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Tournaments | Story | 10/21/2021

WWBA Underclass Prospect Breakdown

Vincent Cervino      Tyler Russo      Craig Cozart      John McAdams      Hayden House      Kyler Peterson      Jered Goodwin     
Photo: Owen Egan (Perfect Game)
WWBA Underclass Scout Notes: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4-5

Stars Being Stars

Michael Mullinax, OF, Team Elite/Atlanta Braves Scout Team
A top-10 player in the 2024 class, Mullinax was absolutely raking during the Underclass World Championship, finishing with a .625 batting average that included three doubles and a bomb. There’s immense bat speed from both sides of the plate with the athleticism and speed to stick in center long term. The Georgia commit is still young but with a player of his prospect stature you’re looking at a complete prospect with tools and performance galore.

Ryder Helfrick, C, Alpha Prime 2023
Helfrick has had a terrific calendar year culminating with a dominant Underclass World Championship performance, hitting over .500 with two home runs and even jumping on the mound to sit 88-90 mph for an inning, just for fun! The Arkansas commit blends a tremendous combination of twitch and strength with excellent bat speed along with a very good feel for the barrel. He’s a terrific athlete and posits significant upside.

Arjun Nimmala, SS, Ostingers Baseball Academy 2023
Nimmala had the biggest hit of Jupiter but also impressed in the weeks leading up to that walk-off as Nimmala has shown all year that he’s one of the best prospects in the class. The Florida State commit is a smooth-moving shortstop with plenty of juice and one of the more accurate barrels that we’ve seen in the event. Nimmala hit .429 on the event with a couple of extra base hits and is ranked No. 12 in the class.

Daniel Cuvet, 3B, Elite Squad
Cuvet is one of the top power hitters in the class and it was another business-as-usual type of weekend for the Miami commit, hitting .444 over the course of four games. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds he’s got some really impressive physicality but manages to keep the swing compact and find the barrel accurately. He’s got some two-way viability with velocity on the mound but the bat is one of the best in the class.

Ashton Larson, LHP, USA Prime National
Larson is a sweet-swinging left-handed hitter with a simple, pure stroke from the left side and a very solid hit tool that he used to hit .400 with a home run with at the Underclass. Everything is very patient and under control in the batter’s box with looseness, whip, and barrel accuracy that comes easy to him. The Louisiana State commit unleashed on a monster home run that got way out at Terry Park and his hit tool is one of the more polished in the class.

-Vinnie Cervino

Tyler Pitzer, RHP, US Elite 17u National
Pitzer came into the event with good strikeout numbers on the year and that continued as he struck out 18 over two appearances against some scattered walks. He’s still full of projection at a lean 6-foot-1, 175 pounds but already works into the low-90s with the fastball showing life to it paired with real feel to spin a breaking ball that has the ability to get swing-and-miss already and should do so in a big way long-term.

Tai Peete, SS/RHP, Home Plate Chili Dogs Searcy
Peete has solidified himself as one of the legitimately high-end two-way prospects in the class and it was no different in Fort Myers as he hit .582 across four games while striking out seven in a four no-hit inning start on the mound. He’s quick-twitch across the board with real bat speed and high-end bat to ball while on the mound he’s been up to 92 mph, gets well downhill with ease and can miss some bats with the changeup.

Dean Curley, SS, Alpha Prime 2023
Curley isn’t on the circuit as often as some others, but the offensive profile is a good one as he swings the bat with authority showing a combination of bat speed and strength you don’t often find at this level. Pair that with athleticism and a big arm and you’ve got a big talent destined for the middle of the order at the next level.

Dylan Questad, RHP, Canes National 17u
Questad is a pitcher-only and it he only needed a single outing to show us why he’s regarded as one of the top arms in the class. He worked in the 90-93 mph range for the entire length of his near six inning playoff outing showing truly easy velocity while attacking hitters and showing that he can really spin the breaking ball with true out-pitch potential long-term as a part of a true starter’s profile for the next level.

Owen Egan, OF/RHP, Alpha Prime 2023
Egan has long been regarded as a special two-way talent and the ease to which he shows that off is impressive. He showed the strength at the dish with a no-doubter long ball during the Underclass and took a turn on the mound where he punched out eight in four innings with a full mix of quality pitches including a fastball up to 90 mph, a hard-diving changeup and true downer breaking ball, all of which he can throw in any count to any hitter.

