Tournaments | Story | 9/29/2019

Sophomore World Day 2 Notes

Vincent Cervino         Greg Gerard         Jered Goodwin         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Evan Dobias (Perfect Game)

WWBA Sophomore World Championship: Daily Leaders | Day 1 Scout Notes

Starting out the morning over at Dunbar High School was the Cangelosi Sparks and starting pitcher Julius Sanchez (2022, Lasalle, Ill.) who is committed to Illinois. The righthander has a lot of solid foundational elements of a successful arm with the present stuff, delivery and strike throwing which all bode well moving forward for Sanchez. The righthander pounded the strike zone with his fastball that sat mostly in the 81-83 mph range and topped out at 84 mph on the morning while showing the ability to work to both sides of the plate with the pitch. Sanchez’ arm stroke is free and easy with good direction to the delivery and his ability to replicate his motion aids in his ability to command his offerings. The breaking ball showed good shape and he could land the pitch where he wanted nicely while also flashing feel for a changeup. With three pitches for strikes, and the other mechanical elements that are positive factors, as he continues to uptick in stuff he’ll continue to show well against good competition.

Showing some intriguing tools during their doubleheader Saturday morning Jared Davis (2022, Orlando, Fla.) has a lot of positives to the profile for an athletic shortstop as there’s a lot of present quick-twitch athleticism and wiry strength to the frame. He ran a 6.75 second 60-yard dash at a recent showcase, and showed it with a sub 4.00-second time to first base on a bunt attempt. The athleticism and speed bode well out of the leadoff spot for Davis and he can also swing the stick showing the ability to lag the barrel with good bat speed when he gets the barrel out in front of the plate. Davis showed a good feel for doing so with multiple well-squared balls to the pull side including a double in the first game and another hard-struck barrel in the game. There are good tools and athleticism offensively while the twitch is going to give him a chance on defense regardless of where he plays.

Turning in a strong performance on the mound for the Hitters was righthander Mitch Voit (2022, Bayside, Wis.) who showed intriguing stuff en route to three shutout innings. Voit isn’t overly imposing on the mound, listed at 5-foot-11 and 170-pounds, but is a fairly good athlete with long limbs and there’s still significant projection remaining on the build. The delivery is compact with good drive and balance throughout, and while the arm action has some length to the overall stroke, there’s still looseness, whip and arm speed to project upon moving forward. The fastball was impressive on Saturday as the pitch worked in the 82-86 mph range throughout the start with very good life and sinking action on the pitch. He also showed the ability to miss bats with the pitch especially when elevated. He also showed a breaking ball, although only a handful of times, as Voit mostly attacked with his fastball to garner weak contact and empty swings. Voit has some upside and there are a lot of things to like moving forward.

One of the top righthanded pitching prospects in the class, Evan Dobias (2022, Sunrise, Fla.), turned in a very sharp outing in what looks to be a tuneup start before bracket play starts on Sunday. The physical righthander was very sharp in his outing, needing just 23 pitches to get through two innings while punching out three hitters in the process. The Virginia commit seems to get better each time he steps on the hill and that certainly was the case after his start on Saturday afternoon. The breaking ball showed excellent power along with Dobias being able to manipulate shape to both garner whiffs and to land for strikes. He also showed feel for a couple of changeups while showing his advanced pitchability: throwing multiple breaking balls, pitching backwards and landing all of his pitches for strikes. Dobias showed excellent stuff to go along with the overall projection and at this point looks the part of one of the top pitching prospects in the class.

Dobias’ catcher Santiago Ordonez (2022, Coconut Creek, Fla.) had a very strong day on both sides of the ball, showing advanced catch-and-throw traits to go along with serious strength in the batter’s box. Ordonez is a strongly built 5-foot-9, 180-pounds with advanced well-proportioned strength throughout the build that aids him on both sides of the ball. He receives the ball well while having a well-balanced and solid base behind the dish. The catch-and-throw skills were on full display too as he popped a 2.21-second time to second from his knees on an absolutely money throw to nail a runner heading down to the bag. He collected a triple in the second game along with numerous other barrels as he really drives forward with his hips to impact the ball out in front with leverage. Ordonez has a lot of desirable traits on both sides of the ball and is a very solid catching prospect at this juncture.

