Tournaments | Story | 9/23/2019

Fall Champs: Day 3 Scout Notes

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

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

A couple of impressive arms toed the rubber during the consolation slots over on the Rangers quad as Samuel Boyle (2022, Vancouver, Wash.) and Gavin Meyer (2021, Hemet, Calif.) showed impressive stuff on the hill.

Boyle, a Washington commit, came on in relief during PNW Freshman’s consolation game and turned forth a very impressive stat line with 11 punchouts in a little over four innings on the mound. The Washington native has excellent size on the mound with a 6-foot-2, 180-pound eminently projectable frame with lots of room to fill out. The operation is fairly clean with little wasted movement and a very quick arm stroke that saw him run his fastball up to 87 mph. The fastball sat in the 83-86 mph range for the majority of the contest and he used the pitch to blow by hitters, particularly when elevated up and out of the strike zone. Boyle also has a pretty solid feel to spin a curveball at 70 mph with good shape and can land the pitch for strikes. There are numerous components that portend success in Boyle’s future and he already looks the part of a high-end arm in the 2022 class.

An uncommitted junior, Meyer attracted the attention of a number of college coaches as the 6-foot-4, 190-pound righthander showed some impressive stuff. He ran his fastball up to 88 mph and sat pretty comfortably in the 85-88 mph range throughout the start with a pretty fast and whippy arm stroke to boot. There are some timing-heavy triggers throughout the delivery, but the arm really works and as he fills into his frame more he’ll be more able to get on top of that fastball on a consistent basis. The spin was pretty solid too, with a true 12/6 breaking ball that showed good depth and the ability to be landed for strikes. He walked a couple of batters in a two inning look during this game but the upside is immense and Meyer should not be uncommitted for much longer.

Turning in a very impressive start for Aggies Baseball was uncommitted righthander Daniel Avitia (2021, Phoenix, Ariz.) who pitched a tremendous game despite his team coming up short of the victory. Avitia is a very physically projectable 6-foot-1, 165-pound prospect with a slender frame and tons of room to hold strength. He came out 82-84 mph in the first inning before settling right around 80 mph for the duration of the game with pretty good sink on his pitches. Avitia has a free and easy arm stroke with almost no tension and throws from a lower slot to generate that sinking life on the fastball. He benefitted well from weak ground balls, which he got a good number of, and mixed in both a breaking ball and a very solid changeup with late fading action. The three-pitch mix and feel to pitch both stand out as Avitia did his best to limit hard contact on the afternoon.

Aggies second baseman Erubiel Ortiz (2022, Phoenix, Ariz.) showed some intriguing traits on the afternoon as he has some physicality and athleticism to go along with barrel intelligence and chops on the defensive side of the ball. The hands work very well defensively as he’s smooth up the middle, from second base where he was playing during this look, and the instincts that show he should be able to slide over to shortstop rather well. In three at-bats Ortiz got the barrel out and hit the ball hard all three times with a fairly clean swing and some strength in his wrists. The barrel plays well within the hitting zone and allows him to generate hard-hit contact to all fields. There are a lot of foundational positives to Ortiz’ profile and as he adds strength he should be able to blossom even further.

The two-pitcher combination of Tucker Huhn (2021, Plano, Texas) and Mason Palagyi (2021, Gig Harbor, Wash.) boded very well for the PNW Underclass Royal squad, who needed a walk-off victory in the bottom of the seventh to advance to the quarterfinals.

Huhn is a big-bodied prospect from Texas and is a very physical pitcher at a listed 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. What stands out immediately about Huhn’s game is the life and angle he generates on his fastball that topped out at 87 mph early and settled around the 82-85 mph range for the duration of the start. From a lower arm slot he generates hard running life that is effective at garnering ground ball contact and when adding in the deception and ability to hide the ball, the fastball gets onto hitters late. Huhn peppered the lower third of the strike zone and has a lot of comfort working to the glove side of the plate while ahead in the count. He pounded the strike zone and got a lot of early count outs too on ground balls, all of which allowed for a very efficient outing.