Jonah Conradt, RHP, Canes National 17u
Conradt was called on a handful of times to get big outs in big spots and he didn’t disappoint as he combined to strike out 10 across eight innings, including a big performance in the quarters and semifinals. It’s an easy fastball that he works in the 86-88 mph range with comfort while the changeup is comfortably the best pitch with tons of diving life and well-sold intent out of the hand.

Mason Yokum, LHP, Canes National 17u
Yokum has quite frankly just performed all year long and the Underclass was no different as he compiled 12 strikeouts across seven innings with only a single walk. It’s an easy delivery paired with lots of physical projection in a lanky frame while the fastball already rests in the upper-80s to go with a pair of solid secondary offerings.

-Tyler Russo

Walker Jenkins, OF, South Charlotte Panthers
Expectations can often be difficult to live up to, especially when you are the No. 2 ranked outfielder and the No. 4 overall prospect in his class but Jenkins continues to answer the call.  At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, with wide shoulders and a strong lower half, Jenkins is a plus runner, advanced defender and has legitimate power from the left side of the plate.  He hit .333, with a home run, 4 walks, scored 5 runs and collected 7 RBI on the week for the South Charlotte Panthers.  The UNC commit has off the chart intangibles and makeup, giving him all the traits you see in an elite athlete.

Cole Schoenwetter, RHP, Trosky National 2023
Shoenwetter is blessed with an absolutely electric arm and it only takes one fastball for him to catch everyone's attention.  The UC Santa Barbara commit has the prototypical pitcher's body at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds and he moves very well on the mound.  His delivery and arm action are refined, projecting the feel that he is in control of the game from the beginning.  In his two outings for Trosky National 2023, the right-hander went a total of 5 innings, surrendering 5 hits, 6 walks but gave up no earned runs and struck out an impressive 11 batters.  Schoenwetter is a premium arm, as his fastball peaked at 93 and he backs it up with his tenacious competitiveness.

-Craig Cozart

Kevin McGonigle, MIF, Canes National 17U
McGonigle took home MVP honors for tournament champion Canes National 17U, as the smooth left-handed hitting middle infielder hit .440 (11-for-25) and continued to show off the high-level hit tool we have become accustomed to seeing from him. The 2023 Auburn University commit seemingly finds the barrel at will, while showing off excellent pitch recognition and advanced bat-to-ball skills. The overall hit and power tool continues to expand each time we get to see him and has continued to make its way towards the top-end of the 2023 class. Couple that with smooth, fluid defensive actions and the ability to cause havoc on the bases, McGonigle is extremely fun to watch. Look for him to continue ascend up both draft boards as he physically matures, and assuredly will be a name to monitor for the next few seasons.

Ryan Jaros, 3B/1B, Canes National 17U
Jaros was another key contributor for Canes National 17U and their run to the WWBA Underclass World Championship and was up for consideration for MVP honors himself. The strong, athletically-built right-handed hitter hit .400 (8-for-20) during the event including five extra-base hits and eight runs batted in. The 2023 Georgia Tech commit implores a loose, leveraged stroke with good feel for the barrel and strength at impact to do his damage. He continually stays simple and direct, while working from gap-to-gap effortlessly. In the field, he uses a quick first step to range well to either side and has enough arm to stick at third base long term. Look for Jaros to continue hitting for years to come and certainly will be a name we continue to monitor.

AJ Gracia, OF/LHP, Artillery Baseball 2023 Scout Team
Gracia has been a consistent performer on both sides of the ball for some time now, as the left-handed hitting outfielder/left-handed pitcher has a career .370 average in Perfect Game events. The 2023 Duke University commit has continued to expand hit overall hit tool, while adding more power as he continues to mature physically. The WWBA Underclass World Championship was no different, as Gracia hit .400 (4-for-10) throughout the event and continued to showcase the additional power with a deep double and triple. The Monroe, N.J. native implores a loose, lofted stroke with good feel for the barrel and plenty of quickness to his hands. He stays with his middle-of-the-field approach but does have the ability to turn quickly with the barrel and has enough strength to go the other way with authority. He certainly will continue to physically mature over the next few years, as his square-shouldered frame can certainly with stand additional strength.

