Tournaments | Story | 9/16/2019

Fall Champs: Day 3 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Brian Sakowski         Connor Spencer         Colton Olinger        
Photo: Ildefonso Ruiz (Perfect Game)

PG Fall National Championship: Freshman Daily Leaders | Upperclass Daily Leaders
Day 1 Scout Notes
| Day 2 Scout Notes

Playoff day at the PG Fall National Championship saw four clubs advance to the semifinal round, to be played Monday morning at the Cleveland Indians spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. Wilson Sandlot breezed through the quarterfinal round via a 10-2 decision on Sunday morning, getting an excellent start from Max Zdimal (2021, Scottsdale, Ariz.), who threw 4 2/3 quality innings with eight strikeouts, pounding the zone and pitching continently, aided by the six-spot his team put up in the firs inning to give him a big lead right from the get-go. An athletically-built lefthander, Zdimal ran his fastball up to 84 mph with good angle to the plate, pitching consistently in the low-80’s and showing the ability to work the fastball to both sides of the plate. He worked in a big-bending curveball for strikes as well, showing feel for manipulating the shape of the pitch and having success missing bats with it as well.

As Wilson Sandlot scored their 10 runs they got big offensive contributions up and down the lineup, speaking to their depth and proving just how scary they are in terms of potentially winning the whole tournament. Tyler Kearney (2021, Phoenix, Ariz.) really struck the decisive blow in the first inning, lining a double to center field with the bases loaded that cleared the bases, making a 2-0 game a 5-0 game and giving Zdimal a big cushion to work with. Kearney finished the day with four RBI total and played solid defense at shortstop as well.

In the other quarterfinal game on the Indians side, CBA Marucci moved to 5-0 on the weekend and advanced to the semifinals as well, where they’ll match up with Tomateros de California for the right to play for the championship. Jake Blawn (2020, Corona, Calif.) got the start and the win, allowing just a single unearned run over 5 1/3 innings, scattering three hits and a walk while striking out seven. A well-built, physical lefthander, Blawn ran his fastball up to 86 mph and settled into the 81-85 mph range for the most part, pounding his fastball down in the zone with good angle from an extended three-quarters slot. He worked in a slurvy breaking ball in the low-70s with good bite and spin, landing it for strikes as well as burying it at times, tunneling the pitch with the same release as his fastball. He consistently came right after hitters and forced a good deal of weak contact along with those strikeouts.

Ildefonso Ruiz (2020, San Ysidro, Calif.) is a very physical, strong righthanded hitter committed to San Diego State, and his presence is felt in the middle of the CBA lineup regardless of event. He has a very good combination of strength and bat speed, highlighted by advanced hand strength, and he put that on display in this game. He got a fastball riding up and in early in the game, pulled his hands in nicely and hit a rocket up the left-center field gap for a double. The pitch didn’t come in with plus velocity, but it still takes a good bit of hand strength and bat speed to get the barrel to a pitch in that location. He projects as a thumper at the collegiate level, a player who can hit in the middle of the lineup and be a run producer, and he should hit for a significant amount of power throughout his college career.

Alonzo Richardson (2020, Spring Valley, Calif.) is a talented two-way player committed to San Diego State, and in addition to his prowess as a middle infielder, he’s intriguing on the mound. He came on in relief of Blawn in this game, picking up the final five outs of the game by CBA. The arm speed and physical projection on his lean build both stand out, and he ran his fastball up to 90 mph in this outing. That physical projection and arm speed give him a pretty significant velocity ceiling, and given his athleticism and other tools, could end up a high-end two-way player in college. He also picked up two hits in this game, further showing that two-way ability.

