Tournaments | Story | 10/12/2019

Jupiter Day 2 Scout Notes

David Rawnsley      Brian Sakowski      Vincent Cervino      Jered Goodwin      Connor Spencer      Jerry Miller      Britt Smith     
Photo: Ryan Bruno (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA World Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders | Day 1 Scout Notes

Starting off day two of Jupiter was an impressive performance from underclassman Vincent Trapani (2021, Eau Claire, Wis.) who looked sharp over the course of three shutout innings and has a lot of things to like from a prospect perspective. Committed to Arkansas, Trapani is a physical righthanded pitcher with a 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame and the strength throughout to hold his velocity throughout outings. There’s a bit of a late stab in the back of the arm stroke but Trapini gets the arm through well and on time while creating some deception with a late coil over the rubber before rotating through release. The fastball was good in the 87-90 mph range and he really sunk the ball nicely while living at the knees. Trapani also mixed in a breaking ball in the mid-70s that he could manipulate and bury for empty hacks. There are a lot of present components and Trapani looks like a prospect who will be in store for a big year in 2020.

Colt Keith (2020, Biloxi, Miss.) had a strong summer and is looking to cap that summer performance with a loud Jupiter and he certainly showed out well from an offensive perspective on Friday morning. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Arizona State commit is a legitimate two-way threat and roped a triple during one of his at-bats on Saturday morning. Keith possesses good athleticism, moving well over at shortstop with the arm strength to be able to stay on the left side of the infield. The swing plane is smooth with loose hands, a direct path, and the ability to get out in front of the plate and loft the ball to the pull side. Keith’s triple was a screamer that kept rising over the head of the centerfielder and he showed off the athleticism with a 4.50 second turn around first base.

Battling through some weather conditions to turn in a quality performance was Louisiana State commit Michael Fowler (2020, Trussville, Ala.) who filled up the strike zone and had his signature slider working over three very quick frames. Fowler is an athletic righty with legitimate physical projection remaining to go along with impressive present arm speed. The arm stroke is longer, and whippy, through the back with some rawness to his lower half and overall delivery, but he threw strikes well and really set hitters up nicely to swing over the top of the slider. The slider, which worked in the 79-81 mph range, showed above average at times with late-biting action and was very effective when buried on the back foot of lefthanded hitters. Fowler’s velocity was around the 87-90 mph range, topping out at 91 mph, and that two-pitch mix should bode well for Fowler next spring regarding his draft status.

The radar guns over on the Marlins quad had no shortage of velocity on Friday and that included a relief appearance from Jack Crowder (2020, Romeoville, Ill.) who ran his fastball up to 95 mph in his first inning of work. Crowder, an Illinois commit, is a big, physically projectable 6-foot-3 and 220-pounds who will also be just 17 on draft day. Crowder employs a quick-paced, longer delivery but gets good direction toward the plate with a loose arm. He has a pretty tight slider in the low-80s that showed good shape and bite to the offering with the makings of a pretty solid pitch. There’s some effort there, and Crowder’s velocity dipped down after his first inning of work, but if he can maintain that velocity of mid-90s deep into starts next spring there will be no shortage of draft interest.

With TrackMan units on each field spin rates are easily accessible and one of the higher spinning breaking balls on the day belonged to Alex Logusch (2020, St. Louis, Mo.) who had a slider spinning around 2900 RPMs as a true swing-and-miss weapon. Needing just 50 pitches to get 3 1/3 innings worth of outs, the Indiana commit came out of the bullpen firing, attacking the strike zone with fastballs in the 88-91 mph range while putting hitters away with his impressive slider. He has broad shoulders with some room to fill but creates deception too with a high front side and delayed hip rotation which both allows the ball to sneak up on hitters while still being able to keep the ball within the strike zone, at least briefly in the case of the slider. Lohusch occasionally wraps his wrist on the slider and guides it but when he turns and fires it the pitch gets great biting action in the low-80s with the aforementioned very high spin rates. He has a pretty nice changeup too and that slider is a difference maker regarding the profile which should make for some heavily attended games this spring in the Midwest.

Tennessee commit Brock Lucas (2020, Hardinsburg, Ky.) turned in a quality start that kept his KBC team in the game as he allowed only two unearned runs while punching out nine batters over 3 2/3 innings on the hill. A primary shortstop, Lucas has a quick arm with a fastball that shows some late life on it, peaking at 91 mph early in the outing and settling in the upper-80s as the performance wore on. The arm stroke is fairly compact through the back with the arm speed standing out on his wiry, athletic frame. Lucas competed well, working his fastball to either side of the plate and mixing in some sharp, downer curveballs in the upper-70s. He’s an athletic prospect with clear two-way potential as he showed on Friday night.

The performance of the night came from the right arm of Nate Wohlgemuth (2020, Owasso, Okla.) as the Arkansas commit twirled a gem with a no-hit performance that saw him punch out 14 hitters and allow just two walks on 63 percent strikes. The line score matched up well with the overall stuff as Wohlgemuth was sitting 92-95 mph, touching 97 mph early in the start, and flashing a solid average breaking ball to go along with a changeup that was legitimately plus all night.

Wohlgemuth is a very strongly built pitcher, listed at a compact 5-foot-11 and 195-pounds, and there is significant effort to the delivery. That being said, the arm is very fast, and though the command wasn’t pinpoint all night, he showed the ability to work the fastball to either side of the black when he wanted and the overall strike-throwing ability was much improved. The stuff was absolutely electric, sitting in the mid-90s with the fastball and flashing some hard running life that blew up a couple of bats against righthanded hitters. The swing-and-miss was easily in the double digits on the pitch as he could elevate and get chases with the fastball as well.

