Tournaments | Story | 7/22/2019

PG World Series Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino         Jered Goodwin        
Photo: Ike Irish (Perfect Game)
2019 PG World Series: 14u Day 1 Notes | 14u Day 2 Notes | PG World Series Day 3 Notes

Quarterfinals day for the 14U World Series featured some very talented pitchers toeing the rubber and that included FTB righthander Pablo Torres (2022, St. Cloud, Fla.). The athletic righthander started on the bump and immediately picked up where he left of on Saturday, after a closing effort that saw him touch 87 mph in his final frame. Torres is a projectable 5-foot-9, 167-pound athlete with a high waist and room for more strength down the line. The delivery on the mound is a bit segmented but the arm stroke is free and easy with requisite arm speed to project upon as he continues to develop. He worked up to 86 mph in this look getting good riding life on the fastball on occasion when he worked it inside to righthanded hitters. The breaking ball came rarely but he also showed a straight changeup that he has some feel for. Torres is an accomplished hitter as well with fast hands and a compact stroke that allows him to barrel balls consistently; he went 3-for-3 out of the third spot in the lineup.

Undoubtedly playing a large role in the Canes’ extra inning victory on Saturday morning was lefthander Hayden Thomas (2023, Lexington, S.C.) and the southpaw has a lot of qualities to like out of a young prospect. The lefthanded pitcher has a free and easy arm stroke and the delivery is very solid with fluidity while keeping it compact through release. There’s some head movement but not a ton of effort at release as the arm comes through tension free with a consistent release point. The fastball quality was the highlight of the arsenal on Sunday morning as he worked 80-84 mph with very good arm side life at times. He commanded the fastball well and wasn’t afraid to elevate the pitch to induce empty cuts at the top of the strike zone. The breaking ball was slowed on and looks to be able to be improved with more consistency to the arm speed but he checks a lot of boxes right now for evaluators.

Turning in a stellar performance during Resmondo FTB’s victory was righthander Chris Knier (2023, Jensen Beach, Fla.) as it was evident that Knier was in control from the first pitch of the game until the last. Knier dazzled and spun a one-hit, complete game shutout while pounding the strike zone effectively.

Knier’s statistical performance was backed up by the tools on the mound as the delivery is ultra-athletic throughout and he has a fairly quick, compact arm stroke. He gathers really nicely over the rubber with a higher leg lift and separates cleanly to get downhill with his release point to produce fastballs in the 80-83 mph range, touching a tick higher that he kept in his back pocket if he needed to do so. Knier’s feel to spin is also fairly impressive, working in the 68-72 mph range with the breaking ball he’s able to generate good spin and land the breaker while also inducing empty swings in two-strike counts. Knier was poised and collected throughout the start and he was flat out dominant in a big win for Resmondo FTB as they advanced to the semifinals on championship Monday.

Tri State Arsenal backstop Ike Irish (2022, Hudsonville, Mich.) is a recent commit to Auburn and it’s been fun to track the physical backstop’s progress over the past year-plus. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound catcher has lots of well-proportioned strength with a well-built lower half and a durable overall frame. His skills behind the plate have continued to improve showing increased athleticism and flexibility to really smother some balls in the dirt. There is still some stiffness at times, but he looked good and comfortable back there. The offense has always been the standout tool for Irish and he showed again with a loud double late in the game. The swing path is quick through the zone with good bat speed and impact strength present and the length of the barrel in the hitting zone allows him to show some of the power to the opposite field. Irish rocketed a double that bounced over the left field wall for a ground-rule double and Irish looks like a very nice get for Auburn as an overall prospect.

Starting out the first game of the 16U World Series for the Cincinnati Spikes was talented righthanded pitcher Cade Boxrucker (2020, West Chester, Ohio) as the Campbell commit turned in a strong start before a delay late in the game. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound righthander is a slender, athletic prospect with a high effort delivery, though the arm stroke is quick through the arm circle and he throws from a mostly over the top arm slot. The fastball was solid, holding velocity in the 87-90 mph range for the majority of the start and tunneling the slider well off the fastball. He worked the fastball to both sides of the plate with some sink and plane, but also wasn’t afraid to challenge up in the strike zone with the pitch. The slider showed pretty good potential, with potential to be a solid-average pitch down the line, and though it was inconsistent it worked in the upper-70s with some bite to it. Boxrucker looks like a solid arm for the Midwest to keep an eye on during next spring, especially as a pitching prospect who’s young for the grade.

