Tournaments | Story | 10/14/2019

Jupiter Day 4 Scout Notes

David Rawnsley      Brian Sakowski      Vincent Cervino      Jered Goodwin      Connor Spencer      Jerry Miller     
Photo: Mac Guscette (Perfect Game)

2019 WWBA World Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders
Scout Notes: 
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

One of the stronger prospects from a physical standpoint is DBacks Langley Blaze’s Kala'i Rosario (2020, Papaikou, Hawaii) who had a good day at the dish, collecting a couple of hits in the morning playoff game and impacting some baseballs with authority in game two. The Cal Baptist commit is a very strong righthanded hitter, listed at 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds, and his biggest strength from a profile perspective is his ability to impact the ball and generate power. He went deep early in the tournament and put up numbers on TrackMan with one of the highlights being a 103 mph exit velocity line out to the opposite field during the afternoon slate of games. Rosario’s strength and power are certainly intriguing as he’s a fascinating prospect coming out of Hawaii this year.

After impressing during a short stint in relief on Friday, Dylan Lesko (2022, Buford, Ga.) got the ball during the Padres Scout Team’s first game of bracket play and was wildly impressive in doing so. The No. 1 player in the class lived up to the hype as he tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings while punching out 11 hitters in the process. Lesko checks almost every box that evaluators look for out of young prospects with a good delivery, arm action and present stuff that would rival most high school seniors in the country. Lesko worked up to 92 mph, holding 88-91 mph fairly consistently while working the pitch well within the zone as the fastball comes out of the hand very cleanly. The changeup is his best secondary pitch and it’s a very good one as he would throw it to both righthanded and lefthanded hitters. One such sequence stood out when he went changeup, changeup, fastball, changeup to put away a righthanded hitter. The breaking ball showed a lot to like, with good shape and depth to the curve that will undoubtedly firm up as he gains strength. There’s not much left to say about Lesko at this point as he’s proven himself more than a worthy No. 1 prospect.

Lesko’s teammate Kristian Campbell (2021, Marietta, Ga.) had a very strong day on both sides of the ball, impressing with his usual stout defense over at shortstop while showing a lot of development from an offensive perspective. The Georgia Tech commit has long been one of the standouts of the class but the changes he’s made physically – he looks significantly stronger with more offensive impact as a result – have brought his game to the next level. He made a couple of highlight reel level plays over the course of three games on Sunday, including one in the first playoff game of the day where he laid out in the six-hole, got to his feet and fired a strike across to nail a runner who was getting down the line pretty quickly. Offensively, the physicality added has resulted in Campbell generating a lot of well-struck contact, getting the barrel head out in front and really driving the ball to the middle of the field. He has collected his fair share of hits during the weekend and he’s taken very consistent at-bats as his ability on both sides of the ball should be monitored next summer.

Looking like a true middle-of-the-order bat on Sunday was Reuben Church (2020, Maryville, Tenn.) as he was keeping the outfielders running around the grass all day long. The righthanded hitter is a physical swinger, standing at a listed 6-foot-2 and 200-pounds with already good physicality and strength to the build. The Kentucky commit does a nice job at getting the barrel head out with a smooth swing path that allows him to lift balls and drive them even when his hands aren’t all the way extended. Church has enough strength to loft balls over the head of outfielders to pull and does a nice job at working gap-to-gap. He had a very good day hitting in the middle of the order and he’s an intriguing corner infield prospect from Tennessee for this draft cycle.

One of the pitching performances of the day came from Jovan Gill (2020, Fort Myers, Fla.) as the Giants Scout Team/FTB ace was dominant in a complete game while allowing only one earned run and punching out 11. The Stetson commit was incredibly efficient, throwing over 75 percent strikes while needing only 86 pitches to get through all seven innings. He used his fastball just enough to keep hitters honest, sitting 88-90 mph with the pitch and maybe throwing it a dozen times throughout the start as he pounded hitters with breaking balls, knuckle balls and pronated sinkers. The sinker was actually his most impressive pitch on the day, getting a lot of action in the 78-82 mph range and throwing it to both lefthanded and righthanded hitters and getting some ugly and early swings on the pitch. Gill’s pitchability is well-known at this point and for his career at Jupiter he’s at 15 innings with only one run allowed and 27 strikeouts to his name.

