Tournaments | Story | 7/12/2019

16U WWBA: Day 7 Scout Notes

Greg Gerard        
Photo: Izaac Pacheco (Perfect Game)
16u WWBA Scout Notes: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Team Elite 16u Scout Team and Canes National 16u locked into a heavyweight bout in the playoffs on Thursday morning, a game Team Elite would win 6-4. Carter Holton (2021, Guyton, Ga.) got the start for Team Elite and was solid, going 3 2/3 innings scattering three hits and two walks, allowing just one unearned run and punching out six. Holton is a projectable lefthander with a good combination of deception and present stuff, and his command continues to progress. He ran his fastball up to 90 mph, holding 86-90 mph through the course of his outing, showing the ability to get the pitch to both sides of the plate and work it north-south as well. Perhaps most impressive in this outing was the command of the off-speed stuff, showing the ability to land both his breaking ball and changeup for strikes. Holton is committed to national champion Vanderbilt.

The Team Elite club is loaded with hitters top to bottom in the lineup, but Izaac Pacheco (2021, Friendswood, Texas) has been on some kind of tear all week, launching six home runs throughout the course of the week, including another two against the Canes in the playoffs. Pacheco is well known, as a PG Select Festival participant and the No. 8 overall player in the class of 2021, and as he’s continued to grow into his frame, the power has continued coming on in an impactful way. It’s a smooth lefthanded stroke, with plus bat speed geared to lift the baseball, and Pacheco does an excellent job covering the plate and really showing that he can drive the ball to all parts of the ballpark. When he gets a pitch middle-in and is really able to get the head out, it produces mammoth shots to the pull side, where the power is already plus. A talented overall athlete, Pacheco’s future home is on the left side of the infield, where he’s shown he can handle shortstop as well as play a good third base, giving him monstrous upside.

5 Star National-Burress made quite a run through the pool and bracket throughout the week, ending up reaching the round of eight before falling. Regardless, it was an excellent week for those guys. They locked into a pitcher’s duel of epic proportions in their playoff matchup with Elite Squad 16U National, a game they won 3-0. Jackson Baumeister (2021, Jacksonville, Fla.) got the ball to start and went the distance, throwing a complete game shutout on only 91 pitches to send 5 Star onto the next round. Baumeister, a Florida State commit, is an extremely interesting two-way player as he’s also a very talented catcher, though his best upside may be on the mound, where he’s got an excellent combination of stuff, command, and upside. He touched 92 mph with the fastball both early and late, sitting mostly in the 87-91 mph range, generating both plus extension and plus spin on the fastball and doing an excellent job of missing barrels with the pitch. He’s got very good feel for his curveball as well, thrown in the mid-70s with 11-to-5 shape and plenty of depth, thrown for strikes whenever he wanted to. The upside here is quite vast, and it’ll be especially interesting to track his development as a two-way player, given the uniqueness of being a catcher/pitcher two-way player.

On the other side, Irving Carter (2021, Boynton Beach, Fla.) was excellent for Elite Squad, allowing just one hit and three walks while striking out eight over his 5 1/3 innings, though he did end up taking the loss due to three unearned runs coming across in that sixth inning. Carter is a well-built, physical righthander with some projection remaining who brings a lot of funk and deception to the table to go along with excellent present stuff. He does a good job varying his delivery timings and looks to mess with hitters, and while there were those three walks, he was consistently in the strike zone and the command is certainly coming along. He ran his fastball up to 93 mph a few times, sitting in the 88-92 mph range, blowing the fastball by hitters up in the zone at times and doing a good job of working both sides of the plate. The breaking ball is thrown firmly, mostly in the 78-82 mph range, with good bite on an 11-to-5 plane, and he demonstrated excellent changeup feel as well, fading it over the outer third to lefthanded hitters and proving he was unafraid to throw it to righthanded hitters as well. Carter is committed to Miami.

Cale Lansville (2021, Centennial, Colo.) picked up the win for Team Elite in their second playoff game of the day, a 10-2 win over the Georgia Bombers. A strongly-built righthander, Lansville came out firing, working up to 91 mph with his fastball early on and maintaining 86-90 mph throughout, leveraging the ball downhill and creating both good plane and extension, filling up the strike zone for the most part. He struck out eight over six innings, allowing a pair of runs on four hits and one walk, challenging hitters with his fastball consistently to get ahead and then showing the ability to get swings-and-misses on both his breaking ball and changeup.

