Tournaments | Story | 2/24/2020

Mountain West Select Scout Notes

Connor Spencer        
Photo: Ty Southisene (Perfect Game)
The Mountain West Select Championship got underway in Henderson, Nev. and teams from across the country flocked to the Vegas area to compete. A day full of rain on Saturday canceled games and made for extremely wet and tough conditions on Sunday. CBA Nevada 2024 and MountainWest 2024 grinded their paths to the championship game by competing hard through a full slate of games on the final day of the tournament.

PG 13u Select Fest participant Ty Southisene (2024, Henderson, Nev.) was strong from the get-go for CBA Nevada 2024. Ty drove in the first and only run in CBA’s first game on a good pitch on the outer half of the plate. He was able to throw his hands and hunt the inner half to slash a line drive into right. Southisene uses an upright and slightly open stance, then generates a ton of leverage in his swing from a heavy linear weight shift and a high leg-kick trigger. He does a nice job of staying balanced on his instep when he lifts into his leg kick, and he’s really able to drive his backside through once he lands. There’s present bat speed in his swing already and it’s good to see him refining his approach as a hitter as well. At short, his athleticism is easy to see with the naked eye and he already possesses good fluidity to and through the baseball. As he continues to develop his feel up the middle, he has the potential to flourish once his frame really fills out. He also crushed a bases-clearing triple into the right-center gap in CBA’s second game of the day.

In the championship game, Southisene topped his best fastball from last week’s PG President’s Day Classic in Irvine by topping out at 85 mph. He fanned 10 through his five innings of work and proved his promise as a possible two-way prospect. Consider Southisene to be one of the top players right now out of the class of 2024.

Large and athletic framed Zach Edwards (2024, Riverton, Utah) drove in MountainWest 2024’s only run of the game in their 1-1 tie in game one with CBA Nevada. Edwards’ profile is extremely projectable with length and athleticism that should help him develop plus tools in the future. He looks natural at the hot corner with a good arm across the diamond and size to cover down the line. At the plate, he uses an upright and slightly open stance with conventional hand placement. His size already generates good pop in his barrel as he drove a towering double to his pull-side gap to drive in the run.

Later in the day in the semifinal round, Edwards burst onto the top prospect scene by pumping 86-88 mph in his first two innings of work on the mound. Edwards’ large and lengthy athletic frame creates solid leverage as he works down the hill with a quick arm action from a high three-quarters slot. He has good direction down the hill and works straight up and down with his motion. What’s even scarier than the strong velocity on the hill is his already mature pitchability and feel for the hitter. He throws what can be called two separate breaking balls. The first sits around 69-71 mph and possesses a low 11-to-5 shape. It has more vertical bite than it does horizontal. However, he drops his slot on the other breaking ball; that sits around 71-73 and has more of a true 10-to-4 slider shape with good horizontal bite off the barrels of right-handed hitters. He also mixes in an off-speed pitch that he turns over at the window, and that sits around 77 mph. Although he didn’t use it much, it has fantastic potential and just adds to his potency on the mound. He pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. After this performance, Edwards is now a true top prospect and he should expect an invite to the PG 14u National showcase.

Noah Andersen (2024, Glendale, Ariz.) closed out the ball game for MountainWest and was dominant in his final inning of work. Andersen has a longer arm action that reaches down and back, then comes up to a high three-quarters to over-the-top slot. His fastball was consistent in his two-inning outing sitting at 78 mph while touching 79. He displayed full confidence in his large-shaped, high 11-to-5 to 12-to-6 curveball that possesses excellent depth to the plate. As his arm continues to develop, the pitch will increase in RPM’s and the bottom will really start falling out on it. Andersen wasn’t afraid to throw the breaking ball four or even five times to some hitters. His size also gives him some downward angle to the plate. Given Andersen’s frame, age, and arm speed, expect him to make a jump in velocity sometime soon.

Next Level Crusaders beat Project X Clutch Navy and centerfielder Dennis Butler (2024, Chicago, Ill.) put his speed and athleticism on display. He finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a triple and a walk. Butler’s carrying tool is going to be his speed as he absolutely flies on the base paths as well as in centerfield. He has the ability to cover a ton of territory in the outfield and he proved it by easily getting to a high line drive in the left-center gap. Even on his routine ground balls, Butler showcases his speed down the line. At the plate, he uses an upright and slightly open stance and is still understanding his rhythm and weight shift in the box. Once planted, his hands work well to the ball and there’s surprising pop in his young 5-foot-7 frame. There’s plenty of room for Butler to grow and strengthen, and his game will only improve as he does.

Little Caesars Baseball got a big win behind a strong performance on the mound by right-hander Michael Devenney (2024, Chester Springs, Penn.). Devenney threw a complete game shutout and pounded the zone throughout his outing. He has a longer arm action that fires from a true three-quarters slot. His fastball was up to 78 mph and sat 73-76 throughout his outing. His frame suggests that his velocity will continue to improve and could possibly make a jump soon. Moreover, he finds some solid downward angle to the plate thanks to the length in his frame. His fastball also possesses some arm-side run when he locates to his arm side. His breaking ball is a low 11-to-5 to high 10-to-4 shaped slider that possesses great potential. It breaks on the same plane as his low arm slot and he was able to generate some empty swings with the pitch throughout his outing.

Another PG 13u Select Fest participant Jarren Purify (2023, Detroit, Mich.) impressed both in the field and at the plate with his present athleticism on both sides of the ball. Purify has great speed that makes him a constant threat on the base paths. The Vegas Vipers picked over at him four consecutive times at one point in the ball game. He shows great fluidity in his fielding actions at third base, and his arm shows great strength and carry across the diamond. His arm action after fielding feels whippy, and he has an ability to maintain his arm strength while on the move. At the plate, he uses an open and upright stance with a toe-tap to leg-kick trigger. Purify makes a heavy linear weight shift into his load and creates a massive hand coil with his whippy barrel. There is some steepness to his barrel plane along with some rotational actions at times through the zone as the heavy hand coil tends to whip his barrel past being on plane and too far into a dip. When he stays tall on his backside and drives his hands to the inside half, the ball jumps off his barrel. Breaking his swing down in slow motion, you can easily see the whip he generates through the zone as his barrel bends before contact. Purify is a high ceiling athlete, and it’ll be exciting to see how he develops heading into high school.

His infield teammate Reggie Sharpe (2024, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) also put some great swings together at the plate for Little Caesars Baseball, and it’s hard not to notice his athleticism in the field as well. His glove work is solid and consistent at second base and he also has a good speed tool. Sharpe understands his footwork well and there’s noticeably more room to grow and fill out in his 5-foot-5 frame. Sharpe uses a low handset with a low leg kick trigger at the plate. He uses his hands well and his stroke stays short and compact to and through the baseball. Purify and Sharpe led off the game with nearly identical line drive missiles through the left side of the diamond.

Trosky National 2024 catcher Dylan Raiola (2024, Scottsdale, Ariz.) checks off a lot of boxes behind the plate, and his maturity and glove work is very strong for his age. He has the ability to play both behind the dish as well as at the corners, and he possesses a strong arm that plays well for both positions. Throughout the tournament, Raiola really swung it well going 2-for-4 with three RBI before Trosky ran into Edwards. He uses an upright and slightly open stance with a neutral hand position. As he loads, his weight shifts back into his instep and his trigger is a low hanging stride. His large projectable frame generates good juice at the plate for his age with the ability to truly drive the ball to all fields. Raiola is now on the radar as a high follow in the class of 2024.

CBA Nevada 2024 defeated MountainWest 2024 7-3 to win the Mountain West Select Championship.

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