Giants Scout Team middle infielder Steven Ondina (2020, Gurabo, Puerto Rico) is an athletic and impressive player on both sides of the ball as his twitch and defensive instincts make him a fascinating draft prospect. The Florida International commit is very quick on his feet with good actions defensively, while his best tool is likely his plus arm which he uncorked on a few different occasions – Ondina showed off the hand cannon at PG National where he was recorded up to 97 mph across the diamond. Offensively he operates in ambush mode, looking to do damage to fastballs early in the count and drive them on a line to all fields. It’s a short, quick swing for Ondina who has some loud tools and athleticism.

San Jacinto CC commit Jack Seward (2020, Port Moody, British Columbia) was very good for the Toronto Blue Jays Scout Team in their second playoff game of the day, allowing just one hit in four shutout innings while striking out five batters. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthanded pitcher has a lot of positive components, with good physical projection, athleticism to the delivery and some very impressive present stuff. The arm stroke is quick and clean through the back and he pounded the zone with the fastball. The heater was very good, peaking at 92 mph and sitting 88-90 with plus life, breaking a number of bats as the fastball bore in on righthanded hitters and off the barrel of lefthanded hitters. Seward’s slider was short and tight, with hard, late break and mimicking the fastball nicely from a similar arm slot and a close velocity range at 80-84 mph. Seward is a solid prospect and one to watch next spring to see if that velocity continues to tick upward.

One of the better bats this tournament has been catcher Jackson Miller (2020, Trinity, Fla.) as he’s been remarkably consistent, collecting two hits in every game but one for a batting average of .526 on the weekend. The Wake Forest commit has been a hot name this fall, impressing for his advanced hittability and barrel control at the valuable position of catcher. Miller is a well-built prospect at 6-foot, 195-pounds with good size and strength throughout. Miller is known for his offensive game but his defensive game is also strong as he can block balls well in the dirt and has a strong throwing arm. The offensive upside is vast and there’s some raw power to the profile too as Miller’s high school games this spring are assuredly going to be heavily attended.

PG All-American catcher Mac Guscette (2020, Nokomis, Fla.) has been hitting the ball well this weekend as he’s been a big part of getting the Florida Burn to Monday’s semifinal round. The physical backstop is known for his offensive game as the Florida commit has a very controlled and balanced approach in the box and really sprays line drives to all fields. The swing generates some loft through the hitting zone while he can impact the ball well, generating a number of 90-plus exit velocities on line drives to the pull side. Guscette has been splitting catching duties this week and will expand the zone on off-speed pitches, but he’s been a consistent force in the batter’s box this summer and fall.

Tanner Witt (2020, Houston, Texas) is a notable two-way prospect who had the opportunity to hop on the mound for a quick two innings in a consolation game on Monday. The 6-foot-6, 198-pound Texas commit has an excellent frame for that of a pitcher as he projects well from a physical standpoint. The delivery features checkpoints and moving parts with some inconsistencies to the front side, which, in turn, caused some command issues for Witt in this one, though the stuff was fairly impressive. Witt ran his fastball up to 94 mph while working in the 88-92 mph range, generating some empty swings when the pitch was within the strike zone. He struggled to land the breaking ball on a consistent basis but it shows good qualities with high spin, good depth and true 12-to-6 action. The upside on the mound is significant and he will continue to improve as he gets more time on the mound.

Showing some impressive stuff in a two-inning consolation stint was southpaw Nicholas Griffin (2020, Monticello, Ark.) who really looks the part out on the mound with his projectable 6-foot-4, 175-pound frame and very easy release on his stuff. The Arkansas commit has a very low effort operation with a fastball that worked up to 93 mph and sat in the 88-92 mph range with good angle and life to the pitch. Griffin mixed in a short, tight slider that he could land for strikes and the ease of the operation combined with the present stuff makes him a very high ceiling draft prospect.

