Tournaments | Story | 7/18/2019

15U WWBA: Day 6 Scout Notes

Greg Gerard         Drew Wesolowski         Jacob Jordan         Brian Treadway        
Photo: Blake Cyr (Perfect Game)
2019 15U WWBA National Championship: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Working on a pitch count limit as a side day after his start on Friday, Griffin Herring (2022, Southlake, Texas) tossed a pair of innings, punching out five. His fastball sat in the 83-86 mph range while touching 87 mph as well. The LSU commit’s fastball is lively with plenty of life to both sinking action and arm-side run. He filled up the strike zone with the pitch working to primarily the armside. His three-pitch mix is impressive at such a young age as he is able to locate both his changeup and curveball for strikes. His changeup is deceptive and appeared to be the better of the two offspeed offerings in this look. The curveball is sharp when released out in front and did create some off balanced swings. The mechanics he has on the mound are pretty clean with an online lower half and loose arm action. His arm gets up to the point of release quickly and he works downhill to the plate with the plane of his fastball. Herring was dominant in this quick look with plenty of uncomfortable swings and lots of strikes.

Ryder Douglas (2022, West End, N.C.) showed some intriguing upside in his quick outing that was notably a pitch count limit type day. Douglas ran his fastball up to 85 mph while sitting primarily 82-84 mph. The fastball has outstanding sinking action to it with a low spin rate (1600) and released out in front with exceptional sinking action. He featured a changeup that, along with the fastball has noticeable sink to it. Each of the pitches ride to the plate on a downhill plane with a proper lower half drive and plenty more to come. Douglas has a very large frame with physical strength present standing at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. The righthander from North Carolina has a loose arm action that releases the ball from an over the top arm slot to create such a steep vertical plane. Douglas had a nice inning punching out two opposing hitters with his fastball, changeup combination.

Dirtbags Tap Out solidified their No. 5 overall seed in the tournament with a bye going into Thursday with the help of righthanded hitter Joshua Seth Christmas (2022, Huntersville, N.C.). The starting shortstop for the Dirtbags has an athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and looks the part of a high-level shortstop at the next level. The bat is the carrying tool as he has shown at several PG related events in the past that he can really swing the bat at a high level. His day Wednesday included a triple to the opposite field gap showing good barrel skills and strength at impact. There is plenty of bat speed to Christmas’s swing and it has power potential as well.

Similar to what Christmas provides for the Dirtbags at the plate, Walker Polk (2022, Coppell, Texas) delivers for the Dallas Tigers 15U Polk at the plate. The righthanded hitting catcher has impressive strength at the point of contact that he showcased Wednesday afternoon. He has power potential to both gaps and the double he knocked to the right-center gap Wednesday certainly showcases that tool. His physical 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame is utilized in his swing path with barrel strength at impact and jump up the alleys. Polk is also an impressive defensive catcher who can play a corner infield position, as he did in this game. Starting at third base, Polk has athleticism with his footwork that allows him to be versatile both behind the dish and at the hot corner.

Logun Clark (2022, Taft, Calif.) is an interesting catcher to follow on the west coast. The backstop moves well behind the plate with outstanding arm strength down to second base. His arm is the standout tool but the plays he made on Wednesday were impressive to multiple college recruiters in attendance as well. Clark threw out a runner from his knees on a delayed steal call. The throw was perfectly placed with impressive zip behind it, and on a line. Clark, when coming out of his crouch has an online release to the bag and accuracy to the first base side of second base. At the plate, he has some bat speed and gets downhill with his hands to produce some jump when on time to the point of contact. The uncommitted catcher from southern California is certainly an interesting follow with upside at a premium position.

It was a really nice look for southpaw Eli Zielinski (2022, Daphne, Ala.) on Wednesday night as he tossed a complete game shutout in the first round of playoff action. It was a masterful performance from start to finish as he concluded with 99 pitches and a 6-0 victory. Zielinski ran his fastball up to 85 mph early in the game before settling into the low-80s primarily. His offspeed pitch of choice was a big curveball that he could land for strikes with developing spin. Zielinski spread three hits and two walks over his seven innings and struck out eight batters. The lefty from Alabama pitches from a low three-quarters arm slot and creates some sink to his heater. He pounded the zone with his pitches and, although the front side will open up early, it allows for the arm to be on time to the point of release and appears to cause some deception to hitters as they struggled to get the barrel of the bat to the baseball throughout the evening.

