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Tournaments | Story | 7/10/2019

16U WWBA: Day 5 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Brian Sakowski         Drew Wesolowski         Greg Gerard         Jacob Martin         Jacob Jordan         Brian Treadway         Matthew Arietta        
Photo: Blaze Jordan (Perfect Game)
2019 16U WWBA National Championship: Day 1 Notes | Day 2 Notes | Day 3 Notes | Day 4 Notes

Not even 12 hours off winning the high school home run derby in Cleveland as part of the All-Star festivities, recently reclassed third baseman Blaze Jordan (2020, Southaven, Miss.) was in his Dulin’s Dodgers uniform, hitting out of the three-hole and doing what he does: hitting baseballs hard. The prodigious power has long hovered around Jordan’s name as the plus raw power continuously appears in live action though don’t overlook the other areas of his game that have continued to improve from his 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame to his defensive actions over at the hot corner that we were able to see in the PG National Showcase.

That said, the hit tool and strength were both immediately on display in his first at-bat despite landing in Atlanta just a few hours prior. The bat speed and overall whip to his barrel are both traits that grade out as easy plus and both were on display with his first swing, and despite being a bit out front, he still barreled a line drive single up the middle to plate the first run of the game, registering at 96 mph off the barrel. Later in the game he just missed fully barreling the ball and still managed to drive the ball to the warning track in center field for a triple, coming off at 99 mph and showing his true strength as the ball kept carrying with back spin despite looking like a routine pop up at the point of contact.

He showed off his actions around the first base bag as well, moving well on his feet and showing sound overall footwork as well as soft hands, picking the low throws with comfort and confidence, all actions that should translate over to the hot corner.

Righthander Cason Henry (2021, Florence, Ala.) got the start for the Louisiana Knights over at Allatoona High School Tuesday afternoon and performed well, going the distance in a run-shortened game in which he punched out five over five innings of work. Already committed to Miami, Henry saw his velocity continue to climb throughout the outing, opening 82-85 mph with his heater before bumping 88s and 89s in the second inning and beyond, showing the ability to add and subtract to the fastball throughout. He did a nice job of working on top of the ball to generate plane as he lived in around the knees in the early going while generating occasional sinking life. The changeup was the secondary pitch the future Hurricane went to first, showing some fading life down in the zone with maintained arm speed which paired nicely with his ability to work in the lower quadrants with his heater. His first curveball we saw came right on right as he front-doored the pitch for a called third strike and continued to work in the 70-73 mph range. Henry continues to make strides on the mound and his 6-foot-4 frame isn’t near being maxed out physically, meaning there should be another jump or two still left in the tank.

Another player who is set to enter his senior year this upcoming spring but is young for the grade is Auburn commit Carter Frederick (2020, Chelsea, Ala.) who showed off his two-way ability Tuesday morning for the Excel Blue Wave. Listed as a primary outfielder with big bat speed and no-doubt strength to his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, Frederick jumped on the mound for 2 1/3 innings of work and though he was a bit scattered with his command, he showed lots of arm speed and strength on the fastball. He showed his arm speed as he’s able to generate some whip prior to release and works over his front side and slightly across his body, generating consistent cut action on his fastball which he pitched almost exclusively off of and sat in the 88-92 mph range. While he’ll continue to refine his overall delivery there are component for him to be successful on the mound as he’s able to miss bats with his fastball and flashed a breaker up to 81 mph.

Throughout the tournament there has been a buzz amongst college coaches with uncommitted shortstop Jonathan Vastine (2021, Bartow, Fla.) and rightfully so as he’s an athletic and projectable 5-foot-11, 150-pound (looks taller and stronger) lefthanded hitting shortstop who has performed well on the circuit on both sides of the ball and also offers two-way potential. While it was a quiet day at the dish for Vastine as he went hitless, he’s still hitting .400 on the tournament which reflects how he has performed to this point. Hitting from atop the Hit Factory PRO lineup, Vastine offers a simple and short stroke through the zone though there are some timing triggers to his swing. The day with the stick may not have been loud but he put his defensive actions on display early in the game, showing light footwork with bounce to his step with overall fluidity both in game and in between innings with soft hands and a shorter arm stroke on his throws across. As his sub-7.00 60-time and overall actions suggest, there’s twitch to his frame and he showed such on a ground ball that he expected to play on the big hop but instead shot low to his glove side which he aptly adjusted to, picked and delivered a strike across the diamond.

Two of Vastine’s teammates who did swing it well over the first few innings were Billy “BJ” Graham Jr. (2021, Thonotosassa, Fla.) and Aaron Saltsman (2021, Rockledge, Fla.). Graham is a physically built 5-foot-11, 205-pound lefthanded bat who connected for perhaps the hardest struck ball as he showed lots of buggy whip to his hands, thus generating bat speed through the zone to drive a triple deep towards the right field fence for a standup triple. Saltsman, an uncommitted righthanded bat, showed one of the more fluid strokes on the team with balance and separation to his swing, as well as fluidity to his overall stroke. He also has quickness to his hands which were on display as he barreled a hard single to his pull side in his first at-bat before picking up an end of the bat flair later in the game to finish with a 2-for-3 day.

On a Louisiana Knights Black lineup that’s loaded with talented bats, most of whom are committed, shortstop Drake Varnado (2021, Port Neches, Texas) and second baseman Josh Pearson (2021, West Monroe, La.) showed two of the more intriguing swings with results to match. Varnado is one of the more projectable players in the 2021 class standing at a long and twitchy 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, the young South Carolina commit went 2-for-2 on the day with a pair of singles through the left side, the second of which was on a well-executed hit and run. A two-way prospect at the next level thanks to a fast arm, the No. 30 player in the class showed that arm across the diamond with big carry across the diamond from third base where he brought his middle infield actions. Pearson, like Jordan above, recently jumped a grade with a reclassification continues to prove his hit tool plays wherever he goes thanks to an innate ability to handle the barrel. Strongly built at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, the LSU commit showed the strength to his hand and heaviness to his barrel as he squared up a loud line drive single to the opposite field, showing quick hands with plenty of whip to the barrel through the zone.

