High School | General | 3/4/2021

Preview: HS Showdown-Academies

Colton Olinger         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Rob Gordon (Perfect Game)
PG High School Showdown-Academies Event Page

3MCR (San Juan, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Sergio Rivera (OF, 2021, 500)
Sebastian Perez (LHP, 2021, T1000)
Xavier Solla (SS, 2021, T1000)
Keniel N. Rosado Rivera (OF, 2021, T1000)
Joan Roman (RHP, 2022, T1000)

With a roster made up almost solely of seniors, 3MCR undoubtedly brings good experience from Puerto Rico to the Showdown. With eight players committed to head to the JUCO ranks upon graduation, there’s talent throughout. Sergio Rivera (San Jacinto CC), Xavier Solla (El Paso CC) and Keniel N. Rosado Rivera are just a few names that should make up a deep and athletic lineup while Sebastian Perez (Wabash Valley College) and lone junior Joan Roman are just two of the arms that will work in the upper-80s alongside what looks to be a solid pitching staff. 

Albany Paulies (Albany, Ga.)
The Albany Paulies bring a roster with many unknowns when it comes to Perfect Game events. There will be plenty of chances to find out what this Georgia-based club is made of in their three pool play games. They will open up on Friday at 8:00 A.M. against a very tough Prairie Gravel club and finish off their double header on day one against Central Pointe Christian Academy Gold 18U. On day two you can catch them in action against the Puerto Rico-based 3MCR. To win the pool it will more than likely take a clean sweep and with that opportunity ahead of them this pool will give the Albany Paulies plenty of chances to showcase their skills. 

Bessemer Academy (Bessemer, Ala.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Alton Davis (LHP, 2022, 178)
Hunter Lopacki (SS, 2021, T1000)
John Saffold (SS, 2022, T1000)

Bessemer Academy is becoming a staple at the Academies version of the Showdown and they’ll once again bring what looks to be a solid mix of seniors and underclassmen with a headlining talent at the top. Junior Alton Davis (Alabama) is an extremely projectable left-hander who has already shown the ability to run his fastball into the low-90s and should surely draw some attention when he toes the rubber. The lineup should be relatively senior-heavy, but they have a talented group of underclassmen that will need to step up in big spots to get the team out of a tough pool. 

Capitanes (Bayamon, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Alejandro Vera Díaz (MIF, 2023, Follow)

Capitanes are one of the younger teams from top to bottom in the event with not a single upperclassmen on the roster. For most of this young roster this weekend will be their first in a Perfect Game event, and what better time than in an event with some of the top talent from around the country and Puerto Rico. Middle infielder Alejandro Vera Diaz is one of the few we have seen at a Perfect Game event before, where his speed and athleticism stood out and projects well on the infield. At the plate he has the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap and swing with the kind of intent that will play in the middle of the order. 

CBC Elite Academy (Orlando, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Jeremy I. Castro Perez (C, 2022, Follow)

CBC Elite Academy comes into this tournament as kind of a wild card with very little known information about their roster due to this being most of their players first Perfect Game event. They will have to pull off some impressive wins over some very good clubs if they are to make it out of the pool play stage and into the bracket. Junior catcher Jeremy I. Castro Perez is one of the few players we have had the chance to see prior to this weekend, where he showed solid defensive actions and a switch-hit tool that has the ability to play in game actions. 

Central Pointe Christian Academy Gold 18U (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Edwin Arroyo (SS, 2021, 30)
Luis Rujano (RHP, 2022, 115)
Jaime Ferrer (C, 2021, 296)
Christian Febus Rodriguez (SS, 2021, 483)

Making the trip up from Florida, Central Pointe is bringing a pair of talented squads to the Showdown and the Gold team is highlighted by one of the event’s best overall prospects in Edwin Arroyo (Florida State). Arroyo is an excellent athlete, having turned in run times in the mid-6.5s in the past while translating that to the shortstop position and in how he swings the bat with a real ability to hit from both sides of the plate. He’s joined in the lineup by senior catcher Jaime Ferrer (Florida State) and one of the more talented uncommitted senior bats in Christian Febus Rodriguez, among others, while Luis Rujano (South Florida) comfortably leads the staff with excellent projection to go with a fastball that already reaches 94 mph. 

