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Tournaments | Story | 7/18/2019

14u, 16u West Scout Notes

Connor Spencer         Andrew Jenkins        
Photo: Garrett Cutting (Perfect Game)

14u, 16u WWBA West National Championship: Day 1-2 Scout Notes | Day 3-4 Scout Notes

Day five proved to be crunch time for many teams on the tournament playoff bubble with key matchups between three-win teams. 3D Gold played another great game moving to four wins on the tournament and got some stellar pitching performances from unsuspecting players.

Oregon State commit and top ranked 2021 Arizona catcher Tanner Smith (2021, Chandler, Ariz.) pitched four full while allowing no runs and striking out six. Smith most likely will not pitch at the next level thanks to his strong catching ability but he proved he has plenty of ability to do so, sittng 82-84 and touching 85 mph. His delivery is effortless, he looked like he was throwing BP on the mound, and his solid 11-to-5 shaped curveball kept hitters off balance. His breaking ball has good depth and he loves to go back-to-back with it. His three-quarters arm slot also helps the pitch to sweep down and away from righthanded bats.

Smith was also 2-for-2 at the plate with a seeded double into the left-center gap that one-hopped the wall. He has plus pop in his large frame and his hands stay quiet and compact in his load. He’s a hitter who really gets his back-side to fire and drive his shoulder rotation with his upper half, and if he learns to develop his hands more, he could be an elite hitter at the next level.

Taking over on the hill for Smith was PG Junior National standout shortstop Garrett Cutting (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.). Cutting closed out the ball game for 3D Gold and was freely sitting in the mid-80s with his fastball. He uses a 12-to-6 curve that flashes some good depth at times, and he finds some deception with his short, quick arm action that fires up into an over-the-top slot. Truly though, Cutting was born to play the infield, and it’s not hard to notice that with the naked eye. He makes great first step reads off the bat and flows through the baseball with rhythm. Cutting runs a 6.89 second 60-yard dash and it’s noticeable when he quickly gobbles up balls into either hole. At the plate, Cutting went 1-for-2 on the day with a double into the left-center gap. He uses a leg lift trigger and stacks his weight shift onto his tall back side. He then consistently works his hands down through the hitting zone and uses his hands well to all fields. His pop at the plate is good and still developing, but that should come as his medium athletic frame begins to fill out.

Firebirds catcher Michael Riley (2021, Scottsdale, Ariz.) has put some good swings on balls this summer, and although he isn’t putting up standout numbers at the plate this tournament, he is clearly a high follow moving forward with his strong pop and competitiveness to his game. Against 3D Gold he just missed an inside fastball that ultimately turned into a sun ball for the left fielder and fell in for a base hit. Riley has a large athletic frame with an upright conventional stance at the plate. He needs to quiet his hands more into his load as his heavy bat wag tends to cause some inconsistences into launch. Moreover, he can at times close himself off at the plate making it difficult to get his hands out in front on inside pitches. Nonetheless, Riley still gets great shoulder rotation, forces his barrel on plane quickly, and there’s some serious potential juice in his bat.

Mayze Mosher (2021, Saint George, Utah.) has been a doubles machine this tournament hitting a towering fly ball over the center fielder’s head on day four, then tacking on two more doubles in the morning on day six. On day five he played another fantastic game and showed high baseball IQ at third base. On a ground ball hit slightly to his left he noticed the runner at third was off just enough to tag him and without hesitation Mosher dived and got the out at third base. At the plate, he keeps things very simple with a small leg lift trigger, and his hands barely move into his load. He coils his upper half and is able to keep it coiled while his lower half drives through creating great tension and added pop for his medium athletic frame. Mosher has been fun to watch in the box and at the hot corner this tournament, and if he keeps hitting the way he is he’ll have college coaches calling him soon.

Dulin’s Dodgers-Doan ended their tournament with a win and big man Trent McCown (2021, Carrollton, Texas) laced a triple into the right-center gap. McCown has a very large frame but surprisingly looked good rounding the bases on his triple. With his size, all he has to do is throw his hands at the ball and it takes off. Moreover, he has good plate awareness and solid hands that work inside the baseball as well. There’s a solid hitting foundation and power tool to his game, he simply needs to work in the gym on his agility and flexibility to help his range on defense. If he’s able to do this, there’s some serious potential for him to become a prospect.

