Tournaments | Story | 9/23/2019

Kernels Day 3-4 Scout Notes

Nate Schweers         Ben Milks        
Photo: Maxwell Carlson (Perfect Game)

Kernels Foundation Championship: Daily Leaders | Day 1-2 Scout Notes

A trio of MLB Draft follows took the mound on Days 3 and 4 of the 2019 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship, and all three dazzled with quality playoff performances for their team.

Tyler Chadwick (2020, Marshall, Wis.) got the start for GRB Rays Green in Sunday morning’s first time slot, striking out nine and allowing just one hit over five innings of work. The West Virginia commit gets the most out of his 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame, creating good linear direction down the mound and locating down in the zone when on time. Chadwick ran the fastball up to 91 mph on Sunday, pitching at 87-89, and flashing feel to spin a tight slider in the mid-70s.

Chadwick can be a tale of two pitchers at times, showing excellent command and steep downward plane to the fastball when on time. Chadwick walked five on Sunday, and though conditions were not optimal at times, timing in the delivery is something that could be become more consistent. Overall, Chadwick flashes the potential to be an elite-level arm in this class and it will be exciting to follow his progress leading up to next June’s MLB Draft.

Maxwell Carlson (2020, Savage, Minn.) was all of what has been advertised on Sunday, cementing himself as a must-follow arm over the next nine months. A 2019 Perfect Game All-American, Carlson attacked hitters with a lively fastball that has big run to the arm side at 90-92 mph on Sunday. Paired with the splitter, Carlson features two pitches that make righthanded hitters extremely uncomfortable in the box, and when the slider is on it becomes an unbelievable arsenal on the mound.

Carlson has a lot of athleticism in the 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame and repeats his mechanics well while moving with intent and force down the mound. The North Carolina commit was perfect in his three innings of work on Sunday, striking out six and averaging just 11 pitches per inning. As the frame continues to mature and the secondary pitches continue to develop, Carlson can cement himself as a top-end draft choice come June.

Finally, Jack Crowder (2020, Romeoville, Ill.) dazzled in a quarterfinal victory for the Cangelosi Sparks 2020 Black on Monday morning. Crowder allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings of work, striking out 11 batters and throwing just 88 pitches. Crowder attacked hitters with an upper-80s fastball on Monday, topping at 90 mph. Crowder also showed excellent feel to spin a tight slider at 75-77 mph, and occasionally added a wrinkle with a low-80s changeup that has big run to the arm side.

An Illinois commit, Crowder has a physical 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame and repeats his delivery well while showing excellent command of all three pitches to the glove side. Crowder is an obvious follow for the MLB Draft next June as there are certainly some things to like and keep an eye on as his career continues to unfold.

Dain Wilson (2020, St. Peters, Mo.) had a strong game in the Round of 32 for the St. Louis Pirates Baseball Development, going 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI in the victory. Wilson was able to reach base in all four plate appearances on Sunday morning, and also played a solid second base. Wilson has an athletic frame with some already present strength in his 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame and provides a good bat near the bottom of the Pirates order.

Easton Johnson (2021, Gilbert, Iowa) turned in a solid outing for the Iowa Sticks Commits on Sunday, striking out seven Longshots hitters. Johnson has a tall and slender frame from the right side and creates excellent linear direction in the lower half while repeating the mechanics well. Johnson pitched at 84-86 mph with a heavy fastball on Sunda, and showed feel to land a curveball in the zone with big shape and late depth through the zone. A Creighton commit, Johnson has ample room to fill out and add strength in the frame and could develop into a really intriguing arm for the Blue Jays throughout his college career. Johnson is currently as the No. 371 player in the 2021 class.

Max Wagner (2020, Green Bay, Wis.) had a strong weekend for the GRB Rays Green, and though he wasn't able to do a ton of damage with the bat in Sunday’s game, he showed an advanced ability to work counts and put together tough at-bats. The Clemson commit finished the 2019 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship with a 1.952 OPS, collecting four hits and six RBI. Wagner’s weekend was highlighted by a long home run in pool play, and the primary shortstop continues to showcase a solid glove and excellent athleticism defensively as well. Wagner is currently ranked as the No. 355 player in the 2020 class.

Alec Nigut (2020, Des Moines, Iowa) showcased his talent both on the mound and at the plate this weekend, but really stuck out with a solid performance on the mound in playoff action. An Iowa commit, Nigut struck out three over 3 1/3 innings of work and featured a fastball with late arm-side life up to 85 mph. Nigut’s best pitch on Sunday was the big breaking ball with late depth through the zone at 68-70 mph and he does a great job of locating it below the zone for swing-and-miss. Though a primary outfielder, there are certainly some things to like about Nigut’s game on the mound.