Central Pointe Christian Academy Navy 17U (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Fernando Hernandez (C, 2022, 500)
Christian Soto (3B, 2022, 500)
Angel Alvarado (SS, 2022, T1000)

Central Pointe’s Navy team that they’ll be bringing to Hoover may not have the high-end talent that Gold team does, but they have solid prospects of their own and have the athleticism to make some noise in their pool. A trio of juniors should be what leads the way on the offensive end with infielders Christian Soto (FIU) and Angel Alvarado holding down the left side while catcher Fernando Hernandez (South Florida) has good catch-and-throw and brings some thump in the bat. It should be a combined staff effort on the mound, but there’s good arm talent on a number of their primary arms that should show out when they get their chance to pitch. 

Citadels (Peachtree City, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Caleb Logerwell (RHP, 2021, 163)
Gabel Bonilla (RHP, 2021, 430)
Camron Hill (LHP, 2021, 461)
Sergio Ortiz (SS, 2021, 500)

Citadels comes to the Showdown this spring with similar talent and depth to what they had a year ago when they finished at 3-1 after a loss in the quarterfinal round. Senior Caleb Logerwell (UCF) is one of the better right-handers from the state of Georgia as he can creep toward the mid-90s with his fastball and he’ll serve as the ace of a talented senior staff. Gabel Bonilla has similar velocity as Logerwell from a physical frame, while the long and projectable Camron Hill (Georgia Tech) rests a tick lower in the upper-80s but brings a tough look from his 6-foot-6 frame that has produced solid numbers on the tournament circuit. The lineup sets up to be a deep one with seniors littered throughout, including shortstop Sergio Ortiz (Indiana State) who has the tools to set the pace and do so well. 

Citius Prep Academy (Mount Vernon, N.Y.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Tommy Tavarez (SS, 2021, 127)
Matthew Puello (SS, 2021, 500)
Justin Rodriguez (RHP, 2021, 500)
Marcus Smith (SS, 2022, 500)

Like they did a year ago, Citius Prep will make the trip down to the warm weather and likely be playing their first ball of the spring in doing so. They’ll once again be bringing the talented Tommy Tavarez (Pittsburgh), who is now a senior and looks to set the pace of the offense while fellow senior Matthew Puello (NC Central) and junior Marcus Smith (Cincinnati) will be key contributors alongside him. Justin Rodriguez (FIU) looks like he’ll set up as the staff ace as he can work into the low-90s with his fastball, while the rest of the staff looks to be made up of seniors, which gives that invaluable experience factor that is big in helping win games.

Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Isaiah Lowe (RHP, 2022, 78)
Austin Williamson (RHP, 2022, 96)
Jaden Knight (OF, 2024, 115)
Isaiah Mack (3B, 2023, 193)
J.P. Cunningham (SS, 2022, 260)
Hunter Sloop (RHP, 2022, 301)
Keegan Knutson (3B, 2022, 406)

Combine Academy, out of North Carolina, comes to Hoover with a very solid roster that may rival any other in the academies division for the best on paper. Although they have a handful of talented seniors, the bulk of their high-end prospects comes from the junior and sophomore class where they have six players ranked inside the top-500 from those classes respectively. Isaiah Lowe (Wake Forest), Austin Williamson (Alabama) and Hunter Sloop are three junior arms who bring very good stuff to the mound and should give quality innings when they get their chance to toe the rubber. The lineup depth is equally as impressive with younger guys like Jaden Knight and Aidan Paradine looking to contribute as freshmen while J.P. Cunningham (Clemson), Aiden Evans (UNC-Wilmington), Keegan Knutson (South Carolina) and Isaiah Mack give opposing pitchers no time off from the top of the lineup to the bottom.

Coosa Valley Academy (Harpersville, Ala.)
Coosa Valley Academy has fielded an interesting roster for this, their first appearance in the Showdown, with players from six different graduating classes. This Alabama-based squad brings a lot of new faces to the Perfect Game stage and will give the opportunity to see some new players showcase their abilities. Coosa Valley will square off with Florida-based CBC Elite Academy to start off their tournament on Friday and then turn around and play TSD Elite out of Puerto Rico. They will close out their pool play action against a Georgia based ECB Academy-Lemons squad. 