– Brian Sakowski

In the opening round of playoff competition, eXposure West Fall fell to MountainWest in a tightly contested game that went extra frames and finally was decided in the ninth. Uncommitted southpaw Cameron Hood (2020, Goodyear, Ariz.) was impressive with his projectable frame and feel on the mound. Hood has a longer arm action that reaches down and back but feels hitchy and deceptive as it fires up to a true three-quarters slot. His 82-86 mph fastball possesses solid two-seam run, especially when locating arm side, and throughout his outing he proved much tougher of a matchup for lefthanded hitters than for right. He slightly hunches over as his leg lift reaches its apex, thus, emphasizing the cross-body three-quarters window against lefties. Hood has an 11-to-5 shaped breaking ball that possesses good bite down with a smaller overall shape with a slight hump. He also flashed a 70 mph changeup that still needs developing. Hood has the projectables to be a possible steal of a lefthanded pitcher late in the recruiting process for the 2020 class. He allowed just one hit through 4 2/3 innings pitched.

Primary catcher Bryant Ball (2020, Highland, Utah.) threw an absolute gem for MountainWest going 7 1/3 innings while fanning nine and allowing just one hit of his own. Ball has a compact motion with a short, quick arm action that comes up to a high three-quarters arm slot. Ball’s fastball sat 80-83 while touching 85 and he filled up the zone wonderfully. He mixes in an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that possesses solid depth and bite plus a 70 mph changeup that he slightly turns over and runs away from righties. Although ball isn’t a primary pitcher, his catching skills and understanding of the game makes him extremely effective on the mound. The kid just gets it. He mixes his arsenal heavily, varies his sequences throughout the lineup and keeps hitters off balance and guessing. It was a textbook display of what pitchability has the potential to do to a good hitting lineup.

In the quarterfinals GBG Marrucci Navy 2020 received an impressive performance from Cal State Bakersfield commit Kristopher Anglin (2020, Bakersfield, Calif.). Anglin slightly leans back as he widely lifts his leg up to a higher lift with a high handset, and his arm sweeps down and back with a shorter arm action to an over-the-top slot. He has a strong arm from the left side sitting 88-89 early, then tapering off more towards 85-87 later in his outing. Anglin has a good feel for the zone and has the ability to locate his fastball to all four quadrants. He primarily pitches with his heater and is most comfortable with it in key situations. Anglin also possesses an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that has a slight hump and flashes solid depth and bite down, however, he missed up with the pitch on a few occasions and is more comfortable using it to set up his fastball rather than finishing hitters off with it. He finished his day pitching five full while fanning eight.

Tomateros De California continued their dominant performance in the tournament by advancing to the semifinals after outscoring their opponents 29-3. Uncommitted outfielder Jack Oodle (2020, Long Beach, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with a triple on his day and showcased good bat speed with some whip to his barrel through the zone. Oodle looked to use the middle of the field and does a nice job of working his hands inside and letting the ball get deep. He uses an upright, narrow and slightly closed stance and possesses good pop to the opposite field as his triple was a shot over the left fielder’s head and into the left field corner. There’s promising bat speed to his swing and he’s showed some solid awareness at the plate throughout the tournament. He’s someone to watch going into his senior year.

– Connor Spencer

Kaleb Duncan (2022, Goodyear, Ariz.) put together a solid final game at the PG Fall National Championship going 3-for-4 at the plate and making a handful of solid plays defensively. At the plate his quick hands work well to the inside part of the ball as he transfers his weight through his swing. His level bat path allows him to keep the bat head in the zone and produce hard-hit line drives. Defensively his athleticism allows him to range around the outfield and run balls down in the gaps. His accurate arm proved to be effective in helping cut down baserunners with an outfield assist. His arm should only continue to get stronger as he matures and fills out his lean, athletic frame.

Trevor Baugh (2020, Goodyear, Ariz.) showed some of his baseball smarts as he was able to use his athletic ability to take the extra base when the opportunity presented itself. At the plate he showed a quick, handsy swing that helped produce a well-hit double. Defensively he does a nice job of funneling the ball into his body as his hands work out front. His feet work well into the fielding process and carry him through his throwing mechanics. Baugh’s 6-foot-1,-175 pound frame leaves him with room to add strength as he continues to mature and fill out.