Wohlgemuth’s first inning was very loud as he announced his presence with just 12 pitches, five empty swings and three strikeouts. The breaking ball showed a lot of improvement, still showing some inconsistencies but flashing average on the Major League scale a handful of times on the evening, but the biggest pitch he had was a firm changeup. The cambio sat 84-87 mph, thrown with similar intent, and absolutely baffling lefthanded hitters with late, hard action to the arm side at the last possible second. The stuff was very, very good for Wohlgemuth who closed out his travel ball career about as well as you possibly can.

Not to be lost in Wohlgemuth’s great feat was DBacks Langley Blaze starter Theo Millas (2020, Burnaby, B.C.), who was very good in his own right as the Louisiana State commit allowed just one hit on four shutout innings while striking out seven hitters. At 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Millas has a huge frame from a physical standpoint with broad shoulders and lots of room to hold strength. The arm stroke is loose, if not a bit unorthodox, with some length that he uses to whip through a three-quarters arm slot. The fastball worked mostly in the 88-90 mph range for Millas as he got some good life down and to the arm side at times. He dips back a bit at the balance point and then accelerates hard down the mound, which looks awkward but Millas is athletic enough to repeat and still throw pitches where he wants to. The breaking ball has made progress, sitting in the mid-70s with good shape and depth while he also mixed in a changeup at 79 mph.

The No. 1 player in the class, Jordan Walker (2020, Stone Mountain, Ga.), had a good day at the dish, collecting two ground ball hits and attracting a lot of attention from a scouting perspective. The Duke commit has had a very good summer and he showed the kind of offensive impact he’s able to make given the combination of his strength and raw pop. At an eminently projectable 6-foot-5, 212-pounds, there’s a lot of room to project upon that frame, and Walker is a good athlete too. Walker narrowly missed a home run on opening night with a deep fly ball to left field and then smoked two hard hit ground balls for base hits, the last of which came off the barrel at 105 mph per TrackMan. The ultimate defensive home has some fluidity to it but he showed that the arm can play anywhere as the plus arm works well across the diamond at third and he also showed it off on Thursday night from right field, nailing a runner at second base. Walker has a lot to like and there’s a good amount to dream on as he looks to finish Jupiter out strong.

Fernando Gonzalez (2020, Acworth, Ga.) was nothing short of terrific behind the plate on Friday night, showing excellent athleticism, blocking ability and his patented arm strength. Gonzalez was tasked with catching Wohlgemuth on Friday night and he did so with grace and ease, clearly leading and focusing his pitcher at times while blocking almost everything in the dirt and catching 97 mph about as well as an amateur catcher can. The Georgia commit has good flexibility and balance behind the dish while his anticipation and instincts are very impressive. He showed off the hand cannon later on in the game as he caught and fired a seed down to the bag for a pop time of 1.95 seconds to nail a runner. Gonzalez didn’t do much offensively in this one, but the defensive ability and arm strength are near the top of the amateur ranks as far as catchers go.

The San Diego Show moved on to 2-0 following Friday’s games and the big story from the second game was the performance of Paulshawn Pasqualatto (2020, Las Vegas, Nev.) who was in control from the first pitch of the game. The recent California commit punched out 12 batters over five strong while allowing only one earned run the entire night. Pasqualatto checks a lot of boxes from a physical and mechanical standpoint, standing at a very athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pounds while showing a compact, repeatable delivery with a quick, clean arm stroke down the mound. Pasqualatto throws from a directly over-the-top arm slot that generates vertical spin as the fastball was right around 12:00 on the tilt axis throughout the evening. The pitch ran from 87-90 mph while peaking at 91 mph a handful of times and he really maintained that velocity well. Pasqualatto’s go-to secondary pitch was his split-changeup and the pitch gets very good action in the mid- to upper-70s and he would use it against hitters of both handedness as the bottom would just simply fall out at times. The curveball showed good shape in the low-70s and will firm up as he continues to add strength. Pasqualatto showed a lot of impressive stuff on Friday night and will undoubtedly be a guy to watch out for next spring in the Southwest.

In a big win for the Canes on Friday night as Joseph Dixon (2020, South Jordan, Utah) looked sharp early on as he is another talented arm from the Southwest who has been impressing during this draft cycle. He’s a long, projectable righthander with a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame and good athleticism throughout the delivery that portends future velocity gains. Dixon did a good job at generating weak contact on the mound, getting downhill nicely with a loose, whippy arm stroke. The fastball peaked at 92 mph and sat around 88-91 mph for the majority of the start and Dixon mixed in a good amount of sliders as well. The Stanford commit’s breaking ball worked in the upper-70s showing good shape along with the ability to land them for strikes. Dixon provided a very strong start as the Canes rolled to their first victory of Jupiter late at night.

Providing some heat in a one-inning look during the night slots, Ethan Long (2020, Gilbert, Ariz.) ran his fastball up to 96 mph and was working with some serious velocity late at night. Long, an Arkansas commit, is a big, physical prospect with a fairly simple delivery as he turns and fires down the mound with moderate effort. The arm stroke is fairly compact and the arm strength plays big as he worked 93-95 mph throughout the entirety of his performance on the mound. The breaking ball showed good shape, though he slows on it, in the mid-70s and he could land the pitch for strikes and avoid barrels effectively. As a secondary pitcher Long certainly has some loud stuff that he can showcase in relief and the stuff spoke for itself on Friday night.