Palagyi is another physical pitching prospect at a listed 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and also generates significant angle, however Palagyi throws with his left hand. The delivery is up tempo and shows effort, but he really loads onto his backside hard and explodes toward the plate with a crossfired landing leg and he clears his front side very well. The fastball explodes onto hitters with significant angle in the 82-85 mph range and makes for a very uncomfortable at-bat as you’re almost unsure when the moving parts are going to stop and the ball is going to be delivered. The breaking ball showed good sweeping action and he could bury the pitch low in the zone for chases too.

Showing one of the better offensive outputs on the weekend, GBG Arizona infielder Marcus Harrison (2021, Chandler, Ariz.) had a big day despite the loss as he collected three doubles in four at-bats. Harrison is a prototypical athletic and projectable shortstop with a great frame at a listed 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, some quick-twitch athleticism, and a ton of room to dream on. The swing is fairly sound from a mechanical standpoint, with a low effort trigger, natural loft to the swing plane, and is simple with repeatability. Harrison generates quality bat speed with projection and he has good feel for getting the baseball into the air. He worked the pull side comfortably for his extra-base hits and has a bit of sneaky speed with a 4.7 second time on a turn to second base. Harrison looks the part given his frame and offensive upside and he will be intriguing to monitor moving forward.

Leading his team into Monday’s games, Steven Mara (2021, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) showed some high-end offensive tools this weekend and had a loud performance as all but one of his hits on the weekend thus far have come during bracket play. Mara has good size and physicality but it’s the heaviness of the barrel head that stands out as he doesn’t only connect out in front but he really does a nice job staying through the baseball and driving it hard. The bat speed is impressive on its own with a leveraged stroke geared towards working to the pull side with power. He added a triple during the first game on the day and ended up with four hits total over two games to showcase the hitting ability.

We got a brief look at GBG Marucci Navy 2021’s Kyle Ayers (2021, Sherman Oaks, Calif.) during the opening night of the tournament and he came back to start their quarterfinal matchup and help lead them into Monday. Ayers touched 90 mph on the first pitch of the game and for the first two frames sat 87-89 mph with the heater before dipping as the outing went on. The raw arm speed is notable and impressive though it appeared there was more effort at release during this look than the past look. Regardless, Ayers was having success with the fastball and showed two distinct breaking balls to complement the heater. The slider was, at times, more of a cutter in the 80-82 mph range but the late bite disrupted barrels while he also mixed in a mid-70s slurve with good spin and shape. This was a very intriguing look at a high-level two-way prospect as the athleticism, compact and quick stroke, and upside all are very fascinating from an offensive perspective as well.

-Vinnie Cervino

The first playoff round opened with the SoCal Birds exploding for eight runs in an impressive first round victory over the Nevada Panthers. Uncommitted southpaw Mason Molina (2021, Mission Viejo, Calif.) drew a ton of college coach interest with a fantastic five inning outing that saw him strikeout 10 hitters while allowing just four hits. Molina has a large physical frame with an over-the-top to high three-quarters slot that creates some sink to his fastball. His shorter arm action sweeps back and up from a lower handset, and he does a nice job of hiding the baseball along his body line through separation. His fastball sat 82-85 mph and he was flashing plus command by locating to all four quadrants with the pitch. He mixes in a plus 1-to-7 shaped breaking ball that he’s able to manipulate the shape of. If he needs to, Molina can lower the shape of the breaking ball and turn it into more of a side to side breaking, 2-to-8 shaped slider that makes life tough on left-handed hitters. He also has a 72 mph changeup that shows promise, but he’ll need to mature the arm action and conviction on the pitch to effectively add it to his arsenal. There’s a high ceiling to Molina’s stuff and after today’s outing he may not be uncommitted for much longer.

Aidan Sullivan (2021, Scottsdale, Ariz.) had a nice day for the Firebirds in their first playoff win going 2-for-3 with a double. Sullivan has compiled a solid PG resume this summer with his good hands and balanced swing. He uses an even stance at the plate with a conventional hand position and he does a nice job of working the barrel down through the zone. At times his front side will leak open early, dragging his hands and barrel out of the zone. When he’s able to stay inside the ball and work the middle of the field, he has the ability to drive the ball into either gap with ease. Sullivan profiles as more of a corner infielder moving forward, and his consistent bat makes him a high follow heading into the 2020 season.

