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Tournaments | Story | 7/8/2019

17U BCS: Day 1 Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino         Parker Fronk         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Chase Centala (Perfect Game)
Starting off the morning slot on Day 1 of the BCS Finals were a pair of Rutgers commits Nicholas Feretic (2020, East Windsor, N.J.) and Braedin Hunt (2020, Old Bridge, N.J.) both showed interesting tools on the mound for the East Coast Lumberjacks.



Feretic started the day on the mound and though he’s undersized as a righthanded pitcher (his secondary position by the way), he’s very athletic and that coupled with the arm speed make him an intriguing prospect. Feretic worked mostly in the 82-84 mph range with the fastball, though he bumped as high as 86 mph before his short tenure on the mound came to a close. The athleticism is the selling point in the delivery and the feel for spin is good with shape and projection in the upper-60s. Hunt is a physical, broad-shouldered righthander who worked up to 87 mph and sat in the upper-70s. The arm stroke is longer and offline through the back though he creates some whip and speed from the stroke. Hunt throws from an over-the-top arm slot to create tough angle on release and the feel to spin is evident as well. He had to work through some command issues but showed off a strong pitcher’s build with good stuff though he battled some command issues.

Cameron Leary (2020, Bethpage, N.Y.) played hero for the Lumberjacks as the Boston College commit launched a go-ahead, three-run shot deep to the pull side to put the Lumberjacks up for good in the first time slot. Leary is a wiry, athletic outfielder with a fast lefthanded swing as his long limbs help to create natural leverage and barrel lag through the hitting zone. The bat speed stands out immediately as does the balance in his stance and confidence in the box. He’s a twitchy prospect and the ball can jump off the barrel when he squares it up as the power looks as though it’s coming through as he continues to fill out. An athletic, lefthanded hitting outfielder with some center field traits fits the profile of a well-rounded outfield prospect and we’re excited to follow his progress throughout the week.

Two-way prospect Kyle Cortner (2020, Fishers, Ind.) showed off tools on both sides of the ball in a doubleheader for the Indy Sharks as the southpaw pitched very efficiently in game two while showing he could swing the stick in both games. The uncommitted rising senior is an athletic-framed 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with an angular build and room to fill out. The swing is short and direct to the ball while also getting some extension out in front as early on the morning he dropped the barrel head onto an inner half fastball and drove it down the pull-side line for a double. The delivery is athletic and easy with some angle and a fastball that worked up to 82 mph. There’s untapped upside for Cortner, as the game comes easily to him and he can undoubtedly aid a college program.

Showing off some impressive stuff during a rain-shortened start on the morning was righthanded pitcher Agnel Miranda (2020, Cayey, P.R.) and the 6-foot-5, 200-pound prospect showed off some serious upside. Miranda has a sky-high ceiling physically with long levers and an eminently projectable physical build. The delivery is sound and though the arm stroke is longer in the back there’s adequate whip and looseness to the stroke. His fastball peaked at 88 mph on the day as he worked in the 84-88 mph, with his velocity dropping after a long first inning. The slider is a shorter offering, but the pitch is firm in the mid- to upper-70s. He has some feel for landing the pitch and though there were some strike concerns during the game the potential is easy to see and should be very good when it becomes fully actualized.

Zachary Murray (2020, Buford, Ga.) was his usual self in a victory during game two for the East Cobb Astros Navy on Sunday afternoon as the Louisiana State commit pounded the zone, worked effectively with three pitches, and ultimately showed off his polish and prowess as a pitching prospect. Murray topped out at 88 mph on the afternoon but sat 85-88 mph with the fastball, sinking it well thanks to an extended, pronated release and generally avoiding barrels during the start. Murray has compacted the delivery somewhat over the last year showing improvements in his ability to command all of his offerings. The fastball is the foundation of the repertoire but he really likes his breaking ball and changeup, with good reason. Murray has a tight breaking slider and a Bugs Bunny-esque changeup with lots of fading action. All three of these pitches are tunneled effectively and the result looks like it did for Murray on Sunday with 4 2/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Murray’s teammate and fellow PG National participant John Anderson (2020, Suwanee, Ga.) set the tone of the offense during the first game as he finished with three hits which included two doubles and a long home run to the pull side. Anderson, a Georgia Tech commit, is an extremely physical righthanded hitting prospect and he’s notable for his barrel awareness and his feel in the batter’s box. That feel can be described as confidence, pitch recognition, and plate coverage as he showed off a little bit of all of those during the first game. Anderson worked the count in each at-bat, including a loud fly out in his only out of the game, and laid off breaking balls while waiting for fastballs he could handle. He drove his doubles to each side of the field and in his final at-bats got a fastball that took up a lot of space on the plate and crushed it deep and to the pull side. Anderson has such fast and whippy hands and his understanding of the offensive game stands out.