Ryan Spikes (2021, Covington, Ga.) continues to swing the bat well, picking up another three hits in this contest, and heading into Friday he’s hitting .464 on the week, doing an elite job of setting the table atop the Team Elite lineup, and a big reason why they’ve been so good. The hitting tools standout in addition to the rest of the profile, as Spikes’ direct swing path, quality bat speed, and outstanding hand-eye coordination combine to give him plus bat-to-ball skills, consistently finding the barrel to all fields. He’s coming into more and more power as well, showing the ability to backspin the ball up gaps and projecting for continued increases in power. He’s a talented athlete who is versatile enough to play essentially anywhere on the diamond which, along with his hitting tools, give him excellent upside.

Grant Taylor (2021, Florence, Ala.) got the start and the win for Team Elite against the Molina Stars in the round of eight on Thursday evening, sending Team Elite to semifinals to be played Friday morning. Taylor, a broad, physical righthander who certainly looks the part of a durable flamethrower, was outstanding in this one. He scattered just two hits and two walks over six shutout frames, picking up seven strikeouts in the process, running his fastball up to 91 mph and holding 86-90 mph for the duration. He creates a great deal of plane to the plate from a high slot, pounding the fastball down in the strike zone consistently and doing an excellent job of both missing bats and getting weak contact on the heater. The curveball is very good as well, showing power to the break with plenty of depth, potentially projecting as a plus pitch for him long term. Taylor is committed to LSU.

– Brian Sakowski

In the first round of the 16u WWBA playoffs, Brandon Neely (2021, Seville, Fla.) was sent to the mound for the Scorpions 2021 Founders Club. Neely needed just four innings of work but did showcase his arm strength, running his fastball up to 91 mph from a full and loose arm action. He stays online down the mound with some mechanical checkpoints to the delivery. He mixes in a pair of offspeed pitches to his repertoire with an 11-to-5 curveball and fading changeup that each topped at 75 mph and 79 mph respectively. Neely pitched the first four innings of a lopsided contest punching out a batter per inning. The Florida commit was a strong performer on the mound this day and helped lead the Scorps to a game one victory.

Likely the top uncommitted arm of the day as far as projection goes, Fran Oschell (2021, Phoenixville, Pa.) came into the game out of the bullpen for the Molina Stars and the 6-foot-7 righthander showed lots of interesting components to work with moving forward. In his first inning of relief the righty topped out at 91 mph and sat in the 87-90 mph range mostly. He uses a compact arm stroke and a high three-quarters arm slot on top of an online delivery with good back leg drive to the plate to help generate that velocity. Oschell leads with his hip, and while there are often inconsistencies with the timing of his release point causing some command issues, Oschell has plenty of projectability to dream on with his tall and physical frame. The fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range in his first inning as noted while settling into an 85-87 mph range afterwards. The breaking ball he features sat around 73-74 mph with developing spin and gradual biting action to it. There is plenty of upside to Oschell and with the proper refinement and work ethic, he coiuld certainly see an improved jump in his velocity.

Robert Fortenberry (2021, Frisco, Texas) is another pitcher who helped lead his team to the next game in a long day of playoff action at 16u WWBA. Fortenberry of Academy Select 16u and a verbal commit to TCU, was pretty dominant in his outing working five innings and striking out eight, spreading three hits and two walks over the course of his outing. Fortenberry pitches from an extremely tough angle throwing from a low three-quarters arm slot. He repeats his mechanics so well and throws a lot of strikes with all three of his offerings. The fastball topped out at 87-89 mph on this day with plenty of life to both armside and sinking action with a slider that sat primarily 77-78 mph with big sweeping action and 2,000 RPM spin. The southpaw is going to be tough on lefthanded hitters for years to come and on into his time in Fort Worth playing for the Horned Frogs.

Karson Krowka (2021, Heath, Texas) has made plays at second base all week long and Thursday was no different. The middle infielder is really athletic with rangy feet to both directions and really clean hands up the middle. Krowka is an uncommitted prospect with a plenty of tools to work with. On this day he made a barehanded play that was really impressive that followed up an outstanding defensive effort on a diving play up the middle over at Kennesaw Mountain High School on Tuesday. The righthanded hitter has a chance to hit with plenty of balance and a loose swing at the plate. His best game of the day came in game two where he collected a pair of hits in a winnings effort.

Rawley Hector (2021, Van Alstyne, Texas) put together another really promising effort on the mound with his outstanding arm speed and potential for a pair of plus secondary pitches. The fastball worked in the 89-91 mph range with plenty of life especially when down in the zone. He is able to locate the heater to both sides of the plate effectively while living at the knees. Hector has a slider and a changeup that each project to be plus pitches with the breaking ball already flashing above average on the professional grading scale. The pitch is sharp and the changeup has fading action to it while flashing 55 on the professional MLB grading scale as well. Hector was electric in his first three innings working perfectly through the first time through the order. His lower half stays online to the plate with a clean hip turn and plenty of projection remaining to the build.