One of the top position players in the class is outfielder Zac Veen (2020, Port Orange, Fla.), and though the Scorps got shut out by two 96 mph arms, every one of Veen’s at-bats stood out for his approach, plate discipline and knowledge of the strike zone. The Florida commit and PG All-American has one of the sweetest swings in the class but perhaps even more impressive than the swing is his ability to control at-bats. He’ll take his time getting into the box, call time out if the pitcher takes too long and spit on tough breaking balls out of the zone with regularity. In his first and third at-bats Veen laid off some velocity and really tough pitches to work walks while in his second at-bat he worked the at-bat until he got a fastball to handle and drove it hard up the middle on the ground. His power and peripheral tools are going to draw rave reviews from scouts but his ability to grind out at-bats and really disrupt pitchers shouldn’t be overlooked either.

– Vinnie Cervino

Catcher Jack Payton (2020, Orland Park, Ill.) created some nice memories for himself and for his family on Field 5 of the Marlins Quad Friday afternoon. The cleanup hitter for the Cangelosi Sparks drove in all three runs in a 3-3 tie, blasting a long two-run home run to left-center field in the fourth inning and tying the game with a RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Payton is a Louisville commit and the 377th-ranked player in the class. He joins his brother, Mark, now a slugging AAA outfielder with the A’s, in creating Jupiter memories, as Mark Payton was the Most Valuable Player of the WWBA World Championship in 2009 while leading Cangelosi Baseball to a spot in the finals. The elder Payton brother went on to a have a successful career at University of Texas before signing as a seventh-round pick of the Yankees in 2014. To add another Payton Family twist, father David is a coach here with the Sparks.

Righthander Carlos Rodriguez (2020, Miami, Fla.) starred at the 2017 14u PG Select Festival, hitting 90 mph, but hasn’t been seen at a Perfect Game event while he has been busy reclassifying up a year. He was sensational in two innings with the Milwaukee Brewers Scout Team, working in the 93-95 mph range while picking up five of his six outs against the ultra-talented MLB Breakthrough Series lineup via strikeout. The 6-foot, 180-pound Miami commit didn’t just overwhelm hitters with his velocity, he showed three secondary pitches that were quality, including a mid-80s changeup with late diving action that was a plus pitch at times. He threw both a mid-70s curveball with big depth and a mid-80s slider with hard bite but seemed caught between them at times. Rodriguez’ delivery is well paced in a slow accelerating to fast at release sense and doesn’t present any significant worries. He will pair with another hard throwing reclassified righthander, PG All-American Alejandro Rosario, at Miami Christian High School next spring in what is sure to be one of the most highly scouted schools in the country.

Rodriguez’ catcher both here in Jupiter and during the upcoming spring with Miami Christian High School, Rene Lastres (2021, Hialeah Gardens, Fla.), had an outstanding game as well. Lastres is 105th-ranked player in the 2021 class rankings and especially stands out on defense with his athleticism and cannon arm. If the 6-foot-3 righthanded hitter keeps showing the same type of bat he showed Friday, that ranking is sure to go up significantly. Lastres went 3-for-3 at the plate, one of them a line drive home run down the line in left field to go with a pair of singles.

Brewers Scout Team’s Maxwell Muncy (2021, Camarillo, Calif.), who is absolutely no relation to the Dodgers slugger, is the 67th-ranked player in the 2021 class. He played out of position in the outfield for a team that has an abundance of talented middle infielders, but is a quick-twitch athlete with obvious middle infield athleticism. He showed his hand and bat speed well on a towering double to the warning track in deepest center field.

There are significant similarities between Chicago White Sox righthander and former PG All-American Carson Fulmer and Team Indiana righthander Luke Hayden (2021, Bloomington, Ind.) at the same age. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Hayden threw four shutout innings Friday morning, striking out four and allowing only two hits while topping out at 95 mph early and throwing a full four-pitch mix. Hayden’s delivery has lots of checkpoints, including a high energy multiple head whack similar to a 17-year old Fulmer, but he works through it well and is around the strike zone. Also like Fulmer, Hayden’s slider is a big and occasionally nasty weapon with depth and sharpness in the low-80s and he showed some feel for a rapidly improving changeup, although he noticeably cuts down on his head violence on the pitch. There is plenty of room for mechanical tweaks for the Indiana commit but there is no mistaking the quality of the arm or raw stuff.

Dirtbags righthander Koen Moreno (2020, Cary, N.C.) is a very projectable 6-foot-2, 170-pound righthander who is an accomplished three-sport athlete as a basketball player and especially a track and field runner. He worked four calm innings on Friday, working low in the zone with a fastball that topped out at 93 mph while also showing a four-pitch mix. Moreno has low effort mechanics with some deception in his delivery and looks to be the type who has plus command potential when he matures and gets more repetitions, especially from the windup. The East Carolina commit is one of those seniors who will cause their college coaches to sweat out the spring and June Draft, as Moreno only needs another incremental improvement and additional bolt of strength to move from the “outstanding college pitcher and potential high 2023 draft pick” category to the “potential draft and sign this year” type of prospect.