Getting the tough luck loss on the afternoon was athletic righthander Cameron Bye (2020, Euless, Texas) as he was pitching a shutout in a scoreless tie until the seventh inning where one run was enough to defeat him on Sunday. Bye has an explosive fastball and looks a bit more physical than his initial height and weight of 5-foot-11, 190 pounds would indicate. Bye throws exclusively from the stretch with a very short arm action, similar to the mechanical profile of Joe Kelly for a visual cue, and the ball explodes out of the hand. He worked with both an over-the-top fastball that was sitting 90-91 mph early, and another sinker/two-seamer that was in the mid- to upper-80s from a lower slot with life. He attacked hitters with the fastball primarily as the deception he generates due to his arm stroke allows his fastball to play up very well, especially when coupled with the raw velocity. The Wichita State commit also showed feel for a curveball in the mid-70s that he admittedly slowed on but showed good shape and spin.



Recently uncommitted righthander Chase Centala (2020, Tampa, Fla.) continued his hot streak of performances after a strong showing at PG National, as Centala was excellent in the early goings of this game. Centala was extremely impressive to start out, striking out four of the first six outs that he recorded and showing a lively fastball. Centala is a physical 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and his arm really works with looseness and pronation as he turns over and releases from a true three-quarters arm slot. This generates some hard running and tailing life on the fastball that he can command to either side of the plate. The arm slot will dip lower at times but it’s effective at creating angle to the glove side with the fastball that was 87-90 mph early on. The breaking ball is more of a slurvy offering but shows some bite in the 74-76 mph range while the changeup at 76-78 mph is more than an effective neutralizer against lefthanded hitters. Centala strides short and crossfires but he’s a good enough athlete to rotate through his lower half successfully and on time. He’s near the top of the uncommitted prospects for the 2020 class and that status shouldn’t last for much longer.

Another start in a PG event and another ho-hum performance for Vanderbilt commit Devin Futrell (2021, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) as he tossed four-innings of one-hit baseball during the evening games. Futrell gets better nearly every time out and he showed the ability to adjust and adapt during this look. Futrell is a highly athletic and limitlessly-projectable 6-foot-4, 175 pounds with lots of room to add weight to the build. In the first inning, he worked 84-87 mph with his fastball showing the ability to elevate and spot it to the arm side of the plate exceptionally well. He got a bit too crossbodied later on in the start but adjusted nicely to find his strike-throwing rhythm again. The breaking ball has continued to make progress with sharper bite to it and the makings of a swing-and-miss offering while the advanced feel for the changeup notably stands out. Futrell has some of the best feel to pitch in the class and the stuff has steadily ticked up while it will likely continue to do so.

-Vinnie Cervino



Starting pitcher for Team Elite 17U Scout Team was University of Georgia commit Jaden Woods (2020, Warner Robins, Ga.). Woods had his fastball at 87 mph and it had good arm-side run as he has a three-quarters arm slot. Woods also showed a good changeup that was 79 mph that looked just like his fastball but dropped off the table. He controlled the game working very fast and taking control of the tempo of the game. Woods dominated on Sunday throwing four innings of no-hit baseball while striking out eight.

Luke Ussery (2020, Jacksonville, Fla.) started behind the dish for FTB Jacksonville. Ussery stands at 6-foot, 205 pounds and has a good, strong build to him. He has good pop to his pull side and has quick hands that get to the zone fast. Ussery, who is uncommitted, threw a runner out early in the game with a pop time of 2.13 which eliminated the running game for the rest of the game. He has a strong arm and has good blocking ability behind the plate. Ussery went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and one RBI.