Another Iowa commit that stood out for the Iowa Sticks Commits was Mitch Wood (2021, Ottumwa, Iowa). Wood showed an impressive ability to put together quality at-bats in playoff action, working deep into counts and coming through with multiple two-strike hits. Wood has an athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, and uses his present strength in the hands and direct path to contact to make consistently hard contact to the pull side. Ranked as the No. 412 player in the 2021 class, Wood has clean actions defensively in the middle infield and features some solid arm strength across the diamond as well.

Louisville commit Jack Payton (2020, Orland Park, Ill.) continues to be a tough out in the middle of the Cangelosi Sparks 2020 Black lineup. A primary catcher, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Payton has advanced receiving skills behind the plate. Payton consistently wins strikes for the guy on the mound and also features a quick exchange and present arm strength on throws down the second. Payton’s tournament was highlighted by a 2-for-3 day in the Round of 32, collecting three RBI and showing off some present bat speed and impressive bat-to-ball skills. Payton has a sound approach at the plate, flashing some pull-side power when squared. He currently ranks as the No. 377 player in the 2020 class.

In the championship game, Zach Hise (2020, Joliet, Ill.) impressed with a three-pitch mix and a ton of quality strikes. The Missouri commit sat 88-91 mph in his first inning of work, creating steep downward plane and some late life to the arm side when on time. The heavy fastball paired nicely with a mid-70s slider that has sharp break and late depth through the zone. Hise also showed command of a late-fading changeup in the low-80s, and that mix kept hitters off-balance and guessing throughout. Hise has a tall and athletic frame with plenty of room to fill out and add strength and the righthander has a clean arm path and present arm speed from an over-the-top slot. Ranked as a Top 500 player in the 2020 class, Hise has all the makings of an elite-level arm at the next level.

Drake Westcott (2020, Edwardsville, Ill.) impressed during the championship game on Monday, driving a ball deep over the wall in right field in his first at-bat. A Louisville commit, Westcott has ample power in the bat and his already physical frame makes him a constant threat to leave the ballpark from the left side of the plate. Westcott has a naturally lifted barrel plane and does a good job to get the hands extended and drive the baseball out front. Westcott is currently ranked as the No. 181 player in the 2020 class.

– Nate Schweers

Texas A&M commit Max Anderson (2020, Omaha, Neb.) showed present bat speed and barrel control throughout the weekend. Anderson showed taht present pop with a loud line drive triple off the right field fence, turning some heads with the jump off the barrel and athleticism around the bases.

Getting the start for Rhino Baseball on Sunday was Connor Best (2020, Coal City, Ill.) The stocky righty worked four innings while only allowing three hits and walking two batters while striking out five. Best features athletic actions working down the hill with a longer stride and good arm speed working through from a three-quarters slot. He featured a two-pitch mix thrown for consistent strikes in any count including a fastball with heavy life through the zone up to 87 mph complemented with a 10-to-4 curveball with good depth at 75 mph.

Grant Comstock (2021, Valparaiso, Ind.), a long, lanky righty, showed athleticism working down the mound with good arm speed from an over-the-top arm slot. Comstock worked 2 2/3 innings while fanning four batters. The Northwestern commit features a two-pitch mix including a fastball with a steep downhill plane up to 88 mph complemented with a 12-to-6 curveball creating swing-and-miss up to 72 mph.

Midwest Top Prospect Games participant Andy Nelson (2020, Winfield, Ill.) was impressive again this weekend at Prospect Meadows. Nelson collected five hits and three walks on his way to a .500 batting average and a .625 on-base percentage. The Iowa commit displayed present gap-to-gap jump off the barrel with three doubles while also driving in five runs on the weekend. Nelson was also impressive at shortstop with clean glove actions and impressive range working to both sides of the infield.

Jake Mucha (2020, Homer Glen, Ill.) enjoyed a loud weekend at the plate reaching base on 14 of his 16 plate appearances with six hits and nine walks. Mucha showed present power with four extra-base hits on the weekend including two doubles, a triple and a loud home run. Mucha features a quick swing with a naturally elevated plane working through the zone with an advanced bat-to-ball hit tool.

Ben Guzek (2021, Evergreen Park, Ill.) had an impressive outing for Cangelosi Sparks 2021 Black working a complete game seven-inning shutout while only allowing three hits and walking nine with 13 strikeouts. Guzek features a fastball with arm-side run up to 81 mph complemented with a big 10-to-4 breaking ball at 67 mph.

– Ben Milks

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