One of the younger players in this event is Florida Burn Platinum 2022 leadoff man Michael Perazza (2023, Naples, Fla.) as his lefthanded swing combined with his athleticism makes him an intriguing and high ceiling prospect for the class. The 6-foot-1, 155-pound lefthanded hitter is a very good athlete with a lean, projectable frame with significant room to fill out and add strength. He has a smooth, lefthanded swing in the box with some buggy whip to his hands and the ability to generate an extremely loose, lofted stroke throughout the hitting zone. There are some inconsistencies with his hips and the consistency of the stroke, but the swing itself offers significant projection moving forward. Perazza runs well too, registering times in the 4.4-second range out of the box that should only improve as he gets stronger and more filled out.

In his first PG event of the year on the mound, Dan Snyder (2022, Erie, Pa.) closed out the victory for the Tri State 2022 Scout Team and showed off a lively right arm in the process. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound righthander has a loose, whippy arm stroke and a very physically projectable frame with long limbs and broad shoulders. The arm speed is significant, and though the operation can get a bit disconnected at times, it allows him to run his fastball into the 84-87 mph range where he sat for a little over two innings. The fastball gets good life and he flashed a couple of curveballs in warmups that showed potential. Snyder came right at hitters and attacked them with fastballs and the frame combined with the arm speed portend significant future velocity.

Another righthander who looks the part of a young prospect who will be throwing very hard, Brandon Adams (2022, Orange Park, Fla.) had a gritty performance and shows a lot of things to like. The righthander is eminently projectable with a lanky listed frame of 6-foot-2 and 170-pounds. Adams has a lot of room to hold strength and he’s able to generate significant plane on the fastball, which topped out at 86 mph, as he whipped the arm stroke through the arm circle on time. Adams made his fair share of big-time pitches during his time on the mound and mixed in quite a few effective sharp breaking balls. The curveball shows very good shape and depth in the low-70s and functions well as a swing-and-miss type of offering. He’ll be one to monitor going forward as it looks as though Adams will be throwing very hard very soon.

– Vinnie Cervino

Edian Espinal (2022, Viera, Fla.) is a very smooth shortstop who bats at the top of the Florida Hurricanes lineup. Espinal, an uncommitted middle infielder, had a nice day at the plate in the first game of his team’s tripleheader, collecting a pair of hits and barreling each of them. Espinal swings a compact lefthanded stroke with a notable barrel feel in this game. His hands up the middle along with his clean footwork working through the ball standout in a big way. He makes all plays look easy and his throws have carry across the diamond.

Oscar Hernandez (2023, Kissimmee, Fla.) is a physical monster who has a very smooth righthanded swing. The primary first baseman has really intriguing power potential when on time to the point of contact. Hernandez’s first at-bat in the event went for a hard, line drive single up the middle that left the barrel with an impressive exit velocity. The uncommitted 2023 graduate has a confident approach as he steps into the box and looks to impact the ball with his present strength. He generates good bat speed through the swing plane and the ball really jumps off of his barrel. Hernandez is a future power threat in the box.

Noted in the Day 1 scout notes, Jayden Hylton (2022, Basking Ridge, N.J.) repeated his outstanding physical projection at the plate with a double to the opposite field gap and a double to left field that hit the wall on the fly. Listed at 6-foot-5, the lean outfielder oozes projection throughout his game. The uncommitted prospect moves well to balls in the outfield and was able to display a loose arm action on his throws as well. At the plate, the ball just simply comes off of his bat differently. He is able to get the bat head out in front with ease and spray the ball to all parts of the field with outstanding jump. Hylton has a longer swing plane with a feel for the barrel and plenty more power potential to his game.