Game two starter for Team Elite 17U Scout Team was Mississippi State commit was Kellum Clark (2020, Brandon, Miss.). Clark hit 90 mph with his fastball and showed a sharp breaking curveball at 72 mph. Clark stands at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and has an athletic and lengthy build. Clark also plays first base and hits in the middle of the lineup. He stands in the lefthanded batter’s box and he has pop to all fields. Clark is a very strong kid and is only going to get stronger.

Connor Varnum (2020, Laurel Hill, Fla.) looked solid on offense and defense on Sunday. Varnum played solid defense all day showcasing his good range and strong arm across the diamond. He also showed off his good pop as he drove a ball deep to left that one-hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double. He stands at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and he runs well and also has room to fill out and get stronger. Varnum is uncommitted and he will be a fun player to continue to watch this weekend and summer.

Shortstop for US Elite 2020 Florida Prospect Team is Juan Villadiego (2020, Doral, Fla.). He showed some next-level glove work as he played lockdown defense. He has very soft hands and looks very smooth on defense making every play look easy. Villadiego also has a smooth swing to go with his great defense. He is a line drive hitter who has pull-side pop and finds consistent barrel. Villadiego, who is uncommitted, went 1-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI on Sunday.

Hunter LaQua (2020, Hallettsville, Texas) was the starting pitcher for Central Florida USA 2020 Team Elite on Sunday. LaQua had great life to his fastball as he had it running up to 88 mph while sitting 85-86. He commanded both sides of the plate very well and was not afraid to get in on hitters. He also has a 12-6 breaking curveball at 70-72 mph and had hitters looking silly when they swung at it. LaQua, who is uncommitted, has a very athletic build to him and he threw four innings of no-hit baseball while striking out nine.

Ben Kates (2020, Pilesgrove, N.J.) started on the mound for Vandals Fueled by Victus. This lefthanded pitcher stands on the mound at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. Kates had his fastball at 81-82 all game and it had a lot of movement to it, which missed barrels throughout his entire outing. He also mixed in a 2-to-8 breaking curveball at 72 mph that had good break to it. Kates has a lot of room to get stronger and his velocity will follow his strength and he will continue to throw harder. Kates commanded the zone and worked very fast which kept the hitters off balance. Kates, who is uncommitted, threw 2 2/3 innings not allowing a hit and striking out three.

First baseman for Beast Mode Prime 17U was uncommitted Jim Brown (2020, Breman, Ga.). Brown stands at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and has very good pop to all fields. He also runs well for his size and is athletic playing first base. Brown looks to drive the ball during his at-bats using his good strength. Brown went 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI, and two walks on the day. Brown will continue to get stronger and will be a fun player to watch over the next two years.



Central Florida USA 2020 Team Elite had lefthander Dayvin Johnson (2020, Gardner, Kan.) on the mound Sunday. Johnson, who is 6-foot, 165 pounds had an electric fastball which he had up to 88 mph which sitting 85-86. He also showcased a great, hard slider at 75 mph. He had really good success throwing back-foot sliders to righties and getting a lot of swing and misses doing so. He threw a lot of strikes and got ahead in a lot of counts which made him successful. He has a very athletic build to himself and carries himself on the mound very well. Johnson, who is uncommitted, threw five innings and had five strikeouts.



Coming out of the pen for Beast Mode Prime 17U and shutting the door was Hayden Summers (2020, Greensboro, N.C.). Summers really lit up the gun, hitting 96 mph with his fastball while sitting 92-93. He has a very smooth and easy windup and the ball really jumps out of Summers hand, making 93 look easy. He also showed a 12-6 breaking curveball at 73 mph which missed barrels and produced weak contact. Standing at 5-foot-11, he has a very athletic build with good strength already. Summers, who is committed to the University of North Carolina, threw two innings while allowing only one hit and striking out three.