Cooper Crisp (2023, Locust Grove, Ga.) is an interesting 2023 graduate to monitor out of Georgia over the coming years. Crisp is a younger brother of University of Florida closer Nolan Crisp and is already off to a hot start on the national stage. Crisp was seen earlier this week touching 88 mph with his fastball and on this day sat in the mid-80s consistently. The righthander uses a full arm action and relatively easy delivery to produce such impressive velocity at such a young age.

– Greg Gerard

With the playoffs in full swing, many looked to write history for their respective programs by bringing home the coveted championship at stack this weekend. Early in the action, Gavin Brasosky (2021 Kalamazoo, Mich.) peaked attention as a projectable lefthanded pitcher. The southpaw flashed a lanky frame with plenty of room to fill out down the road. The No. 1-ranked lefthanded arm from the state of Michigan went on to throw 3 2/3 innings while giving up five hits and striking two batters. He battled a stout Molina Stars team who is now currently in the final four looking for its first ever WWBA title. The Tennessee commit showcased a fastball with arm side run in the mid-80s while topping at 87 early in his outing. He tried to dominate the inner half of the strike zone with the heater but had some discrepancies with the umpire. His off-speed arsenal consisted of a slider that showed good tilt with a spin rate average of 2,300 rpm that sat in the low-70s. With his projectable build and already fluid mechanics, he will be an interesting watch as he could make a huge jump here at any time.

The starter for the Molina Stars showed some lights out stuff as James Triantos (2022 Mclean, Va.) proved to be one of the top 2022s in the entire event. The righthanded pitcher took a slow walk out to the mound and then flipped a switch as he went on to dominate. The University of North Carolina commit flashed signs of brilliance as he pounded the strike zone working all quadrants with three pitches. The stocky, strong lower half framed Triantos showed a great mound presence as he went on to pick up the win over Tri-State Arsenal. He threw 4 2/3 innings of flawless baseball as he racked up eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a single batter. His fastball proved to show late life as he got in on hitters’ hands before working to his nasty off-speed stuff. His fastball sat 86-88 while he touched a few 90s. He got plenty of swings and misses with a nasty 11-to-5 hook that showed tight spin and good depth when down sitting in the low- to mid-70s with a spin rate average of 2,300. His changeup proved to be a problem for opposing hitters as well as he used this pitch only on occasion. With how young & talented Triantos is, he will be a big name in upcoming years to prove to the baseball world that he has what it takes to make it to the highest level of our game.

With a big task ahead to take on one of the best lineups in the country in the Dulins Dodgers Ince, Kemp Alderman (2020 Decatur, Miss.) was assigned the task. The big righthanded pitcher showed a towering frame with an already filled out build and a very visible strong stature. He flashed a very fast arm on the mound while getting extended and working downhill. The hard thrower sat in the low-90s while touching a few 93s early during his day. He complemented the heater with a nice 11-to-5 hook that had some tilt to it in the mid-70s with an average of about 2,200 rpm spin rate. Even with a big arm on the mound, the primary catcher is an even bigger threat at the plate. The No. 1-ranked catcher in the state of Mississippi for his class went on to make some loud contact to say the least at the plate. The righthanded hitter started with a slightly spread out stance and utilized his strength with simple mechanics. He crushed a single to the pull side that came off the bat at 96 mph. He will be looking clean in those Ole Miss powder blues this upcoming year and it would not be surprising if he becomes one of the top hitting catchers in the country at the next level.

With a day filled with No. 1-ranked prospects we had another in Hagen Smith (2021 Bullard, Texas), who is the No. 1 lefthanded pitcher from the state of Texas. Smith, an Oklahoma State Commit, went on to deal as he threw four innings and struck out seven batters while picking up the win for Academy Select helping propel them to the final four. He did a great job of working downhill while staying on plane showing very repeatable mechanics. With a low three-quarters delivery, he did a great job of hiding the baseball early from batters as it showed in his strike out total. Even though he showed a shorter, more compact arm action, his fastball was electric. The heater sat 90-93 while touching a few 93s while it ran away showing arm side run. Even late in his outing, his velo was still present as he was still 89-90 after 70-plus pitches. His slider was the show-stopper as it flashed a spin rate average of 2,400 sitting in the upper-70s. With the projectability of this top lefthanded pitcher, he will be a great follow for the draft when his time comes.