The offensive star of the day for the Spikes was uncommitted James Jett (2020, Louisville, Ky.) who showed definite Division I potential with his present skill set. Jett is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound uber-athletic prospect with a very gangly frame and all the physical indicators to be a monster from a size perspective as he fills out.

Jett is a very good athlete, showing good endline speed and getting some burst out of the batter’s box, he turned a 4.6 second time on a double earlier, especially considering his size. The profile from an offensive perspective is very loud as there’s significant whip and looseness to the stroke with plus bat speed as well. His long limbs help to create some natural leverage at the point of contact. The impact is notable as well as he has such massive strength through contact and that really allows him to drive balls particularly to the pull side. Jett crushed a hard ground ball that was so well-struck that it got by the shortstop too quickly for him to adjust but the loudest hit of the day was a rising line drive to the pull-side alley that just carried over the center fielder’s head. The potential from an offensive perspective is very loud and coupled with the athleticism and his age on draft he’ll be a fascinating hitter to follow into the fall of his senior year.

Former PG Select Festival participant Jared Jones (2022, Marietta, Ga.) has had a monster summer offensively and he was the offensive standout, it feels like that phrase has been written a lot, with three hits on the afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound catcher has immense physical strength and he's probably the most physical prospect in the entire 2022 class based on his sheer strength alone; he’s a former football standout at powerhouse Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., too. The swing path shows him keep his hands inside, but he has enough bat speed and strength in his wrists to get the barrel head out on time, however this allows him to get massive carry to the opposite field alley where he crushed a double earlier in the game. When he leverages and extends out in front he can put a significant charge into the pull side and Jones’ well-rounded offensive skill set makes him one of the top overall prospects for the class of 2022.

Louisville commit and Canes National three-hole hitter Daylen Lile (2021, Louisville, Ky.) had a big day at the plate as the uber-phyiscal and athletic outfielder has had a scorching hot summer up to this point. He’s really progressed nicely from a physical perspective with a good amount of strength without sacrificing too much overall athleticism. The swing is smooth and leveraged throughout and he has extremely fast hands which allow him to create some whip and really impact a ball natural and not from a pure strength-based perspective. He showed off the raw power with a loud backside triple during the first inning that cleared the bases as the ball carried to one-hop the wall in left-center field; later on in the game he shortened up with two strikes to poke a single through the left side. Lile’s offensive profile is loud and it’s clear from the bat alone why he’s regarded as one of the better prospects in the class at this point.

Baseball Northwest always brings a good amount of talent to the PG World Series and one of the offensive standouts was the tightly-wound Ben Ford (2021, Eagle, Idaho) who’s a good present mix of athletic twitch and wiry strength. Ford is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound outfielder with a short, compact stroke and good present bat speed that allows him to whip the barrel head through the hitting zone quickly. The strength in his wrists is notable and stands out while the compact nature of the bat path allows that strength to play all over the diamond. He’s super athletic with good speed and has a nice blend of speed and strength which aids his game nicely overall.

Coming on in relief for Baseball Northwest was a fascinating uncommitted arm in Jed Decooman (2021, North Vancouver, B.C.) as the Canadian was excellent over three innings. Decooman allowed only one hit on the evening and struck out seven batters while working quickly to attack hitters and get ahead in counts. The angular 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame is ripe for physical projection and he has good athleticism to the delivery with excellent extension and direction toward the hitter. The extension allowed him to miss a lot of bats at the top of the strike zone with a fastball that worked in the 83-87 mph range for the most part and though it was a bit straight, was still able to get swings-and-misses. The curveball was late at times but when he was on top of it showed good potential, with 11/5 shape and lived in the 70-72 mph range. It was a very good look for Decooman who turned in a stellar performance at his first PG event of his career.