Chance Fitzgerald, RHP, Scorpions 2023
Fitzgerald was outstanding in his playoff start for the Scorpions 2023 team in their highly-anticipated matchup with Power Baseball 2024 Platinum. The athletic right-hander delivered six shutout innings, where he allowed just two hits and punched out 10 hitters along the way. The 2023 Florida State commit ran his fastball up to 92 mph in this one, maintaining the upper-80s for the duration of his start. The operation is simple and quick paced with good rhythm and tempo throughout. It’s a full starter’s arsenal with both a slower curveball that he lands for strikes, a firm slider that generates plenty of awkward swings and a replicated changeup that has fade and depth to it. The relative ease of operation, present hand speed and the ability to spin the baseball bode well for future velocity gains and Fitzgerald will continue to be someone we keep a close eye on for years to come.

-John McAdams

Manuelle Marin, SS/MIF, Elite Squad
Producing at big events is something we have become accustomed to seeing from the young uncommitted shortstop. He showed out at the Underclass WWBA on both sides of the ball. He makes playing shortstop look easy with his balanced footwork with smooth hands and a rocket arm. He has no problem making plays on the run or changing arm angles. The biggest takeaway from the event was the added strength that directly led to lots of loud contact and extra base hits. Marin is one of the top uncommitted players in the country that has all the tools to be a difference maker on both sides of the ball, at a premium position.

Chase Krewson, OF/LHP, US Elite National
The potential in the bat stands out here. There is plenty of athleticism though, and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame has loads of room remaining to add strength. The aforementioned bat absolutely mashed down in Fort Myers to the tune of a .455 average and 1.261 OPS. The five walks and runs helped stuff a stat sheet as well. He has a deeper load that can give some timing issues, but is seemed cleaned up and obviously repeating his slot. This helped be on time while finding the barrel from start to finish. If this development continues to take shape the Notre Dame commit should continue to soar. Krewson also pitched touching 87 mph with the fastball from the left side.

Christopher Diaz, OF/RHP, Milwaukee Brewers Scout Team
This was an unquestionably load statement on a big stage at the WWBA Underclass. Diaz, a University of Miami commit, has a smooth and athletic delivery with a lightning quick shoulder. He pounded the zone, mixing his offerings routinely. The fastball gets good angle and has plenty of life and the slider and changeup both showed good quality at times. The righty could also flip a more traditional breaking ball in for strikes. There are signs of real polish and given the athletic traits the upside is pretty vast. Diaz will garner a ton of pro potential as he turns the corner and heads to the senior showcase circuit next summer.

Fabio Peralta, OF, Milwaukee Brewers Scout Team
Peralta easily made one of the biggest statements during the fall of any prospect in the 2024 class. He is lean with a high waist, and simply looks the part. He the combination of well above average tools and future projection with a sweet left-handed stroke easily give him a monster peripheral profile. He can stay in center field and looks like he would fit in the top or even middle of a lineup with added strength at the next level. Peralta is a University of Miami commit that has the highest-level ceiling. 

-Jered Goodwin

Chance Mako, RHP, South Charlotte Panthers
Mako had possibly one of the more dominant outings this event has ever seen as he went six innings, allowing no hits, no walks, no runs allowed, with 16 strikeouts. While this was an outstanding performance, this has been one-in-the-same for the NC State commit. Mako was dominant all summer and has proven that he is one of the top arms in his class. Mako has all the tools scouts look for, physical projection, a low-90s fastball already, and a plus slider in the upper-70s. Don’t be surprised if you see Mako become THE arm of his class in a year.

Jerson Martin, C, USA Prime National
Martin mashed in every game during the WWBA Underclass World Championship, ending with a .364 average and three doubles. The athletic physicality is the first thing you notice about Martin, he has advanced size for his age and knows how to use it to provide juice in the bat. Martins bat speed is incredibly quick but under control and he turns the barrel over well to create loft. Martin has tools that stand out from his primary catcher position and has a very high ceiling.

Cale Stricklin, C, Team Elite National
Stricklin kept up his nice summer with another solid performance at the WWBA Underclass hitting .429. Stricklin had six hits in the tournament and if you know anything about the Georgia commit then they were most likely up the middle. Stricklin seemingly finds a way to put the ball up the middle into the outfield every time he is up to bat. Stricklin has simple swing mechanics and knows his strengths and is able to repeat them on every plate appearance. An overall solid player who will consistently find ways to get on base.