– Vinnie Cervino

Playoff day at the WWBA World Championship dawned sunny and clear, as we began the hunt to find four semifinalists who would play on Monday morning. Ryan Stefiuk (2020, Green Bay, Wis.) got the ball for the Reds Midwest Scout Team in their playoff matchup against the Dirtbags, a game the Dirtbags would win to advance. Stefiuk is a slender, athletically built lefthander committed to Vanderbilt, one of several high-level Wisconsin prospects in the class of 2020. Stefiuk was excellent to start this one, running his fastball up to 89 mph from his usual extended low three quarters slot, generating as much angle to the plate as anyone in the class and sitting in the 84-88 mph range throughout. He ended up giving up a few runs later in the game but was wholly dominant to open and further established himself as a legitimate draft prospect heading into the spring. The breaking ball stands out as well, a slurvy offering that he commands really well, thrown with big 2-to-8 shape across the zone that he can land for strikes or run all the way across and out of the zone. He’s a nightmare of an at-bat for lefthanded hitters right now and the breaking ball quality and projection gives him a weapon against righties as well.

Samuel Swygert (2020, Springfield, S.C.) came on in the second inning with the Dirtbags down 4-0 early, and proceeded to dominate for four innings of relief, allowing just two baserunners total while striking out six, keeping the Reds at bay while his teammates got to swinging the bats, eventually winning the game in comeback fashion. Swygert, a South Carolina commit, is a physical, strongly built righthander in the mold of an innings eater starting pitcher. He has a fair bit of spin elements working in his favor, with good four-seam spin on his fastball that takes off at the top of the zone, sitting in the 87-90 mph range for the most part with it, working to both sides and missing bats consistently. There’s feel to spin a breaking ball as well, thrown in the 71-76 mph range with some variation to the shape with both curveball and slurve looks, in addition to turning over a few changeups that had some fade to them.

The Dirtbags got a big offensive performance from Nathan Cmeyla (2020, Ashburn, Va.), a primary catcher who is committed to Dartmouth. A Perfect Game National participant earlier this summer, Cmeyla went 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run, a two-run bomb in the top of the fifth that put the Dirtbags up 7-4 and gave them the breathing room necessary to win the game. An athletic player who is versatile enough to play a lot of different spots on the field, Cmeyla was the designated hitter in this one, showing off those offensive tools that should allow him to make an impact right away at Dartmouth. There’s good balance to his swing with solid average bat speed and quality raw power and he’s done a good job of noticeably adding strength to his frame over the course of the past several months, continually driving the ball en route to a 1.636 OPS thus far.

Canes American got a win in the Round of 32 over the Houston Astros Scout Team, getting a tremendous start from Levi Wells (2020, LaPorte, Texas) in the process. Wells, who really burst onto the scene this summer with power stuff, befuddled the Astros hitters for 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one unearned run on a single hit and three walks while striking out nine. He’s a strongly built righthander with very good lower body strength and some projection remaining through his torso and chest, and he’s a relatively recent commit to Texas Tech. He ran his fastball up to 94 mph early on, sitting 90-93 mph before dipping more into the upper-80s as the game wore on, pounding the strike zone to both sides of the plate and overpowering some hitters in the process. The curveball is a dynamic weapon, thrown in the mid-70s with plus spin and hard 11-to-5 shaped bite, grading as a plus pitch on several occasions in this game. He’s certainly placed his name squarely on the draft radar this summer and fall and will be among the top follows in South Texas next spring.

We stopped in to see Hurston Waldrep (2020, Thomasville, Ga.) throw in a consolation game on Sunday afternoon, finishing off a summer-long evaluation that included stops at the 17u WWBA and East Coast Pro. Waldrep was good, throwing a brief two innings for scouts, striking out four and pounding the zone at a 63 percent clip. Waldrep is built well with good size and has intriguing present stuff to go along with projection. He ran his fastball up to 91 mph, sitting in the 87-90 mph range with a long, whippy arm stroke that gets up to a near over-the-top arm slot, powering downhill and leveraging the ball down in the zone with steep plane. The curveball plays extremely well from that slot with big 11-to-5 shape, excellent spin and plenty of depth. The pitch was consistently solid average in this look and shows the makings of a potential plus pitch long-term. A Southern Miss commit, he’ll be an intriguing follow in south Georgia next spring as it pertains to the draft.

