Tournaments | Story | 1/19/2020

West MLK Day 2 Scout Notes

Connor Spencer         Jerry Miller         Nate Schweers        
Photo: Caden Casagrande (Perfect Game)
PG West MLK Championship: Day 1 Scout Notes

As the sun continued to rise over Camelback Ranch Saturday morning, Robby Snelling (2022, Reno, Nev.) got things started with a bang for NorCal Baseball 2022 Blue, striking out six batters over five outs of work. Snelling dominated the strike zone in his outing, throwing strikes at a 70 percent clip and locating well to both sides of the plate. The Stanford commit sat 85-88mph with the fastball Saturday, creating steep plane out of the hand and sitting at the bottom part of the zone. While the fastball was enough to keep hitters off-balance, Snelling also showed excellent feel to spin a curveball with 11-5 shape and late depth through the zone. The southpaw showed an advanced ability to both land the pitch for strikes and generate swings in the dirt. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Snelling has the athleticism and strength to continue making strides on the mound as his prep career marches on.

Grant Selig (2022, Mill Valley, Calif.) showed a glimpse of the arsenal on Saturday, turning heads in what was just a third of an inning. Selig sat 87-90mph on Saturday, topping at 91 and showing some late life to the arm-side. Complimenting the fastball was a low-70s breaking ball that Selig can land in the zone with some frequency. Selig has fast-twitch actions down the mound and gets the most out of a 5-foot-11 frame that still has plenty of room to fill out and add strength. While Selig struggled to command the zone at times on Saturday, the right-hander did flash an arsenal that is loud and could develop into a can’t miss stuff.

The last leg of NorCal’s three-headed monster on the mound was San Diego State commit Tyson Dewall (2022, Folsom, Calif.). Dewall was able to scatter three hits over two innings of work, striking out three and filling the zone at a 78 percent clip. Dewall shows excellent command of the zone with a mid-80s fastball, topping at 87mph with steep plane through the zone. Dewall showed good feel to land a low-70s curveball on Saturday, mixing speeds well and keeping hitters off-balance. Dewall has plenty of room to fill out the 6-foot-2 frame and should be a name to follow closely over the next couple years.

Next door, Kaden Amundson (2022, Otsego, Minn.) put together a good game in a MN Icemen 16U victory. Amundson was 2-for-3 out the No. 2 spot, collecting a pair of RBI and coming around to score one of the Icemen’s nine runs. Amundson has a disciplined approach at the top of the lineup, showcasing good bat-to-ball skills and a line drive path to contact. Amundson and leadoff man Ethan Loss (2022, Lake Elmo, Minn.) make things go for the Icemen at the top of the order with Amundson also leading the defense behind the plate. The Minnesota native showcases soft hands to receive and blocking skills that make him a dynamic player on both sides of the ball.

Caden Casagrande (2022, Eagle, Idaho) put together one of the more impressive offensive performances of the day, going 3-for-4 with five RBI over two games. Casagrande has a balanced approach at the plate with some strength in thee hands at the point of contact. Casagrande showed the ability to get his hands extended well, driving the ball to the pull-side with good jump off the barrel. At just 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, the Idaho native plays bigger than the frame and has a hit tool that will only continue to develop with added size and strength.

Carson McEntire (2023, Glendale, Ariz.) impressed with a good day at the plate and advanced defensive actions for the AZ Desert Cats on Saturday. McEntire went 2-for-3, delivering a loud two-run double in his final trip to the plate. The primary catcher has some present bat speed at the plate with good timing in the load and a direct path to contact. Already standing 6-foot, 175-pounds, McEntire has present strength in the frame and flashes power potential in the future. Behind the plate, the Glendale native has soft hands to receive and was a workhorse for six innings. McEntire shows actions beyond his years on the diamond and should be an exciting name to follow over the next four years.

The Tri State Arsenal 2021 Scout Team received big performances from Will Rogers (2021, Shoreview, Minn.) and Dj Pacheco (2021, Danvers, Mass.) on Saturday. Both Pacheco and Rogers went 3-for-4 in the contest, recorded a double and an RBI. Rogers, who is an Arizona State commit, flashes excellent power to the pull-side and is a constant threat to go for extra bases. Rogers has a physical frame at 6-foot, 205-pounds, and is able to really impact the ball with consistency from the right-side. Rogers makes things go in the middle of the lineup and flashes the bat speed to handle velocity in the future.