It was a quick one-inning look for recent Auburn commit Seaver Sheets (2021, Monroe, La.) on the mound but he showed yet another bump in velocity as he has continued to do since last summer. A primary shortstop, Sheets brings that athleticism to the mound where despite his up-tempo delivery he’s able to work on top of the ball consistently and filled the strike zone to give a quick 1-2-3 inning. Part of the reason he’s able to fill the zone as well as he does is the short and fast arm action through the back, helping to produce a fastball that lived in the 88-91 mph range consistently with subtle life down in the zone. He worked off his heater mostly but did mix in a curveball in the low-70s which should continue to develop as he maintains his arm speed at release. While we focused on his pitching to this point, Sheets also showed a nice swing in his first at-bat of the game in which he pulled his hands in well and remained direct and quick to the ball for a line drive single into center field, showing a handle for the barrel and obvious projection as he continues to fill out his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame.

One player who continues to look stronger every time we see him is former PG Select Festival member Brody Drost (2020, Sulphur, La.), a two-way prospect who is committed to Louisiana State. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds there’s still room for Drost to develop physically, especially considering the No. 114 player in the class is younger than his peers as suggested by his ability to “play down” in the 16U tournament. That said, Drost’s bat speed stands out regardless the competition as he does a nice job of staying short to and through the ball while working on a mostly linear plane, spraying the ball around the yard. We got to see Drost’s speed at the PG National Showcase earlier this summer where he ran a 6.72 and both the speed and his hit tool were on display in his final at-bat of the game. Showing the same swing as detailed above, Drost drove a line drive into the left-center field gap which the center fielder attempted a dive on but came up empty, allowing Drost to show his acceleration on the bases going from first to third with ease for a standup triple.

Kael Babin (2021, Gonzales, La.) and Matthew Russo (2021, Madisonville, La.) are built completely different physically and bring different elements to the lineup for Sheets Baseball but are both key elements to the program’s continued success. Listed at 5-foot-6, 150 pounds, Babin is full of fast-twitch muscle and brings game-changing speed to both sides of the ball. He offers a short stroke from atop the leadoff position where he picked up a single to improve to a .333 average this tournament, but it was on the other side of the ball where he really caught my attention on one particular play. Manning center field and looking like he could play the entire outfield by himself, Babin showed a fast first step on a line drive that appeared destined for extra bases off the bat towards the left-center gap but instead turned into an out as Babin covered a vast amount of ground to get there and make the catch rather routinely. Russo, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound lefthanded hitting Southern Miss commit, nearly replicated the swing and result he showed at the Junior National Showcase where he went deep over the right field wall, coming up just short with a two-base knock off the fence. He does a nice job of staying shorter to the ball and tends to keep his hands inside, showing the sheer strength to them and will likely unlock even more strength as he gets extended out front to drive the ball even harder.

Making his Perfect Game debut this week in the 16U WWBA, uncommitted righthander Brendon Bair (2021, Johnstown, Pa.) attracted a gathering of recruiters when he took the mound for the second time this tournament at Lake Point and rightfully so as he ran his fastball up to 93 mph in the opening frame. Physically built at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and strength proportioned throughout, Bair worked mostly in the 87-90 mph range, bumping several 91s and a few 92s early on thanks to a long and quick arm stroke, showing some whip while working to an extended three-quarters slot. He worked around the zone well and pitched to some contact as the fastball is mostly true in life despite the slot and operation but he did still manage to strike out three in his four innings of work. There isn’t much doubt he’ll continue to gain more velocity as he refines his overall delivery and directionality as the arm speed is very real. Bair also spun a slider in the upper-70s, flashing sharp life to the pitch at times when he maintained his release and arm speed, giving him two pitches for strikes which should only continue to develop.

-Jheremy Brown

The Molina Stars ran their pool play record to 6-0 on Tuesday morning at Rockmart High School via an 8-2 decision over 5 Star 16U Lookouts. Connor Hale (2021, Ashburn, Va.) took the first pitch of the game and launched it deep over the right fielder’s head for a triple, one of two he collected on the day, to set the tone right away for Molina. Hale is a solidly-built lefthanded hitter who is also talented on the mound, but on this day it was the strong, quick, and compact stroke from the left side of the plate that stood out for him, at least at first. He also pitched in relief, picking up three shutout innings while running his fastball up to 82 mph, pounding the strike zone, and doing a nice job of mixing/matching his offspeed stuff for strikes as well.

Team Georgia 16U National picked up a close win over the Cincinnati Baseball Club on Tuesday afternoon, with Rem Maxwell (2021, Winder, Ga.) picking up the three-inning save and doing a great job of it. Maxwell has a projectable, athletic build with solid size, and his athleticism allows him to repeat a somewhat unorthodox mechanical operation in order to throw consistent strikes, which he does. He ran his fastball up to 91 mph early on, settling into the 86-90 mph range with very good life to the arm side at times, as well as the ability to sink the pitch. He likes to work the fastball arm side where that life and sink stands out the most, and he can miss bats with the pitch. The curveball flashed as well, thrown in the low- to mid-70s with good, deep 11/5 break, showing consistent bottom and some snap at the top. It’s a pitch that misses bats now and projects to do so long term as well. Uncommitted at this time, Maxwell should have a solid list of suitors for his services at the collegiate level and possesses good upside overall.

Team Halo moved to 4-1-1 on the week via a 10-2 victory on Tuesday evening, with a well-balanced attack featuring steady offensive, excellent defense, and good pitching. Termarr Johnson (2022, Atlanta, Ga.) led the attack from atop the lineup as he usually does, and the No. 3 overall player in the class of ’22 continued to show why he’s deserving of such a lofty ranking. The hitting traits from the left side of the plate are tremendous with a direct path, plenty of bat speed, lightning-quick hands, and the ability to move the barrel around the zone with ease. He handles pitches all over the zone and barrels most of them, driving the ball to all fields with plenty of extra base power and a knack for finding the gaps. He’s also a standout defender in the middle infield with the tools and baseball feel necessary to stay near the top of the rankings lists for years to come.