Moreno’s Dirtbags and potential future East Carolina teammate, first baseman Josh Moylan (2020, Stoney Beach Md.), has got off to a scalding hot start at the WWBA World Championship. The big 6-foot-4, 225-pound lefthanded hitter had a pair of 2-for-3 games on Thursday, including one exhibition game, and followed that up with a 3-for-4 performance with a pair of RBI Friday morning. Moylan has huge all-fields, over-the-fence power that he has shown in the past, but has been working gap-to-gap with a controlled swing thus far in Jupiter, although one is always conscious that he could find the right pitch and launch a ball on any pitch. Moylan, who has also played plenty of outfield in the past, has shown much improved defensive ability at first base, especially in his stretching and picking ability.

5-Star National righthander Brodie Chestnutt (2021, Warner Robins, Ga.) showed outstanding command and plenty of raw stuff while needing only 44 pitches to navigate 4 1/3 innings. A Florida State commit who is ranked 61st in the 2021 class, Chestnutt threw 81 percent strikes, working in the 87-90 mph range to go with a 77 mph slider. Chestnutt has been up to 92 mph this summer but noticeably changes his arm action in back when he’s muscling up for velocity, creating tension with a deep wrist wrap and losing the precise timing and command he showed Friday. He was in complete control this outing, working low in the zone with life and plenty of angle from a high three-quarters arm slot. A still very projectable 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete, Chestnutt also showed his athleticism very well coming off the mound to make a successful play on a chopper in front of the plate.

– David Rawnsley

Puerto Rico is continuing the tradition of very good position prospects. John Montes (2020 Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) and Mario Zabala (2020 San Juan, Puerto Rico) stood out on Friday afternoon playing on adjacent fields.

Montes is a rangy middle infielder that has good first-step quickness and sure hands. He anticipates well and gets a good jump off the bat, cutting angles when needed. His transfer is smooth and seems to barely touch the glove in the exchange. The UCF commit has plenty of arm to make all the plays. Offensively, his lefthanded bat plays very well at the top of the lineup. Using a line drive approach, he shows a good feel to go line-to-line in his approach. He is also an excellent runner and uses his speed well to steal bases and take extra bases when he can. His whole arsenal was on display Friday, recording a couple line drive hits, one to the pull side and the other up the middle. He plays with energy and pressures the defense at every chance.

Zabala is one of the most chiseled prospects in the class. Strong and explosive, he gets his barrel speed up extra quick. He has a balanced approach with no extra movement and simply fires his hands in a direct path to the ball. The righthanded hitter drove two line drives to the middle of the field Friday, both of which were screamers off the bat as he’s another player that shows great energy and plays the game with his hair on fire. Playing center field, the Florida International commit showed easy closing speed to track balls in the gap. He has excellent arm strength and can make any required throw. Zabala continues to add polish and looks to be one of the more exciting players in the entire class.

Grayson Moore (2020 Longwood, Fla.) is long known for his two-way ability and continues to show it here in Jupiter. Already pitching in the tournament, showing real upside and a fastball that topped at 91, he also swung it well on Friday afternoon. Moore is a switch-hitter, but took both at-bats righthanded as he faced lefthanded arms. In his first at-bat he got extended on a middle pitch and drove the ball deep to the left field wall for a long triple. He is a long strider and moves around the bases with ease. In the next at-bat he did a nice job of staying back on an outer-half pitch and hitting a line drive to centerfield that came off hot. The Vanderbilt commit continues to impress and shows the prowess to keep his two-way ability at the next level.

One of the few freshmen down in Jupiter is Dillon Lester (2023 Baytown, Texas) playing for Hunter Pence Baseball Academy. He is an extremely athletic catcher with quick-twitch fiber that allow him to be extra quick in all parts of the game. He handled low-90s velocity well, showing plenty of wrist strength and was fearless going to the dirt when blocking balls. His arm strength is well above average and showed good carry to second base. The Oklahoma commit is tremendously advanced for his age and will be fun to follow the next four years.

There is a lot of arm talent possessed from Elite Squad’s Karson Ligon (2021 Sarasota, Fla.). He has a quick shoulder and the ball has good hop out of his hand. He did a good job keeping the pitch around the zone and got some sink when he located it down in the zone. When Ligon was on time, opposing hitters beat it in the ground pretty regularly. The fastball was up to 93 and didn’t drop too much during his outing. He has a high waist and long arms and will fill out nicely, and when he is there should be natural velocity games. He flipped a curveball around 70 mph that shows good promise with its shape and his feel to land it. The Miami commit pounded the strike zone and left one to dream pretty big with future development.

The Houston Astros Scout Team continues to impress in Jupiter as they ran out physical lefthanded pitcher Matthew Luna (2020 San Antonio, Texas) Friday night and he did not disappoint. He repeats well and was consistently on time with release point, using an extended slot. It caused a lot of deception and seemed to get on the hitters quickly. He got eight swings-and-misses in only two innings of work as he did not surrender a baserunner and struck out four. The Texas Tech commit threw his fastball to both sides of the plate and peaked at 91 with the pitch. He only used one off-speed pitch, a slider, that showed great depth and missed under a barrel easily.

In one of the loudest outings of the event to date, Markevian Hence (2020 Pine Bluff, Ark.) was magnificent for Rawlings National Scout Team - Sticks. The righthanded pitcher showed an ultra-quick arm that sat in the mid-90s early, peaking at 96. The pitch had an extra gear and real sink to it when located down. He is athletic and used really good rhythm and timing to work consistently down in the zone. The Arkansas commit used his slider in the 77-81 range effectively and located it well to the glove side early. It was effective running away from righties and under the barrels to lefties. The significant stuff he showed is more impressive knowing he will still be 17-years old on draft day.

