Tournaments | Story | 9/30/2019

PG Elite Championship Notes

Drew Wesolowski         Matthew Arietta        
Photo: Josh Moylan (Perfect Game)

Florida State commit Andrew Armstrong (2020 Buford, Ga.) took to the bump for his squad Saturday and showed big-time projectabilty. With a long, lean frame, the lefthanded pitcher went on to fill up the strike zone going right at hitters. He flashed fluid, easy arm actions with plenty more in the tank down the road. His fastball was up to 85 mph showing big arm-side run getting on the hands of righthanded hitters with ease. He backed it up with a sweeping slider that showed depth and tight spin. His pitchability is extremely high. He went on the strike out 13 batters while only walking one in a five-inning no-hitter. Keep an eye on him to make big strides at the next level with a physical strength gains.

Mark Gallups (2021 Atlanta, Ga.) showed signs of big-time power at the plate from the right side as he made loud contact all weekend. He would go on to show he could create separation as well as get the bat head out and get extended. Gallups showed quiet hands in his approach as he was short and simple to the baseball attacking it out front. He knocked a long double over the center fielder’s head and then hit a towering fly ball in his next at-bat.

Tiger Borom (2020 Jonesboro, Ga.), a Lipscomb commit, continued his tear as one of the best lefthanded bats in the area. He would go on to homer to the pull-side gap that ended up being some of the loudest contact all weekend. Borom flashed very quick hands as he threw the barrel of the bat at the baseball finding success to all fields as he sprayed it around. He showed great patience not being overly aggressive as he spoiled pitches on the outer half looking to get something he could drive. Once on base, he also showed that his speed is an asset as he stole bases with ease.

Young, uncommitted righthanded pitcher Luke Fernandez (2022 Cumming, Ga.) has a large, strong frame with a lot to like. Very projectable. He showed easy, repeatable mechanics as he delivered downhill really utilizing his lower half. With easy velo, he ran his fastball up to 88 mph and then sat in the mid-80s showing plenty more in the tank down the road. Fernandez liked to work off his fastball before showing a big 10-to-5 curveball that showed depth with advanced feel for it. The curveball got plenty of knee buckles and swings-and-misses. He also displayed a gamer mentality on the mound as he was laser focused on every batter.

Pascanel Ferreras (2020 Lawrenceville, Ga.) was one of the best bats of the weekend as he hammered the baseball around the ballpark. He does not carry a large stature, but he can swing it. He showed power in the bat as he drove one deep over the left field fence. He also proved he can go late in the count showing advanced barrel control spraying the baseball to all fields. Saying he is fast-twitch is an understatement with how this young man plays the game. He also proved to be versatile in the field playing all three positions in the infield, outside of catching and first base. Ferreras will be someone to watch for as the draft comes around next year as he caught the eye of many this past weekend.

Georgia Southern commit Jaylen Paden (2020 Lilburn, Ga.) continues to get better and better every time we see him. The righthanded pitcher has a very fast arm as he took the bump during Saturday’s action. He worked downhill going right at hitters with the fastball as it topped out at 92 mph while sitting 89-91 mph throughout his outing. He only threw one inning as he gears up for Jupiter less than two weeks away, facing three batters and tallying three strikeouts.

East Carolina commit Josh Moylan (Stoney Beach, Md.) proved to be the biggest bat during this weekend’s action. With an extra-large frame and mature, physical strength showing, he hammered the baseball from the left side. During the action late on Saturday, he took a fastball ahead in the count and hammered it to center field, a no-doubter as soon as it left the bat. Moylan also proved he could cut it down and barrel up the baseball while behind in the count. He took a changeup over the outer half of the plate and drove it into the left-center gap, proving that his swing no holes while earning event MVP honors.

North Carolina Commit Trey Cooper (2020 Randleman, N.C.) took the mound for the Dirtbags and the lefthanded pitcher impressed, striking out six in four innings. The southpaw hid the baseball well with each pitch looking like a fastball out of hand as he kept the same arm slot and same arm speed. Cooper’s fastball was up to 89 mph showing heaviness with arm-side run, and while his mechanics are a bit raw, he has a fluid, easy arm action with more velocity in the tank down the road.