Dylan Cupp, SS, East Cobb Astros
Cupp has proven time and time again why he is one of the top players in his class as he did all summer. The Mississippi State commit is super twitchy and you are able to see this work in the field and at the plate. Cupp has present bat speed and shows and ability to take the ball to all fields along with some pull-side pop. In the field is where Cupp really impresses, incredibly fluid up the middle with a strong arm and accurate throws. Cupp has been on everyone’s radar for a couple years now and should continue to impress.

-Hayden House

Ryan Bakes, C, GRB Rays Illinois
Bakes showed off his juice during WWBA Underclass, with an OPS of 1.083 along with a homer and a pair of doubles across four games. The South Carolina commit possesses real strength and pop that he is already able to get to in-game. Bakes’ swing is optimized for power, and he has a chance to do it at a premium position behind the plate.

Cade Kurland, SS, Top Tier Roos American 2023
Kurland lived up to his status and had a very good Underclass. The Florida commit batted .500 and found plenty of really loud barrels throughout the tournament. Kurland is tooled up and has some of the best bat speed in the class and continues to perform well against high end pitching.

-Kyler Peterson

Breakout Performances

Justin Leguernic, LHP, MVP Beast 2023 National
Leguernic was definitely a solid prospect over the summer, where he worked in the mid-80s with solid spin and eventually committed to Clemson not long after. The 6-foot-5 left-hander has made a significant jump in stuff, however, as Leguernic worked in the upper-80s all fall and now looks the part of a dominant arm. There’s massive upside given the ease of operation and size as Leguernic has legit swing-and-miss stuff and will only continue to improve.

Eric Becker, SS, Real Ballers 2023 National Team
Becker has one of the prettiest swings we saw all tournament down in Fort Myers and the smooth left-handed hitter finished hitting .333 as the Ballers made bracket play at the event. He’s got great size and coordination of his limbs letting the bat speed work effortlessly through the hitting zone. The Virginia commit checks a ton of boxes and the swing itself looks very good moving forward.

Charlie Sutherland, 3B/1B, Midsouth Prospects 2023
The Minnesota commit broke out in a big way at the Underclass, hitting .500 on the tournament and hammering balls around the yard. He’s got great size and physicality and does a nice job at controlling the box and leveraging his lower half to generate big power from the ground up. The bat is the calling card here but it has a chance to be a really good one that hits for both power and average long term.

Jack Bussard, LHP, USA Prime National
Bussard was a major pop at the Underclass, getting the start for the Terry Park night slots on Saturday night, always a marquee time slot. He’s 6-foot-5, 205-pounds with substantial physical projection and a fastball that was into the upper-80s. Bussard committed to Clemson shortly after the dominant affair and another calling card is his 12/6 hammer curveball with tons of bite and sharp break.

AJ Goytia, C, Power Baseball 2023 Platinum
Goytia was a popular name over the summer circuit and really stood out as part of a Power team that made a deep run into Monday. He’s a very polished right-handed hitter with a keen eye as he worked twelve walks over eight games and finished with a .375 batting average. The Miami commit is a super polished offensive contributor with the athleticism and versatility to perform from multiple positions.

Tate McKee, RHP, East Cobb Astros
The Georgia Tech commit was wholly dominant over the course of two separate outings during the Underclass, showing off bat-missing stuff that ranks as one of the best arms in the country. He’s got a super fast arm with a fastball up to 92 and sitting in the upper-80s along with a true three pitch mix. McKee struck out eleven over 7.2 innings of one-hit baseball and firmly established his prospect status moving forward.

Paul Farley, RHP, East Cobb Astros
Like his teammate Tate McKee, Farley had a very impressive pitching line over two games with ten innings, twelve strikeouts, and only four hits allowed. Farley has a strong two pitch mix at present with feel for working both halves of the dish and a breaking ball that should be his out pitch as he gets stronger. It’s strong stuff from the right-hander who worked up to 91 mph and looks the part as one of the state’s top uncommitted arms.

-Vinnie Cervino

Jacob Gomberg, LHP, Canes National 17u
It’s hard to classify this as a breakout performance given we know what Gomberg can do on the mound, but the sharpness of the stuff took a major step forward at the Underclass. He’ll work fairly comfortably in the mid to upper-80s with the fastball, peaking around 90, while showing strides in command of it, but the true weapons are the breaking ball and changeup, both of which have received loads of hype from the scouting community with the curveball showing some plus components.