Logan McGuire (2021, Acworth, Ga.) came on to close the game out for Team Halo, pitching an uneventful final inning with two strikeouts. McGuire has a projectable, athletic frame with good room to fill out remaining. There’s plenty of effort to his operation on the mound, hunching way back over the rubber before exploding downhill, creating excellent plane to the plate and working in the 87-89 mph range, grabbing a couple 90s along the way. The quality of the fastball when in the zone stands out due to the steepness of the plane he creates, though the command was sporadic.

Canes National dropped a game to the Louisiana Knights 16U White club late Tuesday night, in a game that was, politely, a slow-mover, with 12 total walks between the two pitching staffs. Dalton Herbert (2021, Ruston, La.) was the big-swinger for the Knights in a lineup that featured several standout performances, though Herbert picked up three hits and five RBI in this one. He’s got solid strength in a wiry frame and when combined with his quality bat speed and compact, direct path to contact, he was able to get barrel on ball consistently and do damage. He did a nice job identifying pitches early and wasn’t afraid to swing at an early fastball, which worked in his favor as he got pitches out over the heart of the plate and squared them up.

-Brian Sakowski

Mississippi State commit Tyler Haines (2021, Phenix City, Ala.) made the most out of his start today against a stout FTB Tucci squad. Haines started off the action early with two strikeouts in the first while finishing his outing with a total of nine punchouts before it was all said and done. The projectable righty showed a long, lean frame with plenty of room to fill out down the road. He flashed a long, fluid arm action while delivering from a high three-quarters arm slot showing to be deceptive with hitters picking up pitches early. With a confident mound presence, he pounded both sides of the strike zone with his three-pitch arsenal. His fastball showed some arm side run while sitting 83-85 during his entire outing of five innings. After working off the fastball, he relied on a tight spinning slider in the low-70s and a very good changeup that looked like a fastball out of hand in the mid-to upper-70s. Keep an eye on this young man down the road as his projectability is limitless.

During the same game, Jose Pena (2021, Winter Haven, Fla.) held his own against a stacked East Coast Sox roster. The righthanded pitcher went back and forth with Haines in a great pitching duel early in the morning. Pena utilized a wiry frame with an athletic build using that length to his advantage. He showcased a gamer-type mentality and went at each batter with an intent visible from the bleachers. With a long arm action, he showed fluid actions with easy velo. While throwing six innings, he struck out six batters and only walked one. The uncommitted arm made his presence known this week with his fastball sitting 80-82 and topping at 84 with late life and heaviness. His changeup got the most swings and misses while it showed sharp bite running away from lefthanded hitters. His curveball seemed to be just as consistent as it tallied up weak contact after weak contact sitting 67-69.

After Haines finished up on the mound East Coast Sox, Parker Carlson (2021, Mobile, Ala.) entered the game to relieve his starter. The lean, lanky righthanded pitcher made no hesitations as he filled up the strike zone early and often. He flashed brilliance as he worked downhill with an over the top arm angle. The Auburn commit only threw and 1 1/3 innings but that was all he needed to showcase what he had to offer. He liked to work off his fastball that showed some arm side run sitting 87-88 with great life behind it. He backed that up with a big, deep curveball in the upper-70s.

Speaking of a loaded East Coast Sox stacked roster, Aaron Downs (2021, Pella, Iowa) led that lineup on the offensive side. The No. 1 overall ranked third baseman from Iowa proved why he holds that ranking. He showed a larger frame with an already filled out build showing mature strength. The Louisville commit flashed great bat speed creating some very loud contact. Late in the game, with a tie game, he lifted a deep double off the right-center wall to put his team ahead by one run in the top of the fifth. Just innings before, he hit a towering fly ball to left field that was caught on the warning track. The power hitting righty will be in draft talks in the years to come if he continues to compete at the level he currently is at.

Alex Johnson (2021, Montgomery, Ala.) had a heck of day both on defense and at the plate. With a tight game being played, Johnson went ahead and put the game away himself with a towering three-run home run that bounced off the left field foul pole in the fourth inning. He flashed signs of great athleticism as well, playing a solid center field with good jumps and showing off his arm strength throwing a tagging runner out at home plate to keep a run off the board. The uncommitted catcher/outfielder has been on a tear this tournament hitting .500 in five games played and he looks to continue that reign late into the week. With his power and versatility in the field, his projectability is as big as it gets.

Nicholas Yedman (2021, Moorestown, N.J.) made the long haul down from Jersey to Georgia representing himself with the South Jersey Elite. The uncommitted catcher showed as a lean, strong athlete with plenty of room to fill out down the road. With the athleticism present, he showcased a great bat at the plate. He took one deep for a double off the wall in today’s action. He made loud contact in his other at-bats as well, catching the attention of opposing teams. He utilized a short, compact swing with simple mechanics that will easily transfer to the next level. He will be an interesting follow in years to come as someone is always in the hunt for a power hitting catcher.

With a day filled with great pitching, Aaron Calhoun (2021, Pearland, Texas) stole the show on the mound with electric stuff. The righthanded pitcher showed a medium frame with an average build but let me tell you, his stuff was nowhere near average. He created great leverage with his legs before creating some serious torque showcasing his arm strength. From a three-quarters arm slot, he hid the baseball very well out of hand using three different pitches to get outs. He did a great job of mixing up pitches after going through the order multiple times. The Oklahoma commit ended up striking out six batters in a six-inning outing with only one walk. The projectable righty has raw mechanics but all the tools in the world to shape them down the road. His fastball showed some serious arm side run sitting 87-89 while touching 89. Later in the game, his fastball velocity dropped to 85-87 while still showing he could spot it and create that same arm-side run. His curveball showed to be his best offspeed pitch that had good depth and 11/5 actions while sitting in the mid-70s. His changeup is still evolving but he did a good job staying down in the zone with it as it sat in the upper-70s to low-80s.

