scored a run, all the while playing great defense.  Mayo looks like one of the best uncommitted players in the country.

Matthew Brewer (2021, Chapin, S.C.) was very impressive in the first look for this 6-foot-3 lefthanded pitcher.  He is ultra-projectable with long legs and arms, a slender waist, and what looks like a chance to continue to get taller.  He can easily add weight that will add natural velocity as he matures.  A young-looking 2021, he showed great athleticism in his delivery with the ability to disrupt the rhythm with holds and quick pitches. His ability to disrupt timing while having a consistent release point was impressive.  Brewer throws from a low three-quarters slot and sat in the low-80s throughout his outing.  He had arm-side run and solid command that will only get better with reps.  His breaking ball was slurvy at times, but it was obvious he has feel for spin.  When he was on time, he got good extension and hard late break that missed barrels. The uncommitted pitcher should garner a ton of attention this week.

Will Taylor (2021, Irmo, S.C.) is a chiseled young prospect that is tightly-wound and barrel-chested.  He has noticeably strong forearms that allow him to create easy bat speed when in the box.  He has a balanced set up and very little movement before he shows big intent to contact.  He has a patient approach from his leadoff spot in the Diamond Devils 16U Scheno line up. Taylor displayed good strike zone discipline and pitch recognition, stringing together two walks and three quality at-bats.  The range shown in center field leaves no doubt that he stays there long term.  He is an aggressive baserunner using his legs to steal any base and take an extra base when the opportunity presented itself. Taylor looked like a true table-setter that can impact the game in multiple ways on Friday afternoon.

Diego Villescas (2021, Pharr, Texas) is a high energy player and a lot of fun to watch.  He has a wiry 5-foot-9 frame and slender at 145 pounds who plays for the South Texas Sliders 16U Orange.  There is plenty of twitch in his body that allow his small frame to play way up.  He showed great range at the shortstop position and the ability to change his arm angles to throw effectively on the run.  You can tell he loves to play and seemed to be all over the field.  During his doubleheader day on Friday he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two runs, and three RBI.  His bat is very quick to contact and whipped through the zone, creating hard contact seemingly every time he came to the plate.  He has excellent hand-eye coordination and showed the ability to impact the ball to all parts of the field.  This uncommitted infielder has a high baseball IQ and will be fun to follow over the next two years.

Donovan Hill (2021, Plantation, Fla.) is the son of Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill, and appears to be ready to make a name for himself.  The younger Hill is a very physical lefthanded hitter that has big raw bat speed at the plate.  He has elite core speed and the barrel flies to contact when he releases it.  He matches plane well and the young hitter shows the ability to lift the ball already.  His hands are very strong, but he showed the looseness to make adjustments to the baseball when he needed to do so.  On Friday, he stayed through a pitch over the middle of the plate driving it well over the wall in right-center field. It was a no-doubt shot off the bat. Hill runs well under way and was aggressive rounding the bases later in the game.  This was a very impressive first look at the young hitter.

Ty Evans (2021, Auburndale, Fla.) is exactly what you look for when projecting an impact right field prospect. He has good speed, a big arm, and lots of bat speed in his righthanded swing.  His body has a strong lower half with wide shoulders, and room to fill out in his upper body. His bat is extremely fast and he uses a direct path to the baseball.  An explosive athlete, he uses that to his advantage with controlled intent in all phases of his game.  The Scorpions 2021 Founders Club outfielder stuffed a box score on Friday going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, run, stolen base, and two RBI.  It would not be a surprise of Evans has a monster week.

Hector Mangual (2021, Oviedo, Fla.) is well known for his defensive ability.  He shows very good range in the middle infield with a strong arm that carries.  He has a skinny and wiry frame at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds.  His footwork is very clean and he showed soft hands with the ability to transfer quickly and throw accurately on Friday.  The bat looks like it is catching up to the defense now.  He has shown a workable swing in the past, with loose levers and some whip.  Now he has added strength and he is starting to tap into the leverage his body can provide. Mangal had one of the loudest first days of the event, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI in his second game of a doubleheader for FTB Tucci 55.  If Mangual continues this offensive surge, he will attract massive attention in the near future.

-Jered Goodwin
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