Tyler August, RHP, Wow Factor National 2023
August had a number of college coaches in to see him when he made his start and the stuff was certainly good enough to garner some serious interest. It’s a really physical 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and there’s both balance and life to the delivery while the arm is strong as he was clocked up to 93 mph while hovering around the 90 mph mark. He’s got some feel for a firm slider as well that with some work could be a solid secondary offering.

Rodney Pena, RHP, Team Citius Baseball
Pena, a recent reclass down to 2024, brought some power stuff to the mound as well when he came out and worked up to 93 mph with the fastball and showing some feel for three pitches. It’s an athletic delivery with life to the arm and to the stuff as he gets by hitters with the fastball without much effort and brings some energy as a competitor.

Dennis Duke McCarron, RHP, Canes National 17u
McCarron was already committed coming in but the stuff he showed certainly should bolster a boost nationally as he combined to strike out 11 across six innings and only allowed two hits and a single walk in the three total appearances. It’s a loose and athletic delivery with plenty of remaining physical projection although he’ll already run it into the low-90s with ease life and feel for a hard-biting lateral slider with good spin to it already.

-Tyler Russo

Hudson Brown, 1B, Easley Baseball Club
If you are looking for a player that has the physical traits you want in a power-hitting first baseman, Brown is your guy.  A very athletic 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, the Kentucky commit shows tremendous agility and twitchy actions, especially for someone his size.  He is a huge target for his fellow infielders, he is mobile and the glove is solid, but his bat is downright scary for opponents.  Hitting in the middle of the order for Easley Baseball Club, Brown put up amazing offensive numbers for the week.  He batted .467 with an OPS of 1.422, he added 3 doubles, a home run, 2 walks, 2 runs, while driving in 8 RBI and finished with an OBP of .556.

Bennett Rich, RHP, Dirtbags 17u Black
Rich was a force out of the bullpen for the Dirtbags during his time on the mound.  The uncommitted right-hander is an imposing figure at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he is well developed muscularly, and gives the presentation of being a true power pitcher.  The arm path is clean, he works downhill and holds his upper-80s velocity, finishing hitters with a wipeout slider.  Rich made 2 appearances, pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out an amazing 11 hitters.  He has the look of a true shutdown, back end of the bullpen arm.
-Craig Cozart

Charlie Oschell, RHP, Bell Ringers 17U
Oschell was impressive in his start against Dirtbags 17U Black, as the imposing 6-foot-5 right-hander worked all seven innings for his Bell Ringers 17U squad and limited a talented lineup to just two hits. The Phoenixville, Pa. native ran his fastball up to 91 mph and maintained the mid-80s for the duration of his 93 pitches. The uncommitted 2023 uses a simple delivery with good lower half movements into a loose, easy arm action. He mixed in a full array of off-speed pitches, as both the curveball and slider show promising spin profiles. The changeup is the go-to secondary at present, as Oschell replicates his arm speed effectively to disrupt timing and allow for the pitches power fade to take its course. The overall projection for the young right-hander is largely vast, as there is room for him to add strength as he fully matures. Another velocity uptick is certainly coming in the near future, only aiding in the continued growth of his full assortment of pitches. Look for Oschell to continue showcasing his power stuff over the next few years and will be someone we monitor closely.

Josh Knoth, RHP, East Coast Lumberjacks 2022s
Knoth was absolutely electric at the WWBA Underclass World Championship, as the athletic right-hander held a loaded Georgia Bombers lineup scoreless for seven full innings. The College of Charleston commit ran his fastball up to 91 mph early on and held the upper-80s for the duration of his outing. The slider was the separator, as Knoth was able to unleash it for both strikes and empty swings. He added in a firmer changeup that flashed heavy diving action to it and a slower curveball as another secondary offering. The overall operation is very reminiscent of former teammate Roman Kimball, as there is quick pace to his movements and explosive lower half movements down the slope. The arm stroke is quick and whippy, and Knoth can tunnel all his pitches effectively from his three-quarters slot. If this outstanding performance is any indication of things to come, the young 2023 right-hander will be extremely fun to watch over these next few seasons.

-John McAdams

Cheriff Neymour, SS, CBC Elite
Neymour is from the Bahamas and now is listed as living in Florida. He is a left-handed hitting shortstop that has big promise on both sides. The actions, hands and arm all stood out as he made a couple brilliant plays during the event. His footwork is a work in progress but there is plenty of quickness and range there. The left-handed stroke is smooth with good length. He found the barrel a ton, hitting .400, and has a lot left in the tank as his young looking body fills out. Neymour could be a developmental dream as he learns the nuances of the game and fills out the wiry frame.

