Tournaments | Story | 9/15/2019

South Qualifier Day 1-2 Notes

Nate Schweers         Andrew Jenkins         Jerry Miller        
Photo: Cameron Caley (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA South Qualifier: Daily Leaders

Ethan Campos (2020, Houston, Texas) was electric in two innings of work on Friday night, allowing just two hits and striking out the same number of batters. Campos, who is currently uncommitted and ranked as the No. 407 player in the 2020 class, sat 87-89 mph with a heavy fastball, generating good downhill plane and flashing deceptive run to the arm side. Campos has a tall and slender frame, with plenty of room to fill out and add strength as he continues to mature physically. Coming from a mid three-quarters slot, Campos mixes speeds well with a curveball that has 11-to-5 shape and late depth through the zone. The righthander has all the makings of a high-quality arm from the Lone Star State.

In the other dugout, Jaren Warwick (2020, New Caney, Texas) was able to make enough big pitches with runners on base to turn in a solid performance out of the bullpen. Warwick finished Friday night’s outing with three strikeouts, attacking hitters with a heavy fastball at 89-91 mph. Warwick has developing feel for a slider in the low-80s and shows an advanced ability to execute both pitches to the glove side. Warwick has a tall and slender frame at 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, and can add velocity as he adds size and strength to the lower half.

Hunter Pence Baseball 2020 Calhoun has an outstanding shortstop in Arkansas commit Hunter Cramer (2020, Conroe, Texas). Cramer has smooth hands in the middle infield, showcasing a sure glove and some present arm strength across the diamond. At the plate, the PG National Showcase participant has a high back elbow and a consistent shift to contact. The bat-to-ball skills are still developing, but Cramer sees the ball well and swings with intent to drive the baseball to all fields. After a slow night at the plate on Friday night, Cramer came through with a 2-for-3 performance in Saturday’s contest, adding an RBI in what was a 15-0 win for Hunter Pence Baseball 2020 Calhoun.

Bryson Adair (2021, Malakoff, Texas) was lights out on Friday night, tossing 3 1/3 hitless innings and striking out six batters. The righthander attacked hitters with a heavy dose of fastballs at 84-87 mph, topping at 89 mph in the first inning of work. Adair shows excellent feel to spin a curveball with tight 11-to-5 shape, and sequences well to keep hitters off balance. The Dallas Patriots 17u Stout pitcher has clean and easy mechanics down the mound, mixing timing well and delivering from a high three-quarters slot. Adair, who is currently uncommitted in the 2021 class, ranks as a Top 500 player nationally.

Connor Carson (2021, Bullard, Texas) continues to show why he is one of the more athletic and exciting uncommitted players in Texas’ 2021 class, tallying a pair of hits and two RBI in the Friday night opener. Carson has excellent bat speed and a direct path to contact at the plate, showcasing an ability to get the hands extended and really drive the ball to the pull side. Carson, who is a Top 500 player in the 2021 class, has a high-motor and constantly looks to take the extra base. Carson’s aggressiveness and effort in game action is something to really be impressed with, and the primary shortstop is a name to follow on a talented Dallas Patriots 17u Stout team.

Casen Neumann (2021, Tomball, Texas) continues to show some excellent power potential from the left side of the plate, driving a pair of balls to the pull side in Saturday morning’s game action. Neumann has a physical frame at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and showcases some impressive bat speed and a naturally lifted barrel plane. A primary first baseman, the Baylor commit shows good footwork around the bag, and can be a good defender at the next level. Ranked as the 353rd player in the 2021 class, Neumann will be a name to follow over the next couple years.

Chase Spencer (2021, Plano, Texas) did it all for Prospects National Team Saturday morning, starting with a 2-for-3 day at the plate. Spencer’s highlight on offense was a line drive double off the wall in left field, showing an ability to get the hands extended and connect out front. Spencer has some good speed and does a great job of playing with his head on a swivel to make things happen near the top of the order. On the mound, Spencer picked up the save, striking out the final batter of the game. Spencer sat 87-89 mph, showing excellent command of the fastball to the glove side. At 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, the uncommitted righthander has plenty of room to fill out in the frame and will continue to make strides as he adds strength and size.

Though a primary catcher, Christopher Kean (2020, Austin, Texas) was impressive over two innings of work on the mound Saturday morning, striking out two batters and allowing zero walks over two innings. Kean has a long and slender frame and has a short and compact arm stroke to go with some excellent arm speed. The righthander generates good downward plane to the fastball at 85-87 mph and shows developing feel to spin a curveball in the upper-60s. Though not a primary pitcher, the uncommitted Texan shows excellent mound presence and pitches with tempo while attacking hitters with confidence.

