Tournaments | Story | 9/22/2019

Fall Champs: Day 2 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Vincent Cervino         Connor Spencer         Andrew Jenkins        
Photo: Chase Valentine (Perfect Game)

PG Underclass Fall National Championship: Daily Leaders | Day 1 Scout Notes

Getting the start in the second game of the day for GBG Marucci Navy 2021 was talented southpaw Anthony Joya (2021, Wilmington, Calif.), who pitched but a brief inning on the bump but showed a plethora of things to like out of an uncommitted junior. Joya is a physical 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with very broad shoulders and room for substantial physical projection upon the frame. He generates a good amount of life, deception, and some funk from a lower three-quarter arm slot and features a pause following the leg lift to really drive toward the target with the lower half. The fastball gets on hitters quickly and showed good life as the pitch topped out at 87 mph and sat in the 84-86 mph range for the lone inning. Joya only showed a couple of breaking balls at 68 and 69 mph, respectively, but there’s some feel to spin and land the pitch for strikes. This was a brief look but Joya looks like a notable prospect with upside remaining.

Turning in a very strong start for Dykstra Baseball was righthander Hayden Lewis (2022, Scottsdale, Ariz.) who has a lot to like from an operation and arm speed standpoint as a young pitching prospect. Lewis isn’t overly imposing from a physical standpoint, he’s listed at a rather slender 6-foot and 150 pounds, but what he lacks in present strength he more than makes up in terms of present velocity. Lewis topped out at 85 mph and sat in the 82-84 mph with a solid, simple, and direct delivery and a whippy, quick arm stroke. He repeats the arm action and delivery well as he was able to throw a lot of strikes and really come right at hitters. His slider in the low- to mid-70s shows the components to develop into a swing-and-miss pitch at maturity while there’s also feel for a changeup with good sinking action. Lewis is a well-rounded prospect with a very good foundation to build upon and he should only continue to uptick in terms of velocity as he fills out his frame.

Lewis’ teammate Ian Halverson (2022, Vista, Calif.) was part of the offensive attack in the first game of the day as though the box score had only one hit, he barreled quite a few balls over the course of two games. Halverson is an athletic and wiry strong prospect at a listed 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame and there’s lots of room to fill out. The set up in the batter’s box is a bit unorthodox, with a very spread start and bat point almost directly at the pitcher. That being said, Halverson loads smoothly and gets the barrel on plane quickly with plenty of looseness and quickness to the stroke. The barrel plane is smooth within the zone and his funky lower half set up actually allows him to load his weight very well on the backside and get that momentum and torque through the point of contact very well for a young prospect. He collected a single in the first game but added numerous other barrels throughout the day and Halverson has the look of a strong prospect at this juncture.

Twirling a gem of a start for the AZ Athletics 2021 Founders Club, Cody Albright (2021, Phoenix, Ariz.) led the charge of a combined no-hitter in their first game of the day over at Surprise Stadium. Albright, an uncommitted righthander, tossed four shutout innings while striking out eight hitters and showed swing-and-miss potential for his breaking ball. Albright repeated his delivery well with a bit of a shorter stride down the mound and a vertical arm slot which allowed for good sink on the fastball, particularly in the lower third of the strike zone where Albright lived all afternoon. He topped out at 84 mph on the day and lived mostly in the 80-83 mph range with the fastball and would routinely got ahead of hitters before putting them away with his power breaking ball that showed good shape and biting action to the pitch. Albright certainly projects well from a physical standpoint with a projectable 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame and he was one of the best statistical performers on the mound on this day.

The Southern California Bombers went 1-1 on the day but leadoff man and shortstop Adam Aguirre (2021, Upland, Calif.) showed intriguing tools and size that should bode well as he continues to fill out and add strength. Aguirre is a very lean and projectable 6-foot-1, 175 pounds with a high waisted frame and lots of room to hold strength upon maturity. His athleticism shines through his actions as even in between innings you can glance at the foot quickness, hand softness, and overall twitch. The swing is fairly simple and direct with quick hands and he has good feel for getting the barrel in front of the plate. He notched a hit and more than a couple barrels during game looks as a lot of his well-struck balls to the pull side will continue to go further and further as he matures physically.

Two notable, uncommitted shortstops have been garnering attention this weekend as the AZ Athletics 2021 Founders Club’s Chase Valentine (2021, Phoenix, Ariz.) and AZ T-Rex’s Teagan Carey (2021, Scottsdale, Ariz.) have displayed some of the better athleticism, hitability, and overall upside up to this point on the weekend.

