Tournaments | Story | 7/9/2019

17U BCS: Day 2 Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino         Parker Fronk         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Kellum Clark (Perfect Game)
2019 17U BCS National Championship: Day 1 Scout Notes

Starting off Day 2 of the 17U BCS with some heat was Florida Atlantic commit Nicholas Del Prado (2020, Miami, Fla.), as the physical righthander worked his fastball up to 90 mph while earning the victory. Del Prado was very efficient over three innings and pounded the strike zone effectively with a quick and compact arm stroke and an over the top arm slot at release. The delivery has some checkpoints and moving parts and he’ll fall off on occasion, but he generates very steep plane on his fastball when on top of the pitch. He’ll cut the heater when he gets off to the side of it and there’s some arm speed and room to mold the frame for additional strength. Del Prado also mixed in a breaking ball that was softer in the low-70s, but he could land and manipulate the pitch effectively. He wasn’t out on the mound all that much as his offense scored 16 runs but he was efficient and pounded the strike zone nonetheless.

Leading that offensive charge for the Florida Dodgers Scout Team was outfielder Elijah Chun (2020, Middleburg, Fla.) as he went three-quarters of the way to a cycle with a single, double, triple, and five RBI. Chun has a shorter overall frame but there’s plenty of present physicality especially in the lower half. The swing is pretty smooth with natural lefty upper cut to the path and he swings with an element of controlled violence throughout. The wrists are very strong, as he demonstrated with an opposite-field double down the line, and the loft shows some good power potential. He also showed good athleticism in left field during game one with two difficult catches in the corner near foul territory.

Florida International commit Reynaldo Hernandez (2020, Miami, Fla.) had a big day at the plate highlighted by a mammoth grand slam on the double header. Hernandez is having a loud opening to the tournament and he’s in a prime position to drive in a good amount of runs in the middle of the lineup. Hernandez has the makings of a power prospect with a physical, strong frame and significant leverage and jump off the barrel. The whip and bat speed are notable as he does an excellent job at getting extended and driving the ball as he has consistently over the opening two days of the event. There is a tendency for Hernandez to swing and miss at some breaking balls when low in the zone but as he matures in the plate and becomes more and more selective the raw power should be able to play even more.

Standing at a massive 6-foot-7, 175 pounds, Nick Meyer (2020, Littleton, Colo.) is the picture of physical projection on the mound and though he was a bit inconsistent, the quality of stuff certainly stands out. There’s tons of room to fill out on the frame with the delivery itself being fairly simple and generating a good amount of angle. The arm stroke will get lengthy in the back but it’s loose and quick and his lower arm slot creates slight running life on the fastball that touched 82 mph early on. Meyer does a nice job tunneling his slider with his fastball and it makes for two pitches that can generate swings and misses while being tough to square up.

University of Maine commit Connor Caverly (2020, South Berwick, Maine) didn’t collect a hit during Team Nike New England’s game on Monday but he stood out behind the plate for his athleticism, blocking, and general acumen. Caverly is an extremely physical backstop at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds but you wouldn’t think that by watching him work as he’s agile and flexible while being very light on his feet. The receiving gets a bit late at times, but he is an excellent blocker who moves well to either side to block pitches in the dirt. He’s a rare signal caller where his defensive prowess demands notice and the offensive tools are there with bat speed and strength to follow closely as the tournament goes on.

Leadoff man Benjamin Sauve Gebhardt (2020, Mascouche, Quebec) for Academy Baseball Canada shows a lot of positives with his profile, boasting a smooth lefthanded swing with solid defensive actions over at shortstop. The middle infielder isn’t overly physical but he’s very twitchy and it shows with his soft hands and ability to stride well to either side to make plays. The arm strength isn’t a weapon at this stage, but he has a fairly quick release across the diamond. The lefthanded swing is simple and efficient with compact length and keeping it on plane through the hitting zone. There’s obvious feel for the barrel and Gebhardt is presently a solid player on both sides of the ball.

The Florida Hurricanes Platinum cruised to a victory to close out Monday night and shortstop Trevor Kole (2020, Parkland, Fla.) stood out for his loud, whippy righthanded swing. The bat speed is loud for the uncommitted prospect with a clean swing path that incorporates both leverage and loft to the swing plane and has clear jump off the barrel. He swings hard and hit a couple of well-struck balls during game action including a laser groundout to third base and a triple later on in the game. He’s got quick feet from a defensive perspective, but the offensive tools are loud for an up-the-middle type of player.