In the second slot of the first-round playoff games, uncommitted two-way player Chase Spencer (2021, Plano, Texas) really impressed with his athleticism and projectable skill set on both sides of the baseball. On the mound, he has a quick, compact motion with a short arm action that separates straight back and then fires into a three-quarters arm slot. At times he’ll rush through his motion and fall off glove side. His 84-87 mph fastball that touches 88 possesses solid arm side run and has the ability to get in on the hands of hitters with his quick motion to the plate. Spencer also mixes in a tight and low 11-to-5 shaped slider that shows promise but does not break much. As his outing went on, his confidence in the pitch grew and it flashed plus actions late. He allowed no runs off three hits while fanning six through four full innings pitched. At the plate, Spencer has an upright, narrow stance and keeps his barrel vertical and slightly above his shoulder until he coils his barrel into his load. Spencer possesses great hands that work direct to the baseball and shows pop from the whip he creates through the zone. Spencer also stays tall on his backside and generates a flat barrel plane through extension. There is some uphill to his path when he turns on inside pitches, but if he’s able to get his hands extended then he’ll find some consistent backspin to his pull side. Spencer is one of the more premier talents so far on display at the underclass Fall National Championship, and his uncommitted status will not last much longer with performances like the one he had today.

GBG Arizona 2021 fell in a back and forth game with the Southern California Bombers but uncommitted primary catcher Colton Graham (2021, Waddell, Ariz.) showcased his strong arm off the hill and intrigued coaches and scouts with his ability off the mound. Graham has a whippy, longer arm action that comes up to a true three-quarters slot. His 84-86 mph fastball that tops out at 88 possesses a ton of two-seam run and sink. His slot and action on the fastball make life tough on right-handed hitters, however, his deception and effectiveness against lefties is not nearly as good. In order to have success against lefties at the next level, he’ll have to heavily mix in an off-speed pitch to compliment his fastball, while also committing to throw his fastball to the inner half. None the less, Graham’s arm strength and movement on his fastball make it clear that his pitching ability is something to follow.

In the quarterfinal round the SoCal Birds and D-BAT Elite Clementz fought their hearts out in a 9-8 instant classic that saw the SoCal birds advance to the semifinal round. D-BAT Elite’s starter Nick Moore (2021, Plano, Texas), who was mentioned earlier this weekend, continued to look good on the hill with a heavy fastball that runs in around 85-88 mph. Moore has a very whippy arm action that whips up to a true three-quarters arm slot, and his slot creates a ton of two-seam running action. Moore also has a plus 11-to-5 shaped slider that humps out of his hand, but then possesses sharp late bite away from righthanded bats. He ran into trouble in his second inning of work when his arm-side run started missing arm side. It was promising to see him recollect himself and fight his way out of the inning after finding his slot again. He finished his day going three full innings while fanning six.

SoCal Birds’ uncommitted two-way man Zach Peters (2021, Garden Grove, Calif.) looked great on the mound and at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double. Listed as a primary infielder, Peters uses a narrow and tall stance with a heavy bat wag and high back elbow. There’s plenty of bat speed through the zone and pop in his barrel to drive the ball, as he showcased on his double into the left-center gap in his first at bat. There’s present athleticism in all aspects of his game, including on the base paths. Peters also looked the part on the hill throwing two full innings while striking out four. He has a longer arm action that feels quick given its length from an over the top slot. His mid-leg lift turns his front side closed at his apex, and there’s some violence to his drop and drive actions. He really pulls down on his 83-85 mph fastball that tops out at 87, and it generates good late sink to the plate. His breaking ball is a 12-to-6 and at times high 11-to-5 shaped curveball that possesses solid depth and out pitch ability. Peters will throw more of the 12-to-6 version as a get me over, then will get the pitch more out in front in order to snap it off as a kill pitch. He also throws a 74 mph changeup that shows good promise, but he rarely mixed it into his outing. From his performance today, there’s seems to be an incredibly high upside, and he’s a high follow as he heads into his Junior season at Los Alamitos High School.

