Tournaments | Story | 7/16/2019

14u Super25: Day 3-4 Scout Notes

Jered Goodwin        

2019 PG Super25 14u National Championship: Day 1-2 Notes

Passing the eye test for SWA Storm on Sunday was Ethan Robinson (2023 Antioch, Tenn.) who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 177 pounds. He only threw one inning during game action, but it was enough to take away a very strong impression of what he could be as he develops. The nine pitches that were thrown were all downhill with extension from his long limbs. It’s loose with good athleticism and he repeats well for such a young and tall prospect. The righthanded pitcher fired fastballs at 85-88 with late life and hard plane to match for opposing 14u hitters. The two hitters he struck out in his perfect inning were both on curveballs that had 11-to-5 shape and sat in the low-70s. The pitch shows promise that should be another future plus offering. This will be an exciting youngster to track very closely over the coming years.

Hitting from the 3-hole spot in the FTB – Nugent lineup, Evan Cowan (2022 Richmond Hill, Ga.) showed a little bit of everything on Sunday. He has a lively 6-foot-1 body that has plenty of room to add good weight as he matures. He projects to be anywhere from a table-setter, using above average running speed to change the game, or a middle-of-the-lineup run producer. Showing the ability to change his approach with two strikes, he poked an outer-half pitch down the third base line and turned on the speed for a hustle double. His swing is short and direct using a low middle approach presently. The young lefthanded hitter will learn to create space and get in his legs which will easily produce power with his fast bat. The outfield prospect looked very comfortable in center field tracking down multiple balls in the gaps. Cowan took a great angle on a ball hit well, just shy of the fence, that he easily tracked down to save a potential extra-base hit. It’s always easy to dream on a young lefthanded hitter who can stay in the middle of the diamond.

Well known for his pitching prowess, already hitting 94 with his fastball earlier in the tournament, Nazier Mule (2022 Paterson, NJ) showed his elite two-way ability on Sunday. The physicality he has for the 14u age group is obvious. Already having a chiseled frame, it’s still easy to see how much projection he has in his 6-foot-1 frame. The twitch in his body is impressive from his fast arm to the very quick righthanded swing he produces. In game action he went 3-for-6 during his doubleheader day on Sunday. Mule filled up a scorecard hitting a double, triple, scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs. The double was hit on an inner half fastball that he easily got the barrel out to drive it off the left field wall. Mule showed a quick and accurate swing all day. He gets up to speed quickly on the bases and runs well when he gets underway. This is one of the most exciting two-way players in the country.

Not to be outdone on Sunday was another two-way prospect playing for US Elite 14u National. Hunter Sipel (2022 Holtwood, Pa.) took the mound and immediately started pounding the strike zone with an 80-84 mph fastball that bumped 86. The delivery was compact and athletic. He repeated extremely well and tunneled his heavy fastball up in the zone with his sharp breaking ball at the bottom of the zone. He kept a very good lineup off balance, throwing five innings while not giving up and earned run. He struck out five hitters and only surrendered two hits. There is a big natural jump in his arm as he develops strength in the next couple years.

Sipel helped himself at the plate going 2-for-2 with a double and added a walk. He has a classic lefthanded swing that creates lift and seems to stay in the zone for a long time. The double came on an 0-2 count that he let a curveball get deep in the zone and he drove it hard to the opposite field gap in left-center field. This prospect will get a ton of two-way interest at the next level.

Playing shortstop for Team Orlando 14u was Braden Holcomb (2023 Ocoee, Fla.) who is an extremely physical 6-foot-3 and 210-pound youngster. It would be easy to get caught up with the sheer strength that the 14-year old currently has, but the athleticism may eclipse the body. The frame does not look like a typical shortstop, but his feet work and he showed soft hands that should lock him into that position in the future. The righthanded swing displayed on Sunday was powerful and he showed great core speed attacking pitches anywhere in the strike zone. Holcomb did a good job recognizing spin and controlled the zone well. He went 2-for-3 in the opening game of the doubleheader, ambushing a triple down the left field line. He chipped in two RBI and forced an intentional walk in his last at-bat. His reputation will continue to precede him in the coming years.

An early morning playoff matchup for Grit Black on Monday put Ryan Sprock (2022 Morristown, N.J.) on the mound, and like his team name he gave them a gritty performance. The barrel-chested righthanded pitcher used a short arm stroke, that provided deception, to go the distance in a tough-luck loss. The young hurler gave up two unearned runs over six innings of work while striking out six. His fastball was in the low-80s with riding life when it was down in the zone and proved difficult to square up. Sprock has the makings of a nice secondary offering throwing a downer breaking ball in that was up to 65. It has good shape and froze multiple hitters throughout his outing. Doing everything that could be done to win the playoff game, Sprock added a hit and an RBI offensively.

