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Tournaments | Story | 7/18/2019

17u Midwest: Day 2 Scout Notes

Nate Schweers         Ben Milks        
Photo: Donny Ward (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA 17u Prospect Meadows National Championship: Day 1 Scout Notes

Call Verlanic (2020, Suamico, Wis.) continued what has been an excellent tournament at the plate Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a double and pair of RBI in game one, and adding a second double in game two. Verlanic has present strength in his 6-foot, 190-pound frame, and the quick hands and aggressive approach at the plate make him a constant threat to do damage with the bat. An uncommitted member of the 2020 class, Verlanic has a strong bat and plays a good corner outfield. This combo of size, strength, and athleticism will certainly play at the next level.

Manuel Lopez (Fort Wayne, Ind.) made his presence felt at Prospect Meadows early Thursday morning, opening the scoring for DBACKS 17u Lopez with a long home run over the fence in left field. Though he stands at just 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, Lopez uses some present bat speed and a fluid swing to catch balls out front and drive them. In the field, Lopez made one of the more impressive plays of the day with a barehanded snag and strong throw on the run to take away an infield single.

Carter Endisch (2020, Pewaukee, Wis.) was impressive on the mound Thursday for the GRB Rays, running a heavy fastball up to 86 mph before pitching in the low-80s. Endisch has an athletic frame with room to fill out and add strength and he uses his body well to get good extension over his front side. Endisch hides the ball well before coming from a high three-quarters slot and that creates some really interesting deception and an uncomfortable look for hitters. The righthander has developing feel for a low-60s curveball and as that pitch improves Endisch’s entire arsenal will become tougher to barrel.

Jacob Kampf (2020, Lockport, Ill.) closed out a Cangelosi Spark 2020 Black win with a dominant seventh inning on Thursday morning. Kampf struck out all three batters he faced on 16 pitches to secure the save. Kampf featured a fastball at 83-86 mph Thursday, pairing it nicely with a mid-70s slider to keep hitters off-balance. Kampf has an athletic frame at 6-foot-1, 165-pounds, and he creates good linear direction down the mound at foot strike. Kampf has a clean arm path from a high three-quarters slot and attacks hitters with the fastball down in the zone.

Nick Smith (2020, Waunakee, Wis.) is a physical righthanded pitcher that had an outstanding start for the GRB Rays Thursday. Smith tossed 5 1/3 dominant innings in his start, allowing just two hits while striking out seven. Smith showed an advanced ability to locate his fastball at 82-86 mph Thursday, creating good downward plane that was tough on hitters. Smith does drop his arm slot some when throwing his low-70s curveball, but the two-plane action on that pitch forced a lot of takes for strikes. As Smith continues to add strength to an already physical frame, velocity will jump and the righthander will continue to dominate hitters at a high level.

Trevor Austin (2020, Jefferson City, Mo.) is a name to keep an eye on in the 2020 class as the Missouri commit had an excellent day at Prospect Meadows Thursday. Austin went 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI, flashing the ability to drive the baseball to all fields. On a day where the wind was howling in toward third base, Austin had one of the more impressive swings of the day, driving a ball to the gap in right-center field. On any other day, Austin’s swing would’ve resulted in extra-bases. Austin has quick hands and a sound approach at the plate, and he was equally as impressive in the field. Austin has a clean glove and quick funnel at shortstop, and he clearly looks the part of an infield captain on defense. This combination makes him an excellent player near the top of an order.

Kody Velazquez (2020, Rock Falls, Ill.) had a strong day at the plate for the Northern Illinois Reds, going 2-for-3 with a single and towering home run over the fence in right field. Velazquez has some present strength in the frame, and his present bat speed and naturally lifted barrel plane make him a threat to leave the ballpark at any moment. Velazquez has a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, and his combination of speed and athleticism at third base makes him a really interesting prospect in this loaded 2020 class.

Robert Hogan (North Oaks, Minn.) turned plenty of heads during his two-inning relief appearance Thursday, dominating hitters with a lively fastball at 86-88, topping at 89 mph. Hogan has a fast arm and clean path from a three-quarters slot and he creates excellent downward plane on his fastball. Hogan’s best pitch in the arsenal is a sharp 12-to-6 curveball that flashes plus at times, and the uncommitted righthander was able to use that pitch as a weapon both in the strike zone and in the dirt on his way to four strikeouts. Hogan has an athletic frame with plenty of room to fill out and add strength, and more velocity will come as he matures.

– Nate Schweers

Working 2 2/3 innings Thursday for Pirates Baseball Chicago: 17u Scott was Donny Ward (2020, Hanover Park, Ill.) During the outing Ward was able to scatter three hits while striking out two batters. The lanky, uncommitted righty showed a long loose arm action with smooth actions working down the hill with a long stride getting extended out front well. Ward showed a fastball with good downhill plane up to 85 mph complemented by an 11-to-5 curveball with good depth creating a lot of swing-and-miss at 74 mph.

Winning a 1-0 pitchers duel for Next Level Baseball 2019 was Liam Adipietro (2020, Shelter Island, N.Y.) Liam only allowed one hit and one walk while striking out six on his way to a seven-inning complete game shutout. Adipietro features a compact arm action with good arm speed and athletic actions throughout his delivery. He threw his fastball up to 82 mph and located well to both halves of the plate to go along with a sweeping curveball at 74 mph.

Brian Ross (2020, Saginaw, Mich.) worked 1 2/3 innings in relief on Thursday only allowing one hit and striking out four batters. Ross features a long delivery with good arm speed from a three-quarters arm slot. He showed good feel for a curveball creating a lot of swing-and-miss up to 71 mph thrown off of a fastball with heavy life through the zone up to 87. At the plate the Michigan State commit collected a base hit on the day as well.

Bryan Broecker (2020, Chicago, Ill.) was impressive on the mound for Windy City Herbert working 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball while collecting eight strikeouts. From a mid three-quarters arm slot with good arm speed Broecker featured a three-pitch mix including a fastball located to both sides of the plate up to 82 mph complemented with a bigger breaking ball at 74 mph and a tighter slider that induced a lot of swing-and-miss at 73 mph.

Caleb Heuertz (2020, San Angelo, Texas) did not miss a beat at the plate for the MN Blizzard going 3-for-3. Heuertz displayed legitimate power to the gaps in the outfield on more than one occasion during the game, collecting two base hits, and he flashed impressive bat speed on a loud double down the right field line. He displayed present athleticism around the bases stretching a sure double into a triple as well.

Enjoying an impressive day on the mound for GRB Yellow was Parker Jones (Verona, Wis.), working seven innings allowing only four hits and no runs while fanning eight batters. The uncommitted 2020 grad showed a compact arm action with interesting arm speed from a three-quarters arm slot. He showed advanced feel for the zone with two pitches including a fastball with some arm-side run up to 81 mph and a sharp slider creating swing-and-miss at 73 mph.

– Ben Milks

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