With big arms taking over the day, Jake Vitale (2021, Laurel Springs, N.J.), did his best to change that transcript. The smooth swinging lefthanded hitter had a heck of a day going 2-for-3 while hitting .400 in this tournaments action so far. He dropped a bomb to dead center early in the game to give his team an early lead. In his next at-bat, he went on to double off the wall in right-center. With his bat giving his team a boost, his glove walked the walk as well. He put on a clinic in center field with the glove. He made a very heady play on a deep fly ball that he got the fence before working back to the ball and turned around to rob a home run late in the game during the sixth inning. The projectable athlete will be a very interesting follow as he is uncommitted and competing at the same level as the other prospects who are already committed to big name schools.

-Drew Wesolowski

It was a short, but meaningful look for uncommitted outfielder James Wood (2021, Olney, Md.) on Wednesday morning. Wood “walked” away with an 0-for-1 day with a pair of free passes but the 6-foot-6 lefthanded hitter is certainly worth following as far as projection goes. His frame screams projectability at a lean 6-foot-6, 205 pounds with limitless room to fill that scouts can dream on. Wood is still plenty raw in the batter’s box, but the swing is so easy and the ball comes off of his bat in a special way. Highlighted on day one of the 16U WWBA National Championship, Wood got the chance to showcase his tools on a field with Trackman installed. Wood barreled the baseball in each of his at-bats and the ball came off the bat considerably harder than one would expect. This scout didn’t get to see those high exit velocities in this look, but did get to see Wood’s patient approach and desire to hit the baseball out in front.

Facing off against Wood was uncommitted lefthander from Alabama Drew Cartee (2021, Trinity, Ala.). Cartee is a primary outfielder but this look on the mound showed plenty of promise. The lefthander topped out at 87 mph with his fastball getting downhill with it and working to both sides of the plate. The uncommitted Alabaman is a lean and athletic-framed pitcher with room to continue to fill out and broad shoulders. Cartee sat in the mid-80s throughout his outing and flashing a shorter biting breaking ball with some late bite to it in the 72-74 mph range. Cartee did a nice job of varying speeds and keeping a talented lineup of hitters off balance. The southpaw has a quick arm stroke that stays clean through the back as he gets online down the mound. He did have spurts where he would get out of sync with his mechanics and the command would dip but when online and ontime, Cartee worked to the bottom third of the strike zone with his fastball, curveball combination.

Jared Comia (2021, Dyer, Ind.) is an Illinois commit with a really nice feel for the barrel and the ability to hit pitches where they are hit. In his first at-bat, Comia got a center-cut pitch and drove it back up the middle for a line drive single. His second at-bat concluded after a nine-pitch at-bat where the lefthanded hitter drove the ball over the left fielder’s head for a ground-rule double. The approach, the eye at the plate, the barrel control, and quickness of his hands were all impressive in this look of the future Illini and Comia has plenty of room to fill on his frame to get stronger as well. Comia’s day concluded after his two-hit day as his Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black team scored 15 runs in four innings in a run-rule victory.

After an interesting delay over at North Cobb High School, John Rizzo (2021, The Woodlands, Texas) was able to take the mound for a quick inning of relief work of a game that was suspended due to a power outage of a light pole. Rizzo threw plenty of strikes in his quick inning of work, firing 87-89 mph fastballs and touching 90 mph once as well. Rizzo throws with intent and plenty of deception as well as he will vary his windup speed to disrupt the timing of opposing hitters. He uses a really quick arm stroke to get downhill and locate his fastball primarily at the knees. He did show the ability to elevate the fastball as well, and when doing so, he would blow hitters away with the pitch. He mixed in a slider to his repertoire as well that flashed sharpness of the two that he threw. Overall, Rizzo pitched a clean inning of relief and although the velocity was not quite what PG has recorded in the past of 92 and 93 mph, it is noticeably in his arm and the righthander is only going to improve with additional reps on the bump.

The son of a former Major Leaguer with the same name, Andruw Jones (2022, Suwanee, Ga.) is a star outfielder at his age as well. Jones made one of the most unbelievable throws one will see by a 15-year-old baseball player in this game. Jones ranged to his left from his center field position throwing off of his back foot in a rather deep part of the outfield, wound up and fired a perfect strike to third base while beating the base runner by three steps. The throw was perfectly placed with lots of strength behind it and left everyone in attendance pretty amazed. At the plate, the uncommitted rising sophomore has a unique and upright stance with a longer stride into contact and plenty of bat speed. Jones has great plate discipline for his young age and hits the baseball with intent with every swing. Jones collected a single in this contest going the other way with the pitch and getting the barrel to it. Jones already has an incredible track record of hitting at Perfect Game events and the 16U WWBA is no different as he is batting .600 through six games.

Eric Silva (2021, Laguna Beach, Calif.) made waiting around for the 9:45 time slot well worth it as the primary shortstop showed extremely impressive stuff on the mound. The UCLA commit was absolutely dominant from start to finish. The righthander struck out the first four batters he faced with a fastball that sat 89-91 mph early on and a slider with really tight spin given that he is still an underclassman. The breaking ball was the out pitch as it froze hitters and provided swing-and-misses as the pitch spun between the 2400 and 2500 RPM range. Silva can really spin the fastball on top of that with it showing on Trackman a spin rate around 2400 RPM as well. Silva pounded the strike zone working to all four quadrants to tally up 11 punchouts and only one walk and one hit allowed in a complete seven-inning shutout. Silva was really a treat to watch as he did all this on only 69 pitches as well, which is truly remarkable.

The future Bruin has a live arm and a frame that looks taller than his listing of 6-foot, 180 pounds. His shoulders are broad and the frame with wiry with limitless room to fill as well as time to continue to do so. The arm works well and clean throughout the throwing process from take back to the point of release. He throws without much effort and the ball jumps out of his hand. The fastball is mostly straight but did show signs of armside life with what appeared to be a two-seam fastball at times as well although the velocity did not hinder. Silva stays online to the plate with a strong drive from his lower half and really nice direction. Overall, the dominance of Silva in this game was noteworthy as well as the projection moving forward. It will be fun to watch him continue to develop as an athletic two-way prospect on the west coast.

