Tournaments | Story | 10/11/2019

Jupiter Day 1 Scout Notes

Brian Sakowski      Vincent Cervino      Jered Goodwin      Connor Spencer      Jerry Miller      Jheremy Brown      Nate Schweers      Drew Wesolowski      Andrew Jenkins      Greg Gerard      Tyler Russo     
Photo: Ryan Hagenow (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA World Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders

Ryan Hagenow (2020, Knoxville, Tenn.) has enjoyed a loud summer, from the PG National in June throughout the circuit and throwing well wherever he played as he is squarely on the high draft radar heading into 2020. He was good against the MLB Breakthrough Series team on Thursday, though he ended up taking the loss in a hard-fought pitcher’s duel. A long, lean, tremendously projectable righthander, Hagenow’s profile checks so many boxes for scouts and it’s going to be exciting to see what he looks like in the spring after a winter of training. He ran his fastball up to 93 mph a handful of times, sitting in the 88-92 mph range for the duration of his 60-pitch outing, pounding the strike zone downhill with excellent angle and solid average life on the pitch.

The slider has been the weapon throughout the summer, with some inconsistency of the action pitch-to-pitch, but often sitting in the solid average range at 80-83 mph, with his best ones showing 55 (on the 20-80 scale). The pitch is tunneled really well out of his hand, staying on fastball plane for a good amount of time before biting down to the glove side, with two-plane snap that misses bats. It’s going to be a plus pitch for him long-term. The changeup is also a solid pitch right now, though it’s the third pitch of his arsenal, thrown in a similar velocity band as the slider with good tumbling action and arm speed, though he will occasionally drop his arm slot to throw the pitch. The makings of a high draft arm are here, as shown all summer, and Hagenow will be a priority look for scouts in Tennessee in the spring.

Miles Garrett (2020, Stone Mountain, Ga.) picked up the win for the Breakthrough club opposite Hagenow, going five scoreless innings allowing just three baserunners and punching out seven. A medium-framed, athletic righthander, Garrett is committed to Vanderbilt. He has some funk and effort to his operation though the delivery is deceptive, and despite the funk, he throws a lot of strikes, pounding the zone at a 62 percent clip in this one. The fastball ran up to 92 mph early on, showing good horizonal life through the zone via arm-side run and flashing the ability to work north-south with the pitch as well. The breaking ball is slurvier in shape, but he does show the ability to spin the ball, mostly in the mid-70s with some bigger breakers landed for strikes, and others sharper yet that dive out of the zone and can elicit swings-and-misses over the top of it. He also flashed a changeup with good fading action to it, though it’s not on the same level of command as his fastball and breaking ball, though that isn’t uncommon for young pitchers.

Team Louisiana got off to a 1-0 start by taking down FTB Tucci 2020 by a score of 3-1. Hayden Durke (2020, Abbeville, La.) got the start for Team Louisiana, and while it was a briefer start, he flashed high-end stuff and missed a good number of bats. Committed to Louisiana, Durke is a big, burly, physical righthander with excellent physical strength already at a young age. He ran his fastball up to 95 mph early, grabbing a few 94s as well before sitting 89-93 mph for the duration. He has a fair bit of deception, hiding the ball well through a compact, inline arm stroke, getting up to a higher slot and releasing from very near his head, allowing the fastball to jump at hitters and working successfully north-south. The curveball is thrown from the same slot with the same intent, thrown firmly in the low-80s with 11-to-5 shape and plenty of power to the depth, burying it down and out of the zone and getting whiff after whiff over the top of it.

Brody Drost (2020, Sulphur, La.) is committed to LSU and has the makings of a potentially high-end two-way prospect, though he just hit in this one. A lefthanded hitter with a compact, direct stroke, Drost has shown the ability to hit at a high level for a while now, and he picked up two more hits and a walk in this game. His first knock was a missile of a single, pulled on a line through the four-hole at 103 mph off the bat with extremely quick hands through the zone and high-level barrel control highlighting the swing. He’s strong with and physical with lots to like about the offensive profile, and he could potentially see time there in the middle of the order as an outfielder as well as on the mound, where he could start or relieve.

Mikey Tepper (2020, Fort Mill, S.C.) has had a good summer, including a commitment to Mississippi State, and he’s elevated himself into one of the highest follows in the prep class in the Carolinas. A long, lean righthander with broad shoulders and excellent projection, Tepper possesses substantial upside, though the current product is loud in its own right. He came out running the fastball up to 93 mph, extending well through release and creating excellent angle to the plate, with the arm speed and physical projecting both portending to a potential even-further velocity jump. He throws a fair bit of strikes, with more control over command at this point, though that’s to be expected from a young arm, and he has the mechanical profile that projects to solid average command long-term. The curveball has consistently come along as well, thrown mostly in the 77-82 mph range with 11-to-5 shape and plenty of depth. There are some inconsistencies to the action of the pitch, but the best ones are solid average with plenty of bite and depth, projecting well as a bat-misser at the next level as he continues to gain feel for it.

Rawlings Arkansas Prospects took the win over the On Deck O’s with Jack Dougherty (2020, Collierville, Tenn.) throwing well in his start. Dougherty is a large, physical righthander committed to Ole Miss, with a good combination of present strength and projection. He ran his fastball up to 90 mph with flashes of good, darting arm-side life that pairs well with a changeup that he turns over well, generating good tumbling action in the same direction. He lands the breaking ball for strikes as well, and while there are some mechanical things that will need to be ironed out, he looks the part of a future durable, innings-eating starting pitcher in the SEC.

Over in the stadium late Thursday night, Team Citius 2020 National and Nelson Baseball School locked into a pitcher’s duel, ending in a 1-1 tie. Marco Raya (2020, Laredo, Texas) got the ball for Team Citius and showed his usual electric stuff, highlighted by better-than-plus arm speed that projects extremely well for continued velocity gains. A Texas Tech commit, Raya has impressed scouts all season with that electric right arm, and he was very good again in this one, punching out nine over 4 1/3 innings, allowing just the one run. The fastball was up to 94 mph early on, settling into the 90-93 mph range throughout, and while the pitch is rather flat when up in the zone, it has some sink to it when down and rides up and in when thrown above the letters. The slider is a power pitch as well, thrown in the low-80s with excellent tilt and bat-missing bite, and he showed the ability to land a softer curveball for strikes as well. He has a chance for premium stuff at Texas Tech and we’re looking forward to seeing him continue to develop.

Max DeJong (2020, Powder Springs, Ga.) was very good on the other side, matching Raya pitch-for-pitch and not allowing a hit for his four innings, striking out seven. A good-sized righthander committed to Georgia, DeJong pounds the zone with quality stuff and really competes in the zone. He ran his fastball up to 91 mph early on and settled into the 86-90 mph range, working downhill and throwing a lot of strikes with it. The curveball has developed nicely, throwing it firmer and firmer over the course of the summer, developing it into the mid-70s pitch we saw last night. It has big 11-to-5 shape with good depth and it comes out of the same slot as his fastball, landed for strikes consistently with the ability to miss bats with it as well.