– Jered Goodwin

The East Cobb Astros 2021 club, a group that had a strong showing at the Underclass World Tournament in Fort Myers last weekend, provided the many college and pro scouts in attendance with another great effort on Friday morning against an always tough Richmond Braves club.

Pacing the way on the hill for the Astros was righthander Christian Okerholm (2021, Austin, Texas). The 6-foot-3, 190-pound, long and well-proportioned athlete pitches off his very active fastball that sat between 88-91 mph. He complemented his well-commanded heater with a 77-79 mph sharp, late-breaking and tight-spinning slider that showed consistent depth at the dish. His other secondary pitch was a tumbling 83 mph changeup thrown out of the same window and with the same arm action as his fastball. The junior at Vandergrift HS pitches with a great deal of poise and tempo, pitching ahead and rarely gets into hitter’s counts.

Slugging East Cobb Astros 2021 third baseman Glenn Green (2021, Tyrone, Ga.) picked up in Jupiter where he left off last week in Fort Myers. The solidly built 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior at Sandy Creek HS can swing the bat and pick it at third base. His smooth and easy approach at the plate and quick trigger allow him to power the ball to both gaps. He has a great feel for the barrel and outstanding pitch recognition ability. At the hot corner he shows sound first-step quickness, a consistent glove and a plus arm that produces throws that are true.

The Astros have a gifted athlete and heady baseball player roaming center field. Justin Bogard (2021, Loganville, Ga.) can track down just about any ball hit in his general direction. His ability to cover a lot of ground allows his corner outfield mates to play closer to their respective foul lines. At the plate, the 6-foot-3, 175-pound Grayson HS junior shows advanced bat-to-ball ability and plus pull-side pop. His athleticism highlights his top-flight speed and aggressive baserunning ability.

The Canes Prospect Club ran two quality arms out to the hill in early morning action on the Cardinals side of the Roger Dean Complex. Casey Tallent (2021, Hartwell, Ga.) is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound righthander who showed a quality four-pitch arsenal. The Hart County HS junior works with great pace and pitches off his 86-90 mph heavy sinking fastball. His slider, thrown at 77 mph, was cutter-like and showed late, quick and sharp movement at the plate. His 12-to-6 70-73 mph curveball is a tight spinner that is a swing-and-miss out-pitch to righthanded hitters. His 74-75 mph changeup is his wipeout swing-and-miss pitch to lefthanded hitters. What separates Tallent from others in his age group is his ability to work fast and pitch backwards with conviction.

Eli Runyan (2021, Bowdan, Ga.) is a South Alabama commit with big upside. The 6-foot, 170-pound southpaw is an aggressive strike-thrower with a bulldog mentality. His low three-quarters slot and whippy arm action creates great deception in his quality three-pitch mix. His heavy sinking 84-86 mph fastball plays at a higher velocity than the gun shows and gets a lot of poor swings and weak contact. The Carrollton HS junior also shows a tight-spinning 75 mph slider that has plus depth at the dish. He’ll front-hip the slider to lefthanded hitters and back-foot it to righthanded hitters. His 79 mph changeup is an advanced feel pitch that he’ll throw to any batter in any count and get a lot of swings-and-misses. His poise and mature makeup make this crafty lefty an almost can’t-miss at the next level.

The Canes Prospect leadoff hitter Menelik "Izzy" Israel (2021, Murrieta, Calif.) is a truly gifted athlete who assuredly has an outstanding future on the baseball field. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Norco HS junior is a Duke commit who has the tools that project to the next level. His is a world class runner with elite speed and a keen understanding of how to best use that gift on a baseball field. Defensively, he can track down most any ball hit in his general direction. He is also an aggressive, yet heady, baserunner who can and will take the extra base. His offensive prowess was particularly evident in morning action as he posted a 3-for-3 day at the plate, highlighted by a booming triple to left-center field that allowed Israel to show off his advanced speed and baserunning ability.

University of Michigan commit Tre Hondras (2020, South Holland, Mich.) is the multi-talented center fielder for the Chicago Scouts Association club. He is a ballhawk in center field as he reads the ball well off the bat and can go and get it. His plus average arm is true and shows consistent, online carry. At the dish he is a contact guy who can get his barrel to contact in a hurry. His short and quick path allows the 6-foot, 185-pound athletically built Homewood-Flossmoor senior to consistently get his barrel on plane and through the zone.

Iowa PG righthander Reece Beuter (2020, Cedar Falls, Iowa) turned in a strong effort on the bump in early afternoon action on Cardinals 6. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound long and lean senior at Dike-New Hartford HS allowed only one hit and struck out six in four solid innings of work. The Kirkwood CC commit featured an 86-88 mph riding fastball that he effectively threw to the upper half of the zone. His 75-76 mph sweeping slider was a great complement to his active heater. Lastly, Beuter mixed in a 12-to-6 breaking 72 mph curveball that showed sound depth at the dish.

A Reid and a Reed pitched Stix Baseball 2020 to a 2-0 shutout victory over a very talented East Cobb Astros 2021 club in early afternoon action. Reid Taylor (2020, Woden, Texas) and Reed Gallant (2020, Flower Mound, Texas) were sterling in combining to limit East Cobb to two hits over seven innings with 10 strikeouts between them.