-Gregory Gerard

Florida commit Matthew Prevesk (2021, Apopka, Fla.) showcased a large 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame with present strength while playing for FTB Tucci 55. The lefthanded hitter starts in a moderately open stance with a wide base and high hands. Using a small leg lift and stride, he maintains balance and transfers weight well from his lower half. His bat is quick through the zone as he typically hits the ball out front with force to the pull side. Displayed good barrel-to-ball skills with lift and carry off the bat. He elevated the ball several times during the fifth day of the tournament going 2-for-3 with a home run to right field and four RBI. The primary outfielder slotted in as the right fielder and received limited defensive action. He showed athletic movements on the balls hit in his direction and his arm looked pretty strong on throws back into the infield.

Santino Rao (2021, Orlando, Fla.) is a primary first baseman with a large 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame and a lot of present strength in the build. The lefthanded hitter starts in an even stance with a wide base, high hands, and a high back elbow. The swing is pretty short and compact on a level swing plane. Hands are quick and get through the zone while creating bat speed. He made loud contact to the pull side and up the middle. The plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills were both impressive as he drew two walks and controlled the barrel well, making contact with every ball he swung at. All told, the large first baseman went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two walks. His one out was a pitch at the top of the zone that he was able to get on top of, smoking a line drive that was caught by the center fielder.

Shea McGahan (2021, St. Louis, Mo.) showcased a medium and athletic 6-foot, 175-pound frame while catching for the Royals Scout Team. The primary backstop is really impressive defensively, displaying quick feet and transfers with a really strong arm. All of his warmup pop times clocked in below two seconds. His athleticism assisted with his transfers behind the plate as well as blocking pitches in the dirt. He framed pitches well on the edges of the strike zone displaying a smooth glove. The righthanded hitter starts in an even stance with a wide base. Taking a small leg stride, he keeps his weight back which maintains balance in his lower half. He generates good bat speed and stays linear through the zone on a level plane. His hands led through the zone as he made opposite field contact several times but showed the ability to hit to all fields. He went 1-for-2 during the fifth day of the tournament with a sacrifice fly. One of his outs was a hard fly ball that was caught on the warning track in right field. Projectable player on both sides of the ball.

Chase Jans (2021, Overland Park, Kan.) showcased a 6-foot, 187-pound frame with a lot of athleticism and some strength in the build. The center fielder showed a lot of range and a great arm defensively. He took good first steps on fly balls and displayed range from elite speed. Displayed smoothness and fluidity in his glove and throwing motions. His highlight play of the day showed him range to his left to catch a fly ball and hose a runner out at third base. The righthanded hitter starts in an even stance with a moderately wide base. Using a small leg stride during his hand load, he takes a smooth and short swing that works directly through the zone after his load. He generated good bat speed from strength and quick hands, making hard contact several times. Swinging on a level plane, contact typically results in line drives with some jump. During the fifth day of the tournament, he worked up the middle during every at-bat.

Mitchell Bratt (2021, Newmarket, Ontario) is an uncommitted lefthanded pitcher who showcased true pitchability while dealing for the Toronto Mets 16U Reid. The southpaw has a medium 6-foot, 170-pound frame with some athleticism and lankiness in the build. Starting in an athletic posture during the windup, he alters his side step, leg lifts, and pace which really throws a wrench in the timing of hitters. He employed quick paces, slow paces, high and held leg lifts, slide steps, and all sorts of different motions. Despite this, his mechanics were surprisingly repeatable. His lower half worked downhill and moderately towards the righthanded batter’s box. He displayed live arm action from a high three-quarters arm slot. Using two different types of fastballs, the four-seam fastball touched 89 mph and probably averaged 86 mph. He also displayed a sinking fastball with less speed that averaged around 82-83 mph. The fastball with sink was featured more frequently. A sharp and quality curveball with 12-to-6 action around 72 mph was also used fairly frequently as he mixed up his pitches well. His pitch tendencies were unpredictable. The crafty lefty racked up 13 strikeouts across five innings of one-run baseball with one walk and two hits allowed.

Fernando Garza (2021, Katy, Texas) showcased an electric arm with an extra-large 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame, pitching for Houston Kyle Chapman. Working primarily out of the stretch, the righthanded pitcher used a medium leg lift before working downhill towards the plate. He generates force from his strong lower half but could probably get some additional extension down the mound. His arm slot played somewhere between high three-quarters and over-the-top but generated good whip from solid arm action. The fastball was extremely firm as it averaged 90 mph over two innings and touched 92 mph several times. The rest of the arsenal included a sharp looking curveball around 74 mph and a changeup that hit 82 mph. It was hard to get a read on either pitch because they were both thrown only once. He struggled with command a little bit but only walked one hitter. His firm fastball makes him look like an interesting pitcher moving forwards.

Derick Cantres (2020, Melbourne, FL) is a primary shortstop with a medium and projectable 6-foot, 160-pound frame. The middle infielder showed some solid range and a smooth glove while playing for FTB Tucci 16U Orlando. He turned several double plays with the second baseman as he made quick transfers from glove to hand. Arm strength was decent but accurate across the infield. The righthanded hitter starts in a moderately open stance with a wide base. Using a toe-tap trigger, he transitions into a swing with a long and linear path through the zone. His lower half generates force that works into his swing and creates some solid contact. He typically hits the ball out front and works the pull side of the field frequently. During the fifth day of the tournament, he went 1-for-3 with a line drive double down the left field line.

Brady Patterson (2021, Auburn, Kan.) showcased a large 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame with present strength while playing for UA Building Champions 16U Navy. The righthanded hitter started in an open stance with a moderately spread base and high hands. Using a small leg stride, he transfers weight from his lower half into his swing. Hands are quick through the zone as he generates a lot of bat speed. Showcasing good control of the barrel, he kept his hands back on offspeed pitches and just smacked them the opposite way for hits. He generated excellent pull-side power with loud contact but was able to hit the ball to all fields. During the fifth day of the tournament, he went 3-for-4 with a long home run over the left field wall, two runs, and three RBI. Really good and projectable bat moving forward. The primary catcher slotted in as a first baseman defensively. He made athletic movements defensively with a solid arm.