Drama arose in the late morning slot on day six as 3D Gold and MountainWest both had the same record vying for the last playoff spot. On the bump for MountainWest against Firebirds was tall and lengthy righthander Shay Timmer (2021, South Jordan, Utah.) who flashed some plus stuff on the mound. He has a very projectable 6-foot-8 frame that forces his window far down the hill. His strong is still developing into his frame, yet, is still very strong as he touched 88 mph on a few occasions throughout his outing. He also throws a two-seam fastball with intent that has decent late run. Timmer uses an 11-to-5 shaped breaking ball that also showed glimpses of deadliness with its good depth and late bite. His changeup is a straight change that sits around 73 mph but he needs to work on his arm action to the plate on the pitch. MountainWest ultimately won the game but just barely missed out on a playoff.

In the 16u semifinal matchups hits were not hard to come by as both games featured slugfest, drama-filled battles to the finish. CBA Nevada 2021 squeaked by 3D Gold winning 7-6. Reggie Newby (2021, Saint George, Utah.) propelled CBA to a win thanks to five innings pitched and a bases-clearing triple in the fifth. Newby doesn’t have the most overpowering stuff on the mound sitting 78-80 mph but he understands his stuff and locates it to all four quadrants well. Moreover, his 11-to-5 shaped curveball was working well for him on the day.

3D Gold’s Tanner Smith, who was mentioned earlier, hit a three-run blast over the left field scoreboard that made things interesting late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome CBA’s offensive outpouring.

Team California edged out BPA in a thriller winning 10-9. It was a great game to be a hitter and although many names could be mentioned but Kody Watanabe (2021, Aiea, Hawaii) had a nice day at the plate going 2-for-4 with a standup double. He stands tall at the plate and really gets a lot out of his developing athletic frame. His hands work well to the baseball and he has a solid bat path that creates backspin to his pull side. As Watanabe’s frame continues to develop, he could flourish into a feared hitter.

– Connor Spencer

Camden Bates (2023, Goldsby, Okla.) is a young projectable shortstop that has a good feel and stood out defensively. Bates showed soft hands, smooth actions, along with good footwork. He made multiple plays throughout the tournament and displayed lateral quickness that allowed him to make it look easy up the middle and to his glove side. Bates has arm strength that will get better as he gets older and stronger. At the plate, Bates starts with square base, the bat rocks back and forth off his shoulder with a high back elbow. He has a leg kick trigger that takes him back into his load, has linear movements towards the ball and stays balanced throughout his swing. Bates went 8-for-16 with two doubles and five runs driven in.

Six-foot-1 lefthanded pitcher Tyler Townsend (2023, McKinney, Texas) was impressive in his outings and lived off his fastball that sat 74-76 mph and topped out at 77 mph with slight arm-side run. His breaking ball was 65 mph that he was able to locate for strikes when he stayed on top of the ball and mixed in a split-changeup at times. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with good downhill action. Townsend worked both sides of the plate with the two pitches during his seven innings of work, striking out 11 and allowing two earned runs.

Juan Carlos Kalemera (2023, Phoenix, Ariz.) throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, rotates closed into his delivery with a deep arm circle in the back and creates good angle as he drives downhill. This projectable young pitcher has a repeatable delivery, with good hip and shoulder separation and stays online. His fastball tops out at 82 mph and sat in the mid- to upper-70s during his outings. Kalemera tends to get groundballs due to his sinking fastball and his command will improve as he matures over the years, maximizing his pitch ability. He pitched 4 1/3 innings and struck out four during his two appearances on the mound.

Lefthanded pitcher Coleman Mayfield (2024, Elk City, Okla.) came in to relief for Oklahoma Elite 2023 to stop the bleeding against CCB 14u Elite in semifinal action. Mayfield filled up the strike zone and allowed five hits and no walks, striking out six batters in five innings. Mayfield was consistently in the 76-81 mph range and worked a sharp 70 mph slider that he stayed behind well and was able to locate for strikes. This young prospect projects well and will project for more velocity as he matures into his frame over his high school career.

– Andrew Jenkins

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