One of the pure hit tools of the day belonged to lefthanded hitting infielder Colby Shelton (2022, Litha, Fla.). The physical lefthanded hitter has a professional approach at the plate with a great eye. His gap-to-gap approach is impressive with the ability to spray the ball to all parts of the field with ease. He is a confident hitter in the middle of the Ostingers Baseball Academy lineup and his balance at the plate is well beyond his years. The path to contact is fluid and he reads spin well out of the pitcher’s hand. The fluidity of his hand path and the barrel control in which he possesses is outstanding as he finished this day with a double to the opposite field gap and a pair of walks.

Although listed as a primary outfielder Bobby Fleming (2022, Great Falls, Va.) filled up the strike zone on the mound in a late playoff game Wednesday night. His fastball sat 84-86 mph early in the outing and held the velocity well for several innings. Fleming pitches from a compact arm action with the ball coming out of his hand cleanly with plenty of intent and releasing on top of the baseball. The Virginia native utilizes drop and drive actions down the mound. He flashed a sharp breaking ball as well that helped him secure seven strikeouts during the contest. His 85 pitches on the mound as well as the projection of his overall delivery are impressive. On top of his impressive pitching performance, Fleming hit for himself and collected an RBI single along the way. Fleming connected on a hard barrel through the 5-6 hole that ultimately helped himself on the mound as well.

-Greg Gerard

With bracket play on the horizon, Jancarlos Frias (2023, Bronx, N.Y.) made the most of his last day here in Georgia. The catcher showcased a smaller, compact build with plenty of room for growth down the road. He showed mature actions behind the plate as he had soft hands receiving the baseball and a quick transfer with accurate throws on the throw down. His biggest attribute would end up being his bat at the plate. The righthanded hitter showed big pop as he would go on to hit a towering ground-rule double over the left field fence that could have left the yard for the same price. Frias showed a short-to-it, long-through-it type swing with repeatable actions that he can take to the next level and find success. With him almost going deep early in the game, the opposing team tried to work him away in his next at-bat. He would go onto to take an outside fastball and drive it over the second baseman’s head. With him being able to drive the ball to all parts of the park and his abilities behind the plate, he will be an interesting follow as the 2023 grad looks to take his talents to the next level.

As the day would go on to show big arm talent, one name stood out early in the day in Carter Stanford (2022, Spanish Fort, Ala.). The big righthanded pitcher showed a live arm as he utilized a bigger frame with long legs and plenty of room to fill out down the road. He proved to be a tough pitcher to square up for opposing batters as he got plenty of swings and misses and weak contact. With him delivering from a high, fluid three-quarters arm action, the baseball was hard to pick up out of hand and it got onto batters’ hands in a hurry. His fastball showed great life sitting in the 84-87 range with some additional arm side run to it. As he pitched off his fastball, his slider showed great potential when down in the zone as it showed tight spin in the mid-70s. The uncommitted righty would go on to toss three innings for the Aces while striking out three batters. Keep a good eye on this prospect as he shows to have everything in the making for a big arm in the upcoming years.

With the last game of pool play being plated, Murphy Brooks (2022 Cypress, Texas) took the bump and showed some lights out stuff. Brooks towered over the competition as he showed a very large frame with a stocky build and maturing features. The righthanded pitcher utilized that frame to the fullest as he would go on to carve up the opposing team. While he wasted absolutely no time in between pitches, he showed a fluid motion with repeatable mechanics that serve as a solid foundation for this young man’s bright future. As he pounded the zone all afternoon, he used a nice three-pitch mix in which gave up no hits as he threw five innings of hitless ball. His fastball showed to be heavy as he sat 83-87 while touching an 89 early in the action. His offspeed stuff proved be plus as well with a slurvy curveball that had good depth in the mid-70s. His most interesting offspeed pitch would go on to be a splitter that he is in the early stages of developing. Although he struggled a bit with the command of it, he showed a few flashes of it being a nasty, hard diving splitter that will develop as he does. On another note, he also showed loud contact at the plate as he hit a major league type fly ball to left that was eventually caught but he got his point across that he can get it done in all facets of the game. Look for this projectable athlete to make a splash on the Texas recruiting scene here in the upcoming years.

As pool play wrapped up and bracket play started, little did we know that we were in for the ball game of the week. Canes North and CBA American kicked off the action with a thriller. Both teams would run out the most impressive arms that I have seen all week. For Canes North, Matt Archibald (2022, Churchville, Md.) got the start and he threw an absolute gem. The righthanded pitcher showed a larger frame with an already filling out build with a very strong lower half and broad shoulders. With a fluid arm action, he carved up a solid CBA lineup to get the win for his team. He did a great job of mixing up pitches as he worked off of his curveball. The hook showed advanced spin and depth as he got plenty of swings and misses with it. With a 11-5 type movement, his arm action showed no difference than it did with the heater making it very hard to pick up out of hand. His fastball showed big time life as well as it had next level type arm-side run and heaviness in the 83-85 range. What was most impressive is that he lost no velocity throughout his outing on the night. The big, projectable righty ended up throwing six innings while only giving up two hits and striking out six batters as he got the win for Canes North. With multiple scouts in attendance, Archibald is officially on the radar and he will be a big addition to whatever school adds him in upcoming months and years.