Walker Buchanan, OF, FTB Rockets
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds with a very athletic and proportioned build, Buchanan just looks explosive. He is a smooth strider and well above average straight end runner. He played center field during his time in Fort Myers and looks right at home showing good range and solid angles. His body looks like it can really hold weight well, which would make him a massively strong individual, but staying a bit more lean could give him a shot to stay in centerfield. The right handed stroke is loose with plenty of bat speed and the approach has big intent. He hit .667 at the Underclass WWBA and found a few other loud barrels along the way. The run/power combination is extremely attractive and the Virginia commit seems to just be tapping into his gigantic potential.

Anthony Greco, OF, Thunderwolves Underclass
This is all about the thunder in the left-handed stroke. The quickness of the hands with the ability to turn really tight to release the barrel was on display during Greco’s first event. It was a loud performance for the New York native bagging his way to a .545 average and 1.848 OPS, slamming a couple homers for good measure. He is an uncommitted bat that should be on a lot of radars with his ability to hit and hit with power.

-Jered Goodwin

Charlee Soto, SS/RHP, Power Baseball 2022 Platinum
Soto impressed on the mound and at the plate during the WWBA. Soto batted .350 while also allowing no runs in 8 2/3 innings pitched and 11 strikeouts. A switch-hitter, Soto can handle the bat from both sides of the plate with legitimate ability from both sides. On the mound, Soto was up to 91 with his fastball while mixing in a filthy breaking ball with 11-5 shape and very late break. There is serious two-way potential for the UCF commit; a switch-hit bat who can control the barrel along with a low-90s arm with a plus breaking ball will play at the next level for sure.

Easton Breyfogle, OF, Artillery Baseball 2023 Scout Team
Breyfogle has really come on the scene since September with two solid WWBA performances at Kernels and the Underclass World Championship. The Arizona commit looks very loose at the plate with lots of twitch as he explodes on contact. The outfielder showed his speed as well with a couple balls tracked down and some stolen bags. There is projectability in Breyfogle's frame as he has square shoulders and long limbs. Breyfogle was fairly unknown during the summer but has made big strides in the fall and should be a name to keep tabs on as his skillset is impressive.

Jaewoo Cho, RHP, 5 Star National 17u Black
Choo was another fairly unknown player who burst on to the scene at the WWBA. An Arkansas commit, Cho commands three pitches with ease with the best being his fading changeup. Cho got his fastball up to 90 mph at the WWBA but found his success with his off-speed that he was landing for consistent strikes. Cho has extremely clean and simple mechanics while showing easy velocity. Cho really impressed with his ability to control a three-pitch arsenal, he had hitters off balance during his whole outing and it was nice to watch an arm who hadn’t been seen much.
-Hayden House

Heath Andrews, RHP, South Charlotte Panthers 2023
Andrews was dominant in both of his outings. The right-hander tossed 5 1/3 scoreless frames while striking out seven. Andrews lived 86-90 and peaked at 91 with his fastball and held his velocity deep. He paired it with a hard-biting slider that he showed excellent feel for. The arrow is ticking up for the NC State commit with plenty of projection remaining.

Max Kaufer, C, Dirtbags 17U Camo
Kaufer mashed his way through the tournament, batting .550 with six extra-base hits including a home run. The Texas A&M commit has a swing geared for power and tons of strength. Kaufer offers a considerable amount of juice and offensive upside from behind the plate.

Jacob Kirby, RHP, Dirtbags 17U Camo
Kirby was excellent in his start in an opening playoff game. The North Carolina commit has a really good three-pitch mix. His fastball worked in the mid-80s for the most part and topped out at 88. Kirby’s go-to secondary is a firm changeup that shows true parachute action. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound right-hander has loads of projection remaining and is due for more jumps in the near future.

-Kyler Peterson

Uncommitted... For Now

Nick Morris, C, On Deck O’s 2023
Morris checks a number of boxes from an evaluator’s perspective, showing good athleticism and receiving behind the dish while being able to provide power from the offensive side. Morris has great size and is an agile defender and had one double, a monster foul home run, and a number of hits en route to a .500 average on the weekend. Recruiting catchers is always tough but Morris looks the part of a backstop who should be able to significantly factor into someone’s recruiting class.