Playing for the Home Plate Chili Dogs, uncommitted Josh Tate (2022 Fayetteville, Ga.) continued to prove himself as one of the top hitting middle infielders in the state. He has a large frame with a lean build showing room to fill in the future and his athleticism shows in all facets of his game. The righthanded hitter has a smooth, compact swing with a linear swing path attacking the baseball out front with a purpose. He crushed a double deep into the left-center gap and cruised around the bases for a stand-up double. Tate is starting to show signs of a five-tool type player as he has the makeup of a next-level ballplayer already.

Noah Overton (2020 Pikeville, N.C.) is a UNC-Wilmington commited lefthanded pitcher who showed signs of next-level stuff. At times he struggled with mechanical differences, switching up release points and arm angles. However, he worked downhill and was around the zone at all times with a fastball running up to 90 mph showing arm-side run. His slider is a work in progress, but it did show some promising potential.

Izaac Pacheco (2021 Friendswood, Texas) continued to show why he is ranked in The top 10 nationally for his class. The big lefthanded hitter hammered the baseball all weekend with intent to do damage, and in all of his impressive at-bats one stood out. He took a solid pitcher deep into a count fouling off a couple balls before hammering an outer-half fastball the other way over the left fielder’s head to knock in two runs and tie the ballgame up late. His bat is a big-time weapon and he is still young with plenty of more physical gains in the tank.

The No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2020 class, Duke commit Jordan Walker (2020 Stone Mountain, Ga.), came up clutch late in the action on Sunday. He took an outer-half pitch and drove it off the center field wall knocking in a couple runs to help push Team Elite to the championship game.

– Drew Wesolowski

Evan Bilson (2021, Roswell, Ga.) is a 5-foot-7, 150-pound middle infielder and catcher from Blessed Trinity Catholic. Hitting at the top of the order for his club, DRB Elite 16u, Bilson put up excellent numbers earning him a second spot on the top performers list in the Underclass bracket. He had a multi-hit game in each of the three games he played this weekend, including a three-hit performance against AASA 17u National at Brook Run Friday night. Bilson displayed keen ability to use the whole field and has good hand-eye coordination which leads to a lot of hard-hit contact to the gaps. Athleticism is present in everything he does on a baseball field and it helped him make all the plays up the middle with good first-step quickness and sound defensive actions. Bilson’s speed translates to the bases as well, helping him contribute in all phases.

Miles Jackson (2021, Atlanta, Ga.) is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound and strong catcher from Riverwood High School. The backstop for his club, DRB Elite 16u, Jackson was on fire at the plate in the Underclass age division. Jackson, an uber-athletic catcher, ended his three-game weekend set with a .700 batting average, three multi-hit games, a .727 on-base-percentage and three stolen bases. Jackson sets up with a square stance and hands high near his ear. He is very short through the hitting zone with good hand-eye coordination and barrel control. Strength is already present despite only being 16-years old and he translates well to catcher as he works well with his battery-mates and keeps a low and balanced setup. He is a strong receiver and has a steady glove which earned his staff a lot of strikes during both games at Brook Run Friday night.

Dawson Hensley (2021, Murphy, N.C.) is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound, tall, strong and athletically built junior at Murphy High School. Hensley, who pitched and played all over the diamond for his club AASA-2021 Grads this weekend, proved to be a tool-studded athlete with some upside on the diamond. On Friday at Brook Run, Hensley went 2-for-2 with a run scored, a double, triple, walk and an RBI. He also pitched in the game and featured a fastball that reached 83 mph. The North Carolina junior has good size and strength to his current build and is very projectable. Hensley’s offensive production didn’t stop Friday night as he ended the three-game tournament with an average of .571 without hitting a single. When all was said and done, Hensley had three doubles, a triple and four walks, four runs scored and four RBIs.

Donson Morain (2021, Conyers, Ga.) earned the start for his club, Team Elite 2021 White, and got them off to a great start as he fueled their 9-to-1 win at Brook Run Park Friday night. Pitching the game’s entirety in the run-ruled shortened affair, Morain’s final line read five innings, scattering two hits, an earned run, five strikeouts and no walks. He had good rhythm and tempo to his mechanics and used his 6-foot-2, 208-pound frame to really drive down the mound, straight towards the plate. Morain has a clean and smooth arm action and had feel for both his offerings with a fastball registering near 80 mph and a curve with slurve-like break in the mid-60s. He can also produce at the plate as he ended with a .375 average, three singles and four RBI. Very athletic, Morain is only scratching the surface of his potential as he will be a junior in the spring at Young Americans Christian School.

