Tournaments | Story | 9/29/2019

Midwest Champs Scout Notes

Nate Schweers         Taylor Weber         Ben Milks        
Photo: Zion Rose (Perfect Game)

Daily Leaders: Midwest Freshman Championship | Midwest Upperclass Championship

WWBA Midwest Freshman Championship

Zion Rose (2023, Chicago, Ill.) continues to show why he is a must-see prospect in the 2023 class, posting a strong weekend at the plate for the Chicago Scouts Association. Rose has an athletic frame that has plenty of room to mature and add more strength, but what really stuck out was his ability to make things happen on the basepaths as well. The freshman from Illinois turned in a triple with ease on Saturday and recorded a couple of stolen bases as well.

At the plate, the Louisville commit has a direct path to contact to go along with elite-level bat speed for the age. Rose finds a way to make consistently hard contact and also shows an advanced feel for the strike zone. Rose shows some impressive power to the opposite field, collecting both a double and triple to the right-center field gap on the weekend. Ranked as the No. 18 player in the 2023 class, Rose is a name to keep an eye on ahead of the WWBA Freshman World Championship in West Palm Beach, Florida less than two weeks from now.

George Wolkow (2024, Downers Grove, Ill.) is a player to keep in the back of your mind as the youngster is already showing signs of what is it come on the diamond. At 6-foot-5, 180-pounds,  Wolkow has plenty of room to fill out and add strength. Wolkow has a fluid and easy swing from the left side of the plate, flashing some present power to the pull side as well as a direct path to the ball. Wolkow controls his body well for his age and could really develop into an elite-level hitter as he continues to mature physically. Expect to hear much more about Wolkow as his career progresses.

After an outstanding performance at the Labor Day Classic, Sam Harris (2023, Urbandale, Iowa) turned in another strong day at the plate on Saturday. Harris showed his power with a pair of home runs, totaling five RBI and four runs scored on the day. Harris has a tall and slender frame, showing quick hands and flashing power that will only continue to improve as he matures physically. Ranked as a Top 1000 player in the 2023 class, Harris has a smooth and fluid swing from the left side and it is just a matter of time before he becomes a constant power threat with the bat.

Pierce Anderson (2023, Johnston, Iowa) continues to climb the ladder when it comes to velocity on the mound, running his heavy fastball up to 83 mph on Friday night. Anderson pitched at 79-81 mph in his relief appearance and also showed feel to spin a developing breaking ball in the low-70s. Anderson has a physical frame for the age with already some present strength and size. Ranked as a high follow in the 2023 class, Anderson is showing signs of projection on the mound.

JT Kelenic (2023, Waukesha, Wis.) had a strong day at the plate on Saturday, collecting a pair of hits that included a double and two RBI. Kelenic has some present athleticism in the frame and moves well and controls his tall and slender frame. Kelenic has a direct path to contact and clear approach at the plate, and the power should continue to improve with added strength. Kelenic has the raw tools to build off of for now, with more consistent bat-to-ball skills being an area for improvement.

Dillon Head (2023, Glenwood, Ill.) was a bright spot near the top of the order for Chicago Scouts Association in both pool play and playoff action, showing off some pull-side power as well as elite-level speed. Head collected a pair of triples and a double on the weekend and does a great job of getting the hands extended and driving the ball out front to the pull side. Head has some present athleticism in the frame and his speed makes him an impact player both on the basepaths and covering ground in the outfield. Expect big things from Head moving forward, particularly at the WWBA Freshman World Championship in a couple of weeks.

Dylan Questad (2023, Waterford, Wis.) turned in an excellent start on Saturday, propelling the GRB Rays 15u MKE to a victory and playoff berth. Questad tossed six strong innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 11 batters. The righthander has some present strength in the frame, showing some athleticism with a repeatable delivery down the mound. Questad challenged hitters with a fastball up to 80 mph on Saturday and also showed feel to spin a curveball in the upper-60s. Throughout the outing Questad’s ability to take something off at times and land a cutter with late life in the zone at 75 mph was impressive.

Owen Duffy (2023, Orland Park, Ill.) had a strong tournament through the quarterfinal round, collecting five hits that included a double and four RBI through the three games. Duffy has a young frame with some present strength in the lower half, and flashes bat speed that is excellent at times. A primary outfielder, Duffy is solid defensively and is a good bat to have in the middle of any lineup. The freshman’s bat-to-ball skills and sound approach at the plate make him a solid player in the middle of the order.

Jeremy Comer (2023, Overland Park, Kan.) caught my eye late on Saturday night, showing some things on the mound to really like. Comer has a young frame with plenty of room to fill out at 6-foot-3, 160-pounds, and uses his length well on the mound to create some deception and pitch down in the zone. Comer has a clean arm path from a high three-quarters slot, running the lively fastball up to 80 mph. Comer has a low-effort delivery, repeating the mechanics well and creating good linear direction down the mound.

Shea Wendt (2023, Blair, Neb.) closed out a quarterfinal victory for the Nebraska Prospects 2023 Scout on Sunday, striking out one and allowing no hits in a clean seventh inning of work. Wendt ran the fastball up to 81 mph on Sunday, pitching at 79-80 mph and showing developing feel to spin a curveball in the mid-60s. Wendt has an athletic frame that has room to add strength and fill out, and he repeats his mechanics well with clean and easy mechanics down the mound. Wendt has the building blocks of a solid pitcher, and it will be exciting to see how he progresses during his high school career.

– Nate Schweers

PG Elite Midwest Upperclass Championship

The strong righty Mason Behn (2022, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) continued his impressive fall on Saturday. Behn worked a complete game seven-inning shutout while only allowing two hits and striking out nine batters. Behn features an athletic delivery down the mound with good arm speed from a mid three-quarters slot. Mason showed a two-pitch mix thrown for consistent strikes including a fastball up to 83 mph with heavy life through the zone and a 11-to-5 breaking ball with good depth in the mid- to upper-60s.