Taylor is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior at Woden HS who is headed to The University of Texas to play his collegiate baseball. His pitching mate, Gallant, is a sinewy, 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior at Marcus HS in suburban Dallas who has committed to play for Rice. Both righties feature 89-91 mph explosive fastballs that are thrown with purpose and almost pinpoint command. Taylor uses two secondary pitches. His 72-74 mph 12-to-6 breaking curveball is a knee-buckler to righthanded hitters. His 74-75 mph changeup tunnels out of his fastball window and is a plus swing-and-miss pitch to lefthanded hitters. Gallant throws a wipeout, swing-and-miss 77-78 mph slider that shows sharp, late break with depth at the plate.

– Jerry Miller

Day two kicked off early with the Diamond Devils earning a 5-2 win to start their tournament over San Diego Padres Scout Team. Primary catcher and South Carolina commit Talmadge LeCroy (2021, Belton, S.C.) went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. LeCroy has a medium, slender frame that is still developing and has room to fill. He uses a slightly open and upright stance with a conventional handset. His hands work well to the baseball and he understands his timing well for his class. LeCroy has a simple load that sees his hands move straight back as his front foot lifts up to a hanging mid-leg lift trigger. There’s some uphill to his path through the zone as his backside collapses slightly but his excellent hand-eye coordination makes up for his steep path. His handsy foundation and present approach are a solid foundation for the young backstop. Moreover, he played third base in the game and has the ability to be a versatile player for the Gamecocks. While the power tool is still developing, it could naturally emerge over time as he fills out.

After the rain delay Stix Baseball 2020 battled for their first win of the tournament behind a solid start by Texas commit Reid Taylor (2020, Woden, Texas). Taylor has a larger physical frame with a strong arm that has the ability to run up to 92 mph, but sat around 87-90 mph in his outing. He has a longer arm action from an over-the-top slot and his fastball can get in on hitters, sometimes without intent.  He starts his motion slowly until his leg lift, then fires down the hill with violent drop-and-drive actions. His breaking ball is an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that shows good depth at times but lacks the bite and consistency to be an effective out-pitch. There were flashes of ability with the pitch, especially when located down in the zone. In his first inning of work Taylor struggled with his command and got himself into trouble early. Scouts were encouraged to see him compete through it and get himself out of the inning. He finished his day going three full innings while striking out four.

Kennesaw State commit Donye Evans (2020, Decatur, Ga.) pitched three innings of no-hit baseball for MVP while fanning three as well. Evans has a lengthy frame with a long wingspan that projects to be an asset as his body fills out. He has a longer, quick arm that has an overall whippy feel that fires into a three-quarters arm slot. Evans is the definition of a slinger with his arm action and lower slot, and his heavy fastball with late life makes life difficult on righthanded hitters. Evans also throws a low 11-to-5 shaped slider that flashed plus ability even though it was inconsistent. When he’s able to get the pitch out in front when locating across body it possesses good depth with a tighter shape. Evans’ arm is raw, with a deceptive motion and an arsenal that has plenty of room for improvement. His ceiling is very high and Kennesaw State could be receiving an absolute gem if he continues to advance his stuff.

An interesting uncommitted 2020, Brayden Woodburn (2020, Winter Springs, Fla.) had a fantastic game at the plate, smoking two triples and drawing a walk. Woodburn possesses present athleticism and fluidity up the middle of the infield, but his carrying tool will be his bat. With an upright, narrow and slightly open stance, he hunts the inner half of the baseball with consistency and displays a mature approach at the plate. His load is quiet and simple as his hands go back in rhythm with his low leg kick trigger. His backside stays tall throughout as his flat barrel path flies through the zone and extends well out in front. The overall simplicity and quickness in his stroke will most definitely play at the next level. If he’s able to consistently showcase his quick hands and barrel control throughout the tournament, he’ll spark plenty of college interest.

Richmond Braves 2020 National lost a heartbreaker to Royals Scout Team 2020 but Liberty commit Trey Gibson (2020, Yorktown. Va.) looked brilliant in his six-inning outing. Gibson has a methodical motion that he slightly crouches over his waistline into as he lifts. He has a longer sweeping arm action that comes up to a true three-quarters arm slot and he hides the ball well along his body line through his separation. Not only does Gibson have a live fastball that sits 89-93, but he also finds efficiency through deception with his secondary stuff. He likes to manipulate his breaking ball in a number of different ways, showcasing a spectrum of different shapes that could be classified as three separate pitches. The first of these is a larger 11-to-5 shaped curveball that possesses strong depth and bite especially when located across body. The second is a tighter shaped 10-to-4 slider that does not show the same bite as the curveball, but is still effective as it sits around 84 mph. The third is more of a cutter, which truly mimics the same actions out of his hand as his curveball does, but it sits around 88 mph and can really throw a hitter off guard after getting multiple looks at his arsenal. Throughout his outing Gibson was mixing heavily as well as switching up his sequences. He ended his day striking out 12 and impressing a large crowd of scouts.

Oklahoma commit Marquis Jackson (2020, Chicago, Ill.) slashed a triple into his opposite gap in MLB Breakthrough Series 2020’s 9-4 win. Jackson uses a heavily crouched stance that he slightly stands up into as he loads. His hands are strong and stay direct to the baseball as he has a handsy overall feel to his swing. There is some steep uphill to his path through the zone at times, but his path should flatten out as he simplifies his stroke. Jackson seems to ooze athleticism both in the field as well as on the basepaths and that athleticism will most likely be his carrying tool at the next level. He really showcased his speed on his triple as he legged it out despite hitting it to the left side of the diamond.