ECB Academy - Curtis (Marietta, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Lance Beaudry (OF, 2021, High Follow)
Carter Drake (3B, 2022, High Follow)
Kyle VanderWeit (SS, 2022, High Follow)
Crispin Brockington (RHP, 2023, High Follow)

ECB Academy-Curtis will venture over to Hoover, Ala. taking a break from the league they play in at the East Cobb complex. This roster has some depth in the lineup in the form of senior Lance Beaudry (Emmanuel College), junior Carter Drake, and junior Kyle VanderWeit, all three of which are very experienced when it comes to Perfect Game events and will be ready for the level of competition in store at this weekend's events. On the mound, sophomore Crispin Brockington is coming off a summer where he threw 40 innings and struck out 47 batters. 

ECB Academy - Lemons (Marietta, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Rob Gordon (SS, 2021, 61)
Jax Phillips (3B, 2024, 68)
Luke Orfi (SS, 2023, 243)
Nicholas Ford (C, 2023, 480)
Josh Lanum (RHP, 2022, 489)

With a roster mirroring one you may see on an East Cobb Astros summer team, ECB Academy-Lemons has to be one of the front runners for the Academies Championship. June draft prospect Rob Gordon (Vanderbilt) will be closely watched this weekend as his athleticism and offensive abilities have landed him as the No. 61 player in the 2021 class. Gordon will be joined in the lineup by promising freshman Jax Phillips (Georgia), who will also see time on the mound. Luke Orfi is coming off an impressive summer and fall campaign and adds a strong glove on the infield for this ECB club. Nicholas Ford will be tasked with handling the staff behind the dish and gives the lineup some juice. On the mound, Josh Lanum (Georgia State) headlines the staff with an upper-80s fastball that will get up to 90 mph on occasion. 

ECB Academy-Yancey (Marietta, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Mekhi Boykin (3B, 2022, 490)
Brayden Williams (OF, 2021, High Follow)
Corey Fields (OF, 2022, High Follow)

ECB Academy-Yancey has an interesting roster with kids from all four graduating years. Junior third baseman Mekhi Boykin will supply the lineup with some juice from his physical frame and strong right-handed swing. In the outfield, senior Brayden Williams and junior Corey Fields bring the necessary speed and athleticism to cover the gaps and keep runners off base. Offensively, each has proven in the past that they can add valued depth to the lineup, the kind of depth it will take to get through a loaded tournament such as this one. 

ESCA Baseball School (Dorado, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Eddie Rivera (LHP, 2021, 361)
Josue Serrano (RHP, 2021, 428)
Luis Otero (OF, 2022, T1000)

ESCA Baseball School will certainly draw the attention of scouts this weekend with starters Eddie Rivera and Josue Serrano (Wabash Valley CC) set to take the mound Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Rivera is a 6-foot-7 left-hander with a fastball that has been up to 94 mph. Serrano on the other hand is a righty, but possesses just as capable of an arm, as he too can run his fastball into the mid-90s. Look for Luis Otero to try and lead the way offensively as he is coming off a hot summer where he hit .500 in 14 at-bats with two doubles. 

FTB Puerto Rico (Bayamon, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Kelvin O. Baez Pacheco (MIF, 2022, Follow)

FTB Puerto Rico will have an interesting journey through a very tough pool with a group of seniors and a few juniors that will get plenty of opportunities to display their talents this weekend. With little known information about this FTB club it will be a good test of their skill to see how they stack up against these other teams. On the infield, Kelvin O. Baez Pacheco should give his coaching staff a sure-handed glove up the middle with a bat that plays, showing a line drive approach. 

Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Jay Knowles (SS, 2022, 94)
Erian Rodriguez (RHP, 2021, 171)
Diego Guevara (OF, 2022, 189)
Elijha Hammill (SS, 2021, 226)
Tyler Kennedy (RHP, 2021, 332)

Georgia Premier Academy has been a staple in the Academies Showdown for a while now and always has some of the top talent in the event. Jay Knowles (Indiana State) is an interesting 2022 prospect with a cannon of a right arm. Knowles will be joined in the lineup by Diego Guevara, an athletic outfielder with power in all facets of his game and Elijha Hammill, (Utah) an intriguing switch-hitting infielder. On the mound, Erian Rodriguez (Northwest Florida State) and Tyler Kennedy (Pittsburgh) fit the mold of what has become a recurring theme at Georgia Premier Academy with hard-throwing right-handed pitchers. 