Chris Maldonado (2022, Short Hills, N.J.) had a big day at the plate on Saturday displaying lots of bat speed to his swing and a consistent ability to hit the ball on the barrel of the bat. All three of Maldonado’s singles were hit hard on a line to the pull side. His hands work well to the ball with quickness and loose wrists. He gets the bat head out in front to meet the ball and uses his hips well to generate the outstanding bat speed he is able to produce. The shortstop is a verbal commitment to Clemson, and after getting on base with his singles, he showed good instincts on the basepaths taking an extra bag on defensive miscues. He also displayed a feel for the position at shortstop with clean hands up the middle and plenty of quick-twitch actions to his footwork.

Lots of heat piled into JetBlue Field 1 to see the start for righthander James Hays (2023, Hawkinsville, Ga.). The 6-foot-1 righty from South Georgia oozes projection both from his frame as well as with his delivery. The velocity comes really easy as he already reaches 86 mph with his fastball from a clean arm action and effortless delivery. He mixes in a good curveball in the low-70s that he can land for strikes especially to the arm side of the plate and he flashes a straight changeup as well. Hays was a participant of the PG 14u National Showcase this past August where he has now seen a three mph increase in his velocity in under a two-month span. Hays gets downhill and releases out in front well. His command did become spotty at times as he did walk three batters in his four innings of work, but he did miss bats with his fastball and curveball primarily and showcased outstanding promise to his craft on the bump in front of SEC and ACC recruiters.

Riley Jackson (2023, Melbourne, Fla.) was another high-level hitter that was highlighted in the Day 1 scout notes who continued to have a really impressive day in this look. Jackson, a top 20-ranked player in the class of 2023, has impressive bat speed for his age and when he connects the ball jumps off of his barrel. Jackson connected on a pair of very loud and hard base hits in his team’s victory on Saturday afternoon. The 2019 PG 14u Select Festival participant steps into the box with a plenty of confidence looking to impact the baseball with strength and power. He is a bit of a free swinger, but when on time and under control there are not many other hitters in the 2023 class with as much juice and bat speed.

One of the youngest players in the event as far as graduation year is concerned is Wake Forest commit Jeter Polledo (2024, Hialeah, Fla.). Polledo showed a really nice feel to his all-around game, jumping on an 83 mph fastball and barreling it over the center fielder’s head to lead off his Genesis team’s game on Saturday. The righthanded hitting catcher has plenty of flexibility and shows plenty of athleticism to potentially play the outfield as well. Polledo has had a really nice tournament so far batting .600 with hits in each of his team’s games. The righthanded swing is quick with a line drive plane and extension through contact. He met the ball out in front on his double to the center of the field and has projectable power with added strength to his young 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame.

AJ Gracia (2023, Monroe, N.J.) pitched a really nice game for the Tri-State Arsenal Scout Team 2023 on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd of heat. The Duke commit threw lots of strikes with a fastball-curveball combination repeating his delivery well and repeatedly hiding the baseball well through the back of the throwing circle. Gracia has low-80s velocity with a clean arm and delivery combined with a sweeping curveball that projects well with proper refinement and continued maturity. The southpaw mixes speeds keeping hitters off balance and does a nice job of getting down the mound and pounding the lower third of the strike zone. The body projects on top of that and with added strength the velocity is going to continue to climb.

– Greg Gerard

Dodgers Scout Team brought some heat in their morning session. William Ross (2022 Winter Garden, Fla.) toed the rubber and is an intimidating presence at 6-foot-7 with long limbs that help create extra extension out front. The righthanded pitcher is pretty athletic and repeats his delivery well, staying back over the rubber and using a quick shoulder the get jump out of the hand. His fastball sat in the mid-80s, peaking at 86 with some arm-side run when down in the zone. He effectively mixed an 11-to-5 breaking ball with good shape and got some swing-and-miss. He located the pitch to the glove side well and it will continue to improve with added hand speed. The Florida commit flashed a changeup that shows good promise, matching his release of the fastball, with a little late sink. The process is clean and the upside is obvious.

Fighting for the pool in the first set of games on Saturday morning, the FTB Rockets won a tight game to advance to bracket play. Austin Fawley (2022 Boynton Beach, Fla.), Drake Flowers (2022 Jupiter, Fla.)and Matthew Davis (2023 Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) showed high prospect potential during the intense contest.