– Connor Spencer

Tre Richardson (2020, Kingwood, Texas) displays quite a high level of athleticism and quick-twitch movements in everything he does on the field. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound middle infielder for the Banditos Scout Team shows great lateral movement with a quick first step, high levels of instincts and anticipation for the game. Seemingly always in the right place at the right time, Richardson consistently stays in the middle of the action, either in the field, on the bases or at the plate. Defensively he demonstrates a higher-end polish to his skillset presently, with soft hands, solid arm strength and easy movements created from outstanding body control. From the leadoff spot he displays sneaky power presently with a line drive approach that can reach deep into the opposite field gap. There are times when Richardson will zero in on the opportunity to ambush fastballs to the pull side, but he shows a well-rounded approach overall. Using his high-end speed, he will also utilize his ability to bunt and cause problems on the basepaths. With added strength and weight through maturity there will be more of a power element added to his game in the future.

Cody Howard (2021, Conroe, Texas) plain and simple shows an ability to pitch at a high level with a feel for throwing the baseball. Also, a secondary outfielder, Howard will bring his athleticism with him to mound and demonstrates the ability to work from multiple arm slots without compromising his command or stuff. Primarily working from a high three-quarters arm slot, he shows heavy sinking arm-side life on his fastball that sits between 87-90 mph. Although he will drop down to a lower three-quarters slot, he does not lose any velocity and maintains the life of the pitch. Throwing multiple breaking balls, Howard features a 10-to-4 shaped slider between 77-79 mph and an 11-to-5 shaped curveball with more downer action between 73-75 mph. He displays the ability to land both in the zone with consistency, as well as create soft contact with a solid changeup between 79-80 mph. While the overall stuff is not completely eye opening presently, the consistency he brings to the mound with every outing is impressive. Howard will continue to develop and his quick arm projects for more velocity as he matures physically.

Connor Carson (2021, Bullard, Texas) commanded the strike zone for six innings in a complete game win for the Dallas Patriots over Power Baseball. With a fastball that sat 85-87 mph early in the game, with well above average command to both halves, Carson put hitters in a bind with his ability to locate. Throwing 70 percent of his offerings for strikes was impressive but it was the use and command of his slider from the middle-to-late innings that made the difference. From a high three-quarters slot Carson, who shows some deception in his delivery, collected both swings-and-misses as well as called strikes with an 11-to-5 shaped slider with late biting action. As a primary middle infielder Carson displayed tremendous athletic ability in fielding his position from the mound and the mental toughness to work through some defensive lapses in the field behind him. Carson collected eight strikeouts and once he was given the lead secured the victory by retiring the final six hitters in order. Carson also contributed from the leadoff spot in the order for the Patriots with a lined single in his first at-bat off a 92 mph fastball as part of a 1-for-2 day at the plate with a walk.

– Britt Smith

Najer Victor (2020, Clermont, Fla.) has had a quality summer on the circuit, continually showing as a power-armed righthander with arm speed and athleticism, and thus earned a commitment to Florida State and solid follows as they pertain to the draft. A slender, athletically-built righthander, Victor ran his fastball up to 94 mph in this one, sitting in the low-90s, and while the final line wasn’t necessarily clean, he threw a fair amount of strikes and showed improvement in his breaking ball, both positive signs in this culmination-of-the-summer outing for him. The arm speed is plus and is still a calling card here, giving him a tremendous velocity ceiling. He gets the arm up and powers downhill, creating plane when located down, and there was solid arm-side life at times, another nice wrinkle that wasn’t present consistently this summer. The breaking ball is coming along, now thrown in the mid-70s with slurvy bite, a continually-improving pitch that has promise. Given the arm speed, projection and velocity, Victor will be seen early and often by scouts in Florida next spring as we work towards the draft next June.

The Padres Scout Team/ECB and All Star Baseball Academy locked into a good one on Saturday, with the Pads taking the victory, 2-1. It was an extremely well-pitched game on both sides, with Zachary Murray (2020, Buford, Ga.) picking up the win in a great performance, allowing just one unearned run over five innings, scattering three hits and no walks while striking out eight. Murray has quality pitchability that he’s put on display for some time now, missing bats with a fastball-breaking ball combination that play really well off of each other and that he commands quite well. The fastball topped at 91 mph, sitting more in the 87-90 mph range, creating quality angle to the plate as well as good life to the fastball, throwing it to both sides of the plate and working downhill consistently. The breaking ball can be manipulated, thrown anywhere from 73-78 mph or so, with more of a bigger, true curveball shape in the lower end of that velocity band that he landed for strikes before sharpening it up into closer to a slider look in the upper-70s with good bite that he got a solid number of swings-and-misses over the top of. Committed to LSU, Murray should have an immediate impact for the Tigers when he arrives on campus.

Dylan Lesko (2022, Buford, Ga.) is the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2022, and for very good reason. He’s been written about quite a bit already over his prep career and closed out the win for the Padres on Friday, striking out five of the six hitters he faced. He ran his fastball up to 94 mph, landed his curveball for strikes in the mid-70s and absolutely abused hitters with his changeup, which is advanced on a level very rarely seen from a pitcher of his age. It’s thrown with excellent arm speed and generates tremendous tumbling action, a dynamic weapon against hitters of either handedness. He’ll be talked about quite a bit more in the coming years.

On the All State Baseball Academy side Shane Panzini (2021, Spring Lake, N.J.) threw really well, much as he did last week at the WWBA Underclass World Championship, running his fastball up to 93 mph and sitting 88-92 mph for his four frames, not allowing any runs or walks while punching out four. A physical righthander committed to Virginia, Panzini checks a lot of boxes, with a physical frame that looks the part of a durable, innings-eater in the future, powering the ball downhill with good plane, filling up the zone and showing the ability to move the ball around a bit. The curveball is a weapon, thrown in the mid-70s with 11-to-5 shape and power depth, a true curveball that misses bats right now and projects to continue to do so at whatever levels he achieves in his career.