Drew Kennedy (2023, Malvern, Pa.) came into this weekend ranked by Perfect Game as the top first baseman in the state of Pennsylvania, and inside the top 20 nationally in the 2023 class. The lefthanded hitting first baseman stands at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds and is strong and muscular with more room to fill, and plenty of physical projection left to fill out as he is just 14. Through three games, Kennedy had a .556 average, with two singles, two doubles and a home run, which he took way over the net at Milton Pro Player Park during his club’s first contest Friday night. Aside from evident barrel control and raw power, Kennedy moves well for his size both out of the box and on the field and has good actions at first around the bag and receiving the glove.

Another projectable 2023 northeast prospect in Georgia this weekend was Hiro Wyatt (2023, Westport, Conn.). Pitching for his club, Team Elite 2023 Black Saturday morning he performed well at the plate and on the mound. Getting the start, Wyatt used his three-pitch mix of a 80-85 mph fastball with life and run, a 70-71 mph curveball with some depth and a fading changeup in the low-70s. Wyatt pounded the zone and received a lot of swing-and-miss result as he recorded all six outs needed in his outing via the strikeout. At the plate, Wyatt hit .500 this weekend with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs. A versatile athlete, Wyatt proved why he is such a highly touted prospect this weekend as he continues to have an impressive 2019 at Perfect Game events.

Another member of Team Elite 2023 Black that had a nice weekend in Georgia was Pierce Edwards (2023, Seale, Ala.). Edwards came on in relief of Wyatt and went the remaining two innings needed to secure the mercy-ruled victory, allowing just one hit while striking out five. Like his teammate, Edwards used an up-tempo delivery and pounded the zone. Edwards has good control and the start of what is developing command of his 77-78 mph fastball with some run and a mid-60s curveball with some shape and feel. Edwards showed good pitchability as he mixed his repertoire in all counts. He now has 17 punchouts at PG events this year in only eight innings of work. A utility player of sorts, Edwards also hit .500 this weekend with an on-base percentage of .444.

Ryan Westfall (2021, Lawrenceville, Ga.) is a smooth-fielding shortstop with an advanced feel at the plate. Playing this weekend for his club Devine Baseball 17u, Westfall stands at a solid 6-foot-1, 175-pounds with physical strength and some room to fill before reaching physical maturity. At the plate, Westfall demonstrated his keen hand-eye coordination and barrel control while hitting .667 in three games with a home run, three singles and two doubles. He has a quick, compact stroke that stays through the hitting zone a long time and leads to a lot of hard-hit balls. At shortstop, Westfall has clean actions and sound footwork that gets him in good fielding position on a consistent basis to go along with a strong arm.

On Saturday afternoon Georgia commit Jake Poindexter (2021, Chickamauga, Ga.) turned in a great performance as he went the distance allowing a hit and no runs as he struck out 14 on the way to a win, his seventh on the year at PG events. Poindexter was dominant from his first pitch to his last, consistently attacking Team Elite 2022 White with his advanced three-pitch mix. He came at his opponent with a fastball reaching 87 mph, a curveball with heavy break at times and depth in the low 70s and a changeup in the upper-60s with fade and good arm speed. It is evident Poindexter knows how to pitch making him fun to watch battle on the mound.

Evan Saltz (2022, Dacula, Ga.) matched Poindexter pitch-for-pitch through five innings. Saltz used a three-pitch mix of a 77-78 mph fastball, a 66-67 mph curveball and a low-70s changeup to keep eXposure Underclass Black Fall’s roster at bay. Saltz displayed advanced pitchability, control and developing command of his repertoire. He had control of all three pitches and what appeared to be occasional command as he regularly painted the corners moving in and out against both dexterities. Saltz’s performance lowered his season ERA at Perfect Game events this year to 0.60 in 11 innings.

William Hampton (2024, Richmond Hill, Ga.) had an excellent weekend in Georgia as he earned MVP honors at the PG Elite Freshman Championship for his two-way talents. At the plate, Hampton, a lefthanded hitting first baseman, hit .545 in four games, including a 1-for-2 performance with a double, two walks, and three runs scored in the championship game Sunday. Hampton has a very quick swing with strong hands and wrists, and above average hand-eye coordination for his age, having just turned 14. He moves well for his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame and is athletic in all phases of the game. He also received the start for his club in bracket play Sunday morning and went 4 1/3 innings scattering three hits and striking out seven. Hampton’s fastball reached 80 mph with some arm-side run and a mid-60s curveball with feel and some depth.

– Matt Arieta

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