Daniel Altman (2020, College Station, Texas) had a strong day at the plate on Saturday, going a combined 3-for-4 and showcasing excellent bat-to-ball skills in the middle of the order. Altman has an upright stance from the left side of the plate and shows an ability to drive the ball to all fields with an easy and fluid swing. Defensively, the Lamar commit has a clean glove and makes some athletic plays while playing a fundamentally sound shortstop. Altman is currently ranked as a Top 500 player in the 2020 class.

Murphy Brooks (2022, Cypress, Texas) continues to show why he is one of the more impressive righthanded pitchers in the young 2022 class. A TCU commit, Brooks attacked hitters with a heavy fastball at 83-86 mph, generating good downward plane and some late life to the arm side. Brooks attacks hitters in the zone and has developing feel for a curveball that has 11-to-5 shape and some late depth through the zone when on time. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, Murphy uses his strong frame to get down the mound with force and intent. Brooks is currently ranked as the 102nd player in the 2022 class.

Miles Hellums (2020, Robstown, Texas) had an outstanding opening game at the plate for the South Texas Sliders, going 2-for-3 with a walk and pair of RBI. The highlight of Hellums’ day at the plate was a long home run over the wall in left field, showcasing Hellums’ ability to get the hands extended and drive the baseball. In game two, Hellums drove a ball down into the left field corner for a double, again highlighting the high-level bat speed. Hellums has a physical frame that has room to fill out at 6-foot-2, 192-pounds, and the present power when squared makes him a constant threat to hit for extra bases. A San Jacinto Community College commit, Hellums shows good footwork at first base, looking comfortable around the bag. Expect big production from Hellums at the junior college level in the next couple years.

Tyler Lund (2020, Tomball, Texas) put together an impressive day at the top of the order for Banditos Texas, collecting a pair of hits including a long home run over the wall in right field. Lund has a fluid swing from the left side of the plate and the athleticism makes him a speed threat at the top of the order as well. Lund works counts with a disciplined approach at the plate and shows excellent bat-to-ball skills as well. In center field, the uncommitted member of the 2020 class plays with a high motor, using an aggressive first step to track down balls in the gaps.

In their second game of the day, the South Texas Sliders got an excellent start from righthander Ryan Beaird (2021, San Antonio, Texas). Beaird has a young and athletic frame, getting down the mound with speed and intent. The uncommitted member of the 2021 class sat at 84-87 mph with a lively fastball, running it up to both 88 and 89 at times. Beaird has a short and compact arm stroke with excellent arm speed, and the fastball pairs well with a tight, sweeping slider in the mid-70s. Beaird hides the ball well and pitches with excellent tempo and mound presence.

Levi Wells 
(2020, LaPorte, Texas) showcased the arm strength and athletic frame that had scouts excited on Saturday, running a heavy fastball up to 91 mph in one inning of work. Though Wells struggled to command both his fastball and off-speed pitches on Saturday, the Texas Tech commit sat 89-91 mph with that fastball and mixed speeds well with a curveball that has 12-to-6 shape and late depth in the mid-70s when on time. Ranked as the No. 78 player in Perfect Game’s 2020 class, command of the strike zone is the name of the game for Wells who already has the raw stuff and arm strength to be elite.

In other dugout, Javen Coleman (2020, Richmond, Texas) took the mound for Premier Baseball Scout Team during Saturday’s marquee contest. Coleman, who struggled to command the zone at times, sat 87-89 mph with a heavy fastball that had some late life to the arm side. The Louisiana State commit flashed excellent feel to spin a curveball with big 12-to-6 shape at 72 mph. With a physical and athletic frame from the left side, Coleman uses his present strength in the lower half to create good linear direction down the mound before coming from a high three-quarters slot. The southpaw is currently ranked as a Top 500 player in the 2020 class.

– Nate Schweers

Uncommitted Hunter Smith (2020, Spring, Texas) led the way for the Premier Baseball Scout Team offense going 2-for-3. Smith showed good bat speed and got the barrel out front with a home run to deep left field in his second at-bat and followed that up with a double on a fastball to the right field gap during his third plate appearance. Smith swung with intent, has an aggressive upper half and projects for more power at the next level. Defensively, he showed off his arm strength with a throw from the outfield that registered at 98 mph from behind home plate.

Despite only facing two hitters, Ryan Hanks (2022, Spring, Texas) was very impressive out of the bullpen for Premier Baseball Scout Team. The righthanded pitcher threw from a three-quarters arm slot and was 87-90 mph with his fastball that had heavy, late run. He also flashed a potential plus slider that was 74 mph with late, sharp break. This young prospect had electric stuff and it showed why he is playing up as a 2022 graduate. The ceiling his very high for Hanks who will be a prospect to watch over the next three years at Klein Cain High School.