Canes National and East Coast Sox Select played what may have been the most heavily scout-attended consolation game in Jupiter history, with the Canes taking the exhibition by a score of 3-1, as both teams had been eliminated in pool play. Jackson Fristoe (2020, Paducah, Ky.) got the start for the East Coast Sox, culminating a loud summer for him on the scouting circuit. A long, lean righthander committed to Mississippi State, Fristoe had a quality two-inning look in this one, striking out three while walking just one. He ran his fastball up to 95 mph once, sitting in the 90-93 mph range for the most part, showcasing plus arm speed and overall significant arm talent that makes him a fascinating MLB Draft follow. The slider touched 85 mph, thrown firmly with good bite, flashing above average while also throwing a bigger-shaped curveball around 80 mph. There’s some lower half inconsistencies mechanically that lead to bouts of below average control/command, but given his projection and athleticism, the upside of a quality command righthander with loud stuff absolutely exists, and he’ll be a highest priority target for scouts in the Ohio Valley next spring.

The Dirtbags advanced through to the semifinals on Monday via a 5-2 win over the Royals Scout Team on Sunday night. Cameron Clonch (2020, Mooresville, N.C.) struck a decisive blow in the top of the sixth inning, going deep to right field in a 2-1 game to give the Dirtbags a 3-1 lead, a lead they would not relinquish en route to a quarterfinal win. Clonch is a long, lean and highly-projectable two-way talent committed to East Carolina who showed off a loose, whippy stroke from the left side of the plate featuring plenty of bat speed, very good timing skills and solid raw power now to go along with the projection. He has the body type and the swing that could eventually result in huge power as he continues filling out his body and he’ll be fascinating to watch continue to develop into next spring and at ECU.

– Brian Sakowski

Baseball Northwest 2020 made a great run to the final 16, playing great defense and getting dominant outings on the mound. Anthony Figueroa (2020, Miami, Fla.) closed out the first round of bracket play with authority. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound lefthanded pitcher sat 90-93 with heavy late life. Possessing long arms for his size, he got good extension and created nice downward angle that proved hard on hitters. He used the pitch mostly to his arm side and it helped tunnel his hard-biting slider that swept under barrels of righthanded hitters. The slider had a very high spin rate and was a very effective weapon to get big strikeouts while closing the 1-0 affair. The uncommitted lefty has plenty of room to add to his lower half, and with the type of arm speed he showed on Sunday, there is no reason to think there isn’t another gear as he physically matures.

Sterlin Thompson (2020, Ocala, Fla.) continues to mash down in Jupiter. Through the first two rounds of bracket play he notched four hits including a triple and a no-doubt home run. His whippy bat and elite hand-eye coordination have been a tough matchup for opposing pitchers. He continues to make strides defensively and he doesn’t show any panic making movement plays. He also has plenty of arm to stay at the hot corner. It is always fun when people make a huge jump on the biggest stage as the Stetson commit has done just that.

Several Perfect Game All-Americans had big days on Sunday, but there’s none bigger, literally, than MLB Breakthrough Series’ cleanup batter Michael Brown (2020, Vacaville, Calif.). Brown showcased some of his big offensive upside as a strong lefthanded hitter with a big frame and he uses it well to generate tons of bat speed when attacking the pitch. The Washington commit stayed back on a well-located curveball and stayed connected on his back side to drive the pitch the opposite way over the left fielder’s head. In his next at-bat he turned on an inner-half pitch for a hard single. As he continues to get reps he will tap into his massive raw power as this first baseman will be fun to cross-check in the spring.

The Canes American played a spirited game to open bracket play. Juan Gonzalez (2020, Doral, Fla.) and Hunter Stokely (2020, Wilson, N.C.) provided some big blows that would prove to be too much to overcome.

Gonzalez is a catcher with a huge arm behind the plate, very strong wrists and big-time leadership skills. At the plate he had a fine day. He got the scoring started with a line drive single to center field, staying on an outer-half pitch and not doing too much. In his last at=bat, he got a pitch to drive and he did not miss as he unloaded on a home run that travelled into the trees past the left field wall. He is physically strong, and his baseball IQ has been on display during the WWBA World Championship by constantly making the right calls and willing his pitchers through tough at-bats. Gonzalez has been especially fun to watch.