– Brian Sakowski

Big arms normally highlight the first day of Jupiter and the 2019 WWBA World Championship was no exception. No arm was bigger, from a literal standpoint, than Jake Berry (2020, Great Falls, Va.), who stands at an immense 6-foot-10 and 230-pounds. The Virginia commit was very good in a little over three innings, showing a lot of positive traits that will translate nicely to the next level. Berry has a fairly simple delivery featuring a high leg lift, easy release and excellent extension metrics that stand out a significant amount. The southpaw generates around 7.5 feet of extension toward the target, allowing his stuff to play up a ton as the fastball that worked mostly 87-90 mph looked like it was coming in the mid-90s and missing a ton of bats against opposing hitters. The spin was good with downer shape and good depth as the pitch will firm up with added strength while Berry also unveiled a short slider in the 79-81 mph range that gave him another weapon in the arsenal. This was a strong look at Berry who will undoubtedly be a priority to track down in the spring for scouts in the Mid-Atlantic.

Cannon Pickell (2020, Moyock, N.C.) got the start for the Canes during their exhibition on Thursday morning and he lit up the radar gun early as he ran his fastball up to 94 mph during his two innings of work. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect has well-balanced size with present physicality and Pickell was solid over two frames, striking out three hitters while allowing no runs on the morning. There is length to his arm stroke, but he made up for that with the present arm speed and whip to the arm action that is impressive and also portends velocity growth in the future. The North Carolina commit has some feel for spin with a breaker in the mid-70s that he can land nicely for strikes though Pickell mostly attacked with fastballs in this look. We’ll likely see Pickell again at some point throughout the weekend and he’ll certainly be of interest next spring especially considering he’ll be well under 18-years old on draft day.

Canes shortstop Colby Halter (2020, Jacksonville, Fla.) is coming off a very loud summer from an offensive perspective as he impressed at every stop on the summer circuit. The Florida commit’s biggest draw from a draft perspective is the offensive profile coupled with the consistency of his contact. He’s very active in the box, keeping his hands and feet moving slightly throughout the stance through the load where he gets his hands in a good launch position to generate violence and whip throughout motion. The swing path is smooth, with loft to the stroke and plenty of bat speed generated as Halter does a really nice job at getting the barrel head out in front and driving through contact with his hips. The impact is notable for Halter as though he only recorded one hit on the day he was barreling the ball constantly and with exit velocities 95-plus mph. Halter will be a must-follow all week for scouts and the bat was loud on Thursday.

Getting the start on the mound for the East Coast Sox was righthander Charez Butcher (2020, Kokomo, Ind.) and the 59th-ranked prospect in the class certainly checks a lot of boxes that evaluators look for with a big frame, big velocity and athleticism throughout. The Tennessee commit stands at an eminently projectable 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame with a smooth, fluid delivery and extended release with his pitches and doing so with very little effort. The arm is loose and quick and Butcher sat 90-95 mph with his fastball during this start and when he was on time the whole operation looked pretty much how one would draw it up. He battled through some command inconsistencies early on – Butcher walked three hitters in his two innings on the mound – but impressed when he was working within the strike zone. His breaking ball has made progress over the last calendar year with a breaking ball in the upper-70s that showed good shape and will improve as it firms up with release. The ceiling is incredibly high for Butcher and there’s a lot of room to the profile for continued strides.

Butcher’s teammate and PG All-American Slade Wilks (2020, Columbia, Miss.) is one of the louder lefthanded hitters in the class with immense physicality, violent bat speed and a strength/power combination that rivals most others in the class. At a listed 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Wilks is one of the stronger prospects in the class and is able to generate such controlled violence through the stroke that allows the Southern Miss commit to put up big exit velocities on a near-consistent basis. With one of the louder hits of the day, Wilks grabbed a fastball that couldn’t be higher than his ankles and absolutely smoked the pitch with an exit velocity of 101 mph that carried and carried all the way to the top of the wall out in center field. Wilks, who hustled for a triple on the play, hit the ball so hard that it wasn’t even that majestic of a shot as it looked about 10 feet off the ground throughout flight. The power and strength coupled with his offensive impact is notable and Wilks could be in store for a big week.

The upset of the day came at the hands of Dylan Garner (2020, Concord, Ga.) and the Home Plate Chili Dogs as the Kennesaw State commit turned in a strong start to help Home Plate upset the Canes in the first round of pool play games on Thursday. Garner didn’t have his best stuff but still ran his fastball up to 89 mph and competed against a tough lineup. The arm stroke is fairly repeatable with a full arm action through the back and he’ll show some good life on a fastball that worked in the upper-80s. Garner has a short, tight slider in the upper-70s that he’ll land for strikes while also showing good feel with extended release on a changeup in the low-80s. He has three impressive pitches with advanced physicality and certainly provided the foundation for a terrific game.

The San Diego Padres Scout Team rolled out some impressive arms during their opening day 11-1 victory as Collin Bosley-Smith (2020, Washington, D.C.) and Storm Hierholzer (2020, Austin, Texas) were both impressive on the bump and showed intrigue from a draft perspective.

Bosley-Smith, a Duke commit, has excellent size at a listed 6-foot-4, 200-pounds with a lot of room on the frame to add strength and additional physicality. The arm stroke is loose and Bosley-Smith has an easy release with his pitches that included a fastball that he worked in the 88-91 mph range. He has a very clean release with not much effort wasted on the mound and everything about the body, operation and motion suggests that he’ll continue to make strides from a profile perspective as he develops strength and physicality. His slider flashed very good potential on the day, working in the 76-79 mph range and projecting to be a solid average pitch at maturity. The pitch will show two-plane action to the path while Bosley-Smith was adept at tucking the slider underneath the hands of lefthanded hitters.

Hierholzer, a TCU commit, checks a lot of boxes from a raw stuff perspective with a long, whippy arm stroke and very high spin rates on all of his pitches. The length to the arm stroke can lead to some inconsistencies from a command perspective, but Hierholzer worked his fastball to both sides of the plate and showed very good life running down and to the arm side; the heater worked around 2400 RPM in terms of spin rate. The pitch sat in the 88-92 mph range and looks like it’s going to generate a ton of weak ground ball contact at the next level thanks to the quality of the fastball. Hierholzer can land fading changeups in the upper-70s while he also showed a very tight-spinning breaking ball with RPMs around 2700 in the upper-70s that he used sparingly but shows all the makings of a wipeout offering in the future. The stuff is certainly there for Hierholzer and his consistency of strikes will be what scouts will be looking for out of him next spring.

One of the more well-pitched games of the day came between Ostingers’ Cole Stallings (2020, Lithia, Fla.) and Padres Scout Team/ECB’s Andrew Armstrong (2020, Buford, Ga.) as both starters were very impressive and pitched a combined 0-0 shutout to open their pool.