It was easy to see the twitch in young Andrew Duncan (2023 Tampa, Fla.) in his playoff game Monday morning. From the two-hole spot in the lineup in the top of the first inning he hit a ball down the right field line for a double. He got out of the box and up to peak speed in a hurry. The flick speed in his wrists is easy to see and the barrel flies through contact. He uses a middle to opposite field approach doing a great job of staying inside and tight to his body. Duncan came back up in the third inning driving another ball to right field, this time for a triple. The combination of above average bat speed and being an above average runner makes him a must follow the next couple years. The bat-to-ball skills were evident over the weekend on his way to hitting .385 this week.

Kangaroo Court National always brings a talented roster to Perfect Game events. This was no exception, especially rolling out guys like Wesley Mendes (2023 Tampa, Fla.) who is a projectable lefthanded pitcher. His body has lots of life to it and he pumped 80-84 mph fastballs with a very quick shoulder. The ease that the ball came out of his hand makes one think that a jump will be natural as he adds weight and strength to his proportioned frame. His delivery was rhythmic and up-tempo, repeating well and staying in-line. The swing-and-miss is real, striking out seven in his three innings of work. A lot of the swing-and-miss came on a sweeping breaking ball in the upper-60s that missed below righthanded bats frequently. This should be an arm that gets noticeable attention for the next four years.

Without question, the best statistical day on Monday came from Resmundo FTB righthanded pitcher and infielder Tj Dunsford (2023 Grand Bay, Ala.) who was simply spectacular. Starting the first round of the playoffs on the bump, Dunsford was spectacular throwing a five-inning no-hitter. He mixed a 79-82 mph fastball that he located well to all four quadrants of the zone. The pitch gets downward plane and he uses great extension to provide some deception. Offensively, he added a double and two RBIs to round out a great opening round performance. Dunsford was just as good in the second round of the playoffs going 3-for-3 with three RBIs to help his team reach the final four. The exciting two-way prospect is physical with bat speed, but it’s his IQ and competitive nature that also stand out. This will be a fun prospect to watch develop as he has the tools and fire to be a high-level player at the next level.

Already showing his pitching prowess for Grit Black previously in the tournament, Kevin Jaxel (2022 Congers, N.Y.) looked the part of a middle-of-the-order power bat on Monday morning. He is 6-foot-4 with a physical 195-pound frame with plenty of room to fill out. The barrel speed he showed was obvious to anyone watching. The swing has the type of violence that is extremely loud anytime he connects with the baseball. He turned on a pitch on the inner half that got to the third baseman so quickly that it could not be defended. Though he didn’t elevate anything during this event, it is easy to see the elite power potential that he possesses. The athleticism will continue to play as he grows into his body and adds strength. He is a top two-way prospect in his class.

The Florida Hurricanes 14u Platinum have a well-balanced roster that gets things started with leadoff hitter Edian Espinal (2022 Vierra, Fla.). The lefthanded hitter has exceptional hand-eye coordination and uses that to spray balls to all fields. He is hitting .429 this week with four extra-base hits while recording a 1.234 OPS. His instincts are so advanced that you can see him check the defensive positioning to develop a plan of attack. When he plays shortstop, he is constantly in the right position and moving the defense around based on the situation. He made a great play in the 6-hole, ranging deep, and communicating he was coming to third base to record the last out of the inning with two runners on base. He has smooth actions, a quick release and an accurate arm. Espinal is a winner in all phases of the game.

Elite Squad 14u Outlaws rolled out Joseph Mincey (2022 Hialeah, Fla.) in the first round of the playoffs on Monday morning and he did not disappoint. He competed from the first pitch pounding a sinking fastball at the bottom of the strike zone. The sinker forced opposing hitters to beat balls into the ground regularly. He is tall with a strong workhorse body and attack from a low three-quarters slot. The delivery had a fairly big hip turn that allowed him to hide the ball for a long time during his arm swing. He sat in the upper-70s with his sinking fastball and occasionally reached back for more, touching 84 early in his outing. Mincey mixed a mid-60s sweeping breaking ball that is still developing, but kept hitters off balance due to his ability to move his fastball so well. In all, he went five innings and gave up just one unearned run helping ESO to a narrow 2-1 win advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

– Jered Goodwin

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