Stokely is a monster in the lefthanded batter’s box. He is an absolutely physical young man who is way more athletic than one would think at first glance. He showed the ability to stay balanced while making adjustments with his body to get his barrel to the pitch. He launched an inner-half fastball deep to the right-center field gap for a double, using his legs to get to the bottom of the ball. Later he flicked an outer-half pitch for a scorched single to center. The big man showed good speed underway for his size and used it well to stretch an extra base when needed. There is significant upside in his offensive profile.

Dante Girardi (2020, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) had a great tournament from start to finish making loud contact throughout. There was a lot of talk about his physical appearance as he has put on good strength over the fall. He made all the plays at his shortstop position and showed good arm strength across the diamond. The righthanded hitter had multiple extra-base hits during the event with the last one coming in a huge spot in the Round of 16. In a tie game at one apiece, Girardi went with an 89 mph fastball and scorched it down the opposite field line for an RBI double to take the lead. The development of his overall game was exciting to watch this weekend as everything is pointing to a continued upward trend.

The Scorpions 2020 Founders Club continued to roll with Dylan Crews (2020, Longwood, Fla.) doing damage at the top of the lineup in the Round of 16. He has always done such a good job staying in his coil and releasing at the very last second to drive balls a long way to the opposite field. The righthanded hitter doubled early in the game and came around to score. Later he would double again, this time a long way straight down the right field line that would get to the wall in a hurry. He has a center field profile and would do well at the top or in the middle of an order at the next level. His track record for hitting is well known and he continues to add to his resume here in Jupiter.

The Florida Burn Platinum are doing what they do, making another deep run in the playoffs at Jupiter. The defending champs got a ton of production from the top of the lineup which includes underclassman Michael Robertson (2021, Venice, Fla.). There is a ton of projection in his 6-foot-1 frame as he has a high waist and long limbs with a body that can hold some bulk pretty easily. The Florida commit is a well above average runner that he uses on both sides of the ball extremely well. He knows his game and executes it very well. On a three-hit night he had a bunt single, an opposite field line drive single and found a landing spot for an opposite field double in his last at-bat. The lefthanded hitter’s bat-to-ball skills are immense with his overall upside being a top-of-the-order catalyst and center field prospect at the highest level.

– Jered Goodwin

The Royals Scout Team powered their way into Sunday’s quarterfinals with two big, emotionally charged victories on Cardinals 3. While many players contributed to these key wins for the Royals club, none stood out more than Lukas Cook (2020, Knoxville, Tenn.). The 6-foot-3, 205-pound, South Carolina commit, played first base in the Royals first round extra innings win over a very talented Midland Redskins team. With his club trailing by two runs in the bottom of the 10th, and facing a two-strike count with two outs, the Hardin Valley HS senior hit a towering, no-doubt grand slam home run well over the left field fence to set off pandemonium outside the first base dugout. Cook uses a classic slugger’s swing path and incorporates an athletic lower half to generate plus torque with every pass. His quiet approach and calm demeanor allow him to never let the moment get too big, and for Cook and his Royals teammates, this game-winning moment was huge.

Shortly after the completion of that game, in the Royals’ Sweet 16 game against a scrappy and gritty Home Plate Chili Dogs club, all the multi-talented Cook did was start on the hill and pound the strike zone for five quality innings. He pitched off a well-commanded fastball that was consistently clocked in the 88-92 mph range and showed sound riding life. He complemented his heater with two plus secondary pitches. His 72-74 mph, 11-to-5 breaking ball showed tight spin and bite at the dish. His 82-mph changeup was thrown with the same arm action and out of the same tunnel as his plus fastball. Cook is mechanically sound and shows a consistent high three-quarters, repeatable arm slot. He has plus feel for all his pitches and works with a veteran’s poise and confidence.

The Royals Scout team’s catching duo showed why they are both bound for top-flight Division I programs. The pair are also the best catchers in their classes, in their respective states.

Alek Boychuk (2020, Buford, Ga.) is a stout 6-foot, 205-pound rock solid athlete. He is a gifted receiver who calls a plus game. He keeps his staff and the Royals defense locked in with his vocal leadership. His catch-and-throw skills are as good as any catcher in Jupiter and will allow the talented Mill Creek HS senior, and South Carolina commit, to make the transition to SEC baseball with ease and confidence. Boychuck, who is PG’s No. 1-ranked 2020 catcher in Georgia, hits in the middle of the Royals lineup and shows the swing mechanics and plate discipline to be a plus power hitter as his career continues.