Stallings, a Stetson commit, is a big, physical righthanded pitching prospect and was both efficient and effective as he went 4 2/3 innings while allowing no runs and pounding the strike zone. Listed at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Stallings is a broad-shouldered, projectable pitching prospect and utilizes a short, quick arm stroke to get on top and downhill as he littered the zone with fastballs. The pitch topped out at 89 mph and lived in the 86-89 mph range as he showed the ability to miss bats with the pitch particularly at the top of the strike zone. Stallings really set hitters up nicely with the fastball and his breaking ball was of the put-away variety, working in the 74-76 mph range with downer shape and a lot of depth to the pitch. His two pitches were working perfectly in this one, and as a prospect who will still be 17 on draft day, there’s intriguing tools to work with.

Armstrong, a Florida State commit, is a classic low-slot lefty with tremendous pitchability, feel and stuff to make all three of his pitches look similar and avoid barrels very well. Armstrong pounded the zone to the tune of 65 percent strikes along with no walks over 5 1/3 innings and there’s so much room on his frame to add strength as he’s very slender at a listed 6-foot-2, 150-pounds. The arm action is free and easy and he gets good life on his fastball that peaked at 87 mph and sat around 83-86 mph for the duration of the evening, working the pitch to both sides of the plate and generating pretty good angle too. All three pitches come from a similar tunnel as he’ll sink his changeup well to righthanded hitters and really manipulate his spin well, adding and subtracting from his slider to both land the pitch and bury it low for whiffs. There’s a lot to like from a pure pitching perspective, and while the stuff is impressive, it’s only going to continue to tick upwards given his physical projection.

One of the bigger lefthanded hitting prospects in the class, Josh Moylan (2020, Stoney Beach, Md.) had a very good day at the dish, notching two hits in the Dirtbags’ exhibition and then garnering three more barrels in the first pool play game for the team. The East Carolina commit is a physical lefthanded power hitter with big raw power and uncanny barrel ability to match that prodigious raw power. Moylan has such a balanced, easy stroke at the dish that generates plenty of bat speed with a naturally smooth and lofted barrel plane to lift the ball and create impact at the point of contact. With a big leg lift he’ll really drive the ball hard into the air with backspin and truly uses the whole field with some impact. Moylan isn’t any less comfortable against lefthanded hitters as he can tuck his hands in and still create violence with two strikes to drive the ball back up the middle. He checks a lot of boxes from a professional prospect perspective as Moylan is a polished lefthanded hitter with the power upside to bank on.

One of the louder performances of the nightcap came from Astros Scout Team starter Nelson Berkwich (2020, Boca Raton, Fla.) who was absolutely electric during his two innings on the bump. The Vanderbilt commit is one of the more accomplished strike throwers in the class and showed his patented excellent command in a two-inning stint that saw him strike out five of six batters faced on only 23 pitches. There’s not a ton of physical projection remaining on the frame, but that doesn’t particularly matter at this point as Berkwich’s stuff is plenty good right now. He pounded the zone with his fastball sitting at 88-90 mph throughout the start with excellent life and pinpoint command of the pitch. Berkwich worked in and out, north and south, while getting a good amount of empty hacks on the pitch too. The slider was a tight pitch in the upper-70s to go along with a firm changeup at around 80 mph while all three pitches were tunneled out of a similar slot. There’s similarities between Berkwich and former PG All-American Logan Allen as both fit the mold of accomplished command lefties with a true three-pitch mix and Berkwich looks like he’ll have success at whatever level is next for the southpaw.

One of the twitchiest and exciting players in the class is Astros Scout Team center fielder Enrique A. Bradfield Jr. (2020, Hialeah, Fla.) as the Vanderbilt commit put his full tools on display during the nightcap. Bradfield notched two hits on the evening, the first of which was an infield single and the second was a well-struck, slashed ground ball past a diving third baseman. What was notable about those two hits is just how fast Bradfield gets down the line as he showed some 80-grade speed while turning the burners on all night. On the infield single, Bradfield absolutely flew down the line as scouts had to triple check that their 3.9 second time to first was correct; he also turned a 4.19 second time on the second single that he almost extended into a double. That blazing speed is not only his biggest tool but his biggest weapon as well, swiping bags left and right on Thursday night and aiding his defensive skills in center field. Bradfield has good feel for getting the barrel out and his ability to put the ball in play and allow his speed to take hold makes for some exciting baseball.

An intriguing uncommitted arm to close the night out was Sandlot’s Augustus Gray Harrison (2020, Austin, Texas) who came on in relief to showcase a pretty impressive two-pitch mix. There’s projection to the frame at a lean 6-foot-1, 170-pounds while the arm works well and he hides the ball nicely. Harrison worked 89-91 mph with his fastball over a two-inning stint, and though the fastball command wasn’t pristine, it worked well to set up his breaking ball which was a very good pitch on the evening. The breaking ball was firm in the 76-78 mph range with excellent spin and bite with TrackMan registering around 2900 RPM. The breaker really snapped down and off the table and his ability to spin coupled with the present velocity makes him a fascinating uncommitted arm at this stage.

– Vinnie Cerivno

A Perfect Game All-American in August, righthander George Klassen (2020, Port Washington, Wis.) came out of the bullpen for the Reds Midwest Scout Team and attracted quite the throng of pro scouts. Klassen, a long-limbed Minnesota commit who stands at a projectable 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, worked a quick and clean two innings, showing the same electric stuff he had all summer while still offering plenty of upside.

Klassen opened up his two-inning stint with a fastball that sat in the 91-93 mph range and showed more of the same in the second inning, generating some hard, sinking life down in the zone. Though his arm action is long through the backside, the arm speed is significant and more important was his ability to maintain his life while working to the arm side, something he did frequently and with success. There is some drop-and-drive to his lower half delivery, though it didn’t inhibit him in this look, either in filling the zone or maintaining his arsenal out of the stretch as he lived very comfortably at 92 mph. In such a quick look Klassen worked primarily off of his fastball, though he did mix a couple of hard, late-biting sliders with spin in the 2400-2500 RPM spin rate range while bumping 81 mph with the pitch.

Max Wagner (2020, Green Bay, Wis.) put together a nice day for the Reds in their opening pool play, finding a few barrels while showing his overall strength. A primary third baseman who is committed to Clemson, Wagner looks the part of a power-hitting prospect at the hot corner at 6-foot, 195-pounds and swung it as such, twice squaring up the baseball for loud contact. In his second at-bat of the game Wagner got the barrel out front and showed his strength, hitting a hard fly ball into a head wind that looked destined for extra bases off the bat only to ultimately fall into the center fielder’s glove. His next at-bat he didn’t have to worry about the ball being caught as he stayed shorter to the ball and drove it to the opposite field for a two-base knock, displaying plenty of strength to his hands and whip through the point of contact. It wasn’t only about the offense for Wagner however as he also made a nice play defensively at third base on a slow roller which he picked and transfered in one motion while delivering an accurate strike across the diamond.