Liam Whalen, 1B, Next Level Showcase
Whalen is a strongly-built, physical first base prospect who possesses some big power to the pull side and fits the profile of a middle-of-the-order run producer. Whalen hit .333 with more doubles than singles, including a huge double off the wall in their eventual victory over MLB Breakthrough. There’s big power potential here for Whalen who looks like he’ll be a boost to any recruiting class.

Jeffrey Heuer, RHP, Georgia Bombers 17U Marucci
Heuer certainly stood out as one of the stars of the tournament, and one of the top uncommitted arms in the class at this point. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander has explosive stuff with an eminently physical frame while he sat in the low-90s with a hard slider at times. He struck out nine hitters over three innings and has massive upside long term.

Bishop Letson, RHP, Rawlings Tigers National Team
Letson might have had one of the best lines in the entire event, striking out thirteen (!!) hitters over six strong innings and earning the victory. Letson worked up to 88 mph with the fastball, showing a loose and whippy arm stroke that portends future velocity especially with added physical projection. It was a placemaking performance for Letson who should be recruited heavily following his dominant outing.

-Vinnie Cervino

Aj Camp, LHP, Dirtbags 17u Camo
Camp was tasked with multiple outings across the event and was excellent in what he showed as an uncommitted left-hander. There’s tons of projection in a lanky frame and he brings a bit of a different look to the mound working in the 85-87 mph range from a low sidearm slot which allows him to run the fastball low in the zone while showing true feel for a good slider and a changeup.

Dondreone Kennedy, SS, Royals Scout Team
Kennedy stands as one of the highest ranked uncommitted prospects in this class and the quality of the whole profile certainly should change that sooner rather than later. He’s a good athlete who gets up to speed quick and maintains on the move while there’s solid bat to ball paired with sneaky pop in the 5-foot-10, 165-pound frame that he showed when he landed a triple on the track near the 400-foot mark of Terry Park stadium.

Mikhai Grant, RHP, Team Georgia 17u National
Grant was excellent in his three-inning look at the Underclass as he didn’t allow a hit while racking up six strikeouts with easy stuff. He’s a solidly built 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and that strength allows him to repeat a clean delivery well while the fastball is a good one working in the 90-92 mph range with late life to the arm side while he throws the slider hard in the low-80s already with good spin to project on.

Cole Nelson, RHP, SBA Scout Team 2023
Nelson was one of the younger prospects in attendance as a 2024 but you wouldn’t think it based on his presence as he has a projectable starter’s frame at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. It’s an easy delivery with some clean and polished mechanics while the fastball already reaches into the low-90s at its peak with much more to come given the real ease he has missing bats with sinking life in the upper-80s.

Connor Marshburn, RHP, Dirtbags 17u Camo
Marshburn has had some inconsistencies to date but the upside of the stuff and profile is real as he’s got serious projection to go with arm talent and life to the stuff. It’s a 6-foot-5 frame with plenty of projectable length while the fastball gets up to around 90 mph right now which he pairs with a true wipeout slider at times and some feel for a changeup with late fade to it.

Griffen Paige, LHP, Alpha Baseball – Cincinnati
Paige doesn’t overpower with the stuff but the pitchability and projection should have some coaches in the Midwest intrigued by what he could become. He was excellent in navigating the opposing lineup in Fort Myers as he held velocity in the 82-85 mph range from the left side, commanding down in the zone and using the changeup for swing-and-miss ahead of what was a solid breaking pitch as well.

Connor Christenson, SS, Alpha Baseball – Cincinnati
Christenson was solid with the bat in Fort Myers hitting .500 with more doubles than singles on the stat sheet. It’s an athletic profile as he runs well and gets up to speed quick while he has arm strength for the left side and the bat to ball/on-base profile fits the top of the order well where he could make an impact for a program at the next level.

-Tyler Russo

Will Papciak, RHP, Dirtbags 17u Black
Papciak has launched himself into the recruiting mix in a significant way over the past few months.  The right-handed pitcher has shown himself to be a durable arm and the type of competitor that can make high-leverage pitches when needed.  In his start for the Dirtbags 17u Black, he went 4 1/3 innings, where he navigated frequent traffic on the bases but induced soft contact or got the big strikeout when necessary.  He only gave up 3 hits, did walk 4 but also struck out 4 and allowed no earned runs.  He showed a lively fastball up to 87 that runs down and in on right-handed batters and complimented it with a true slider that created consistent swing-and-miss.  It seems like Papciak will be going off the uncommitted board sooner rather than later.

