Tournaments | Story | 10/6/2019

World Round Robin Scout Notes

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Blaze Jordan (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA World Championship Round Robin: Daily Leaders

PG All-American Blaze Jordan (2020, Southaven, Miss.) had an outstanding day at the plate on Saturday, going 6-for-7 over two games, including a triple off the top of the left-center field fence and a long, pulled home run to left field. His best at-bat of the day, however, may have been his final one when the opposition decided to put on a pro-style shift with three infielders to the left of second base. Jordan very calmly, and seemingly with intent, lined the first pitch – a 90 mph fastball – cleanly to right field for a single. He had a number of other at-bats over the weekend when, after fouling off a couple of pitches to get behind in the count, shortened his swing up and lined the ball to the opposite field.

The event’s other PG All-American, third baseman Cayden Wallace (2020, Greenbriar, Ark.), wasn’t as loud as Jordan but still had himself an outstanding event and looks very ready to have a big Jupiter. Wallace hit .556, including a triple, drove in five runs and stole three bases, with a couple of his outs coming on deep towering fly balls that he just missed squaring up. Wallace’s defense at third base was flawless, especially his combination of plus raw arm strength and accuracy, and he even closed out one Rawlings Arkansas Prospects’ games, pumping 90-91 fastballs over barrels.

Rawlings Arkansas Prospects outfielder Houston King (2020, Cabot, Ark.) has been one of the most effective leadoff hitters on the WWBA circuit this summer, as the Kentucky commit’s slashing lefthanded bat and 6.5 speed has consistently set the table for his team. Along with hitting .455 over four games, King showed a new wrinkle in his game, lining a pair of triples up the game with some carry and distance to them.

The pitching line for William “Pico” Kohn (2021, Verbena, Ala.) wasn’t pretty on Saturday, but from a scouting perspective everything was just fine, as bad luck and shaky defense doesn’t factor into a pitcher’s evaluation. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Mississippi State commit has an outstanding young pitcher’s body and easy, low effort pitching mechanics to go with a high three-quarters to over-the-top arm slot that creates big downhill angle to the plate. Kohn worked in the 86-90 mph range but his best pitch was a mid- to upper-70s power curveball that was sharp and big. Kohn had an outstanding summer on the mound at 16u PG tournaments, including striking out 24 hitters in 11 innings in two starts at the 16u WWBA National Championship while only allowing four hits.

Kohn’s Dulin’s Dodgers teammate Trent Hodgdon (2021, Smiths Station, Ala.) had much the same raw stuff as Kohn but from the right side with a strong 6-foot-2, 190-pound build. A primary third baseman in 2018, Hodgdon worked in the upper-80s consistently, topping out at 90 mph, with a pretty straight fastball that lefthanded hitters timed up pretty well. His power curveball, up to 78 mph, on the other hand, was a next-level out-pitch with serious tightness and bite to it. The West Virginia commit also commanded the curveball very well and picked up many of his six strikeouts in three innings with the pitch.

Lefthanded pitcher and first baseman Dylan Carmouche (2020, Denham Springs, La.) is a high-level two-way prospect who will likely play on both sides of the ball should he reach Mississippi State. After watching Carmouche play at the Perfect Game National Showcase this summer and at other events, this scout was leaning to the 6-foot-5, 210-pound lefthanded hitter as a primary position prospect. But after watching him breeze through three near perfect innings with seven strikeouts Saturday, that might not be the case anymore. Carmouche worked consistently in the upper-80s with a lively fastball that he threw to spots on both sides of the plate. His low-70s curveball lacked ideal power but it had big downer depth from Carmouche’s high arm slot and was dropping into the strike zone the entire outing.

Righthander Jacob Cravey (2020, Andulusia, Ala.) is a seriously big and physical young man at 6-foot-6, 210-pounds, with a build that looks bigger than that. He got off to a bit of a slow start working out of the bullpen but began bending his back more and getting his pitches down in the strike zone and was dominant after that. The Samford commit worked in the 88-92 mph range with significant cutting action when down in the zone that really made the pitch difficult for righthanded hitters to put a barrel on. Cravey’s curveball improved throughout his outing as well and could develop into a solid second pitch.

Tulane commit righthander Turner Thompson (2020, Tampa, Fla.) of the East Coast Sox threw two solid innings late Saturday to close out an East Coast Sox win, working at a steady 89-91 mph with his fastball to go with a hard upper-70s slurvy breaking ball that had some power and tightness. While Thompson has displayed top shelf raw stuff all summer at WWBA and BCS events, command has been a consistent problem for the strongly build 6-foot righthander. But that wasn’t the case this outing, as Thompson threw 64 percent strikes and didn’t issue a walk.