Tyler Chadwick (2020, Marshall, Wis.) got the start for the Reds Midwest Scout Team, and though his final line doesn’t jump as he battled some command issues, there’s no doubting the upside with the West Virginia commit. Standing at a physical 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, when Chadwick’s delivery was on time he was able to power the baseball downhill, sitting in the 90-94 mph range early on and did so with relative low effort out of his hand. He was able to elicit some swing-and-miss on the fastball as he settled in and also began landing his breaking ball for strikes up to 80 mph with short bite, helping him strike out five over his three innings of work.

– Jheremy Brown

Western Carolina commit Gavin Mortenson (2020, Summerfield, N.C.) impressed early with his steady approach at the plate for the On Deck O’s. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Northwest Guilford senior uses a balanced, quiet approach at the dish and a short, quick swing path to drive the ball with authority from gap-to-gap.

The Upstate Mavs are traditionally one of the most fundamentally sound clubs to make the trip to Jupiter. This year is no exception. They are led on the diamond by their very gifted catcher Fernando Amaro (2020, Cidra, Puerto Rico). The rock-solid backstop is very smooth behind the plate as his soft hands allow him to catch-and-throw with the best catchers present. He calls an advanced game, keeping his pitchers locked in and his defense on their toes. His vocal leadership is obvious and his enthusiasm is palpable.

Devin Boone (2020, Warwick, N.Y.) is the slick-fielding, strong armed shortstop for the Northeast Pride Scout Team. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Marist commit shows consistent first-step quickness and a keen ability to make plays in either direction. He possesses a quick trigger and all his throws show plus carry and accuracy.

The Northeast Pride’s second sacker is Cooperstown Central HS junior Christopher Ubner (2021, Fly Creek, N.Y.). The 5-foot-8, 170-pound middle infielder is not only a very capable defender he also is one of the offensive sparkplugs for the very deep and talented Beach Lake, Pa.-based club. Ubner has a great feel for the barrel and uses the middle of the field to drive the ball from gap-to-gap. He also is a plus runner who uses his well above average speed to aggressively force the action.

UConn commit and Poly Prep Country Day senior Bryan Padilla (2020, Brooklyn, N.Y.) is a gifted righthanded swinger who can power the baseball to all parts of the ballpark. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound athletically built Padilla has a quiet approach and a short, quick swing path that incorporates a solid lower half. He also shows consistently sound bat-to-ball ability.

Putting on a hitting display in early action was Coastal Carolina commit Derek Bender (2021, Latham N.Y.). The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior at The Albany Academy is a quick-twitch power swinger with a slugger’s mindset. He drove two balls deep to left field – one for a double off the fence and one well out of the park – in his first two ABs of the day. He clears his hips, keeps his bat on plane and finishes each swing with a slugger’s lift. His bat-to-ball ability is advanced and is highlighted by his outstanding pitch recognition skills.

Jupiter always sees unique situations arise that seemingly put smiles on the faces of even the most hardcore baseball scouts and coaches. One of those situations arose Thursday morning on Cardinals 3. Brothers Jacob Cozart (2021, High Point N.C.) and Samuel Cozart (2025, High Point, N.C.) formed one of the most unique batteries seen in Jupiter, maybe ever.

The eldest brother, Jacob, is a very talented catcher for the South Charlotte Panthers 2020. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Wesleyan Christian Academy junior, who is headed to North Carolina State for his college ball, shows consistently well above average ability as a receiver. He is smooth and easy in and with his setup and shows great footwork in getting his throws off to second base. He has a quick trigger and plus arm strength. All his throws show carry and accuracy.

His “baby” brother, Samuel, stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 210 pounds. And, astonishingly, Samuel is only 13-years old. He doesn’t yet have a high school because he is only in the eighth grade. His poise and pure pitching ability only tell part of this amazing story. He consistently pitched off his power 84-86 mph fastball using advanced, repeatable mechanics. His fastball showed consistent arm-side run and he mixed in a solid 73-77 mph slider that was sharp and had late depth at the dish.

The Stars Baseball Club based in Manassas, Va. trotted power tossing righthander Travis Luensmann (2020, Altoona, Pa.) out to the hill to open pool play. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound South Carolina commit was outstanding in his four innings of work. His almost overpowering fastball sat between 89-91 mph and touched 93 more than once. He complemented his active heater with two plus secondary pitches. His sharp, 11-to-5 breaking slider, that sat in the 76-78 mph range, was almost unhittable. His changeup, which was clocked between 80-85 mph, showed plus tumble at the dish and was unfairly thrown out of the same window as his plus fastball.

Team Indiana righthander Ty Johnson (2020, Indianapolis, Ind.) was truly impressive as he helped lead his club to a first-round victory. The angular, 6-foot-6, 200-pound Ball State commit dominated, pitching off his plus fastball that sat between 88-92 mph and showed consistent riding life. His 12-to-6 sharp-breaking curveball at 73-75 mph showed big depth at the dish and was a tough swing-and-miss pitch to righthanded hitters. His plus changeup, that was thrown out of the same window with the same arm action as his fastball, was clocked routinely between 83-85 mph.

Howell, N.J.-based Baseball U brought a fundamentally sound, gritty bunch south to play in this year’s WWBA World Championship. Their pitching is deep and talented and their batting order shows few holes. Rutgers commit Ryan Lasko (2020, Jackson, N.J.), a senior at Jackson Memorial HS, is a gifted outfielder and an advanced righthanded hitter. He uses a flatter path and has a great feel for the barrel. His three-hit day was highlighted by two ringing doubles and four RBI.

University of Virginia commit David Coppedge (North Chesterfield, Va.) hits in the middle of the deep Baseball U lineup and his ability with the bat is very apparent and will certainly play well for the tradition-bound Cavaliers. The power-swinging righty uses a solid lower half and a short, quick swing path to drive the ball with authority to all parts of the field. His keen eye and outstanding pitch recognition skills allow him to see pitches deep in the zone and get his barrel to and through the hitting zone.

VMI commit Alex LaRou (2020, Moseley, Va.), was sterling in his outing for Baseball U. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound, Cosby HS senior, pitched off his active riding 87-90 mph fastball that showed consistent arm-side run.  He complimented his plus heater with a 12-to-6 tight-spinning curveball that was clocked at 68 mph. His mechanics were sound and he repeated them well, hiding the ball behind his large frame. His ability to pitch effectively up in the zone forced a lot of poor swings-and-misses by his opponents.

– Jerry Miller

Before pool play kicked off at the 2019 WWBA World Championship scouts had the opportunity to get an extended look at some budding international talent for the Miami Miracles International. The Miracles’ day started with batting practice and finished with an exhibition game against PG Navy Select.

From his first swings in batting practice, 15-year old and 2020 eligible international outfielder Enmanuel Estrella (2022, Dominican Republic) drew attention as a can’t-miss prospect over the next nine months. Estrella showed outstanding gap-to-gap jump over three stellar rounds of batting practice, and the raw power and physical frame translated well in game action as well.

Estrella, who is finishing his WWBA World Championship with St. Louis Pirates Baseball Development, finished Thursday’s exhibition game 4-for-4 at the plate with three loud doubles and a triple to the opposite gap. Estrella showcases impressive bat speed as well as a direct and strong path to contact. At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, Estrella truly has power to all fields, recording extra-base hits to the pull side, opposite gap and straight-away center field on Thursday.