Zack Osborne (2021, Garden Grove, Calif.) was without a doubt the MVP of the game for the SoCal Birds as he was the one who got the team back into the ball game with an unbelievably clutch grand slam in the fifth inning, as well as driving in seven of the team’s nine runs. Osborne has an upright, conventional stance with a simple load that gets cocked back early. Osborne’s bat speed is excellent, yet his bottom half is not existent in his swing. It’s scary to think what kind of power Osborne could generate if learns to incorporate his lower half more into his swing. He creates solid backspin with consistency even with his elevated barrel plane through the zone, and that has a lot to do with his hands fighting down through the zone, then coming up as he extends. He finished his day 2-for-3 with a single to tack onto the grand slam home run.

GBG Vegas saw their tournament come to an end in the quarterfinal round against AZ Athletics 2021 Founders Club, but center fielder and San Diego State commit Irvin R. Weems III (2021, Las Vegas, Nev.) has looked fabulous throughout the entirety of the tournament, finishing with a .967 OPS through five games. Weems III has a ton of present athleticism and speed in the outfield, as well as on the basepaths, and his short compact stroke gives him a chance in every plate appearance. He uses an upright, even spread stance with a high back elbow that looks strong in the box. As he loads, he uses a low leg kick trigger as his hands stay quiet, as well as stay connected to his slight upper body coil. He then unloads the coil and finds a great shoulder rotation as his elbow fires into the slot, and his barrel gets behind his hands and on plane quickly. Weems III is most dangerous when he’s able to get his hands extended, and there’s great maturity in his hands as they consistently work to the inner half of the baseball. The Aztecs are getting a special athlete with an already mature looking stroke in the box.

-Connor Spencer

Consolation play began at Camelback Ranch-Dodgers and White Sox Spring Training facility on Sunday and Chris Gracia (2021, Colorado Springs, Colo.) continued to stay hot at the plate for Catamount Baseball Club- Gold. Gracia started it off in the top of the first inning with a single up the middle on a high fastball that he was able to keep his hands above and collected his sixth hit of the tournament. In his second at-bat, he rocketed a hard groundball to second base that he was slightly early on but was able to get the bat head out front with solid contact. In his third plate appearance, he hit a shot the opposite way that unfortunately was right at the shortstop. Gracia showed to have above-average bat speed with a sound approach at the dish and has a chance to be a prospect that could blossom as he matures.

Edwin Groff (2021, Los Angeles, Calif.) had an outstanding day at the plate and led the way for GBG Marucci 2021 going 2-for-2. He started off hitting a triple down the left field line for an RBI followed by smacking a doubling into the gap during his second plate appearance. Groff had linear movements towards the pitch, kept a balanced swing and was about to get the bat to the ball quickly and hit to his pull side for some pop.

Uncommitted Nick Arias (2022, Tucson, Ariz.) who is ranked as the No. 15 overall player in the 2022 class for the state of Arizona was on the hill for Tucson Champs 16u. He had some effort in his delivery but stayed controlled and online throughout. His hand break caused inconsistences at times that would affect his command. When he repeated, he was able to work the quadrants with his fastball that had some late movement, mostly sinking action with occasional run. He was able to pitch efficiently up in the zone while changing eyes levels with his breaking ball. He lasted 3 1/3 innings while only allowing two hits and fanning six. Arias has a chance to be a legitimate two-way player at the next level if he continues to develop on both sides of the ball.

No. 3 ranked 2022 lefthanded pitcher in the state of California Spencer Seid (2022, San Marino, Calif.) took the ball for CBA Wave and went 3 2/3 innings while striking out seven batters and walking one. He threw from three-quarters arm slot with a clean and easy delivery. His fastball was mainly flat and sat 83-85 mph, topping 86 mph with a 1-to-7 curveball and a fading changeup. The best secondary pitch was his curveball that he was able to get swings and misses with while maintaining arm speed. Seid should be a good fit to many bullpens at the college level as he continues to grow at Flintridge Preparatory over the next three years.

-Andrew Jenkins
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