Pacheco’s strong day was highlighted by a loud triple to the right-center field gap, showing the ability to impact the ball the opposite way and good speed around the base paths. The Richmond commit has an athletic frame, showcasing a direct path to contact and present strength in the hands. With such juice to and through both gaps, Pacheco has the versatility to contribute in the middle of the order as well. With such a good combination of speed and strength, expect the Massachusetts native to make noise on the Perfect Game tournament circuit throughout all 2020.

Over in the Upperclass division, Jonah Giblin (2020, Silverdale, Wash.) put on a show for scouts in a brief two-inning start. Giblin sat 89-92mph with a lively fastball, creating a really tough angle for hitters with steep plane and late life from a low three-quarter slot. Giblin displayed advanced command of the strike zone on Saturday, working in and out to keep hitters uncomfortable and off-balance. Beyond the fastball, Giblin showed excellent feel for a slider at 79-80mph and has the ability to land the pitch for strikes and as a put-away pitch. The Oregon State commit pitched with extreme focus and professionalism on Saturday, throwing just 25 pitches over two innings and striking out five. At 6-foot-3, and stronger than the listed 192 pounds, the right-hander gets down the mound with easy mechanics and a low-effort operation as a whole. If today’s outing was any indication from Giblin, expect to follow the Washington native closely in June’s MLB Draft.

Kyle Russell (2020, University Place, Wash.) turned heads for the many scouts in attendance on the offensive side of the ball, driving a ball deep over the wall in left field. Russell has an aggressive approach at the plate, swinging with intent to drive the ball and showing good jump off the barrel when squared. A Washington State commit, Russell has an explosive shift to contact and barrel whip through the zone. Though the big swing is susceptible to swing-and-miss at times, the senior shortstop is a constant threat to drive the baseball. Defensively, Russell plays with easy, athletic actions up the middle and showcases present strength across the diamond. The Washington native has the frame and skill set to stick at shortstop while having the athleticism and versatility to play any of the three infield spots at the next level.

Kody Bialas (2023, Las Vegas, Nev.) put together a strong day for LVR on Saturday, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Bialas has plenty of room to fill out in the young frame and shows easy bat speed with advanced barrel control for the class. Uncommitted in the 2023 class, the Las Vegas native swings with intent to drive the baseball back through the box and has a linear path to contact. Defensively, Bialas plays with aggressiveness and athleticism at the hot corner and does well to play through the fielding actions and make strong throws across the diamond. As the freshman starts to grow into his frame he will start to make huge strides in his overall game.

-Nate Schweers

Day two at the MLK West Championship saw a ton of offensive output, led in the morning by BC Strykers ELITE’s top of the order in the underclass division. Quinn Stock (2021, Anthem, Ariz.), Nate Sternig (2022, Phoenix, Ariz.), and Ashtin Webb (2021, Mesa, Ariz.) combined for seven runs, five RBI’s, and eight total bags through just four innings of play.

Stock is a primary pitcher but has the ability to play on both sides of the ball. He showcased his ability on the mound last weekend at the National Underclass West showcase with a strong outing. He also added two more hits including a double in BC Strykers’ second game of the day. Stock finds great extension through his finish at the plate, and he’s able to use his lower half well in his swing despite his crouched and spread stance. His triple into the left center gap was back spun well and kept carrying past the outfielders and into the deep gap.

Sternig has projectable length and room to fill out in his 6-foot-1, 155-pound frame. He uses an upright stance and is able to create some nice leverage in his swing. He did a great job of getting the barrel head out in front on his triple that nearly left the yard in dead left field. His hands work well down through the zone and his pop to all fields will only improve as frame continues to fill out.

Webb had two hits in the first ball game and showcased his quick hands and tough mentality at the plate. In game two on the day he added another hit, two more runs, and two more RBI’s. He does a great job of working his hands inside the ball while staying tall on his backside. His barrel gets on plane quickly and stays flat through the zone with good extension. There’s plenty of promise in his overall approach and feel for the barrel.