G-Form Artillery Academy Team Underclass (Gibbstown, N.J.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Joey Tuttoilmondo (RHP, 2023, 93)
Cameron Tilly (RHP, 2023, 138)
Charles Batista (RHP, 2023, 194)
Edward Copper (RHP, 2023, 197)
Henry Ford (3B, 2023, 287)

The younger of the two G-Form Artillery teams G-Form Artillery Academy Team Underclass is still right there at the top as far as talent goes in this tournament. A loaded pitching staff of Joey Tuttoilmondo, Cameron Tilly (Auburn), Charles Batista, and Edward Copper (South Carolina), all four of which are capable of sitting in the upper-80s with their fastballs, have some of the most promise when it comes to right-handed pitching in the class of ‘23 will toe the rubber this weekend. At the plate, Henry Ford (Virgina) is the highest-ranked prospect on the roster with a large physical frame and could find himself on the mound this weekend as well with his upper-80s fastball. 

G-Form Artillery Upperclass (Gibbstown, N.J.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Ike Irish (C, 2022, 154)
Alex Stanwich (OF, 2022, 194)
Nate Voss, (C, 2022, 209)
Sean Hard (RHP, 2021, 266)
Luke Adams (3B, 2022, 387)

With high school seasons around the country delayed by different state rules and regulations, it opens up a chance for players from colder weather states to compete in the Academies portion of the Showdown. Ike Irish (Auburn) is a perfect example of this, joining the G-Form Artillery Upperclass team from Michigan. Irish is a solid option behind the dish and will bring a spark to the lineup with consistent offensive pedigree. Nate Voss (Michigan) should also see time behind the plate and like Irish will be a weapon at the plate, as he is hitting .333 over an 80-game stretch at Perfect Game events. Alex Stanwich (Tennessee)  and Luke Adams (Michigan State) also bring athleticism and plenty of upside to the lineup, creating what should be an exciting offense to watch. On the mound, Sean Hard (Boston College) headlines the rotation with an electric fastball into the mid-90s and super-projectable frame. 

International Baseball Academy & High School (Fajardo, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Kevin Matos (RHP, 2021, 500)
Jonathan Rosa (SS, 2021, T1000)
Wiljulian Rivera (RHP, 2021, High Follow)
Harold Torres (C, 2021, High Follow)

The International Baseball Academy & High School looks to have the makings of a scrappy club with a good balance of bats and arms on their roster. On the mound, Kevin Matos (New Mexico) has an athletic frame and the ability to run his fastball up to 92 mph with a Perfect Game career ERA of 2.00 through 32 innings. Wiljulian Rivera (Frontier CC) should also see some important innings with his projectable frame and mid-80s fastball. At the dish look for Jonathan Rosa (Alvin CC) and Harold Torres (Frontier CC) to carry some of the load as both are capable of using the entire field with good barrel feel and some jump off the barrel when squared up. 

Knights Baseball Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Caleb Warta (RHP, 2021, 500)
Justin Battle (RHP, 2022, 500)
Nick Correll (RHP, 2022, 500)

Knights Baseball Academy has been a mainstay in the Showdown Academies, as well as on the travel ball circuit for quite some time now. As one of the top teams in Tennessee, they always bring a competitive team and this year looks to be no different. This group really has a chance to star on the mound with the likes of Caleb Warta, Justin Battle (North Alabama), and Nick Correll. Warta and Battle each have a proven record at Perfect Game events with upper-80s fastballs while averaging over a strikeout per inning. Correll has a bit less experience but will feature a fastball that can get into the low-90s with a 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. 

MSD Black (Cayey, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Peter Alexander Vazquez Torres (SS, 2021, 229)
Christian Olivo (SS, 2021, 500)
Jessiel Garcia Cruz (OF, 2021, T1000)

MSD Black has Peter Alexander Vazquez Torres (Southern California) and Christian Olivo (Seminole State College) up the middle as a formidable double play combination. Torres has come on strong over the last year, really making a name for himself on the national stage as a switch-hitter with solid upside from both sides of the plate, hitting .386 through his first 20 games in PG events. In the outfield, Jessiel Garcia Cruz  hit just shy of .400 in 2020 and ended the year with a .978 OPS and will add competitive depth to the lineup. 