-Parker Fronk



Santa Clara commit Case Williams (2020, Castle Rock, Colo.) made a very loud entrance into the 17U BCS as he came out throwing gas, working the fastball at 92-95, topping out at 96 mph. The physical 6-foot-3, 205-pound righthander has made massive strides in the last 10 months as he has firmed up the frame, causing the jump in velocity to come with it. The lower half is firm, allowing him to repeat a low-effort, controlled delivery with a very quick, smooth arm action. The fastball showed consistent arm-side life as he worked it to both halves at 92-95 mph early on, before settling into 89-92 mph after three innings of work. Williams flashed the makings of two good off-speed pitches in a power curveball and a straight changeup, but both pitches need fine-tuning before they can be used with success. There’s a lot to like in terms of what could be left in the tank, and as he continues to refine the command and sharpen up both the mechanics and off-speed pitches, Williams will become a big-time prospect to watch at the next level and beyond.



Uncommitted Noah Greenwald (2020, Castle Rock, Colo.) picked up where Williams left off as he used his thin, 5-foot-11 body to produce a fastball up to 91 mph. Listed a primary middle-infielder, Greenwald played center-field in this look and did it very well, showing a high potential for becoming a two-way prospect at the next level. The fastball showing a consistent dose of hard arm-side run that created a great deal of weak contact as he handcuffed hitters regularly. The arm action is short and quick which allowed him to hide the ball well throughout. He flashed some feel for a tight slider that showed late bite, but used it very rarely in this brief outing. At the plate, the actions are a bit uncontrolled, but he plays at a high level of intensity and showed athletic, quick-twitch actions that can make a high-level prospect with some cleaning up.

Virginia Tech commit Grant Umberger (2020, Chester Springs, Pa.) was outstanding across three innings of work as he went without allowing a baserunner and struck out eight of the nine hitters he faced. The 6-foot-4 lefthander dominated hitters as he worked from a balanced, high-tempo delivery with a high over-the-top arm slot that created consistent downhill action with some arm-side run to the fastball. Umberger showed a high level of command throughout the outing as he worked 70 percent strikes across 42 pitches.

North Carolina commit Hunter Stokely (2020, Wilson, N.C.) put up a ton of run support for teammate Umberger as he finished day one 4-for-5, including two loud home runs and five RBI. The lefthanded-hitting first baseman is a very physical 6-foot-3, 220 pounds with significant room to firm up and add athleticism to the body. Stokely stays short to the ball and showed great ability to pull his hands inside and rip the barrel through the zone. The pop in the bat plays to all fields, but both homeruns came to the pull-side in this look.



Uncommitted Kevin Matos (2020, San Juan, P.R.) was electric in the weather-delayed nightcap as he worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine. The 2019 PG National participant showed great extension to the plate creating consistent arm-side life to the fastball as he worked at 86-89, topping out at 90 mph. Matos’ go-to pitch was a swing-and-miss curveball as he showed outstanding control of it landing it to both halves of the plate with ease. The frame is thin, but highly athletic with quick twitch actions that project well as he looks to add weight to it.



Uncommitted Carlos Anziani (2020, Bronx, N.Y.) is an ultra-projectable 6-foot-4 righthander with significant room to firm up the body and add athleticism. He worked his fastball at 89-91, topping out at 93 mph from a very high over-the-top slot that created significant downhill action. Anziani showed a long and loose arm from a very controlled and repeatable delivery that projects to more velocity as he firms up the body. The delivery is methodical as he showed enough control to change tempo and timing effectively.



Georgia Tech commit Kyle Hilton (2020, Savannah, Ga.) showed his two-way potential as he took the mound for just under four innings of work on day one. The primary catcher showcased a very short, quick arm that produced a heavy arm-side sinking fastball with at 84-86 mph with a plus curveball that he showed an ability to land to both halves of the plate. Hilton also flashed a mix of a changeup with arm-side tumble and a slider with late bite, but used them both very rarely. The command was good through most of the outing as he worked all of his pitches to both halves of the plate.



Uncommitted Jay Wetherington (2020, Richmond Hill, Ga.) is a smaller, athletic outfielder who has room to fill and add strength to a sound set of tools at the plate. He showed outstanding bat-to-ball skills as he consistently fought off pitches and worked deep into counts out of the leadoff spot. The swing is very quiet and fluid, producing a good deal of bat speed as he holds his weight back well and explodes to the ball. Wetherington showed an ability to run well as he took the extra base regularly with good feel for the game and his abilities.

-Tyler Russo
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