Another talented young East Coast Sox arm that battled some command problems this summer is lefthander Maddux Bruns (2021, Saraland, Ala.). Bruns’ raw stuff is at the level that in another two years he could find himself on MLB draft boards with improved fastball command. The strongly build 6-foot-1 southpaw works from an over-the-top arm slot with severe downhill angle to his pitches. He has two very nice secondary pitches in a downer curveball and a fading changeup that he throws for strikes, but there’s a bit of added effort and front-side speed at release on his fastball that leaves his fast left arm late and the pitch often up to the arm side. When Bruns is in the zone he’s very difficult to hit, as he struck out hitters for five of his six outs in two innings.

Dual position prospect Campbell Cleveland (2020, Auburn, Ala.) of North East Baseball looked to be the top uncommitted senior at the event. Although Cleveland was up to 90 mph on the mound with a quick and compact catcher’s arm action, he still has some work to do with his mechanics and control, and at this point in time profiles better as a strong-armed backstop.. A mature 6-foot-2, 200-pound athlete, Cleveland’s bat has always performed at a high level at WWBA events and this weekend was no exception. He has lots of power to the middle of the field and pull side and is a patient hitter who will take a walk. He slammed a pair of doubles, one of them to deepest center field, on Sunday to highlight his power potential.

BigStix Gamers Joey Pourron (2020, McDonough, Ga.), a righthanded pitcher and outfielder, is another uncommitted senior with next-level tools and skills. A slender 6-foot-3, 175-pound athlete with plenty of room to get stronger, Pourron struck out 10 hitters in 4 2/3 innings in his start, working in the mid-80s with his fastball and picking up many of his strikeouts on a big breaking curveball. Notably, it was his second double figure strikeout game in WWBA play in 2019. Pourron also hit .500, the fourth tournament he’s hit over .400 at this year, with three doubles and a triple to highlight his gap power.

Pourron’s BigStix teammate Jack Davis (2020, Lilburn, Ga.) had an outstanding event at the plate, going 6-for-13 (.615) with a pair of doubles and five stolen bases. Davis, who is committed to North Georgia, is a long, low-waisted 6-foot-4, 178-pound athlete who runs a 6.8 60-yard dash. While he is a primary catcher, he has the athleticism to play all over the field and would seem best suited for a utility roll in the future.

Outfielder and lefthanded pitcher Hudson Sapp (2020, Dawsonville, Ga.) of the East Coast Sox has been named to an incredible 25 All-Tournament teams during his Perfect Game career, which if it isn’t a record is certainly well above average. He’s a burly, mature and strong 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete who plays with an intense edge that probably grates a bit on opponents in tandem with his ability to hit line drives, draw walks and steal bases on the field. In addition to his ability as a position player, Sapp also works in the upper-80s with a sharp power slider on the mound. He’s committed to Mississippi and it’s easy to see him being an immediate contributor to the Ole Miss program, probably hitting at the top of the order.

Shortstop and righthanded pitcher Lane Forsythe (2020, Hombolt, Tenn.) is essentially a righthanded shortstop version of Sapp. Along with playing shortstop and hitting in the No. 2 spot in front of Blaze Jordan in the Dulin’s Dodgers lineup, Forsythe closed out three of the four games on the mound, picking up two saves in the process while throwing in the upper-80s with a good 73 mph curveball. Forsyth is a full speed type of player like Sapp, and two of his five hits on the weekend were ground balls that he beat out by busting out of the box and running 4.28 to 4.33 from the right side. The Mississippi State commit also forced a throwing error when a shortstop rushed a throw after one of his infield hits.

Outfielder Kyle Booker (2020, Southaven, Miss.) has to be one of the top center fielder’s in the 2020 class. The Tennessee commit is a quick-twitch athlete who gets very good jumps on fly balls and is a 6.6 runner underway. He also threw 94 mph from the outfield at the PG National Showcase last June and got to put that arm on display on Sunday, throwing behind a baserunner at first base after making a running catch in shallow right-center field. It appeared to be one of those “why throw the ball, you have no chance” plays, but Booker’s laser throw just missed getting the runner on a bang-bang play.

East Coast Sox lefthander Carson Knight (2020, Muscle Shoals, Ala.) has only thrown eight innings at WWBA events this summer and fall but they’ve been outstanding, as the 6-foot-2, 190-pound UAB commit has struck out 16 hitters and only allowed two walks. He threw two perfect innings in only 28 pitches on Sunday, working in the upper-80s with a deep mid-70s breaking ball and consistently hitting his spots to both sides of the plate. His delivery is smooth and clean with a loose arm from an over-the-top arm slot that creates big angle to the plate.

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