Connor Markl (2020, Scottsdale, Ariz.), a Grand Canyon University commit, has a solid 6-foot-1 185 pound frame. The lefthanded hitting two-way prospect displayed a controlled and smooth lefthanded swing. He creates good separation with his low leg kick as he gets his weight transferred to his backside. His compact bat path allows him to get his barrel out front giving him the ability to drive the ball to his pull side with authority.

Joseph Silverio (2020, Phoenix, Ariz.) offers another big physical frame for Team Dinger 2020 as he showed some solid defensive range with his ability to charge the ball and make a throw on the run as well as range to his left and cut a ball off in the 5-6 hole. Offensively, his aggressive righthanded swing shows some loft with a high finish. When ale to get the barrel out front he showed some potential pull-side power as well. With a 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame, Silverio projects well for even more power as he continues to smooth out his mechanics while maturing physically.

Tom Bonetto (2020, Phoenix Ariz.), a Westmont College commit, was dominant in his outing surrendering only one hit. He was able to dominate with primarily a mid-80s fastball that topped out at 87 mph. His ability to locate the fastball where he wanted allowed him to get ahead in the count before using the elevated fastball as a primary put-away pitch. Using a curveball as his primary secondary pitch he was able to keep hitters honest. The curveball showed 11-to-5 shape with good bite as he was able to throw it both in the zone and out to create some swings and misses. His 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame projects well to continue to add velocity with his smooth mechanics and high three-quarters arm slot.

– Colton Olinger

James DeCremer (2023, Scottsdale, Ariz.) got the start for 3D Gold and it was a tale of two outings for the young righthander out of Arizona. It took DeCremer an inning to settle in as three of his four walks came in the opening frame and despite the brief lapse in command he pitched out of trouble and only allowed a single run to open the game. The second inning was three up, three down in very few pitches, showing not only the ability to work ahead of batters but also put them away.

A primary outfielder per his profile, DeCremer stands at 6-foot, 175-pounds and with his present strength he tied for the best fastball of the event topping out at 83 mph, while working in the 79-82 mph range over those first couple of frames. And while he walked three in the first inning, it’s important to note that his misses were around the zone, showing firm life through the zone. But as he settled in and stayed online better down the mound DeCremer consistently spotted to his glove side while living down in the lower third. The other big difference was his ability to land his hard-biting 12-to-6 shaped curveball, a pitch he went to on back-to-back lefthanded hitters, both times successfully getting the upper-60s pitch to their back foot for swinging third strikes.

A member of the inaugural 13u PG Select Festival, Miles Ghossein (2024, West Hills, Calif.) played all over the field for 3D Gold this weekend and also came in relief of DeCremer Sunday, working 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He’s a primary shortstop who shows quickness to his hands offensively with plenty of physical projection (long-limbed 6-foot, 160-pound frame) and connected for a loud triple on opening day but also impressed on the mound, showing his potential while strikeout out five. Utilizing a longer arm stroke through the back, Ghossein worked in the 77-79 mph range with his heater, showing a clean release out of his hand while filling up the zone from a higher three-quarters release. While his curveball is a pitch that will continue to develop the more he throws it, Ghossein showed a real feel for moving his heater to either side of the plate with intent, an attribute that stood out even in a shorter look.

GBG Marucci Navy has stormed into the championship game after putting up a slew of runs and one bat who has been in the thick of things is third baseman Namath Hogan (2023, Hermosa Beach, Calif.) who is hitting .462 thus far into the tournament. Making his Perfect Game debut in this tournament, Hogan is a physical 6-foot, 190-pound righthanded hitter who offers a shorter stroke through the zone and plenty of strength at the point of impact. He has swung it well through pool play and into the playoffs, picking up an RBI single through the six-hole against the SoCal Bombers and looks to be an instrumental part leading into Monday.

Speaking of strength in the GBG lineup, Jason Roah (2023, Palos Verdes Estate, Calif.) is also showing some pop in his first Perfect Game event. Similar to Hogan in that he remains short with his stroke through the zone, Roah showed off the strength in his hands with loud jump off the barrel on a double down the opposite field line, driving in one of his seven runs on the weekend. He also got the start on the mound against a tough LVR squad and was fantastic, earning the win with a complete game effort in which he struck out five and topped out at 78 mph with his heater.