PFA Matadors moved to 2-0 in the underclass division thanks to a 16 run onslaught led by Santa Clara commit and Mira Costa high school standout Nick Bacura (2021, Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Bacura finished 4-for-4 on the day with two triples and five total RBI’s. He uses an upright, crouched, and even stance with a simple stride trigger. His stance starts slightly front loaded, then as his weight shifts back into his load, he ends up generating a balanced and powerful stroke that stays tall on his backside. He really fires his lower half with violence while keeping his upper half on the ball. This tension and coil create great whip through the zone with his barrel. He’s got a mature and simple approach at the plate that stays aggressive early in the count. There’s a lot to like about Bacura including his versatility in the field. He’s primarily a backstop but he has the ability to play all over the diamond including the outfield (which is where he started in the game). Bacura is currently ranked No. 500 in the 2021 class but that should soon improve as he heads into his junior season.

At Valley Vista high school, uncommitted right-hander Chase Marshall (2022, Surrey, BC) impressed on the hill going 2 2/3 innings while fanning five. Marshall has a live arm for his age that sits around 85-87 mph. He has a short arm action from a three-quarters to high three-quarters slot. From the windup he side steps then hunches over his front side slightly as he comes up to a mid to high leg lift. He mixed in a strong looking 11-to-5 shaped curveball that sits around 71 mph. Although the pitch feels unpolished, it shows promise and compliments his fastball nicely. Marshall works with good tempo and was consistently generating groundball contact as well. He’s a very interesting international follow moving forward.

Gonzaga commit Kai Francis (2021, Bainbridge Island, Wash.) turned some heads to close out PNW Underclass Royal’s 2-0 victory over Raskulls. Francis came out pumping 92 mph in his save situation and sat 88-92 throughout his 1 2/3 inning saved. With an out wide and high leg kick, his hands come up with his lift and stay high into separation. He has a longer whippy arm action from a high three-quarters to over the top slot. He’s not afraid to go right after guys with his power fastball and he locates it well to both sides of the plate. Francis threw nothing but fastballs in his outing but his arm strength surprised many as his previous Perfect Game best was 86 mph. Gonzaga has a load of raw ability to work with in Francis and if he wasn’t on the radar before, he official is now after lighting up the gun. He finished giving up no hits, one walk, and striking out five.

In the afternoon slot, Tri-State Arsenal 2023 Scout Team’s last minute comeback fell just short as they fell 8-7 to the LA Rockstars. Top ranked 2023 third baseman out of the state of New York Nick Martinez (2023, Nanuet, N.Y.) had a great game at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple and three RBI’s. Martinez has a stalky 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame that already possesses present strength and projectable size. At first glance Martinez looks like a corner guy who could stand to get faster as he develops, however, his quickness and baseball IQ are quite honestly surprising. He’s aggressive on the base paths, long with his running strides, and isn’t afraid to run in outfielders’ faces. At the plate, he uses an upright and even stance with a high leg kick trigger. He also shows good balance and a solid understanding of his timing despite the high leg kick. The pop in his bat is going to be a carrying tool and it only stands to improve as he continues to grow and fill out. One of the most impressive take a ways from Martinez’s plate appearances is the confidence and swagger he exudes at the plate. You can feel his competitiveness and confidence in every pitch at the plate. Keep an eye on this east coast freshman.

-Connor Spencer

The Trosky National 2021 squad captured their pool with a two-game sweep Saturday on the White Sox side of the Camelback Baseball Complex. The San Jose-based club was paced by solid pitching, sound defense and opportunistic offense.

Santa Clara commit, Johnny Tarantino (2021, San Jose, Calif.) threw four-shutout innings in the Trosky club’s 9-0 shutout, run-rule victory over Rijo Athletics. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound southpaw, could not have pitched much better in dominating the game from the hill. His active fastball was clocked consistently in the 80-84 mph range. His two-seamer showed cut and sink, and his four-seamer flashed consistent arm side run and explosive riding life. He complimented his fastball arsenal with a sharp, 12-to-6 breaking and tight spinning, 66-67mph curveball. He occasionally mixed in a tumbling, 76-mph change-up that he threw out of the same window as his fastball. His three-quarter slot and whippy arm action along with his deceptive mechanics that he repeated routinely helped keep the Rijo hitters off balance.