Standing out defensively behind the plate, uncommitted Cash McNicholas (2020, Spring, Texas) showed to be a very athletic catcher. Although his mechanics were raw, he displayed good catch-and-throw ability, a very strong arm, blocked well and kept the ball in front of the plate while being able to make throws from his knees. McNicholas likes to throw and showcased that by back-dooring the tying run at first base in the top of the seventh inning. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double in his second at-bat to right field.

Incarnate Word commit Cole Beddingfield (2020, Spring, Texas) is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound righthanded pitcher for Adidas National Team – Ina. He pitched primarily out of the stretch with some moving parts in his delivery and used three pitches throughout his outing to earn the win. He worked his fastball in the 86-88 mph range with good downhill angle from a high three-quarters slot that had arm-side run. He flashed a late, sharp-breaking slider that had 11-to-5 break at 73 mph and showed a sinking changeup that was 77 mph. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three batters in five innings.

Uncommitted righthanded pitcher Hunter Caldwell (2021, Liberty, Texas) pitched for Hunter Pence Baseball 2021 Rachal and only allowed one hit while striking out 10 batters in 4 2/3 innings. Caldwell worked consistently in the 86-90 mph range with heavy run and complemented his fastball with a 77 mph 12-to-6 curveball and a 75 mph slider. Caldwell used a small step into his gather, incorporating his lower half and created good plane from a high three-quarters arm slot. He threw his fastball to both sides of the plate and had success on the outer half with his secondary stuff.

Uncommitted righthanded pitcher Jax Ortiz (2021, Rockwall, Texas) earned the win for Dallas Patriots 17u Stout throwing a no hitter and striking out eight in seven innings. Ortiz used his fastball effectively in the 81-83 mph range and dropped in a 72-74 mph curveball that had 11-to-5 break then flashed a 74 mph changeup that had late, fading action. Ortiz kept hitters off balance during the entire game with his three-pitch mix and really relied on his changeup to generate tons of swings-and-misses throughout the day. He had good mound presence and was in control the entire game. With added velocity, Ortiz will have a chance to turn in to an arm that could help many pitching staffs around the country.

Northwestern State commit Lance Hicks (2020, Spring, Texas) showcased easy, plus power with his large build from the left side. He has smooth mechanics and an easy swing with strong lower half usage. Hicks is a very good athlete using a line drive swing plane with some lift out front, an aggressive approach to his pull side and showed it with a home run to center field. Hicks should be a good addition to the Northwestern State lineup in the future.

Houston commit Cameron Caley (2020, The Woodlands, Texas) is a lefthanded hitting outfielder who started off day two with a great offensive performance, going 4-for-7 with five RBIs and three runs scored. He showcased his power potential in his first and second at-bats with no-doubt home runs to left field followed with another to right. He again hit a moon-shot home run to right field in his final at-bat of the day. Caley can stay in the zone for a long time, get the bat head to the baseball quickly and hit to all fields. He created lift in swing with good, hard contact out front in each of his seven plate appearances.

Austin McKinney (2020, Tomball, Texas) is a righthanded pitcher for Banditos Houston. He stayed tall through his delivery, got downhill and stayed online with good control of his front side. He threw from an over-the-top slot that created heavy plane and had some effort in his delivery upon release. His fastball was 86-88 mph and he used a 11-to-5 slider on the corners along with a 78 mph circle changeup that he had some feel for. This uncommitted arm should continue to add velocity over the next year and will be a prospect for coaches to keep on eye on.

Wesley Kreger (2020, Georgetown, Texas) is a 6-foot-7, 220-pound righthanded pitcher for Action 18u Jackson. He threw from a high three-quarters arm slot that had good downhill plane and an effortless delivery that produced a fastball in the 86-90 mph range. He mixed in a hard 79 mph slider and flashed a potential out-pitch with his changeup. Kreger pitched five innings, allowed two hits and struck out seven. This tall, lean prospect will continue to climb the velocity ladder and has the potential to throw very hard over the next few years.

Baylor commit Tre Richardson (2020, Kingwood, Texas) is a very athletic shortstop for Banditos Scout Team. At shortstop, he displayed soft hands, a strong arm with good lateral range and was able to make all the throws. He is a very good runner and showcased that with a triple to the opposite field gap in the middle innings. He has very good bat speed with some whip and made hard, regular contact with a line drive swing plane. He also smoked an RBI single to left that came off the bat with a very high exit velocity. Baylor got a good one with Richardson as he should continue to mature once he gets on campus for the Bears.

-foot-3, 170-pound lefthanded pitcher and North Carolina commit, Jagger Haynes (2020, Cerro Gordo, N.C.) came out of the bullpen for Canes Southwest Premier 2020. The lefthander commanded his mid-80s fastball down in the zone to get a fair amount of swings-and-misses in his two innings of work. He created some depth with his curveball that was 73 mph to his arm side for strikes. Haynes allowed one hit and struck out two during his outing.  Haynes will continue to develop and should be a nice piece to the North Carolina roster once he arrives on campus.