Valentine, a recent standout at PG’s Sunshine Gulf Coast Showcase in May, shows surprising pop with fairly sound mechanics from the right side. At a listed 5-foot-10, 140 pounds, Valentine isn’t the biggest prospect but he gets the most out of his size with a simple, well-controlled stride through the load and really explodes onto the baseball. He creates the requisite loft and leverage in the stroke to get the ball into the air fairly consistently and gets really nice carry on fly balls to the pull side, where he has a clear comfort towards going. On Friday he rocketed a triple over the left fielder’s head and followed that up on Saturday with a long double to the pull gap in his first at-bat of the second game. There is good present bat speed and feel for lofting the ball that portends big power as he fills out. The defensive actions were sharp for Valentine too as he moves well laterally and shows very good comfort to the backhand over at shortstop.

Carey, a recent standout at PG’s West Coast Prospect Showcase, is a tightly wound ball of quick twitch athleticism at a listed 6-foot, 178 pounds. He’s extremely light on his feet with bouncy actions over at shortstop and is very, very smooth in terms of footwork and exchanges and releases; he showcased that defensive prowess both on Friday and Saturday, turning smooth double plays and getting the ball out quickly while making it look easy in all regards. What jumps out immediately about the swing are his hands as they work very well into the swing. Carey’s swing is compact and loose with a simple approach as he looks to shoot his hands through the zone and get the barrel out. When on time it looks very pleasing from a subjective standpoint, though there were times when the trigger was a bit late. Regardless, the swing mechanics coupled with the legitimate upside of the athleticism make Carey a fascinating prospect, especially one that is still uncommitted at this juncture.

-Vinnie Cervino

Day two of the underclass Fall National Championship protected by G-Form started with AGGIES BASEBALL bouncing back after a loss on day one with an 11-run offensive outpouring. Leadoff hitter Trent Harrington (2022, Gilbert, Ariz.) impressed at the plate with quick bat speed and impressed on the basepaths with present foot speed. In his second at-bat of the game he absolutely unloaded on an elevated fastball, seeding a frozen rope into right center that split the outfielders and got to the wall for a triple. Harrington’s speed on his turns around the bags is apparent and there’s some very promising athletic actions in his game. He uses an upright and narrow stance at the plate with a very quiet load that remains simple throughout. As his game develops, he’ll need to focus on using the middle of the field more as his barrel tends to hook in and out of the zone with his top hand heavy swing. He finished his day going 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. If he can keep his hands in and work his barrel to the inner half with more consistency, he’ll become a serious bat to watch throughout his development. He has the potential to become an asset at the top of a college lineup with his speed tool as well.

Uncommitted third baseman Matt Glover (2021, Denver, Colo.) also showcased strong hands and quick bat speed at the plate in the game. Glover has a large projectable build with present strength and feels dangerous when he’s able to get his hands extended. He uses an upright, open stance with a conventional handset and a low leg lift trigger. His trigger has a tendency to be late which makes it tough for him to get the head out on inside pitches, but his hands work well to the baseball and his hand speed gives him a chance in every plate appearance. Glover was able to get his hands extended in his first at-bat, tripling down the right field line. His size and barrel control make him an interesting follow moving forward.

UC Irvine commit Finnegan Wall (2021, Hesperia, Calif.) showcased his strong stuff on the mound despite not getting much help from his defense behind him. Wall pitched 1 2/3 innings while fanning three and his defense committed three errors in his first inning of work. Wall shows great composure when running into trouble and continued to fill up the zone despite the run on inning. Wall has a short arm action from a three-quarters to high three-quarters slot. There’s late life to his 84-88 mph fastball that touched 89 mph on a few occasions. His breaking ball is an 11-to-5 to low 11-to-5 shaped slider that is still developing but shows promise with his arm action. He also mixes in a 75 mph straight change that has the potential to become a plus pitch. There’s positive arm action on his offspeed as well, however none of his stuff at this point is overpowering as he struggled to miss Team Dinger’s barrels. As he matures on the mound, he’ll begin to gain more pitchability with his arsenal and his secondary pitches will become even more effective, thus, complimenting his fastball. Expect the Anteater coaching staff to take his raw pitching potential and turn it into something special at UCI.

CBA Bulldogs moved to 2-0 on the tournament and No. 1 ranked 2022 shortstop in the state of Hawaii Tate Shimao (2021, Honolulu, Hawaii) looked fantastic at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Shimao has a ton of present strength at the plate, especially for his age, with a projectable frame and athletic actions overall. He uses a spread, upright stance with a horizontal bat wag and a toe tap trigger. His hands work beautifully in sync with his toe tap trigger and he possesses a ton of barrel control at the plate. His hands do a nice job of staying inside as he consistently works the middle of the field. His toe tap trigger actually cuts off his momentum in his swing slightly, and if he’s able to add more of a stride to his trigger, he may immediately unlock some more whip through the zone with his barrel. In the field, Shimao has a solid arm across the diamond with soft hands and solid first step reads off the bat. As his power continues to mature, he’ll soon be a for real prospect with a myriad of college interest.