Another member of the Miami Miracles International on Thursday was budding shortstop Joendry Vargas (Dominican Republic). Vargas has a high-contact approach at the plate with easy bat-to-ball skills that play to all fields. At just 13-years old, Vargas impressed most with his advanced defensive actions for his age. While the strength will come as the frame matures, Vargas plays through the ball well and makes strong throws both from his position and coming in on the run.

Offensively, Vargas was able to tally a single the opposite way on Thursday, sitting back and adjusting before showing some good barrel control to hit the ball hard down the left field line. Vargas has a long way to go at the plate, but the initial looks give reason to believe he could develop into a really solid player in the future.

On the mound, the Miracles International got things started with projectable lefthander Johan Simón (Dominican Republic). Currently age-eligible as an international sign, Simon attacked hitters with a lively fastball at 87-90 mph. The fastball had flashes of some late run to the arm side at times, and the southpaw was able to create steep, downward plane with good extension over the front side when on time. At 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, Simón repeats his mechanics well with a clean arm path from a high three-quarters slot. Simón has developing feel to spin a slider that had late depth at times, and the mid-70s breaker complemented the fastball well throughout his three innings of work.

Ricardo Acosta (Dominican Republic) was the other standout arm for the Miracles on Thursday. Eligible to sign in July of 2020, Acosta attacked hitters with the fastball at 87-90 mph, topping at 91 and locating well at the knees from an over-the-top slot. Acosta used the fastball-curveball combination well on Thursday, showcasing feel to spin the 12-to-6 breaking ball at 76-77 mph. With plenty of room to fill out the long and athletic frame, expect Acosta to continue climbing the ladder and developing into quite the righthander in the future.

Moving over to Thursday’s pool play, one player that stood out was Tennessee commit Ryan Spikes (2021, Lilburn, Ga.). Spikes finished the contest 2-for-3, highlighted by a loud triple to the opposite gap in right-center field in his first trip to the plate. Spikes has present bat speed at the plate with strong hands and a direct path to contact, and he is currently ranked as the No. 41 player in the 2021 class as a whole. The primary shortstop impacts the ball with authority, swinging with intent to drive the baseball at all times. Hitting at the top of the MVP order, Spikes can continue to provide both a burst of speed and solid contact out of the leadoff spot as the weekend continues.

For the DBacks Langley Blaze, a pair of middle-of-the-order type hitters had strong days in the pool play victory. In his second trip to the plate, left fielder Kala'i Rosario (2020, Papaikou, Hawaii) put together one of the loudest swings on Thursday, driving a ball deep over the wall at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium for a towering grand slam. Rosario swings to impact the ball when in plus-counts, and his raw power is something that should certainly excite scouts that were in attendance. A California Baptist commit, Rosario also showed the ability to adjust with two strikes and delivered a well-struck, run-scoring ball the opposite way.

The second DBacks hitter to really impress offensively on Thursday was Louisville commit Will Cook (2021, Miamisburg, Ohio). Cook showcased an easy swing from the left side of the plate, getting the hands extended and hooking a ball toward the corner in right field. With projection in the 6-foot-5, 190-pound frame, the corner infielder should develop more pull-side power as the frame continues to mature physically. Cook already has the smooth swing and some present barrel feel and it will be exciting to see what then skillset looks like at this time next year.

The mound outing of Kentucky commit Austin Strickland (Winchester, Ohio) was impressive. Strickland made some big pitches over his 2 1/3 innings of work, running the fastball up to 91 mph and pitching in the 88-90 range while flashing some late arm-side run at times. Strickland has some present athleticism in the 6-foot-2 frame, and showed some good feel to spin a slider with sweeping action across the zone at 74-77 mph. Strickland gets his natural life to the fastball from his three-quarters slot, and the fastball-slider combination will only be more frustrating for hitters as the righthander develops more command of both edges of the plate.

Noah Burkey (2020, Poplar Bluff, Mo.) was lights out in his one-inning relief appearance on Thursday, allowing no hits and striking out two to keep his team in the game in the later innings. Burkey has clean and repeatable mechanics from an over-the-top slot, though he loses some leverage at times with a big flex before driving down the mound. Burkey sat 87-89 mph with the fastball on Thursday, touching 90 on one occasion. A Missouri State commit, Burkey showed developing feel for a low-70s breaking ball and also impressed with a late-fading changeup that was really tough on righthanded hitters. At 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, Burkey has plenty of room to fill out and add strength in the frame and he should be an interesting name to follow leading up to the spring.

– Nate Schweers

UNC Charlotte commit Alexander Gus Hughes (2020 Greensboro, N.C.) entered the game Friday morning out of the bullpen before going three scoreless innings. The stocky-built righthanded pitcher flashed easy velocity running his fastball up to 92 mph at times early in his outing before settling in at 87-90 mph. Hughes utilized a good three-pitch mix as he worked off his fastball before breaking out his 12-to-6 hook. His changeup showed signs of feel at times but seems to be a work in progress at the moment. His mature mound presence also proved to be a positive quality.

Fordham commit TJ Wachter (2021 Shoreham, N.Y.) flashed a big bat with a very projectable frame as mature strength is already present for the young man. The righthanded hitter proved he could spray the baseball around the park as he showed great barrel control. He utilized quiet hands and a short, quick cut to barrel up baseballs often. During the action, he got ahead in the count and tee’d off on a fastball as he drove it over the center fielder for a loud double. In a later at-bat, he fought off multiple pitches before taking an outer-half off-speed pitch and drove it to right field for a single. He will be someone to keep an eye on as he has a bright future ahead of him.

North Florida commit Shawn Guilliams (2020 Belleview, Fla.) had a very interesting showing on Thursday. The righthanded pitcher showed signs of command issues early as he looked to find his groove, and although he only threw one inning, he flashed signs of big-time movement with both of his pitches. His fastball sat 87-91 mph while he complimented the heater with a 10-to-5 hook in the upper-70s. What was most shocking about his pitches was that they both averaged over 2,600 RPM per Trackman. This was proven during his outing as opposing hitters found it tough to barrel up. He eventually went on to find command and showed big-time potential in his inning of work. Keep a close look on Guilliams as improved command will make him extremely difficult to square up.

UCF commit Vince Bonanni (2020 Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) showcased a long, lean frame with some room to fill down the road. The righthanded pitcher showed a fluid arm action with more in the tank as Bonanni ran his fastball up to 92 mph, sitting in the upper-80s during his inning of relief. The heater also proved to be heavy on bats as he gave up no hard contact and got in on the hands of opposing batters. His off-speed arsenal consisted of sharp, sweeping slider in the low-80s and a changeup. Look for him to make a big jump velocity-wise as he adds physical strength down the road.