Academy Select is one of the more accomplished teams in this event, and one of the more physical as Oklahoma State commit Hudson White (2021, Fort Worth, Texas) hit the ball hard during a number of at-bats during the doubleheader. White is a very physical 6-foot, 185-pounds with well-proportioned strength and size throughout. He has a violent righthanded swing with a heavy barrel out in front and good present bat speed. The strength at impact is notable and he generates really good carry to the pull-side gap as he put a charge into a number of baseballs which included a loud double on an upper-80s fastball.

Turning in what was one of the best starts of the night was Mississippi State commit William "Pico" Kohn (2021, Verbena, Ala.) as the lefthander was in control of the outing from the word go. The tall lefthander went six full innings as he struck out seven batters and really made for uncomfortable at-bats all evening.

Kohn is 6-foot-4, 195 pounds with room still to fill out and add strength. The over-the-top arm slot creates a good amount of angle and he came out chucking 87-89 mph in the first inning. Kohn eventually settled in the 85-87 mph range but still had 88-89 in his back pocket for big situations. Kohn pounded the strike zone effectively with life and angle and really threw a good amount of strikes. The delivery is a bit funky with some checkpoints, but he repeats it well and really creates some deception with his movement. Kohn showed two different breaking balls: a shorter, tight slider that missed barrels nicely in the upper-70s as well as a softer low-70s curveball with good shape and spin that he could land for strikes. Kohn was stellar and his ability to hold his stuff and maintain strikes deep into the game was notable.

Uncommitted lefthander Luke Ellis (2021, Somerville, Tenn.) showed off some serious stuff during the last game of the night as he struck out 11 batters over five innings on the bump with excellent life that explodes in every which direction. Ellis has a very quick and compact arm stroke and a low three-quarters arm slot. The life on the fastball was excellent and he worked up to 88 mph and sat mostly in the 84-86 mph range for the majority of the start. The spin on the fastball was very good and he garnered a lot of empty swings on the pitch. The breaking ball came from a similar arm slot with some slider action and really tunneled the pitch nicely.

-Vinnie Cervino

5 Star National 15U Dobbs continues to play well after a runner-up finish at the WWBA Championship last week. James Hays (2023, Hawkinsville, Ga.) and Blaydon Plain (2022, Greenville, Fla.) stood out on the mound and at the plate. Both are continuing a big trend of top players coming out of the 5 star program.

Hayes uses a simple boxed delivery that he stays synched between his upper and lower half consistently. His shoulder is very quick, and his release point is consistent. His fastball showed life in the 80-82/3 range and he has the ability to throw it to both sides of the plate at a young age. Using his fastball at times up in the zone, helped tunnel his 11-5 curveball for multiple bad swing and misses. The pitch has good shape and showed depth when extended. It should be a plus pitch as his hand speed continues to improve when throwing it. The natural athleticism and simplicity of his delivery make Hayes one of the more attractive young arms on the circuit.

Plain is an extremely projectable lefthanded bat. At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds it is going to be easy to add bulk to frame. He has long and loose levers that he uses to create deep lag with the ability to rotate tight off his back side. The extension he gets through contact is impressive and allows him a natural ability to loft balls to the pull side. The big power potential that is shown is equal to his ability to cut down and spray line drives to all fields when needed. A long strider who runs well underway, he should have defensive versatility as he continues to mature.

Some of the loudest consistent contact of the day came off the bat of Bryan Loriga (2021, Hialeah, Fla.) playing for Elite Squad National 16U. He is a barrel chest and extremely strong righthanded hitter that shows the ability to steadily keep his barrel speed up through contact. He uses an aggressive approach and has bad intentions with a bat in his hads. Supremely confident, he looks so natural in the box that he rarely changes his approach. He truly believes in his ability and it helps allow it to show up daily. On Sunday afternoon he drove two balls well over the center fielder’s head for doubles. The barrel accuracy he shows in and intent based swing has been incredibly impressive.

Justin Vossos (2022, Missouri City, Texas) and Gunnett Carlson (2022, Tampa, Fla.) are very dangerous in the middle of the Adidas Baseball USA 2022 Klein line up. The skill set of the two is very different outside of one very common ability — they hit.