-Jake Martin

Johnathan Bruno (2021, Tampa, Fla.) played a very good game on Tuesday for Top Tier Roos American 2021. The uncommitted 16-year-old went 3-for-3 with a homerun, three RBI, and a walk. He showed a promising hit tool with power to the pull side. He is patient at the plate and capitalizes on the pitches he gets. Bruno’s long home run in the left-center field gap travelled 373 feet and left the bat at 94 mph. The third baseman is solid on defense with a sure glove and strong arm. A 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame is filling out pretty well projects well with his current skill set.

Esteban Rodriguez (2021, Doral, Fla.) was dominant on the mound Tuesday. He went five innings, while allowing one hit, one walk, and no runs, with eight strikeouts. His fastball topped at 88 but sat in the mid-80s. It was paired with a low-70s curveball that had more of a slurvy action to it, and he showed feel for it and landed it for strikes. The uncommitted righthander’s arm works fluidly throughout the action and high three-quarters arm. He gets downhill well and throws strike. Rodriguez’s body still leaves space to fill out on his 6-foot frame. He is a projectable arm that is ranked nationally as an outfielder.

Eli Culbreth (2020, Godwin, N.C.) showed off some real potential on the mound on Tuesday. Command was a struggle for Culbreth, and it wasn’t his best outing, but his stats do not tell the whole story. A quick arm with fluidity throughout and a three-quarters slot produced 86-88 mph fastballs that touched 89 throughout the out. A mid-70s slider with depth paired well with the fastball and had late break. A long, lanky 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame boasts huge upside along with the righthander’s arm. The uncommitted 16-year-old has raw talent and could be special with a few minor adjustments. As a 2020 grad, there is more than enough time for him to further develop his talent.

Jordan Viars (2021, Prosper, Texas) took some really good swings on Tuesday for D-BAT Elite 16U. He went 1-for-3 on the day with a double and three RBI. The physical lefty produces lots of pop and barrels balls up well. The Oklahoma State commit hit ball to the outfield with hard contact in all three at-bats, making contact out front and staying through the ball. At first base, Viars put on a solid performance, making all of his plays. His 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame fits well at first and projects well. Overall good player with big power potential.

-Jacob Jordan

Luke Masiuk (2021, Trimbull, Conn.) took over the starting left fielder responsibilities for The Clubhouse 2021. Offensively at the plate, the Connecticut native has a take a quick path to the ball and is able to make solid contact. Dropping his hands low as he loads up for the swing, he is able to throw his hands out there and let the barrel travel through the zone and make contact with the ball. What adds to his ability to make contact is his acceleration out of the box. His speed increases the rate the defense works and forces their hand. Even though he ended up going 1-for-3, the uncommitted outfielder was able to chip in for the win by driving in a run on a hard-hit ball to left field as well as scoring a run.

Used primarily as a middle infielder, Grant Fontenot (2020, Iota, La.) took the mound for Team Louisiana and immediately started to fill it up. Bringing his fastball up to 89 mph, he consistently was sitting in the lower- to mid-80s and was able to avoid hard-hit balls. Complementing the fastball was an 11-to-5 curveball that he was able to hit in the upper-70s consistently. Those two pitches were used the majority of time as he had both a slider and changeup that he doesn’t have the touch for yet. That wasn’t stopping him though, as he used his fastball and curveball effectively as his out pitches. With more practice, he could get a better feel for the two other offspeed pitches he uses but it may not be overly necessary as he is primarily a hitter and fielder. Fontenot left the game after five innings of work, striking out six batters and only allowing two runs in the big win.

Ranked as the top catcher in the state of North Carolina for his grad class, Jacob Cozart (2021, High Point, N.C.) helped lead the South Charlotte Panthers 2021 to a sound victory both on defense and offense. The North Carolina State commit guided his pitchers through five innings of one-run baseball. Cozart also did his part of keeping runners honest. With a strong and accurate arm, the North Carolina native made sure to pick his spots to back pick and never got overzealous. When opportunities arose and runners got comfortable, Cozart would make the quick throw to first base and get the runners out. Offensively, the talented offensive talent went to work and went 2-for-2. Cozart has quick hands and really is able to bring the barrel of the bat out and meet the ball in front of the plate. With his smooth swing, Cozart hit a towering home run into deep right field. His ability to affect the game on offense and defense should only continue to improve will be something fun to watch in the coming years.

Though he is primarily used as a third baseman and is ranked as the top third baseman in the state of Georgia for the 2022 grad class, William Mosley (2022, Acworth, Ga.) started behind the plate for the East Cobb Astros 15U. The 5-foot-11 backstop was especially fun to watch at the plate because of his power and ability to make contact. Before the pitch, the righthander would create an exaggerated load as he would use that momentum to surge all of his weight forward. With a big stride forward and releasing his hands, he was able to generate bat speed and really drive the ball. Though he only went 1-for-2, the uncommitted Georgia native was able to make hard contact consistently and should continue to improve offensively as he continues to refine his skills.

Throughout a rather large victory for the South Charlotte Panthers 2021, their head coach started throwing in a new pitcher every inning to give different looks and to provide their team with fresh arms. The first reliever to come in was Martin Gair (2021, Concord, N.C.). The 6-foot-5 righthander looked all of his size as he stood on the mound, towering over batters that came up to the plate. Working from a three-quarters delivery, he kept his elbow tight as he delivered either a fastball or a curveball to the plate. Creating low-hand separation, it almost seemed that Glair would use his momentum to fall forward to the catcher. The uncommitted righthander’s fastball would consistently hit in the upper-80s and was able to max it out at 88. The two-seam provided a tailing action back to the hitter that he was able to use rather well as he hit outside corners multiple times. Tossing in his curveball to help with his fastball, he would generate an 11-to-5 movement on it that had a large bend to it and had good control. Those were his two main out pitches as the North Carolina native continues to work on his feel for his slider. Hitters had a tough time with both of those pitches as he was able to work through his one inning of relief with no hits or runs allowed in only 17 pitches.