Boychuk shares the Royals catching duties with Carter Jensen (2021, Kansas City, Mo.). The LSU commit is PG’s No. 1-rated class of 2021 catcher in Missouri. Like Boychuk, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Jensen is a plus catch-and-throw receiver who controls the game vocally. His easy setup, quick feet, and plus trigger allow him to get the ball on its way quickly. His throws show consistent carry and accuracy. The Park Hill HS junior also showed a plus lefthanded swing that features a classic path and a slugger’s lift at contact.

Two Arkansas commits, Kendall Diggs (2021, Olathe, Kan.) and Robert Moore (2020, Leawood, Kan.), carry the speed component and a heady, aggressive baserunning tool to the park with them every game. In addition to being gifted offensive players they are also advanced defenders.

Moore is the multi-tooled shortstop and leadoff hitter for the Royals Scout Squad. His baseball IQ and high energy approach to the game allow him to consistently play at a level matched by few in his age group. Refreshingly, he can’t hide his enthusiasm for playing the game. It is obvious he loves being at the yard. He swings the bat equally well from both sides of the plate and shows surprising raw power for a top-of-the-order hitter. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Shawnee Mission HS senior is an advanced defender who can make all the plays on the left side of the infield. He is adept at turning the double play and has superior arm strength. All his throws show consistent carry and accuracy.

Diggs, who is the “other” leadoff hitter for the Royals Scout Team hitting at the bottom of their order is a contact first, line drive hitter who sprays the ball with authority from gap-to-gap. He is an aggressive baserunner who can and will force the action. His elite speed puts consistent and obvious pressure on opponent’s defenses. The St. Thomas HS junior is also a sound defender who can play multiple positions and was featured Sunday in left field, where his athleticism was on full display.

The scrappy and gritty Home Plate Chili Dogs played hard and played together for the entire weekend before finally bowing out in the Round of 16 playoffs to the Royals Scout Team. The Chili Dogs were led by their three-hole hitter and gifted right fielder Jett Lovett (2021, Newnan, Ga.). The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Newnan HS junior played flawlessly in right field throughout the tournament. He made numerous clutch defensive plays to help his competitive club win their pool and advance in the playoffs. The sweet-swinging lefthanded hitter has a line drive swing who can also put an occasional charge in a pitch. He shows a short, quick and direct swing path and he has an advanced ability to get his barrel to the ball with every pass. Lastly, the athletic Georgian is a plus runner who can and will take the extra base.

The Northeast Pride Scout Team rode sound pitching, solid defense, timely hitting and a never-say-quit attitude to the playoffs before finally dropping a tough, 10-inning contest to the Home Plate Chili Dogs.

The NE Pride team was led by two gifted players who are both bound for college baseball. The always-competitive 5-foot-5, 140-pound Tristan Werner (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) is the Pride’s talented leadoff hitter and second baseman. The Fairleigh-Dickinson commit is a gifted athlete with a plus baseball IQ. The scrappy second sacker is the infield’s vocal leader who can make all the plays on the right side of the infield. His quick feet and soft hands allow him to make the double play turn with ease. The Mount Sinai HS senior can also swing the stick as he has a quick, short and direct path and a middle-of-the-field mentality. His plate discipline is elite and he works counts like a veteran. Werner is also an instinctive and aggressive baserunner who will take the extra base.

Northeastern commit Eric Yost (2020, Ossining, N.Y.) can swing the bat. The Northeast Pride’s 6-foot-1, 180-pound power hitting right fielder uses a solidly built lower half to produce plus torque with every swing. He has a natural ability to get his bat on plane and consistently to a sound contact point. He has a plus feel for the barrel and the ball sounds a bit different coming off his bat. The Fordham Prep senior is also a capable outfielder who has plus first-step quickness and a strong throwing arm that shows carry and accuracy.

– Jerry Miller

Walking into the complexes around Rodger Dean Stadium on Sunday, you could immediately sense the tension that was arising pre-game as playoff brackets were set to begin. In the morning, South Charlotte Panthers 2020 moved on to the Field of 16 after defeating Team Louisiana-Sheets. A pair of NC State commits stood out for South Charlotte, and the Wolfpack have to be excited about their future pitcher/catcher tandem.