Washington State commit Duke Brotherton (2020 Mercer Island, Wash.) made one of the longest hauls to Jupiter, at least mile-wise, as he entered the game from the bullpen and got straight to work. The righthanded pitcher showcased an average frame but his stuff was nothing near average. He flashed a very fast arm as he pounded the lower half of the zone with his fastball, sitting 90-93 mph. He mixed in a nasty 10-to-5 slurvy-type curveball with tight spin as it showed depth in the mid-70s. He also went to a changeup every so often to keep hitters off balance. He gave up no hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six batters during his outing. While showing simple, repeatable mechanics, Brotherton proved to have much more in the tank down the road which makes him a very interesting follow in the future as well as potential second outing here in Jupiter.

– Drew Wesolowski

Coming off a very impressive showing during the PG South Top Prospect Games at Texas A&M, Creed Willems (2021, Aledo, Texas) continued to show why he is one of the top uncommitted catchers in the state of Texas in the morning slot. Willems is a big and strong lefthanded hitting catcher who is very athletic behind the plate and shows to have present power to all fields with major pop to his pull side. He showed off that power by connecting with a hard double down the line in his first plate appearance that came off the bat at a very high exit velocity. This uncommitted prospect has shown that he has the tools to play at the next level and will only keep impressing college recruiters over the next two years at Aledo High School.

Oklahoma State commit Francisco Hernandez (2020, Laredo, Texas) came out of the bullpen for Stix Baseball 2020 and was dominant during his 3 2/3 innings. The tall and lean-framed righthander has room to fill out at 6-foot-5, which should add more zip to his fastball that is already consistently in the 87-90 mph range. He had a simple delivery and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot with good action. Filling up the strike zone with a three-pitch mix, Hernandez did a good job of keeping hitters  guessing by punching out six and allowing three scattered hits during outing.

South Carolina commit Cade Austin (2020, Chapin, S.C.) was on the hill for Upstate Mavericks ST and only allowed two hits while giving up two runs and fanning seven batters in 4 1/3 innings of work. Austin worked his fastball in the 87-91 mph range from a high three-quarters arm slot an created good downhill plane with some arm-side run. He was able to locate his slider to both sides of the plate during his outing and complement that with a circle change to keep hitters off balance. Austin will look to make an impact once he becomes a part of the Gamecocks pitching staff.

Texas Tech commit Brendan Girton (2020, Gage, Okla.) only faced four hitters for Texas Rangers Scout Team due to being held to a pitch count but was lights out in his performance. Living mainly off his fastball that averaged in the low-90s and topped out at 96 mph, Girton proved to be one of the top arms in the state of Oklahoma and should impact the pitching staff quickly once he arrives on campus in Lubbock.

Catcher and Baylor commit Jd Gregson (2020, Frisco, Texas) has a large, physical frame, strong lower half and a projectable body. His strength and leverage generate raw power and he displays solid bat speed. He is an advanced receiver, moves well behind the plate and has a good, accurate arm while logging a 1.97 pop time with the ability to throw from his knees when needed. With slight fixes to his offensive approach, Gregson looks to be a great addition for the Baylor Bears.

– Andrew Jenkins

A physical righthander committed to South Carolina, Cade Austin (2020, Chapin, S.C.) opened up Jupiter for the Upstate Mavericks sitting 87-90 mph while touching 91 mph a pair of times. Austin has a very strong build at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds with an athletic delivery. He works online to the plate with an online arm action. The fastball showed plenty of sinking action to it while getting on hitters quickly with his solid extension out in front. The changeup was the go-to secondary for the South Carolina commit and the curveball also has potential. Austin’s 76-77 mph changeup shows similar sinking life to his fastball and he did a really nice job of working the strike zone with his stuff, punching out seven batters in his 4 1/3 innings of work allowing just two hits and a walk.

It was a really positive look at Khristian Curtis (2020, Groves, Texas) as the 6-foot-4 righthander showcased four pitches, locating them all well. The fastball topped out at 90 mph and sat in the 88-90 range with plenty more still to come. Curtis has an athletic delivery with efficient movements and a clean arm action. The righthander for the Texas Rangers Scout Team showed especially really nice feel for his 12-to-6 curveball while also throwing a slider and changeup for strikes. The curveball, slider and changeup are all average pitches with potential to each be plus one day down the road. The ceiling combined with the upside make the Texas A&M commit a really nice projection piece for a professional organization.

In relief for Charez Butcher in the East Coast Sox Select’s opening game victory, Brandt Pancer (2020, Suwanee, Ga.) paved the run-rule win by tossing three innings with four strikeouts and an over 60 percent strike percentage. Pancer topped out at 90 mph with his fastball, sitting 88-90 mph from the windup and losing a tick from the stretch. Pancer looked really impressive with a fastball-slider combination and lots of feel for the strike zone. The delivery is well-balanced and online to the plate while using a clean arm action and efficient overall operation. The slider is an average pitch with feel down in the zone and helped the Stanford commit tally his four strikeouts and ultimately earn him, and his team, the victory.

It was a very loud start from the first pitch of the game for Ty Floyd (2020, Rockmart, Ga.) on Thursday evening as he opened up the game with a 95 mph fastball at the knees and sat in the 92-95 mph range throughout his first frame. He did show one breaking ball in the first inning that graded out as an average slider coming in at 79 mph. He flashed a better breaking ball later in the outing that was an above average pitch and projects well. Floyd has outstanding arm speed to his delivery combined with a short arm stroke and a slightly closed off delivery. The verbal commitment to LSU does a really nice job of working out in front with short extension and getting the fastball down in the zone as well as elevated up in the strike zone. Floyd did run into some issues with his command at times but settled in and really looked like a special arm to follow in the state of Georgia for the 2020 MLB Draft.

– Greg Gerard

In the morning exhibition rounds on the Cardinals side, State College of Florida commit Ryan McCauley (2020, Trinity, Fla.) looked strong in his brief two-inning outing, allowing one run while fanning two. Although his command wavered, his stuff flashed plus at times as his fastball ran up to 91 mph. His large, physical frame is projectable and suggests that there’s room for his arm to strengthen. From a high three-quarters to over-the-top slot, McCauley throws both a breaking ball and an off-speed pitch, although he shows more confidence in his fading off-speed pitch that again, showed flashes of plus ability. At times he has a tendency to lower his slot and push the pitch through the window but it’s solid when he fully commits to it. His larger-shaped 11-to-5 breaking ball was used sparingly but he could benefit if he mixes it in more to his arsenal. There’s potential in his strong arm and he’ll be an interesting junior college follow as he matures.

Pool play began with a tie between 5 Star National 2020 and Louisiana Knights 2020. Mississippi State commit Austin Reed (2020, Buckner, Ky.) went 2-for-3 in the game for the Louisiana Knights and showcased his strong hands and projectable athleticism in multiple facets of his game. Reed has a lengthy frame with plenty of room to fill out and creates some whip in his swing at the plate. He uses an upright stance with a simple stride and he does a great job of throwing his hands at the inner half of the baseball. Reed has a knack for finding holes in the defense and feels like a tough out every time he steps up to the plate. In his first at-bat of the game, Reed slapped a base hit through the four-hole then swiped second base with a solid jump. Reed has the ability to play just about any position in the field and he’ll be a versatile asset for the Bulldogs.