Following up Gair’s efforts was Vance Barnhill (2021, Charlotte, N.C.) who looked completely different size-wise on the mound but didn’t lack the confidence in each of his pitches. Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing 175 pounds, the righthander picked up where his predecessor left off as he continued to fill it up. Barnhill worked in the upper-80s with his fastball as he was able to bring it up to a high of 88. The velocity was able to stay consistent as he stayed high-80s through the whole of his pitching. The uncommitted righthander was able to couple the fastball with a slider that had quite a bit of spin to it. The North Carolina native’s curveball also was a strong out pitch that he was able to use. Though Barnhill had a difficult time locating his pitches through his outing, he definitely has three pitches that he could be able to use to get outs when he consistently is able to put them together. The velocity and movement that he possesses in all three pitches was difficult for hitters to handle as was able to get through his inning without giving up a run, as he walked a batter and struck out a batter as well.

Though touted as the top righthanded arm in the state of Virginia, Jay Woolfolk (2021, Midlothian, Va.) showed why he is the top player in Virginia and one of the top players in the nation for the 2021 grad class. Starting at shortstop and batting third in the lineup for the Virginia Cardinals 2021’s, Woolfolk showed plenty of power in his swing which makes him very intriguing with his already-strong arm. Standing in the back of the box with his lead foot aligned with the middle of home plate, the uncommitted righthander takes a long stride forward and generates a lot of power through his hips as he lets his hands and bat flow through the zone. Meeting the ball out in front of the plate, he’s able to drive it to the left side of the field, which he displayed twice in his game as he went 2-for-4. The Virginia native also doesn’t have any issue making it up the line as he is quick out of the box and forces the defense to rush, what usually would be, the simple play.

Walking up to the plate as the three-hole hitter for the Canes National 15U, Xavier Isaac (2022, Kernersville, N.C.) just looked like a man that was ready to do damage. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 205 pounds, the big lefty went to work immediately. Going 3-for-3 in the game, Isaac took one of the pitches he saw deep to straight-away center field, falling just short of the wall. With good speed at his size, the East Carolina commit was able to hustle all the way around to third base for a triple and put his team in prime position to tack on more runs as his hit drove in the first run of the game. He continued his onslaught in his next two at-bats, as he drove each ball into right field, both as ground balls this time. Most impressive about his swing was the shear force he hit the ball with. With unbelievable bat speed and the power he is able to generate, he is able to get his whole body into the swing, and the ball rockets off of his bat. With three more years till his graduation, Isaac will be a fun player to look out for as he already controls so much power and there is still more that should be on the horizon.

Michael Allen (2022 Greenville, N.C.) took over the right field duties for the Canes National 15U, but what he did on the bases and the plate was the most impressive. With very limited opportunities at the plate, Allen went 1-for-1 while also being hit by a pitch before he was taken out of the game. With a very athletic build, being 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, the North Carolina native did a good job of positioning himself in a way to impact the game. In his first at-bat, the righthander was able to get the barrel of the bat to the ball and shoot it the opposite way for what would’ve been a single if it wasn’t for Allen’s heads-up baserunning. Getting on base is where he did damage. With quick speed and an aggressive nature on the basepaths, Allen took advantage of the opportunities that were handed to him. After he got hit by the pitch in his second at-bat, the uncommitted outfielder swiped second base and put himself in an opportunity to score for his team, which he eventually did. With two plate appearances and one official at-bat, Allen was able to score twice for his team as well as drive in two runs in the lopsided victory.

Primarily used as a shortstop, Justin Szestowicki (2021, Mount Royal, N.J.) took the mound as the starting pitcher for the All Out 16U Scout Team. Standing only at 5-foot-9 and weighing only 155 pounds, Szestowicki surprised a few in attendance as he began pumping fastballs into the strike zone, hitting a game high of 92 mph. Bringing in the two-seam fastball in the upper-80s or lower-90s on occasion, the small righthander was able to generate movement on the pitch that tailed back towards the righthanded hitter. As if the fastball wasn’t already tough to pick up from the New Jersey native, Szestowicki would throw a slider and a curveball that had quite a bit of movement to them. The uncommitted righthander had good command of the 12-to-6 breaking ball and seemed to drop it in for a strike every time he threw it. The slider had good movement to it but wouldn’t be considered one of his stronger pitches as both the fastball and curveball were fooling the hitters. Even with the small frame which Szestowicki worked with, he was able to get enough from his legs and explode to the plate, getting his whole body into the pitching rotation. With already an electric fastball, it’s exciting to think what could be ahead for the young ballplayer.

-Brian Treadway

Brian Boully (2021, Dover, Fla.) is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound righthanded pitcher, and first baseman from Strawberry Crest High School in his hometown. Brian got the start for his club, Ostingers 2021 Reed, last night at East Cobb, and the highly ranked righty continued his dominance on the mound throughout the WWBA here in Atlanta this week. Boully, who went three innings in a pitch-count limiting appearance, gave up one hit, and struck out five, allowing no walks in the process and receiving the win in the run-rule shortened affair. Throwing nearly 70 percent of his pitches for strikes, Boully showed good control of his repertoire and the ability to mix his fastball, curveball and changeup in all counts, showing advanced pitchability from the 16-year-old. Boully’s stuff is plus for his age, as he has a projectable body and mechanics that only point upward for the young prospect. Boully uses a no-windup approach on the mound, with good balance and tempo as he lifts to his waist, and then strides down the mound getting good extension out front from his low three-quarters slot which adds deception on his pitches. Boully showcased a fastball (87-89 mph) with life and some arm side run, and a curveball with depth and good 11/5 shape (71-73 mph). He had seldom use to his changeup but flashed a couple good ones throughout his start, as they had good arm speed and fade, (80-81 mph). A good athlete, Boully moves well off the mound for his size, and fields his position well. A very high upside talent, that knows how to pitch, exudes confidence, and has only cracked the surface to how good he can be moving forward.