-Vinnie Cervino

The first baseman for 5 Star West 17U is Corey Dowdell (2020, Kingsland, Ga.). Dowdell stands at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds and has some serious pop. Dowdell went 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and two very loud outs. He is very selective at the plate looking for his pitch that he can do damage with. He swings hard and has good bat speed to go with his big frame. Dowell, who is uncommitted, will look to continue to do damage with his bat throughout the summer.

Uncommitted lefthanded pitcher Adiel Melendez (2020, Hialeah, Fla.) started on the mound for South Florida Select 17U on Monday. Melendez looks very confident on the mound, as he should be since he dominated. He threw four innings allowing only two hits and striking out six. His fastball was at 82-83 mph and has some natural lefty tail to it also. He also has a very good changeup at 75 mph which hitters kept swinging over. Melendez is 6-foot-1 and has a very smooth arm action and is a fun pitcher to watch.

Kristofer Stojanovski (2020, Northville, Mich.), who is uncommitted, played center field for Patriots Elite and shined at the plate. Stojanovski went 2-for-2 with two doubles and one RBI. He drove both balls deep to left field and they were both easy doubles. He has very good speed and it shows in center as he easily tracks down balls hit to him. Stojanovski has good strength already and will look to get stronger over the next year.

The shortstop for Probound USA Marucci was Roylan Quevedo (2022, Miami, Fla.). Quevedo plays incredible defense and makes plays look routine while also making the difficult play look easy. He has great range and is very fast which helps him get too balls. Quevedo is playing two years up this weekend and he shines on the field, which is something special. He is 5-foot-8 and has room to fill out and get stronger at 150 pounds. He has a smooth swing and looks to hit balls up the middle of the field on a line. Quevedo is a fun player to watch and it will be exciting to see him develop over the next couple of years.

Sawyer Duarte (2020, Sands Point, N.Y.) threw for East Coast Lumberjacks 2020s. Duarte, who is uncommitted, threw three innings of shutout baseball while striking out three. He commanded the zone very well, throwing all of his pitches for strikes and throwing them to both sides of the plate. He mixed in his 84 mph fastball and 70 mph curveball well to keep the hitters off balance and getting a lot of weak contact. Duarte has a very athletic build standing at 5-foot-10, 150 pounds.

To relieve Duarte, coming out of the pen for East Coast Lumberjacks 2020s was Andrelis Payamps (2020, New York, N.Y.). Duarte had his fastball up to 87 mph while sitting 84-85. He also has a good changeup at 79 mph which had hitters swinging over during his outing. Payamps has a very athletic build at 5-foot-11, and has good strength already, especially in his lower half. He uses his strong legs to really get down the mound, which helps him get some velocity. Payamps, who is uncommitted, threw two innings while allowing only one hit and striking out three.

Marco Ali (2020, Old Westbury, N.Y.) plays shortstop for East Coast Lumberjacks 2020s. He stands at 6-foot, 170 pounds and has a very athletic build with room to get bigger. He runs very well, and he has soft hands with a strong arm at shortstop. Ali, who is uncommitted, went 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. He stands in the box with a slightly open stance with a small leg kick and consistently finds barrel. Ali will be a good player to keep our eyes on this weekend.

-Parker Fronk

Uncommitted Luis Guerrero (2020, Miami, Fla.) has made strides in velocity since this scout’s last look back at East Memorial Day as he sat solely at 93-94 mph with the fastball in this look. The 6-foot-2 righthander is very physical on the mound with a strong lower half that allows him to stay balanced through his delivery and change the leg lift and timing regularly and effectively. The fastball jumps out of the hand as he works it to both halves of the plate with heavy arm-side run that sometimes turns into sink. Guerrero flashed some feel for a breaking ball at 81 mph, but only really needed the fastball to close out the last one and two-thirds innings on 19 pitches and send his team into the championship pools in round two.

Uncommitted Garrett Boeckle (2020, Tampa, Fla.) was stellar out of the rain delay for the Florida Burn Platinum as he worked just two innings and struck out all six hitters he faced. Boeckle, a 6-foot, 200-pound righthander holds a compact, stocky body that has some room to firm up and add lower half athleticism. The mechanics are repeatable as he holds his front leg closed long allowing him to hide the ball behind his body deep into his delivery. The arm is very quick through a high over-the-top slot that creates some downhill action to the fastball as he worked it at 88-90 mph. He showed a very high level of command with both the fastball and a plus swing-and-miss curveball to both halves of the plate. He tunnels the arm action well on both pitches and creates a ton of life to the fastball and late bite to the curveball out of it. There looks to be more velocity in the tank as he refines some of the mechanics and firms up the body.