Trosky 2021’s middle infielder Blake Wilson (2021 Castle Pines, Colo.) is a steady defender with a smooth and easy style and plus throwing arm. He is especially adept at making plays moving to his glove side, and his throwing style and anticipatory skills allow him to play either side of the second base bag with confidence and at an advanced, college ready level. He is a consummate, top-of-the-order hitter who has a keen awareness of the strike zone, a quick, compact and flat swing path and the ability to consistently get his barrel to and through contact. On the bases, the Valor Christian HS junior is a heady and aggressive runner who can and will force the action.

Hitting in the middle of the Trosky 2021 line-up are two sluggers who can drive the baseball. Steven Lancia (2021, San Diego, Calif.) is an impressive athlete who catches and plays third base. The solidly built, 6-foot-3, 195-pound Scripps Ranch HS junior is excellent at both positions and possesses advanced footwork, soft hands, and an impressively strong and accurate throwing arm. At the plate, the righthanded hitter can drive the ball with some thump to the pull side of the field. He has a slugger’s swing path and the ball jumps off his barrel. What makes Lancia a prospect is his understanding of the strike zone and his mature ability to crush mistakes.

Owen Nagel (2021, Bakersfield, Calif.) is a physically fit, very strong, righthanded hitter who can power the baseball. Like Lancia, the Stockdale HS junior is a corner infielder and catcher. Where he impresses, however, is with a stick in his hands. He doesn’t get cheated and routinely finds his barrel with each at-bat. He uses a solid lower half and shows some lift at contact. His power swing projects to the next level and his quick bat path will allow him to continue to elevate his ability at the dish.

Ashtin Webb (2021, Mesa, Ariz.) has had two solid days for BC Striker ELITE. The athletically gifted, 6-foot, 190-pound catcher, is a picture of cool and uses his advanced catch and throw ability to handle his staff with a veteran’s presence. At the plate, however, is where Webb truly shines. The Mesa HS junior is a very projectable righthanded hitter who never expands the zone. His short, quick, and compact swing path allows him to see pitches longer and get his barrel routinely to a solid contact position. He shows a slight lift at contact and has the strength in his hands, shoulders, and lower half to drive the ball out of any park.

The MidSouth Prospects Upperclass club is loaded with NCAA Division I commitments. To say they are “loaded”, is a gross understatement. The Omaha-based team is paced at the top by their talented middle-infield combination. Brock Daniels (2021, St. Louis, Mo.) and Marcus Brown (2020, Springdale, Ark.) play advanced defense and have instincts with gloves on their hands that are certainly ready for the next step. Daniels, a St. John Vianny HS junior who is headed to Oklahoma University, is a silky smooth second sacker, who has quick feet, and a stronger than average arm that is very accurate. He can turn the double play with the poise, quickness, and ease of a veteran player. Brown, a senior at Shiloh Christian HS who is committed to Oklahoma State, is a classic shortstop who has exceptional range, a sound glove and a quick trigger that highlights his plus arm. His defensive ability alone will allow him to play early, and at a high level, when he heads to Stillwater.

What makes these two players Big XII ready is their ability at the plate. Both are left-handed hitters who are well-suited top-of-the-order guys. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Daniels hits in the leadoff spot and is an aggressive swinger who has the ability to turn on any pitch. He has great command of the strike zone and an ability to get his barrel on plane and through contact with obvious force. The ball jumps off his bat. He is also an advanced runner who is always looking to take the extra base and will.

At 6-foot and 185-pounds, Brown is accomplished with the stick. He has a great understanding of the zone and is highly selective. He has a flatter path and is extremely strong and quick with his hands. He is a twitchy hitter who also has the pop in his barrel to drive the ball from gap-to-gap. He is also a plus runner who is aggressive and instinctive.

Penn State commit Connor Throneberry (2021, St. Louis, Mo.) is a power hitter with the swing path, strength, and pitch awareness to hit the ball out of any park. At 6-foot-6 and 230-pounds, the Penn State commit presents an imposing figure at the dish. The Marquette Senior HS junior uses an easy load and a slugger’s path that features lift and carry at contact and the ball explodes off his barrel.

- Jerry Miller

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