Righthander Brandon Hudson (2021, Waxhaw, N.C.) looked strong early in his outing and was sitting 88-90 while touching 91 mph throughout. He has a lengthy slender frame with plenty of room to fill out and a short, quick arm that comes up to a three-quarters to high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball possesses good arm-side run, especially when locating arm side, and he’ll mix in a 75 mph curveball. The curveball has a 12-to-6 to high 11-to-5 shape and shows solid depth and bite at times. Hudson likes to establish the fastball early and he’ll primarily pitch off the fastball, saving his secondary pitches until two strikes. He also flashed the foundation for an 82 mph changeup. Hudson finished going three full innings, allowing just one hit and fanning four.

Catcher Jacob Cozart (2021, High Point, N.C) stroked a booming opposite field double into the left-center gap that recorded a 98 mph exit velocity. Cozart uses a very wide, slightly open stance with a toe-tap trigger. As his front foot moves forward after his toe tap, his hands move back and he fires his hands without generating much of a coil. On his double, he was able to work his hands inside and he allowed the ball to get deep. However, in his next three at-bats there was some top hand turnover through his extension, as he was really working to get the barrel out in front. Behind the plate, it’s easy to see with the naked eye his athleticism and feel. He does a nice hob of beating balls to spots with his glovework, and he’s quick to get down to block.

Rutgers commit Ryan Lasko (2020, Jackson, N.J.) went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Baseball U’s win and he showcased his competitive mentality and great pair of hands at the plate. Lasko uses an upright stance with a high and forward handset near his ear. After his leg kick trigger, his hands go back into his load a little late, but he still has plenty of hand speed and barrel control to get the head through the hitting zone on time. In his first at-bat he turned on an inside fastball, crushing a double that two-hopped the wall in straightaway left. In his second plate appearance, Lasko impressed when he battled and fouled multiple pitches off with two strikes before throwing his hands and slashing a base hit through the right side of the infield. His handsy foundation and firm understanding of his swing make him an interesting high follow this upcoming season.

Scorpions Founders Club moved into the quarterfinal round behind Florida commit Jackson Nezuh (2020, St. Cloud, Fla.). Nezuh has a conventional motion with a longer arm action from a high three-quarters slot. He stays tall throughout his motion and vertical with his drop-and-drive actions. Nezuh has good direction down the hill and his fastball sat 87-91 while touching 92 mph. He was primarily mixing between his fastball and his 11-to-5 shaped slider that sat around 75 mph. He cruised through the South Charlotte Panthers 2020 lineup with an efficient tempo and high strike percentage. He finished his day going four full innings while fanning five. His earned run came from a baserunner that scored after he came out of the ballgame.

After mysteriously struggling to scratch across runs throughout the entirety of their tournament, Braves Scout Teams/Team Elite finally unloaded for a five run sixth inning in their consolation game against CBA Marucci 2020. Jack Bulger (2020, Bowie, Md.) and Kellum Clark (2020, Brandon, Miss.), both sparked the offense in the heart the order, and with the talent this team has it’s hard to believe that they struggled to manufacture runs in pool play.

Bulger went 2-for-3 with a laser of a line drive into right-center that the center fielder had a tough time tracking because of how hard it was hit. Bulger’s swing is short and quick with obvious strength to his hands and he’s able to muscle balls into the gaps even if he struggles to square up the baseball. His conventional stance and simple load create controlled violence throughout and he seems to have a good feel for his mid- to high-hanging leg kick trigger. Even though there is present pop to his swing, his power tool still feels raw and the way his athleticism translates to baseball actions makes his ceiling ridiculously high. He’s committed to Vanderbilt, but he could be a premium draft pick next June given his high-profile tools.

After a slow start to the tournament, Clark produced a towering fly ball in the sixth inning of their consolation game Sunday that came off the bat with a 44-degree launch angle and 98 mph exit velocity that sailed over the right fielder’s head and just beyond the wall in right. Even though Clark got under the ball with his swing his strong hands and plus power tool were enough to muscle the ball out the ballpark. The Mississippi state commit has plenty of athleticism to profile at multiple positions in the field, and he’s another high-end talent that will receive a ton of MLB interest.

– Connor Spencer

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