Uncommitted Mikel Cuvet (2020, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) shows a high-level potential for being a two-way player at the next level as he has the pure strength on both sides of the ball to do it. He showed significant pop from the left side as he drove a ball into the pull-side gap that would bounce over the right-center wall for a ground-rule double before smoking a ball back up the middle for a single in his next at-bat. The swing is very controlled with a high level of bat speed as he creates natural lift when he can get his hands pulled inside and drive through the baseball. The ball consistently jumps off the bat as he has good feel for getting the barrel on time, in this look against both a righthander working at 89-91 mph and a lefthander working at 89-90 mph. Cuvet didn’t take the mound in this look, but has been up to 89 mph from the left side previously.

A pair of arms from a talented Team Elite Scout Team made their way out to the mound for the nightcap on Day 2 as uncommitted Chance Vaught (2020, Theodore, Ala.) and Samford commit Logan Jones (2020, Milton, Ga.) combined for 12 strikeouts across seven innings of two-run baseball.

Vaught, an uncommitted lefthander, was outstanding out of the bullpen as he worked four shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out nine. He dominated the fastball and changeup to both halves of the plate from a very controlled, balanced delivery that showed some rawness to it. Working the fastball at 87-90, topping out at 91 mph, Vaught was able to work it past hitters and create weak contact as he worked in on hitter’s hands. The go-to pitch that gave him outstanding success was a plus swing-and-miss changeup that had significant arm-side tumble that he could land in any count. He tunnels the arm action extremely well across both pitches giving hitters a very difficult time trying to pick up the pitch early. The body is still extremely thin and projects to much more velocity as he fine-tunes the delivery and adds a bit of extension into the release, but this lefthander is a diamond in the rough that surprisingly does not have a home at the next level yet.

Jones got the start for Team Elite, going three innings, allowing just three hits and a pair of runs. The lanky righthander, standing 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, worked his fastball at 88-91, topping out at 92 mph with consistent downhill action as he used his lower half well to extend to the plate. He flashed some feel for a downward breaking curveball in the upper-70s that allowed him to keep hitter’s off-balanced. There is a ton of velocity left in the long-limbed body and he should become a good pitcher at the next level as he cleans up some of the mechanics and tightens up the off-speed stuff.

Offensively, the heart of the Team Elite order put on quite a display as fellow Georgia commits Fernando Gonzalez (2020, Acworth, Ga.) and Garrett Spikes (2020, Lawrencville, Ga.) and Mississippi State commit Kellum Clark (2020, Brandon, Miss.) made City of Palms park their hitting grounds.

A recent Georgia commit, Gonzalez showed why he was one of the best prospects left on the board until late as he picked up a trio of hard hits. He showed a high ability to hit to all fields as he made consistent loud contact to both sides, two of which coming through the pull side and the other coming in the form of a double to the backside gap. The strong wrists allow him to hold the barrel on the line drive swing path through the zone as he explodes through the baseball. The bat speed is very good and allows him to hit against some of the best pitching the class has to offer. Although only hitting in this look, Gonzalez is known for his high level of athleticism behind the plate that makes him a great prospect to watch as he gets stronger and moves to the next level.

Fellow Georgia commit Spikes didn’t see the same bit of success on the stat sheet, but made some of the loudest contact of the week so far. Only picking up a single hit in the form of a double, his two fly-outs pushed the backs of the outfielders to the wall as he just missed two pull side home runs. The swing is smooth and very controlled as he creates great separation in getting his hands extended to drive through the ball. He showed great control of the barrel as he made hard contact from pitches all around the zone. The build is still thin on the tall frame, so there is much more strength to be added to the already strong-swinging lefthanded hitter.

Making consistently the loudest contact of the week so far is Mississippi State commit Clark. The power lefthanded-hitting first baseman proved why he’s ranked No. 84 overall in the class as he hit a monstrous home run that cleared well over the bleachers behind the right field wall of City of Palms stadium. He then followed that hit up with a missile into the backside gap for an easy double. The hit tool is one of the best in the class and the power is significant. Clark explodes through the ball every time he makes contact and shows significant carry on the ball when he gets his hands extended. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he is as physical as they come and will only continue to hit at a high level as he moves to the next level.

-Tyler Russo
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