As Archibald got it done of the mound, Dylan Rodriguez (2021, Delmar, Del.) got it done at the plate for Canes North. He flashed signs of brilliance at the plate and he has been doing so all week. The righthanded hitter showed a very large frame with an already filled out build and mature strength. In his first at-bat of the night, he took a mid-80s heater and drove it into the right-center gap while he rounded the bases for a big triple. He soon scored a big run during his teammates next at-bat. Rodriguez started with a narrow, open stance before using a big leg kick to transfer his weight. He showed a huge power potential as he got extended while barreling up baseballs all day. In his next at-bat, he faced one of the top arms in the tourney and he proved that he could compete with that arm. He took a 90 mph middle-in fastball and barreled it up into the right-center gap as he knocked in a huge run for his ball club. With him hitting a grand slam earlier in the day, he proved himself to be next level ready already and he will be a huge addition to whoever signs him. Keep a very, very close eye on him as he looks to climb the rankings and take his big bat to the next level as he checks all the boxes necessary. I look forward to seeing him again today deeper in the playoffs and continue their run a WWBA title.

With the Canes North squad jumping off to an early lead, Brandon Barriera (2022 Cococut Creek, Fla.) would come in to relieve the starter, and “wow” is an understatement. The ultra-projectable lefthanded pitcher would come on the scene and electrify an entire quad as he had fans coming over from other fields to see what all the noise was about. With him being the No. 1 lefthanded pitcher in his class, he proved that ranking to be correct. He flashed a medium frame with a lean build and plenty of room to fill out down the road. The vicious southpaw filled up the strike zone as he worked from a true three-quarters arm slot. The uncommitted lefthander showed a heater that ranged in the 89-92 range as he touched a couple 93s. The fastball was nearly unhittable as it showed late life with the highest-level type movement. With the fastball being lights out, he added one of the nastiest sliders you will see in amateur baseball. While sitting in the mid-70s, it showed serious depth with plus spin and huge swing and miss potential. He went on to throw 2 2/3 innings of relief as he struck seven hitters who had almost no hope against the top lefty in the country. He will be a very interesting follow in years to come as he looks to make a big move when the draft comes in June in 2022.

-Drew Wesolowski

Colton Regen (2021, Lebanon, Tenn.) pitched around a command issue and dominated for Cross Hit Black 15U on Wednesday. The righthander pitched five innings while allowing two unearned runs on three hits and five walks with nine strikeouts. An impressive fastball with easily generated velocity sat in the mid-80s and was up to 88. He matched his fastball with a low-70s curveball that had a late 12-6 action. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder’s arm is quick and shows fluidity throughout a long arm action with a high three-quarters arm slot. Although he finished his outing throwing 60 percent strikes, he showed a lot of potential through stints of domination throughout the outing and his strikeout total shows that. Regen is a talented uncommitted arm that projects well and is more than deserving of his current high follow status.

Sal Stewart (2022, Miami, Fla.) was highly impressive for Elev8 Select on Wednesday afternoon. The University of Florida commit went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Offensively, Stewart showed a true ability to hit as he barreled up the ball well and drove it with easy pop. At third, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder showed a natural fielding ability while being incredibly smooth with soft hands and clean transfers, and he also showed off an incredibly strong arm. His body projects well and already shows present strength as he is beginning to fill out. Stewart is a natural baseball player and will fun to watch as he continues to develop.

Jacob Miller (2022, Baltimore, Ohio) was extremely impressive and fun to watch in his relief outing for Bo Jackson Elite 15U on Wednesday. The Louisville commit worked off of a fastball that was up to 89 mph but sat in the 86-88 mph range. He paired it with a very impressive curveball that projects to be plus with late break. Miller’s arm works fluidly out of a long arm action with a three-quarters arm slot. His 6-foot-1, 160-pound lean frame projects well and will really add value once he fills out.

Andrew Woods (2022, Monroe, La.) had a solid outing overall for Louisiana Knights Black on Wednesday. The righthander threw four innings, allowing two runs off four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. The University of Alabama commit’s fastball was up to 91 but sat in the mid-80s. A mid-70s sweeping curve and high-70s changeup were effective throughout the outing. Woods’ arm works well out of a long arm while he gets his upper half downhill on a short stride. He releases from an overhand arm slot and does a good job of creating a difficult angle for hitters, especially when he is throwing on the harder side. A lean muscular build on a 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame projects well alongside the arm.