MSD Gold (Cayey, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Luis Ortega (LHP, 2021, High Follow)
Sebastian Rosado (3B, 2023, Follow)

MSD Gold has a good mix of upper and underclassmen on their roster. Left-handed pitcher Luis Ortega is coming off a strong outing at the MLK where he threw nine innings, allowing just three hits. He is capable of getting his fastball into the mid-80s with natural arm-side run from his smooth arm action. Third baseman Sebastian Rosado has been a consistent performer so far in his young Perfect Game career. Rosado has hit .391 so far in his 13 games, including a .600 performance already this season at the MLK South tournament in January. 

MVP Baseball Academy (Kissimmee, Fla,)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Keyber Lopez (SS, 2022, T1000)
Daniel Nava (RHP, 2021, High Follow)
Yedkeyber Batista (RHP, 2022, High Follow)
Carlos Celta (1B, 2023, High Follow)

MVP Baseball Academy is coming to Showdown with one of the younger roster in the event featuring 10 underclassmen and eight upperclassmen. Shortstop Keyber Lopez will give them a solid glove on the middle infield with defensive versatility, as he can also go behind the plate. Daniel Nava and Yedkeyber Batista are both mid-80s guys on the mound and should see some important innings this weekend. Also look for young Carlos Celta to make an impact at the plate while playing first base. 

National Baseball Academy (Carolina, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Jankel Ortiz (SS, 2022, 259)
Jorge J Cartagena (OF, 2022, 500)
Sergio Benitez (RHP, 2021, High Follow)
Alexis J. Bobyn (SS, 2021, High Follow)
Diego Rodriguez Trujillo (C, 2021, High Follow)

National Baseball Academy comes over from Puerto Rico with an experienced group of upperclassmen. Junior Jankel Ortiz headlines the roster as a twitchy middle infielder with the ability to run his fastball up to 90 mph. Jorge J Cartagena (FIU), Alexis J. Bobyn, and Diego Rodriguez Trujillo will add depth to the lineup with athleticism and barrel-to-ball skills. On the mound, Sergio Benitez brings a big physical frame to the mound at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds. 

NLA (Buford, Ga.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Aidan Stewart (SS, 2021, 345)
Ethan Adkison (LHP, 2021, 500)
Chase Becker (3B, 2021, 500)
Damien Whitfield (LHP, 2021, 500)

NLA returns as one of the regulars of the Showdown Academies portion with what should be a competitive roster featuring six college commitments. Aidan Stewart (Missouri) and Chase Becker (Minnesota) will both potentially be on the left side of the infield and on the mound, as they each are capable of sitting in the upper-80s. As far as primary pitching goes, Ethan Adkison (San Jacinto JC) will be an interesting look this weekend with an upper-80s fastball and athletic delivery. Damien Whitfield (Texas State) will be another left-handed option for NLA this weekend with some high-octane stuff and the ability to create swings and misses. 

NY Gothams Baseball Academy (New York City, N.Y.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Michael Sirota (SS, 2021, 211)
Daniel Perez (SS, 2021, T1000)
Jamie Bobigan (C, 2022, T1000)
Jean Nunez (SS, 2022, T1000)
Alexander Rosario (RHP, 2022, T1000)

NY Gothams Baseball Academy will be one of the four teams representing the Northeast in this year’s Showdown with kids from New York and Connecticut on the roster. Shortstop Michael Sirota (Northeastern) is an exceptional athlete with plus speed (6.5 sixty) and a big arm that will play anywhere on the field defensively. At the plate he is coming off an impressive summer hitting .463 over 29 games. Sirota could be joined up the middle by Daniel Perez (Manhattan), a left-handed bat with quick hands and plenty of intent in his swing, or Jean Nunez, a switch-hitting junior with a line drive approach at the plate. On the mound, Alexander Rosario (Dayton) will run his fastball into the upper-80s with a slider that has the potential to be a difference maker, showing solid spin traits. 

Prairie Gravel Baseball (New Carlisle, Ind.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Julien Hachem (LHP, 2022, 243)
Jayden Comia (SS, 2022, 500)
Carter Gilbert (LHP, 2022, 500)
Elias Hachem (RHP, 2022, 500)
Tony Pluta (C, 2022, 500)

Prairie Gravel is an established name on the summer travel circuit, and will be bringing a team to the Showdown for the first time with a roster that looks about as good as one of their loaded summer rosters. On the mound, Julien Hachem (Oklahoma), Carter Gilbert (Kentucky), and Elias Hachem headline a deep rotation with four Division-I commits, all of which are capable of getting swings and misses in the zone at a high rate. At the plate, shortstop Jayden Comia (Illinios) is coming off a 16-game stretch this summer where he hit .400 with an on-base percentage over .500. Behind the plate, Tony Pluta will be tasked with handling the staff and has shown the ability to shut down running games with his big arm and 1.86 pop time. 