Fawley is a real prospect behind the plate. He has strong wrists and does a good job anticipating while receiving pitches. He is athletic for the position and made a great play on a swinging bunt, breaking out of his crouch and ranging to the third base side, then barehanding the ball and throwing to beat a speedy runner. His arm is strong, accurate and has carry. The righthanded hitter has a compact swing with lots of barrel speed and looks to do damage. He hammered two hits and just missed on another swing that carried to the left field warning track. The uncommitted backstop is well rounded and has impact potential at the next level.

Flowers is an uber projectable righthanded pitcher at 6-foot-4 and 178-pounds as the projection is immense. He stays tall while keeping his tempo and showed the ability to throw to both sides of the plate. The righty peaked at 86 and the ball took off enough that it seemed like more at times. His breaking ball is developing, though he threw it without fear. It will develop nicely as the reps continue. Uncommitted at the moment, Flowers is ultra-competitive and will be a force as he physically matures.

Davis was the youngest player in the Rockets lineup but you wouldn’t know by the eye test. He is physical, confident and explosive. At 6-foot-2 and 190-pounds he is not the typical prospect that just entered his freshman year. It is not all brute strength though as Davis is athletic and runs well for a big-bodied guy. The righthanded hitter makes good adjustments during swings without slowing his barrel and shows good feel for the barrel. He had two hits in the contest including a hard double down the left field line on a mid-80s fastball. This youngster will need to be followed very closely.

Hunter Russell (2022 Jacksonville, Fla.) and Sal Stewart (2022 Miami, Fla.) are tough to get through hitting in the four- and five-hole in the 5 Star Burress lineup. Both are physically imposing and have the ability to hit for average and power.

Russell is a 6-foot-3 lefthanded hitter with long limbs that allow good extension. He covers the plate well and the ball jumps off the barrel when squared. The Miami commit lets the ball travel and uses a whippy bottom hand that allows him to attack the ball late with authority. He took an outer half pitch and struck a hard, line drive single up the middle, simply taking what the pitcher gave him. The wiry hitter showed good strike zone discipline and advanced barrel skills.

Stewart is an extra strong righthanded hitter that is still growing into his frame. He has a swing that lags through the zone getting good barrel speed while impacting the ball. When he gets out front, as he did Saturday, the ball flies off the barrel with authority. He turned on a ball and drove a double to the pull side in his first at-bat to start the scoring. He plays with passion and it shows in all parts of his game. The Vanderbilt commit has a very high ceiling and will continue to develop his overall game.

Power Baseball 2022 continues to roll out players with high ceilings. Ben Barrett (2022 Orlando, Fla.) looks the part and has a spring of athleticism to his body. He has a very quick arm and the ball comes clean out of his hand with an extra level of pop toward the plate. The righthanded pitcher touched 86 many times and will make big natural jumps as the body matures. He has a natural ability to spin the baseball, getting some bad swing-and-miss when he got to his glove side. When he adds strength the ability to repeat will do him very well. There is a lot to like in the Florida State commit and could make noise heading into next spring during the high school season.

The Ostingers 2022 lineup is dynamic, with multiple weapons that could show up at any time. Ethan Petry (2022 Land O’ Lakes, Fla.) could very well end up being one of the biggest power threats in the state as he fills out. Broad shouldered and high-waisted, he oozes projection. His bat speed is vast and the barrel stays in the zone for a long time. The South Florida commit whips his bat with bad intentions at anything that he feels he can drive. On Saturday, he showed the ability to shorten up with two strikes and use the field, driving balls hard the other way. He hit two balls well to right field and will develop in a big way if he maintains this approach.

FTB Tucci 2022 punched their ticket to bracket play with two wins on Saturday. Chandler Dorsey (2022 Lakeland, Fla.) was good on the mound using a mid-80s fastball that he kept down in the zone throughout his outing. He has a whippy arm that fires through late and creates deception. The righthanded pitcher tunneled it well with a downer breaking ball that created problems for opposing hitters. He got soft contact and bad swing-and-miss throughout. At 6-foot-4 he will continue an upward trend with his stuff and he already shows the ability to pitch, which plays now.