Baseball Northwest and the East Coast Sox Select played an extremely exciting game later Friday night, with the Northwest club coming away with a 1-0 win in a game that was heavily attended by scouts. Logan Mercado (2020, Pasco, Wash.) got the start on the mound, and the Oregon commit was excellent. A solid-sized righthander with a good amount of athleticism, Mercado is a two-way player who excels both with the bat and on the mound, though it was on the mound where he really stood out in this one. He ran his fastball up to 92 mph early on with excellent arm-side life, showing the ability to consistently miss bats with the pitch up in the zone as it took off out of his hand and runs hard to the arm side through the zone; he definitely showed that he can work north-south with the pitch to great effect. The breaking ball plays well off of that riding fastball, with good glove-side bite that gets in under the hands of lefthanded hitters, and he demonstrated good feel for his changeup as well. Every pitch he throws moves quite a bit and that overall movement profile of his arsenal stands out and will have him squarely on the prep draft radar in the spring.

On the other side of the diamond, Perfect Game All-American Ryan Bruno (2020, Wellington, Fla.) was the best we’d ever seen him, still refining his command and dealing with bouts of wildness, but he struck out nine in three innings with only one walk and showed his usual power stuff. A large-framed, projectable lefthander, Bruno is committed to Stanford and has some of the better pure stuff in the class, possessing similar sky-high upside. The lower half of his delivery is inconsistent, leading to repeatability issues and therefore the aforementioned command concerns, but there’s no doubting the stuff and his performance late Friday night was encouraging, to say the least. He worked 90-94 mph with his fastball, alternating between excellent angle from an extended three quarters slot and good plane when the slot drifted higher, and the fastball has excellent life that grades out as plus at times. The breaking ball is thrown around 78-82 mph with power bite, working extremely well out of the slot with some sweep to it, though the power of the depth and bite in general is excellent, and the pitch showed plus a handful of times.

Bruno’s East Coast Sox teammate Slade Wilks (2020, Columbia, Miss.) enjoyed a really loud summer, including a Perfect Game All-American Classic appearance, and he’s continuing to swing a loud stick in Jupiter. He stayed back well on a Mercado changeup in his first at-bat, driving a single to the pull side, and while he ended up punching out in his next AB, it followed maybe the loudest contact of the day on a pull-side foul ball that would have been a home run in any ballpark ever constructed had it been fair. He combines tremendous strength, above average bat speed and excellent leverage to create big raw power, and he’s shown the ability in the past to drive the ball out to all fields, not just to his pull side. A Southern Miss commit, Wilks will be among the top follows in the Deep South for the draft next spring.

Following an eye-opening appearance at East Coast Pro a few months ago, Mason Miller (2020, Odessa, Fla.) has been a key follow for Florida scouts this fall, including a heavily attended start for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team really late on Friday night. A physical, broad-shouldered lefthander, Miller was as good as maybe he’s ever been, striking out eight over four shutout, no-hit innings, pounding the zone at a 60 percent clip and walking just one. The overall profile is enticing, as Miller pounded the zone with his fastball at 87-91 mph, creating good angle to the plate and showing the beginnings of feel for commanding it around the zone. However, the main profile draw here is undoubtedly his curveball, which grades out among the best in the prep class. Thrown in the mid-70s, the pitch features elite spin per TrackMan in the 2800-3000 RPM range consistently and grading out as plus most of the time via the eye test, including one in the first inning that graded as plus-plus. The power of the break is eye-opening, a big-breaking bender that moves through multiple planes and can be landed for a strike as well as buried as a chase, and the spin profile along with the rest of the profile will make him an extremely high follow for the draft.

Wake Forest commit Jackson Miller (2020, Trinity, Fla.) has established himself as having one of the better pure hit tools in the class, a lefthanded-hitting catcher who had a very good summer and continues to stand out in the fall. It’s a quick, direct stroke that gets on plane early and stays there, with an advanced, whole-field approach that works against pitching of any caliber from either side. He barrels everything on a line and has some quality extra-base jump to the profile as well to go along with solid defensive skills behind the plate, giving him a very well-rounded overall profile that stands out first and foremost for those barrel skills. All of which will make him a high follow for the draft during the spring in the state of Florida.

Canes National picked up their first win of the weekend late on Friday night, taking down Premier Baseball Futures by a score of 8-1. Maxwell Carlson (2020, Savage, Minn.) came on in relief and was dynamic, striking out every hitter he faced over 2 1/3 innings, needing only 33 pitches at a 70 percent strike clip to dispatch of opposing hitters. Carlson is a slenderly-built righthander with lots of arm speed who has performed extremely well over the course of the circuit this year, earning a PG All-American nod in the process. He ran his fastball up to 93 mph, sitting 89-92 mph with above average life and command to all four quadrants of the zone, pounding the fastball to both sides with great effect. The changeup is a dynamic offering, thrown with conviction and arm speed with excellent fading life, a pitch that could be projected as plus long term. He can manipulate the breaking ball a bit, throwing more of a slurvy pitch for strikes and then letting more of a true slider rip at times that has good horizontal bite and can miss bats. A highest follow in the Upper Midwest heading into the spring, Carlson is committed to North Carolina.

– Brian Sakowski

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