In what turned out to be a runaway in the end, PRBAHS started their tournament off with a win by exploding for 10 runs late against US Elite 2020. The first half of the game seemed to be all US Elite 2020 as Miami (Ohio) Commit Joseph Grassi (2020, Hollidaysburg, Pa.) threw a gem going 4 1/3 innings while allowing just two hits and fanning seven. Grassi has a slender and lengthy frame which makes his already strong arm that much more promising. He has a longer arm action from an over-the-top slot and his fluctuating 81-88 mph fastball possesses solid arm-side run at times. His bread-and-butter is his curveball which he shows an ability to manipulate. At its best it has a larger 12-to-6 shape with great depth as it falls off the table late. Grassi was using his breaking ball to set up the rest of his arsenal, especially his fastball. Moreover, Grassi has strong pitchability with an understanding of how to get hitters out, and when he’s able to execute his plan, he has an ability to steamroll through a lineup. There’s a ton of upside to his pitching IQ and primary two-pitch mix. Expect him to develop into something special as the Miami, Ohio coaching staff fine-tunes his stuff.

Uncommitted backstop Juan Montero (2020, Ponce, Puerto Rico) had easily the most impressive performance of day one at the plate going 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, a walk and six RBIs. Montero was a huge contributor to PRBAHS’ offensive explosion and he felt like an extra-base hit waiting to happen every time he stepped up to the dish. Montero uses a crouched, wide open stance with a pre-loaded back side. His hands and barrel also begin pre-coiled before his load. When he loads, he simply swings his front foot over, back to an even stance, which also coils and slightly closes his upper half. He’s then able to generate solid whip through the zone with his barrel as he unloads his coil and gets his backside through nicely. His back hip drives his hands and his slightly lifted bat plane creates consistent high launch angle on pitches up in the zone. All three of Montero’s hits were to his pull side as he does an excellent job of getting his hands out in front and over the plate. However, as the quality of pitching continues to improve at the next level, he’ll have to prove that he can consistently cover the outer half of the plate. Behind the dish his 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame projects well as a next-level backstop and his pop time to second base consistently lives between 2.0-seconds to 2.2-seconds. Montero is currently the top-ranked 2020 catcher out of Puerto Rico and his draft stock will continue to climb in this tournament if his bat stays as hot as it is.

Current teammates and future Louisville Cardinals, Christian Knapczyk (2020, Plainfield, Ill.) and Jack Payton (2020, Orland Park, Ill.), both had nice days at the plate for Cangelosi Sparks 2020 Black. Knapczyk went 1-for-3 with a triple and two walks on his day while Payton went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Knapczyk has a smaller frame at 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, but has great quickness and athletic actions both in the infield as well as on the bases. Payton has an athletic build with solid technical skills behind the plate and he added to a day that saw strong backstop play all around.

Southern Florida commit Drew Brutcher (2020, Lakeland, Fla.) was dominant in his start for SWFL Nation 2020 sending 14 batters back to the dugout through 5 1/3 innings pitched. Brutcher has a lengthy, large build with a longer arm action that reaches down and back after separation. Brutcher’s dominance was thanks to his slider which benefits from his decently deceptive high three-quarters to three-quarters arm slot. He showed an ability to manipulate the shape of the pitch with intent, but it was most effective when thrown with low 11-to-5 shape that dropped off the table late. Brutcher was not afraid to go back-to-back-to-back with the breaking ball, and his strong fastball that sits 86-91 mph while touching 92 became that much more effective as he kept hitters off balance. He also mixed in a 78-79 mph changeup that shows some promise but is not nearly as developed as his slider is. USF has to be excited about the high ceiling that Brutcher possesses as his stuff has the potential to become elite if his arm continues to develop.

After helping GBG Marucci 2020 Navy to a championship victory at the Fall National Championship in September, San Diego commit Jack Costello (2020, Simi Valley, Calif.) continued to hit for GBG going 2-for-3 with a double. Costello again impressed with excellent athleticism for his physical frame. He uses an open and upright stance with a methodical back-and-forth bat wag that creates solid rhythm with the pitcher. As he loads, he uses a low leg kick trigger that works in sync with his hands going back and up. He doesn’t create much of a coil when going back into his load, however, he makes up for it with his excellent bat speed as his lower half fires through quickly and efficiently. Moreover, Costello does a great job of staying tall on his back side, thus helping to generate a flat barrel plane as he extends his hands through the hitting zone. The Torreros are getting an excellent bat that has the ability to make an early impact.

Shutting the door in the final two innings for GBG Marucci 2020 Navy was USC commit Tyler Stromsborg (2020, Newport Beach, Calif.) who looked solid through his 2 2/3 innings pitched. Stromsborg has a shorter, whippy arm action from a high three-quarters slot. As he works down the mound into his drop-and-drive actions he leans back slightly, then forces himself downhill quickly as his arm comes up to the window. His 87-90 mph fastball that touches 92 has some strong occasional arm-side run and that run seems to increase as he settles further into an outing. His breaking ball is a high 11-to-5 curveball that he’s still developing consistency with but shows out-pitch ability when it’s on and thrown with conviction. Heading into his senior season at Notre Dame High School he’ll be a high follow and a player for SoCal scouts to keep their eyes on.

– Connor Spencer

Teammates Robert Moore (2020, Leawood, Kan.) and Alek Boychuk (2020, Buford, Ga.) had a sound start to the highly competitive Jupiter event, carrying the Royals Scout Team to a pair of wins on day one (an exhibition game and a pool play game).

Moore, a PG All-American, Arkansas commit and one of the top prospects for the MLB Draft next June, made his louder performance in the exhibition game as he picked up a hit from both sides of the plate in the form of two pull-side singles. The switch-hitting shortstop has tools that play at a high level in all facets, with uber-athleticism both in the infield and on the bases, paired with a ton of experience hitting against elite level arms. There is good projection there on both sides of the plate as he adds strength, but he continued to show the ability to hit at a high level here on day one.

Boychuk, a South Carolina commit, showed his ability to hit for power at a high level as he picked up a pair of doubles with five runs batted in across two games. The stroke is fluid with a direct path that creates great bat speed and tons of strength at contact. At 6-foot, 205-pounds, Boychuk is a physical catcher with good receiving skills and strong catch-and-throw abilities.

UNC-Wilmington commit Ethan Chenault (2020, Forest, Va.) was strong in relief for the talented Canes National team as he tossed two innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. The 6-foot-5 righthander has a lot to like in the frame with tons of athleticism at present and a sky-high projection. Chenault held solid at 88-91 mph on the fastball in this look with some sink to it down in the zone while mixing in a tight upper-70s slider that produced heavy swing-and-miss throughout his appearance.

Auburn commit Logan Austin (2020, Salem, Ala.) didn’t have the cleanest of outings, but showed some electricity in his stuff as he picked up three strikeouts in this one-inning look. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound righthander has a large and durable frame with plenty of starter’s potential if he can clean up some of the command issues. Austin worked at 90-93 mph with the fastball as he spotted around the zone, complementing consistently with a heavy-sinking mid-70s changeup and a hard-biting upper-70s curveball.