Dorsey’s teammate, and four-hole hitter Deamez Ross (2022 Melbourne, Fla.) has a compact frame that generates lots of bat speed when unloading on pitches. He hammered a couple singles Saturday to help FTB advance. The lefthanded hitter has power when he creates space but does not sell out to do it. A good runner, the Florida State commit uses his speed to steal bases and take extra bases when he can. He also shows good ability on defense with closing speed to the gaps and a strong arm with accruacy. There is some explosiveness to his game that will make him fun to watch the next couple years.

Jamie Arnold (2022 Tampa, Fla.) drew one of the bigger crowds from college recruiters on Saturday. With the crowd on hand, Arnold did not disappoint from a stuff or performance standpoint. The Top Tier Roos American 2022 lefthanded pitcher lived in the mid-80s and topped at 87. He has a hip turn that allows him to hide the ball well, using an extended three-quarters release to create a very tough angle for opposing hitters. He relied mostly on the fastball but did mix a breaker that swept through the zone, using a matching release point. The uncommitted pitcher has length to his frame and the immediate impact will continue to grow as he physically matures. There was some grit shown as he worked through some tough spots which only adds to the bell he rung during the outing, which allowed his team to advance to bracket play.

– Jered Goodwin

Making a loud impression so far in his first career Perfect Game event has been lefthanded hitting outfielder Caleb Crain (Forest City, N.C.). Crain made it evident from the jump that he has the ability to hit a high level with an outstanding offensive projection. At every bit of 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, he is well built with athleticism throughout and still plenty of room to fill. At the plate, the operation is very simple and controlled as he gets the bat head out front regularly, showing an advanced level of barrel control with a ton of strength at contact. There is plenty of bat speed there and the maturity in the approach creates plenty of success as he hunts pitches he can barrel out front. With a 3-for-3 performance, Crain barreled the ball all over the field with a hard single through the back side before turning the hands inside and driving a stand-up triple to the pull-side fence. The most impressive piece of hitting came as he got out on the front foot and flicked the barrel through, driving a would be extra-base hit just short of the center field fence, but settling for a sac fly as the center fielder made an excellent play. He runs quite well for the size and physicality of the frame and should easily stick at either of the corner outfield positions moving forward.

Hitting one spot ahead of Crain in the talented Canes American lineup was athletic first baseman Cameron Burgess (2022, Southport, N.C.). At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Burgess is also a physical hitter with plenty of offensive projection as he hits from the right side. The swing is a bit more loose, but the wrists are strong and he has good feel for handling the barrel head and creating strong contact from all parts of the zone. There is still some rawness overall to the swing that comes with the youth, but the upside is very high here for a prospect whose athleticism plays way better than that of your typical first baseman.

Former Virginia commit, and now uncommitted, Bradley Gagen (2022, Ashburn, Va.) put together a sound performance on the mound tossing just over three innings, allowing just a pair of hits and walk while striking out six. The 6-foot-1, 155-pound lefthander has plenty of athleticism in the delivery at present with obvious projection as he continues to fill into the frame. He worked with a high-tempo delivery and a quick arm through a true three-quarters slot that generated some running life at times to the fastball up to 83 mph. The feel to land the breaking ball is still developing, but he flashed good shape and bite with it in the low-70s.

University of Florida commit Kyle Larsen (2022, Sanford, Fla.) came in to pick up the last two outs needed for a mercy-rule shortened win, using just nine pitches to put forth another loud outing. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound righthander is physically advanced with tremendous arm talent producing a fastball at 90-92 mph in this brief outing with plenty of riding life and late arm-side run. Larsen works an electric three-pitch mix with strong feel to spin a mid-70s curveball with 11-to-5 shape and a hard fading low-80s changeup. The stuff plays at an elite level now, but the projection is sky-high as he firms up his frame.

– Tyler Russo

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