Spencer Seigworth (2021, Chandler, Ariz.) struggled in his start for AZ T-Rex Easton 2021 but flashed potential in his young strong arm. He has a longer arm action that sweeps down and back, then fires up to an over the top slot. His fastball sits around 80-83 mph and he touched 86 in his outing. Seigworth finds some occasional run on his fastball due to his high slot. There’s also some occasional sink to his ball as well. One of his downfalls is that he doesn’t mix his pitches up enough. Siegworth showed an 11-to-5 shaped curveball as well as a decently turned over off-speed in his warmup pitches, but almost never went to his secondary stuff in his outing. As his command began to waver later in his four innings pitched, CBA Bulldogs really started to barrel him up. Nonetheless, there’s potential to work with in his arm, especially in the hands of the right coach. There’s plenty of room in his medium frame to fill out, and there’s every reason to believe that his arm will continue to get stronger as he matures.

In the same game, Carter Richey (2021, Chandler, Ariz.) impressed in his first at-bat with a lined shot through the six hole. Richey has good hands and a fluid rhythm with the pitcher with his load. He stands with an extremely wide base that can at times cut his swing off, but when he’s able to explode his lower half through, his hands fire through the zone with authority. Moreover, he uses a high leg kick trigger with a heavy linear weight shift in the box. He’s able to generate a strong amount of leverage with his weight shift and active lower half but if he’s late with his leg kick trigger, he leaves his hands no chance at getting through the zone on time. Richey possesses some intriguing physicality and barrel control at the plate that makes him a bat to follow going forward.

-Connor Spencer

The No. 1 ranked third baseman in the 2021 class from California, Eldridge Armstrong (2021, Simi Valley, Calif.) was on the mound for Aggie Baseball in day two action. He showcased a two-pitch mix during his outing and was able to locate his fastball to both sides of the plate with ease and kept his curveball low and at the knees for swings and misses. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, struck out 10 and allowed two runs while throwing for 62 percent strikes. Armstrong is a lean prospect with room to fill out his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot, had a simple and smooth delivery with an extended release out front. This very intriguing prospect should add more strength to his frame which could result in a jump in velocity, turning Armstrong into a high-end prospect.

Jacob Billings (2021 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) led the way for the Bulldog Baseball 2021 offense going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI. Billings is hitting .400 through two games and showcased some pop to his pull side with above average bat speed. He likes to get around the baseball and drove all his hits to deep left field including a game-winning double in the bottom of the seventh. With slight adjustments to his swing with an added middle-of-the-field approach, Billings will be a prospect that should continue to develop over the next two years at Rancho Cucamonga High School with a chance to play at the next level.

University of San Diego commit, Angelo Aleman (2022, Los Angeles, Calif.) stood out on both sides of the ball for PFA Matadors. Defensively, this young prospect had good actions at shortstop, a quick first step with solid lateral agility and arm strength. He had semi-soft hands that will continue to get better as he matures at Notre Dame High School. Aleman came in to pitch for the Matadors in the second inning and flashed a three-pitch mix. His delivery had slight effort, he stayed online and messed with timing out of the windup which was very similar to Johnny Cueto. His arm is very projectable, and he had a good feel for his secondary stuff flashing a slider and a changeup that was deceptive with sinking action. His fastball had some late life to it from a three-quarters slot, he was able to locate below the belt for strikes often with all three pitches. At the dish, he had an aggressive approach with some lift to his swing, made hard contact out front with good bat speed. Aleman will be a good addition for San Diego and looks to impact once he gets on campus.

No. 6 overall ranked righthanded pitcher in the 2022 class, Ian Ritchie Jr (2022, Bainbridge, Wash.) came into relive for PNW Freshman and ran his fastball up to 90 mph while sitting in the mid- to upper-80s. The arm worked well from a high three-quarters arm slot, it was loose and whippy and projects well. All though this outing did not go in his favor, he showed to be poised on the mound with an elite arm that’s going to serve Oregon State well once he begins play at Goss Stadium.

Brandon Downer (2021, Corona, Calif.) is an uncommitted righthanded pitcher for So Cal Birds and impressed in his outing. His fastball sat 84-87 mph with sink to both sides of the plate. Downer had a good feel for his slider that he was able to shape with 11-to-5 break at 70-72 mph. He pitched four innings, allowed one hit and struck seven out. Downer worked well below the belt with two pitches and generated plenty of whiffs along with weak contact. He showcased a large frame with broad shoulders at 6-foot-3 and has room to add more strength and will be an interesting prospect for college coaches to keep watch on.

-Andrew Jenkins

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