Xavier Isaac (2022, Kernersville, N.C.) certainly passes the eye test at first glance; however, he also backs up his physical 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame with impressive play on the field, just as he did Wednesday for Canes National. The East Carolina commit is way more than his strength. He showed true feel for the barrel in his 3-for-3 performance, with impressive bat speed and an overall smooth swing. The power threat is obvious for the first baseman, but there is more to him. Defensively, he was solid at first and made his plays. Physically, Isaac could play professionally today. However, if his skills continue to develop at this pace, the sky is the limit.

-Jacob Jordan

Starting at second base for the Elite Squad 15U National was Blake Cyr (2022, Orlando, Fla.). Though Cyr is notably ranked as the top shortstop in the state of Florida, the Miami commit was able to do just fine at second base and was able to display his offensive skills at the plate. At the last game of pool play, Cyr went 0-for-2 but was still able to drive in a run on a sac fly to center field. In the batter’s box, the native of Florida has a wide stance and takes a large step towards the pitcher as he loads up for his swing. When he tries to go with the pitch, he is able to get power with his swing, even if it is off the end of the bat. With a long swing and good extension, Cyr is able to the opposite side of the plate easily.

Issac Williams (2022, Fleming Island, Fla.) took the mound for the Florida Dodgers Scout Team 2022 and was lights out for the time he was in the game, leading his team to a win. Standing at 6-foot-1, the righthander began throwing his fastball a majority of the time. Switching between a two-seam and a four-seam fastball, he was able to create enough movement and overpower opposing batters. Keeping his elbow tight, he was able to bring the baseball from a three-quarters delivery to the plate, maxing out his fastball at 87 mph. Though his fastball consistently sat in the 83-86 mph range, he was able to use location effectively. Williams rarely used an off-speed pitch and didn’t have to as the uncommitted righthander struck out four batters and gave up zero hits in just over two innings of work.

With the pitching covered by Williams, Finn Howell (2022, St. Johns, Fla.) led off the game for the Florida Dodgers Scout Team’s offense. Going 2-for-3 in the game, Howell was able to show his ability to make contact with the ball as well as his speed. Standing at the back of the batter’s box, the uncommitted shortstop is able to put the ball into play consistently with a short compact swing. Each time Howell was able to put the bat on the ball, it was a ground ball which put the pressure on the defense because of his speed. The Florida native has a good two-strike approach as he chokes up on the bat and focuses on putting the bat on the ball. Good things happened for him with that approach as he was able to drive in a run in the big win.

Caden Kok (2022, Winter Haven, Fla.) took the mound for the Ostingers Baseball Academy 2022. Going three innings in the win, Kok was able to get his fastball up to 87 mph and be able to command it effectively for strikes. Working from a low three-quarters delivery, the 6-foot righthander was able to bring his fastball in to the strike zone with a subtle cutting motion. Gathering seven strikeouts during his stint in the game, the uncommitted righthander was able to pinpoint where he wants his ball to go. A 12-to-6 curveball was his secondary pitch which he could bring to a low-70s mph range but the consistency wasn’t quite there yet for it to be a go-to out pitch. With more work on the breaking ball Kok has potential that should be fun to watch.

Andrew Burns (2022, Albertville, Ala.) started at third base for Exposure 15U Prime and did a good job showing why he is the top ranked player out of Alabama. Burns has quick hands at the plate, allowing him to be able to reach baseballs on all sides of the plate. Standing up in the box, the Alabama commit already starts his stance with his weight on his back foot as if he is already loaded for the pitch. With his left leg twisted, he pivots it as the pitch comes in and has a level swing to the ball. With a strong ability to read pitches, he makes solid contact with the baseball and can do damage when he is able to barrel the ball up. Though he went 0-for-1 with a hit-by-pitch, Burns is an exciting player with a strong frame already as he stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 195 pounds.

Mason Balsis (2022, Bristow, Va.) guided his pitchers through seven innings of two-run baseball as he started at catcher for the Stars Baseball 15U Colangelo. Going 3-for-4 in the first round of playoff games, Balsis did a good job of leading his team to a much-needed victory and helped them advance. The Virginia commit was able to get his hands extended with solid power and drive the ball hard to the pull side. Hitting the ball out in front of the plate, the native of Virginia was able to send one of his hits down the left field line for an RBI double. Ending the game with two doubles and two RBI, Balsis did a good job putting his on top and never looked back.

-Brian Treadway

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