Cedar Rapids Prairie High School teammates Caden Stoffer (2021, Fairfax, Iowa) and Jackson Nove (2021, Fairfax, Iowa) combined to toss a solid game for Iowa Select 2021 Rath on Saturday.

Getting the start on the mound was Stoffer, an Iowa commit, who worked the first four innings of the contest while only allowing three hits and striking out eight batters. The long, lanky righty features a fastball with a steep downhill plane up to 86 mph complemented with a sharp 10-to-4 breaking ball creating swing-and-miss at 74 mph.

Coming on in relief for Stoffer was Nove. While working the final three innings Nove was able to scatter five hits while allowing two unearned runs and striking out nine hitters. The uncommitted lefty features a long, athletic delivery with good extension at release. Nove features a two-pitch mix including a fastball with late arm-side run up to 82 mph and a 1-to-7 breaking ball with good feel for the zone keeping hitters off balance consistently at 74 mph.

Continuing his impressive fall at the plate this weekend was Andrue Henry (2020, Dubuque, Iowa) The strong righty showed a high intent swing looking to send the ball to and through the gaps in the outfield. Henry showed the present power in his game on Saturday collecting two loud doubles through the pull-side gap. Henry also showed good bat control this weekend sitting back on a curveball and taking it the other way for an RBI single.

Gregory Ryun (2020, Victoria, Minn.) was impressive on the mound for Team Wooten Hit Dawgs on Friday. Ryun worked five innings in the contest allowing no hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters. Ryun features a three-pitch mix including a fastball with good feel for the zone creating early, soft contact up to 82 mph complemented with a 10-to-4 curveball up to 67 mph and a late-fading mid-70s changeup that kept hitters consistently off balance.

– Ben Milks

Iowa Select 2021 Rath started the 2019 PG Elite Midwest Upperclass Championship with a huge win off the performance from a solid prospect in 2021 righthanded pitcher Owen Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Puk has a very projectable 6-foot-4 frame with room to add strength to his already ultra-athletic build. He works through a fluid delivery with repeatable actions and into a quick arm action. He generates solid life on the fastball down in the zone topping out at 84 mph. He locates the breaking ball easily in the upper-60s as well. Puk needed just four innings to grab the win allowing a run on two hits and striking out five hitters. Puk also performed well at the plate working a 1-for-2 night with a double and an RBI.

Puk’s teammate Bryce Phelps (Denver, Iowa) was also very good in the game. Phelps is yet another top Iowa prospect among the talented 2021 group and he made a strong statement as to why over the weekend. In two games Phelps really drove the ball well working through a simple line drive plane and creating contact with ease. His hands are quick through the zone and is able to get the barrel out in front. He ended the weekend with four hits in seven at-bats, including a double in game one on Friday night.

Gage Franck (Marion, Iowa) was also a top performer for the Iowa Select 2021 team and yet a third top prospect in the state. Franck is a very high contact-oriented hitter with a short and compact barrel path. He is able to manipulate the barrel out in front of the plate. He went 3-for-3 in the first game with a couple of singles and a long triple. He drove in two runs and scored two himself. He would add another hit and two walks throughout the rest of the tournament, reaching base six out of nine trips.

The Stiks 17/18 grabbed a first game victory with a score of 8-0 and nobody was better in the game than Grant Ross (Pewaukee, Wis.). At just 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, Ross has some room to grow but he’s already talented on the mound. He has a slender build but stays smooth and uses his mechanics to get down the mound and generate arm speeding running the ball up to 85 mph with some jump out of the hand. He locates the pitch well on the edges of the plate and gets after hitters early in the count. Where he’s able to get a leg up on the hitter is with how well he hides the ball and creates slight crossfire action without having to work across his body too much. Ross allowed no runs in five innings and racked up six strikeouts. He was also a part of the offense as he had two hits and drove in two runs.

Prospect Training Academy 17u Cardinal made quick work in their two games of the pool play going 2-0 to start the weekend. Their first baseman, Jason Brulport (Kenosha, Wis.), was very impressive in a couple of looks at the plate. His frame stands out at 220-pounds with a strong build. He’s able to utilize it well with a quick hip and lower half into contact and a leveraged swing path. He generates lift when barreling the ball and has the power to drive it to the gaps. He had a couple of doubles in the tournament and ended with a .444 batting average.

Iowa Select 2020 Nordgren/Brune was a favorite heading into the weekend and they didn’t disappoint making it all the way to the championship game on Sunday. Reece Beuter (Cedar Falls, Iowa) took the mound for them on Saturday and was needed for just three innings, but the Kirkwood commit was very dominant in that time. His fastball was near untouchable as he works it in the upper-80s, topping out at 89 with hard life through the zone. His breaking ball shows potential to be an outstanding option for him with late and sharp depth to it while disguising that it’s coming. In the three innings he worked he gave up no hits and struck out five batters.

Alec Patino (Sioux City, Iowa) couldn’t be stopped for the Iowa Select 2020 team. He had multiple hits in the first three games of the tournament with five singles, a double and a triple. Though he drove in just a single run, he was very impactful when getting on base. He’s quick and athletic with a high baseball IQ. He takes extra bags and runs the bases as well as anyone his age, scoring eight runs. At the plate, the Iowa Western Community College commit is just as smart and is a very tough out. His quick hands and fast reactions allow him to sit on pitches and adjust as needed. His barrel is fast through the zone and he has a ton of present jump off the barrel.

– Taylor Weber

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