– Drew Wesolowski

Shane Cox (2021, Munford, Tenn.) is an athletic middle infielder with a 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame and room to fill out. Defensively, the primary shortstop showcased a smooth glove, solid range, quick transfers, and an above average arm. He looks natural and fluid in the field making difficult plays look easy. His highlight play showed him making an athletic diving catch on a line drive to his right. The righthanded hitter starts in an even stance with a narrow base and low, tight hands. Using a large leg stride, he transfers weight well from his lower half. The swing path is on a level plane through the zone. Creates decent bat speed and hits the ball out front, typically making contact to the pull side or up the middle on a line. Once he fills out further, he should generate some additional bat speed and hit the ball with more power.

North Carolina State commit Brandon Hudson (2021, Waxhaw, N.C.) is a righthanded pitcher who has a lanky and projectable 6-foot-4, 170-pound with athleticism and room to fill. Starting with a short and simple windup, the righty uses a medium and athletic leg lift before working online towards the plate. The arm action is really live from a high three-quarters arm slot. He pounded the corners of the zone during his start and generally had effective command with all of his pitches. His arsenal included a fastball that averaged 88 mph through 5 2/3 innings while touching 90 and 91 mph several times earlier in the outing. He also threw a sharp curveball with 12-to-6 action around 70 mph and a straight changeup around 79 mph. All told, he threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run baseball with six strikeouts while only allowing one walk. Present stuff certainly plays and he projects well with the potential to add more velocity in the future.

Colin Tuft (2021, Vienna, Va.) is an athletic catcher with a medium 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame and some strength in the build with room to still fill out. The Virginia commit showed defensive and offensive skills during the first day of the playoffs. Starting in a low crouch behind the plate, he displayed quick feet and fluid transfers to make strong throws to bases. He registered an in-game pop time at 1.9 seconds and consistently threw warmup pop times around two seconds. Tuft displayed smooth hands receiving pitches and blocking skills due to his quick feet and low starting setup. The righthanded hitter starts in a moderately open stance with a wide base. Using a medium leg stride, he remained balance in his lower half before taking a swing on a level plane. He swung with a lot of linear extension and hit the ball out front, on a line to the pull side or up the middle. He made hard contact several times as he generated solid bat speed and he also showed a keen eye at the plate, drawing two walks during the second game on the seventh day of the tournament. Tuft also hit a hard line drive double down the left field line.

– Jake Martin

Reed Gannon (2021, Minooka, Ill.) put together a solid performance on Thursday for Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black. He earned the win after going seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The uncommitted southpaw showed excellent command, throwing 95 pitches, 70 percent of them were strikes. His 84-86 mph fastball with life was up to 87 and was Gannon’s bread-and-butter offering. He paired his fastball with a tight-spinning mid-70s slider and showed a high-70s fading changeup to righthanded hitters. The lefty’s arm is quick and works easily throughout a long fluid arm action with a lower three-quarter arm slot. There is plenty of upside from a physical standpoint as well. His lean build on a 6-foot 2, 157-pound frame leaves plenty of room to fill out and add muscle.

Patrick Turner (2021, Dallas, Texas) was dominant at the plate for Dulins Dodgers 16u Godwin in a 10-1 win against the Florida Hurricanes 16u Platinum. The uncommitted 16 year old went 3-for-3 with two doubles, five RBIs and a run scored. Turner drove both gaps with power for doubles and they had exit velocities of 95 mph. He also hit a hard ground ball through the six-hole for a single. The power potential the righthander possesses is special and comes easy through his 6-foot-2, 225-pound physical frame. The swing is compact and smooth. He gets into his lower half well and drives the ball with power to all fields. Turner looks like a grown man out there and moves well in left field. With present power and feel to hit, Turner could develop into a power threat in the near future and is definitely a bat to keep an eye on.

James Nathan Shelton (2021, Tuscaloosa, Ala.) was intriguing on the mound in his start for the East Coast Sox 16u Diamond. The southpaw gave up a home run in the start but still showed promise. With a mid-80s fastball with run that was up to 87 and feel for a low-70s curve with a late 12-to-6 action, the uncommitted 16-year old threw three innings, allowing four runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Shelton’s arm works well from a long arm action and overhand arm slot. With a lean 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, he projects well, and with a couple minor adjustments he could increase velocity as the young lefty is definitely on the right track.