Puerto Rico Baseball Academy & High School (Gurabo, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Luis A Morales (OF, 2022, High Follow)
Juan Almonte (C, 2021, Follow)
Wilnel Galarza (OF, 2021, Follow)

The Puerto Rico Baseball Academy & High School is set to make their Showdown debut this year with a roster that for the most part hasn’t played in many Perfect Game events. A couple of names to keep an eye on this weekend are Luis A Morales, Juan Almonte, and Wilnel Galarza. Almonte will handle some of the catching duties and has the ability to limit the running game with a quick release. Morales and Galarza will both patrol the outfield, with Galarza bringing the speed to run down baseballs and Morales bringing a consistent bat to the lineup with the ability to drive the ball to all fields. 

SBO Varsity (Coral Springs, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Lucas Torres (C, 2021, 175)
Brentt Olmo Lucero (OF, 2021, T1000)
Yadiel Casul Ferreira (C, 2022, High Follow)
Leonardo A Moncada (C, 2023, High Follow)

SBO Varsity has plenty of depth behind the plate coming into the Showdown this year. Their top-ranked prospect Lucas Torres (Alabama State) will certainly see time at other places than behind the plate with his big time arm talent, having been up to 91 mph on the mound and 97 mph from the outfield. Also listed as a primary catcher you have Yadiel Casul Ferreira, who profiles well at the plate with big power upside as he continues to develop, and Leonardo A Moncada, a sophomore backstop who will swing it from the left side and play some infield. In the outfield, Brentt Olmo Lucero has a projectable body with the ability to leverage the ball from the left side, and don’t be surprised to see him jump on the mound this weekend either with a low-80s fastball. 

STA Vanguards (Saint Cloud, Fla.)
The STA Vanguards roster brings with it many unknowns when it comes to Perfect Game events. There will be plenty of chances to find out what this Florida-based club is made of in their three pool play games. They will open up on Friday at 8:00 A.M. against a very tough ESCA Baseball School team and then return to finish off their twin bill at 6:00 P.M. against a loaded Tema Elite. On day two you can catch them in action at PSain Park Veterans Park against Team Hitdawgs at 8:00 A.M. To win the pool it could take a clean sweep of pool play, and with that opportunity ahead of them this Florida club will get every chance to showcase what they’re about. 

Sunshine State Elite Academy (Kissimmee, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Jamaliel Rosado (SS, 2022, 180)
Angel Mejias (RHP, 2021, 500)
Jose Velez (LHP, 2022, 500)

Sunshine State Elite Academy is making their second trip to the Showdown and will look to best last year's 2-2 record. Shortstop Jamaliel Rosado (FIU) will be at the forefront of the offense and looking to repeat his MLK performance where he posted two multi-hit games with two extra-base hits. Defensively he will bring some athleticism to the middle infield as a 6.8 runner with enough arm strength to play on either side of the bag. On the mound, right-hander Angel Mejias has tons of upside with a large frame and fastball in the upper-80s that can get up to 90 mph. Left-hander Jose Velez will be an interesting look this weekend as he saw a velo bump in a recent outing and has the body and frame to dream on at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds. 

Team Elite (Winder, Ga.) 

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Nolan Schubart (OF, 2022, 7)
Jonathan Santucci (OF, 2021, 42)
David Lally (RHP, 2022, 80)
Luke Leto (SS, 2021, 84)
Ethan Patera (RHP, 2022, 235)

Team Elite brings one of the more loaded rosters to Hoover for the Academies Showdown with seven nationally-ranked players in their respective classes. As far as June draft prospects go, Jonathan Santucci (Duke) comes in as the No. 10-ranked outfielder in the ‘21 class and 42nd overall in the class with a well-rounded skill set at the plate and on the bump. Luke Leto  (LSU) will certainly draw the attention of scouts this week as well with his smooth left-handed stroke and advanced athleticism defensively. As if those two weren’t enough, Nolan Schubart (Michigan) is ranked seventh in the ‘22 class and will be looking to improve upon his already-impressive resume with some big time power numbers. On the mound, David Lally (Notre Dame) and Ethan Patera (Louisville) are both big physical right-handers capable of running their fastballs into the low-90s. 