Vossos has a proportioned athletic body with strong wrist that allow him to produce well above-average bat speed. He gets the most out of his body and does it by using his incredibly fast hips. The high energy shortstop plays at a pace that is hard to match. Going 3-for-3 Sunday with hard barrels on each occasion, he showed the ability to identify and cover the entire plate. Defensively, he showed very quick feet with the ability to come in hard and make quick plays on hurry plays. As he develops, he will learn to stay balanced throughout his process and has the natural tools to become an extremely high-level shortstop.

Carlson is a barrel-chested catcher that has big time lefthanded bat speed and a powerful arm behind the plate. Using exceptionally strong hands, he whips the barrel through the zone and when he squares the ball up it flies off his bat. The impact is loud and he already shows the type of pop to drive the gaps and elevate to the pull side when creating good space. He shows toughness behind the plate and pitchers seem to love throwing to him. He is vocal and shows leadership skills that will make it easy to build the trust of a staff at the next level. Carlson shows big upside on both sides of the ball.

It was easy to enjoy the outing that Kyndon Lovell (2022, Fort Cobb, Okla.) put together on Sunday afternoon. Using and extremely quick tempo, he attacked the zone from start to finish. He is athletic with twitch, using a scapular load and an extremely quick shoulder. The delivery is up tempo that proved to have deception as the ball suddenly jumps out of his hand. His fastball was mostly straight but very heavy coming out, and got on hitters before they could fully extend. Using a three-pitch mix, his curveball got lots of swing and miss using sharp 11-5 shape. Showing consistent ability to flip it for strikes early, he showed the ability to throw it with depth and miss under barrels as well. This pitch could be future plus as Lovell develops. He flashed a straight changeup on occasion to righthanded hitters as well that helps keep them from targeting.

An ultra-projectable 6-foot-7 lefthanded pitcher started for Trasky National Team 2021 on Sunday afternoon, Ryan Ure (2021, Eaton, Colo.) is an imposing force while standing on the bump with his wide shoulders, proportioned frame and long arms getting good extension. Sitting in the mid-80s and topping at 87, his fastball was down in the zone with riding life. The downward angle from his oversized frame was very tough to square up for opposing hitters. Flashing a few changeups that were plus pitches, he keeps good hand speed and pronated so well when out front the pitch would disappear when he fully extended. It looks like a future plus pitch if thrown with consistency. The shape of Ure’s curveball is incredibly promising, having solid sharp downward action and feel to throw it for strikes. As he continues to learn to accelerate through the pitch, it should add a third future above average offering. The is the type of arm with legitimate high upside.

One of the better shortstop prospects in the class, Edwin Arroyo-Agosto (2021, Arecibo, P.R.) continues to put together an impressive summer on both sides of the ball. The slick-fielding middle infielder is light on his feet with easy hip fluidity that allows him to have very good lateral movement. Showing very good an anticipation, his first step is quick and direct to the ball off the bat. A switch-hitter, he took quality at-bats from both sides Sunday night. From the right side he consistently worked deep in the count, never expanding the zone, and having a clear plan for what he was looking for. He showed a good hit tool using a flat swing and a line drive approach. His lefthanded swing demonstrates the types of movements that have high upside for average and power. A more classic lefthanded swing, he turns the barrel deep in the zone allowing him to hit from line to line. When he gets the barrel out front, he will create plenty of loft and the power is coming with added strength.

One of the best defensive shortstops in the class, Rob Gordon (2021, Smyrna, Ga.) did nothing today but continue to prove that for the Georgia Bombers 16U. He made all the movement plays and used a lightning-quick transfer to throw from all sorts of arm angles. The harder a ball was hit at him, the softer his hands seemed to get. His feet are fluid as he shows a natural ability to move through the ball with a very simple approach. Showing plenty of arm strength to make every play at shortstop, he also has a great internal clock allowing him to stay balanced and make accurate throws consistently. The bat continues to make strides and the power is starting to show up. He took an outer half pitch and drove it deep to right field for a stand-up double. The ball showed carry and got to the wall in a hurry. Gordon is also a solid runner giving him another tool to be excited about as he develops.

-Jered Goodwin

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