Brodie Chestnutt (2021, Fitzgerald, Ga.) was dominant on Thursday, earning a playoff win for 5 Star National 16u Burress. He threw six innings, allowing no runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Throwing an 88-92 mph fastball with late life, touching 92 quite a few times throughout the game, Chestnutt threw his heater for consistent strikes. The righthander’s primary secondary pitch a sharp upper-70s slider with late bite and he also flashed a low-80s changeup. The arm works easily and shows fluidity throughout a long whippy arm action with a three-quarters arm slot. The Florida State commit’s 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame is lean and offers a lot of upside. Chestnutt shows great potential and is an arm to watch in the coming years.

Andrew Armstrong (2020, Buford, Ga.) did some good things in his start for the East Cobb Astros in his start on Thursday. The crafty lefthander’s fastball sits in the mid-80s and he does a good job of making hitters uncomfortable at the plate. A nasty low-70s curveball with late break gave hitters fits all game. The Florida State commit also flashed a changeup to righthanded hitters. A compact arm action from a sidearm slot works well from the left side and will continue to get better as the 6-foot-2, 150-pounder continues to add velocity and muscle.

– Jacob Jordan

Garner Christensen (2021, Bow, Wash.) finished his week strong going 2-for-4 with a triple in his two starts for Scorpions Founders Club in bracket play to finish the week hitting .400 and with an on-base percentage of .500. The lefthanded hitting catcher starts with a narrow base and his hands set at his shoulder. His low leg kick works well as a trigger as he gets his hands loaded. With a quick compact bat path his hands work in a direct motion to the inside part of the ball allowing him to spray line drives from line to line with occasional pull-side pop when he is challenged on the inner half of the plate. Behind the dish he has a quiet setup and thanks to his soft hands he receives the ball well as he does a good job of catching the bottom of the baseball and presenting strikes for the umpire. His lean 5-foot-11 frame project well for added strength as he continues to fill out and mature.

Lane Forsythe (2020 Humbolt, Tenn.) a primary middle infielder took to the mound in the second round of the playoffs for Dulin’s Dodgers 16u Ince as the Mississippi State commit went six innings and struck out seven. His fastball topped out at 88 mph as he showed the ability to maintain velocity throughout the start, hitting 85 mph on his 100th pitch of the day. His three-quarters arm slot helps create natural arm-side life on his fastball with some late sink. His second offering, a slider, showed some good sweeping break while sitting in the mid-70s. His ability to command the zone with both offerings allowed him to stay efficient and keep his pitch count low enough to finish the game. His ability to stay in and around the zone comes in part from his clean delivery and smooth repeatable arm action as he maintains good direction towards home plate through his mechanics.

Jeffrey Ince (2021, Ridgeland, Miss.) a switch hitting middle infielder and Mississippi State commit got things rolling in the top of the first for his Dulin’ Dodgers 16u Ince club with a triple, and they would take the lead on a fielder’s choice from two-hole hitter Lane Forsythe and never look back. Ince pulled a 93 mph fastball down the right field line and it was off to the races from there. From the left side he starts with a wider base and loose hands set at shoulder level. His low leg kick gets his weight transferred to his back-side before he does a good job of getting his lower half involved throughout his swing hitting into a stiff front side. His bat path is quick and compact allowing him to get to a solid point of contact on a variety of pitches. In the field his athleticism showed as he was able to make plays ranging up the middle as well as charging the ball and make strong accurate throws on the run. His athletic 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame still leaves him with room to fill out.

Andrew Vogel (2020, Cottontown, Tenn.) finished off his week strong going 5-for-8 on Thursday in his two playoff games. The athletic middle infielder starts his swing with a wide base and high hands. He utilizes a low leg kick trigger to get his timing and weight shifted back. His bat path was smooth through contact with a level finish. This type of bat path allows him to keep his barrel in the hitting zone for a long time and get great extension through contact as he drives the ball using the whole field. The Murray State commit also played a nice shortstop showing his ability to range to the whole and work through the ball on his backhand before getting off a strong accurate throw. His glove presentation works well away from his body as his soft hands funnel the ball into his midline. With his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame he projects well moving forward.

Ryan Scott (2021, The Colony, Texas) had a solid tournament hitting out of the four-spot in the lineup for his Thrive-Haugen team and help lead them to a third round playoff appearance while hitting .350 on the week with an on-base percentage over .500. At the plate he swings the bat with the intent of doing damage each time. He starts with a wide base and high hands while utilizing a simple pivot trigger. His hand load creates the separation and gets him in a good position to get off his powerful swing. His bat path shows some present loft with a high finish helping him get the ball on the air. His lower half does a good job of staying connected through the swing allowing him to hit the ball to all fields with authority. His strong 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame shows some present strength with more to come as the uncommitted rising junior continues to grow and mature.

– Colton Olinger

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