Like his two teammates above, shortstop Julien Cojulun (2023, Redondo Beach, Calif.) is making his Perfect Game debut in Arizona and he’s a player we will see plenty moving forward as he hits towards the top of the order and plays a premium position for GBG. Up the middle Cojulun shows smoothness to his actions overall with balance to his footwork and softness to his hands, as well as nice carry on his throws across. He has also been a constant in terms of offensive production, showing a shorter path to the ball which has yielded a .400 average heading into the championship game, including an RBI double over the third baseman’s head in the semifinal game against LVR.

It’s not often you find a young prospect from the great state of Idaho, but righthander Roman Blaser (2023, Eagle, Idaho) took the hill for Dykstra Baseball in the opening round of the playoffs, and though his team ultimately took the loss, he was impressive nonetheless. Already standing at a strongly built 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, Blaser did a nice job of staying short through the backside and though he landed closed off with his strike foot, he worked on top of the ball consistently from an over-the-top slot to generate consistent plane to his fastball.

Blaser kept his fastball down in the zone well, living within the 76-79 mph range the heater though there’s no doubt there is more velocity in the tank, especially as he continues to refine his front side mechanics. Unlike other pitchers at this tournament/age division, Blaser showed a pretty consistent feel for his curveball, as well as confidence, as he more than once doubled up on the mid-60s pitch, showing 11-to-5 shape with short, late bite to it. Along with the curveball he also mixed a slider with short cutter-type life up to 70 mph which left his hand reading as a fastball for opposing hitters. Keep an eye on this young arm as he continues to log additional innings, especially considering his profile has him listed as a primary third baseman.

MBA Utah 2023 put together an impressive semifinal victory via run rule to advance into the championship game and two bats who have helped pace the offense have been right fielder Aidan McMullin (2023, Magna, Utah) and catcher Cade Nalder (2023, Riverton, Utah), who hit leadoff and cleanup, respectively.

A quicker-twitch lefthanded bat, McMullin fits your mold of a leadoff hitter in that he’s able to see a number of pitches, handles the barrel and has the IQ of when to drop a bunt depending on the defensive alignment. Of course, along with the ability to bunt McMullin shows the foot speed to put the pressure on the defense while also showing looseness to his hands when swinging away.

Nalder, who is hitting .500 on the tournament, has scored six runs and driven in five of his own, two of which came against Force Baseball in the semifinals. Showing a handle for the barrel, Nalder got the scoring going as he turned around a fastball for a double down the left field line, plating the first run of the game.

Like his teammates on the Scottsdale Dirtbags, AJ Diaz (2024, Gilbert, Ariz.) still has another year until he enters high school but his skill already stands out on the diamond. A primary third baseman, Diaz helped his team out of a big jam with two runners on in scoring position and just one out. On a sharply hit ground ball, Diaz came up working through his backhand, raced to tag the runner at third base who wandered too far from the bag and then without hesitation delivered a strike across the diamond for an inning-ending double play. And as baseball goes, the next half inning after making a defensive highlight Diaz came to the play and delivered with a single through the six-hole, keeping his hands tight through his swing while finishing the tournament with a .417 average.

The final line may not jump off the page, but there’s real upside with righthander Leighton Mercurius (2023, Las Vegas, Nev.) who got the start for LVR. Long limbed and highly projectable at 6-foot-2, 155-pounds, Mercurius ran his fastball up to 80 mph a time or two in this look (he has been up to 83 mph in prior looks) and sat comfortably in the upper-70s, showing a long and loose arm stroke through the backside with big extension out front. His overall command was scattered as he did walk four as he was mistimed early on, but once he found his release point he was able to generate nice sinking life to his fastball down in the zone from a higher release point. Like his command, Mercurius’s feel for his curveball developed nicely throughout, showing tight spin and short 11-to-5 shape in the mid- to upper-60s for strikes with proper hand speed.

– Jheremy Brown

 Give us your feedback
Copyright 1994-2019 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.