Righthanded pitcher and St. John's commit Tyler Roche (2020, Bronx, N.Y.) has a tall, long-limbed frame with a high waist. He has smooth and easy mechanics, a long arm circle in the back with a whippy arm action from a high three-quarters arm slot. Roche earned the win for Banditos Scout Team allowing one hit and no walks while striking out six in 3 1/3 innings. Roche sat in the 86-88 mph range and tossed in a hard, 75 mph slider that he was able to throw in any count. He worked low and at the knees with two pitches and consistently painted corners with both.

Texas A&M commit Khristian Curtis (2020, Port Neches-Groves, Texas) was on the mound for PNT. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound righthanded pitcher has a large frame, square shoulders and showed present strength throughout.  He has an easy and loose arm action with a shorter circle in the back, a simple delivery, stayed closed and got downhill. Curtis showed advanced command to both sides of the plate with two pitches, induced ground balls and kept hitters off balance during his outing with his slider. He knows how to pitch, is very poised on the mound and fills up the zone consistently. His fastball was up to 90 mph during his outing.

–  Andrew Jenkins

Caleb Matthews (2020, Katy, Texas) had a strong Friday and Saturday at the plate, collecting a pair of hits and an RBI for Prospect U 18u. Matthews is a good runner at the top of the order and the uncommitted member of the 2020 class shows an advanced ability to be disciplined and works counts from the leadoff spot. A primary infielder, Matthews has a flat path to contact, clearing the hips well while looking to generate some lift through extension.

Nicholas McDonald (2020, Santa Fe, Texas) showed some gap-to-gap power to like during pool play action, driving the ball and playing solid defense in the outfield as well. McDonald has a strong build with some quickness to the hands at the plate and was able to collect multiple hits and RBI through the first two games. An uncommitted member of the 2020 class, the primary outfielder is a solid bat to have in the middle of the order.

Zack Shannon (2020, Victoria, Texas) followed up what was an impressive showing in Dallas this summer with a strong first day at the WWBA South Qualifier. Shannon recorded four hits through two games, collecting a pair of RBIs in the process. A Top 1000 player in the 2020 class, Shannon has good barrel control to go with a direct path to contact that allows for consistently hard contact to all fields. Shannon’s present speed on the basepaths make him a good candidate to hit at the top of the order and it will be exciting to see how he improves over the next year.

Jose Vargas (2022, League City, Texas) continues to show why he is one of the more impressive members of the 2022 class. A Houston commit, Vargas has spent the first two days of tournament action showcasing his fluid and easy swing. The primary shortstop has excellent speed with advanced present bat-to-ball skills with an all-fields approach. Ranked as the No. 252 player in the 2022 class, expect more impact performances from this Texas native before his career is over.

Texas commit Gage Wakefield (2021, Bullard, Texas) is another player from Bullard, Texas to put together a strong showing through the first two days of action. A primary outfielder, Wakefield is an elite-level athlete that covers ground and is a gamechanger at his position. The switch hitter has displayed a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate and the top 500 player in the 2021 class also has a direct path to contact. Having recorded a sub 7.0-second 60-yard dash times in the past, Wakefield’s speed makes him an exciting prospect to follow over the next two years.

Weatherford College commit Austin Green (2020, Diana, Texas) is a shortstop for Performance Baseball Texas 18u. He had a muscular build, plus agility and a strong arm. Green showcased quick feet and attacked the baseball out front with good awareness on the field at all times. He is a lefthanded hitter that stayed short to the baseball with quick hands. He is explosive with his lower half, flashed good power finding the deepest part of the field twice. He showed good speed with aggressive baserunning.

Cristian Garcia (2020, Katy, Texas) showcased a large frame with big power projection from the left side. He had the ability to use the entire field which included a massive home run to center field in his first at-bat. He is a good athlete in the outfield and covers a lot of ground with strong throws to home and third base from right field.

Josh Pernetti (2020, Ceres, Calif.) had an impressive day at the plate that included a go-ahead grand slam home run and the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect had a projectable build. Pernetti is a lefthanded hitter who had good bat speed with a short compact swing. He displayed his power by hitting two deep home runs that jumped off his bat. He used his lower half and created slight lift in his swing. Pernetti will continue to get stronger and projects to be a middle-of-the-order type of hitter.

Daniel Bellow (2020, Houston, Texas) had a solid frame and a prominent lower half. He gained ground during his leg kick trigger, possessed quick hands into a linear path with slight lift to his swing. He had a sound approach that allowed him to get good pitches in fastball counts that allowed him to square up the baseball in most of his at-bats.

– Jerry Miller

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