Team Hitdawgs (Plymouth, Minn.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Ean Laird (1B, 2021, Follow)
Brayden Pitts (RHP, 2021)

Heading south looking for warmer weather, Team Hitdawgs will make their first appearance in the Showdown. They will get a good test out of the gate with a strong Team Elite club on day one followed by a second game against ESCA Baseball School in their opening day twin bill. Offensively, first baseman Ean Laird (Piedmont International University) brings a physical presence to the box at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. On the mound, Brayden Pitts (Bethel University) will make his first appearance in a Perfect Game event and his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame definitely brings some intrigue leading up to his potential appearance.

Team Mizuno Puerto Rico (Caguas, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Elmer Rodriguez Cruz (RHP, 2021, 34)
Ryan Oniel Cepero Roman (SS, 2021, 149)
Hector G Nieves (SS, 2021, 311)
Ian Soto Roman (OF, 2021, 388)
Yahir Acevedo (OF, 2022, 432)

Team Mizuno Puerto Rico will certainly have no shortage of scouts at their game when Elmer Rodriguez Cruz (Oregon) gets on the bump Friday at 3:30 P.M. As the highest-ranked player on the island, Cruz has shot up draft boards in recent months. In his most recent PG outing he ran his fastball up to 94 mph and showed more refined feel for his breaking ball. Shortstop Ryan Oniel Cepero Roman (Florida Southwestern State College) has some of the most impressive athleticism and speed in the event with 6.4 speed and refined infield skills that will certainly have scouts checking in on him throughout the weekend. The depth of this lineup doesn’t stop there though, and with guys like Hector G Nieves (Northwest Florida State College), Ian Soto Roman, and Yahir Acevedo, this offense could be poised for a big weekend in Hoover.

TNXL Trojans (Tampa, Fla.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Maurice Days Jr. (SS, 2024, 161) 
Austin Newton (RHP, 2022, 500)
PJ Robinson (SS, 2021, T1000)

TNXL has a solid mix of young guys and seniors on this year’s roster with 20 upperclassmen and 13 underclassmen. Maurice Days Jr. comes in as the highest-ranked player on the roster at No. 161 in the class of 2024. The young shortstop has already impressed scouts with his athleticism and true switch-hit ability. PJ Robinson is another middle infielder to look out for on this squad with a projectable 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. On the mound, Austin Newton (South Florida) will be an interesting one to keep an eye out for with a large 6-foot-6 frame and the ability to run his fastball up into the upper-80s. 

TSD ELITE (Caguas, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Carlos Abnier Canales (C, 2021, T1000)
Alfredo Carrion-Laureano (OF, 2021, T1000)
Anthony Garcia (LHP, 2021, T1000)

TSD Elite comes to Hoover with an experienced group of seniors and a good balance of pitching and bats. Left-hander Anthony Garcia is the highest-ranked pitcher on the staff and will look to attack hitters with an upper-80s fastball and slider he lands for strikes consistently. Offensively, catcher Carlos Abnier Canales and outfielder Alfredo Carrion-Laureano will lead the way as both bring athleticism and good bat-to-ball skills to the TSD order. Canales is hitting .327 in his 27 games at Perfect Game events and is coming off a .333 performance at the MLK South tournament in January. Carrion-Laureano could be a top-of-the-order bat with his 6.6 speed and has swung it to a .391 tune in his Perfect Game career. 

TSD ELITE 2022 (Caguas, P.R.)

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank)
Yeniel Laboy (SS, 2022, 297) 
Yahir Otero (IF, 2022, High Follow)
Irving Ramos (C, 2022, High Follow)
Luis J Perez (RHP, 2022, Follow)
Gerardo X Santana (LHP, 2022, Follow)

TSD Elite 2022 brings a roster chalked full of young talent looking to prove their abilities against a loaded field this weekend in Hoover. This roster has a good mix of talent on the mound and at the plate. Luis J Perez and Gerardo X Santana have both proven their abilities to punch hitters out, with Perez averaging over a strikeout an inning over the last year at PG events. At the plate, Yeniel Laboy is hitting .333 over the last calendar year at PG events and will look to do damage in each of his at-bats with the bat speed and leverage to drive the baseball to all fields. Yahir Otero and Irving Ramos will bring added depth to this lineup with compact line drive approaches. 


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