Texas Tech commit Lex Garcia (2020, Lubbock, Texas) was solid as he toed the rubber after Austin, tossing three innings, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out four. As another big-bodied righthander at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, the projection is high with some athleticism in the delivery at present, allowing him to work up-tempo with some twitchy movements throughout. The fastball worked at 86-90 mph with life down in the zone and he complemented his heater with a tight upper-70s slider.

Florida commit Jackson Nezuh (2020, St. Cloud, Fla.) was electric in his short start as he tossed three no-hit, shutout innings, racking up six strikeouts along the way. Nezuh lost some command along the way, as evidenced by his four walks, but showed a lot to like in both the projection and present stuff as he worked 88-92 mph on the fastball with life to both halves. The delivery is extremely athletic as he repeats and stays over the mound well with a sound and strong lower half. There is some feel to sin a mid-70s curveball at present with good shape and depth to the pitch that projects well to a strong swing-and-miss pitch at the next level.

Miami commit Jose Izarra (2020, Miami, Fla.) was outstanding at the plate in his only game of the day as he put forth a 3-for-3 performance, driving two singles before wrapping a three-run home run around the left field pole and finishing with a walk. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound shortstop plays with high energy as he uses his athleticism to enhance all aspects of his game. The swing path is direct with strong hands that create tons of bat speed and strength at contact as evidenced by the 97 mph exit velocity on one of his pull-side singles. There is an advanced level of plate discipline with the barrel control to create solid contact across all parts of the zone.

Uncommitted Alexander Ayala (2020, Doral, Fla.) is one of the highest-ranked seniors still on the recruiting market and made quite the impression here at Jupiter as he tossed two shutout innings running the fastball at 88-91 mph with good plane from the left side and feel for a three-pitch mix. The breaking ball comes in the form of a big downward breaking mid-70s curveball with an arm-side tumbling low-80s changeup for a change-of-pace pitch. There is still plenty of projection in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame and present athleticism in the delivery that allows him to hold the front half closed, creating some angle to the slot and in turn occasional crossbody action to the fastball.

– Tyler Russo

Matt O’Brien continues to put together deep rosters for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team. This year is no different. Riser Sterlin Thompson (2020, Ocala, Fla.) and two arms in Mitchell Bratt (2021, Newmarket, Ontario) and Karl Hartman (2021, Merritt Island, Fla.) stood out on Thursday at the WWBA World Championship.

Thompson has done nothing but hit on the circuit this year. The lefthanded hitter has a whippy bat and plenty of bat speed. His body is long and slender with plenty of room to add strength as he matures. He consistently puts together good at-bats with well above average bat-to-ball skills. The Stetson commit had a couple knocks on the day, with his last at-bat being extra loud – he turned on a fastball with good extension, hammering a line drive off the right field wall for a standup double. This seemed to touch the barrel and in a blink it banged off the fence. The offensive upside is vast and he will be a fun follow for scouts this spring.

Bratt is an advanced young arm with a clear plan for what he is trying to do on the mound. He uses a high three-quarters slot with a consistent release on all of his pitches. The lefthander has long arms he uses well to create downward plane with some arm-side run on his upper-80s fastball that peaked at 89. He had no trouble using both sides of the plate with a true mix throughout. His curveball has 11-to-5 shape with big downer break that proved tough to square. The Florida State commit has excellent feel for the pitch and it shows very good promise long-term. This looks like an immediate impact arm at the next level that will get a ton of attention over the next year and a half.

Hartman burst on the scene a few weeks ago with a monster outing at the WWBA Florida Qualifier. He came to an even bigger stage and proved it was no fluke. The 6-foot-4 righthanded pitcher threw two perfect innings and struck out four. He gets good extension on his 90-93 fastball that has hard riding life when down and did a good job locating the pitch on the glove side. The uncommitted prospect has a legit swing-and-miss pitch in an upper-70s curveball that could be a plus future offering. The pitch has hard downer break and got some bad swing-and-miss during his couple innings of work. There is significant upside and he will be monitored closely as he continues to develop.

Ostingers 2020 catcher Brock Wilken (2020, Valrico, Fla.) continues to do damage to baseballs as the righthanded hitter ambushed two baseballs Thursday afternoon. The first was a loud, opposite field line drive that he struck well and went with the pitch. The next was a pitch he could get the head out, smoking a line drive to the pull side that was demolished off the barrel. He just hits at every stop, no matter the magnitude of the event. Behind the plate he has made strides all summer long. The Wake Forest commit has a good arm and quick feet and his blocking and receiving skills have come a long way and he seems to be a relentless worker.

The Scorpions Founders Club 2020 have a deep and talented lineup from top to bottom. Two lefthanded hitters looked great on the first day of the WWBA. CJ Kayfus (2020, Wellington, Fla.) and Jack O'Dowd (2020, Nashville, Tenn.) both found the barrel regularly and looked poised to help the Scorpions make a run.

Kayfus has excellent natural barrel feel and very good timing. He does not sway from his approach to sell out for power, spraying line drives all over the field. He has a low effort swing with natural extension through contact. The Miami commit runs well and can change games with his wheels, as he did Thursday with a couple stolen bases. He is a stable force, putting together long at-bats with good pitch recognition. Playing more in the outfield now, if he can prove he can stay there it will get interesting fast from a prospect standpoint.

O’Dowd has used his time between the summer and fall well, making subtle swing changes that will be excellent long-term. Showing very good rhythm he is able to stay relaxed and loose throughout his process. This allowed his barrel to be whippy and fast through the hitting zone. He has shown a natural ability to hit and these changes showed a noticeable jump off the barrel. The Vanderbilt commit is a good athlete and brings defensive versatility.

Talk about a loud outing, Trey Frahm (2020, Elkhorn, Neb.) showcased enormous stuff during his appearance on Thursday. The 6-foot righthander, listed as a shortstop, has top-of-the-scale arm speed. His fastball jumped out of his hand and sat in the low- to mid-90s, peaking at 96. The pitch has late life and proved hard to barrel. He has a pretty simple delivery with minimal effort, using a strong lower half to help with the velocity. His slider sat in the low-80s and has late 10-to-4 bite. When he located the pitch it looked like a future plus offering. There is some rawness to the Kansas State commit, but the pure stuff is immense.

2022 lefthander Noah Schultz (2022, Aurora, Ill.) is extremely young for this event. He was very good a couple weeks ago during the WWBA Sophomore World Championship and showed some grit here in Jupiter. The 6-foot-7 uber projectable southpaw loaded the bases in the first inning before settling in. He pitched around a big inning, making a couple huge pitches including a full count curveball to record a strikeout. He sits in the mid-80s, with plenty more to come, using a very tough and low three-quarters release point that is very hard to track. His breaking ball has big shape and will continue to firm as he matures and adds reps. Still figuring out his body and the nuances of the game, it’s easy to dream on what Schultz can be as he continues to develop.

– Jered Goodwin

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