Jake Fox (2021, Plant City, Fla.) is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound shortstop from Lakeland Christian School in Lakeland, Florida near his hometown. Fox, who has projectable size and strength to his current build, performed very well on Tuesday in all phases going 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored, two triples, and three RBI. At the plate, the lefty sets up with an open stance with hands near his ear. He deploys a large leg kick while loading his weight back and keeping his hands still. Upon foot strike, Fox fires his hips through the zone while he tracks pitches a long time with his keen vision and patience at the plate. With his hips clear, he brings his hands through very quickly with advanced barrel control, often making hard, barreled contact to all fields. He hits the ball where it’s pitched and has advanced hitability for his age that is fun to watch. A good athlete, Fox has a quick first step out of the box and looks to make things happen with aggression and instincts, proving today twice to be able to go first-to-third with ease. In the six-hole, Fox has good anticipation and first step quickness allowing him to get in a good fielding position on almost all balls hit his way. He is a solid defender with sound defensive actions and the ability to consistently use his soft hands to make all plays out front and pairs it with strong, on-target throws with carry through the bag. Fox has been on a tear this tournament season, hitting .410 in 22 games. Only 16 years old, Fox is currently ranked inside the top-20 shortstops in his home state for the 2021 class and inside the top-100 nationally for his position. Fox will be an exciting player to watch develop and get even better throughout the second half of his high school career.

Bryant Herring (2021, Hampton, Ga.) is a very toolsy 5-foot-9, 160-pound outfielder from Dutchtown High School in his hometown. Herring performed all over the field on Tuesday at East Cobb for his club, East Cobb Astros 16U Z, as the No. 12 outfielder in Georgia for the 2021 class went 3-for-4, with a triple, a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI from the leadoff spot in the Astros order. His performance on Tuesday has raised his average at PG events this year to an astronomical .404 in 20 games this tournament season. Herring is your stereotypical leadoff hitter, as he has good vision, is very patient, and understands his role at the top of the order. He uses a square stance with hands near his ear that drop near his pec as he loads for timing. Bryant uses a small step as he loads his weight on his backside, and then shoots his hips and hands through the hitting zone with tremendous bat speed and quick twitch actions. He showcases hard-hit contact to all fields with proper hitting mechanics and feel for the barrel. Very athletic in his current state, Herring is an alert runner on the bases with definite base stealer potential and the type of speed that makes defenders rush. Playing left field today for his club, Herring profiles more to center field with his first-step quickness and range to the gaps. Herring is a sure-handed fielder who makes all plays hit his way and has average arm strength for center. He showcases natural instincts in the outfield and is confident in his abilities. Currently uncommitted, Herring has a bright future in the game, with impactful tools all over the field that he can use to help his team win like he did for East Cobb Astros 16U X on Tuesday.

Dylan Leach (2021, Carthage, Texas) showcased his advanced hit tool from both sides of the plate on Tuesday at East Cobb contributing to his team’s win in a big way. At the plate, Dylan has a short, compact, powerful stroke from both sides where he uses a wide stance and rocks into his load and then unloads his hands and wrists through the hitting zone a long time with good vision and barrel control. He has vision and timing regardless of which box he’s in, and makes loud contact consistently with excellent bat speed, and leverage for future average power potential. Leach, who has tremendous athleticism for a catcher, runs well out of the box, and uses his long strides to make things happen on the bases, displaying the ability to go first-to-third twice at East Cobb on Tuesday. At third base, Dylan has sound defensive actions with confident hands, and good instincts. Dylan is a fun player to watch as he plays the game the right way, leaving it all on the field with confidence and aggression in all areas. Currently ranked as the No. 6 catcher in his home state for the 2021 class, Dylan will continue his academic and baseball career at the University of Arkansas as part of an already impressive 2021 Razorback recruiting class.

Carlos Rey (2020, Miami Springs, Fla.) is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound lanky and athletic outfielder from Miami Springs Senior High School in his hometown. A senior in the fall, Rey showcased his game-changing hit tool on Tuesday at East Cobb, as he compiled seven RBI on a grand slam, a triple, and a single through the pull side, scoring twice himself in the process. Hitting in the two-hole for his club ELEV8 Select, Rey has a short compact swing from the left side that generates plenty of bat speed and torque to project future average power. Rey has good feel for wood, and for the barrel as it seems like everything is hit hard with plenty of leverage and backspin for carry. An impressive athlete, Rey has tremendous acceleration on the bases, with awareness and good instincts. He is light on his feet and isn’t afraid to swipe a bag. In the outfield, the lefthanded Rey has good first step quickness and read balls well of the bat, getting good jumps with good speed and range for the position to make an impact as nothing hit his way seems to fall. Rey knows he’s skilled and plays with aggression and an even-keeled temperament. Currently uncommitted, I doubt that will last long if he continues to put up performances like he did on Tuesday. Rey has raked in six games in Perfect Game events this year raising his average on Tuesday to a scorching .412 in six games.

Colby Wallace (2021, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder and lefthanded pitcher from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in his hometown. Coming into the day ranked as the No. 9 outfielder in California for the 2021 class, Wallace received the start for his club BPA 16U and didn’t disappoint, contributing to all but two outs in the five-inning run-ruled affair. Wallace needed only 45 pitches to record 13 outs, five via the strikeout and didn’t walk or allow a run in his outing eventually earning himself the win, his second for the tournament. Wallace has keen mechanics and good rhythm to his delivery as he releases his repertoire from a three-quarters slot. Colby showcased a repertoire on Tuesday of a fastball (83-86 mph, 87 max) with good life, and some cut when down, and a curveball (74-77 mph) with proper shape and 11/5 break. As he went, he mixed both his pitches in all counts and battled his opponent filling the zone with good control, and the beginning to what could be average command down the road. Wallace has excellent mound presence and battled for his club who returned the favor and gave him plenty of run support to work with as the game went on. Wallace has solid feel for pitching and displays a bulldog demeanor on the mound with no fear. A very high upside talent, Wallace has the ability to impact the game for his team in many ways, Tuesday doing so with his arm, and his advanced pitchability for being just sixteen.

-Matt Arietta
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