Eric Segura, RHP, Trosky National 2023
Putting together one of the most impressive appearances from a stat line and an analytics standpoint was Segura.  The 6-foot-1 and 190-pound right-handed pitcher got the start for Trosky National 2023 and went the distance for the win.  In his 7 innings pitched, Segura only allowed 3 singles, walked 2 in his last inning of work and punched out 9 opposing batters.  Showing the in-game awareness of a polished veteran, he was able to take his fastball from his 87-89 mph cruising velocity to 91 when he needed a big out.  Both his fastball and slider are elite when it comes to spin rates and there is much more in the tank for the ultra-projectable Segura.

Carson Tinney, C, Slammer Duman
Tinney has the unique skill set to impact the game at a high level with the glove and the stick.  The 6-foot-3 and 195-pound catcher for the Slammers Duman is an elite catch-and-throw guy with an athletic, symmetrical build.  Tinney is advanced with the glove, one of the best presenters of pitches on the circuit and is a wall behind the plate when it comes to blocking.  He has a strong, accurate arm with plenty of carry through the bag and his performance with the bat was epic.  He finished the week with a .445 average, an OPS of 1.773, hit 3 home runs, scored 4 runs and collected a total of 7 RBI and also put together a .500 OBP.  Offensive backstops are hard to find, and Tinney is that and should land with a quality program soon. 

-Craig Cozart

Payton Manca, LHP, Real Ballers 2023 National Team
Manca was mightily impressive in his start during the WWBA Underclass World Championship. The 6-foot-5 left-hander ran his fastball up to 90 mph in this look with heavy arm-side run, while maintaining the upper-80s for most of his two-and-a third innings. He mixed in a promising breaking ball that he was able to land for strikes, while also manipulating its speed and shape for swings and misses. The overall operation is repeatable and simple, as the uncommitted 2023 uses his strong lower half to work down the slope with intent and aggression. There is plenty of things to like from the hulking left-hander, as he will certainly continue to add velocity as he fully matures. Look for the Winchendon, Mass. native to find a home in the near future.

Nicolas LoBello, OF, Time to Sign Scout
LoBello is a quick-twitch outfielder with good barrel control, tons of athleticism in the outfield and plenty of arm strength. The uncommitted 2023 grad implores a short, direct stroke with plenty of quickness to his hands and the ability to impact the baseball from gap-to-gap. The 6.4 runner has a quick first step and covers a ton of ground in the grass. He is a true centerfielder with above average arm strength that has been up to 92 mph. The New York, N.Y. native hit .444 (4-for-9) during the WWBA Underclass World Championship and checks a ton of boxes for college coaches looking to add to their 2023 Recruiting Class.

-John McAdams

Justin Peguero, SS, Dugout National/Reality Caballos
The New England-based shortstop has legit actions at short stop and defensive carrying tools that should find him playing that position at the highest of levels. The grace and transfer skills stood out and there is more than enough behind the throws to make every play. He is suave and rhythmic in everything he does on the dirt. The right-handed bat looks to be just as high-end as Peguero hit .400 with a 1.238 OPS showing big bat speed and lots of strength at contact. He can drive fields to both gaps and uses big intent at launch, but there is also patience as he waits for a pitch he can truly drive. This was a very interesting look and someone that needs to be monitored extremely closely. 

-Jered Goodwin

Preston Crowl, 3B, Rubber Arm Rockets
Crowl showed lots of two-way potential at the WWBA hitting .700 with five extra-base hits and nine walks to go along with a solid three innings pitched on the mound. Crowl has a really strong swing at the plate, but he is fluid and loose with obvious extra base power. On the mound, Crowl sat in the upper-80s with his fastball, he had a loose arm with some run to his arm-side. Crowl has an advanced bat that should garner lots of big offers, the arm is icing on the cake with some potential if he gets more innings.

Mateo Gray, 3B, Canes National 16u 
All Gray did all WWBA was rake with five extra-base hits while slashing with a .526 line. Gray looks to get the barrel out in front and does so with twitchy wrists and hands. An at-bat that stuck out to me was when he was down in the count with two strikes, he then shortens up and lets the hands work to take the ball to right field. Gray is young and still has a lot of maturing to do in his frame, but his swing and approach at the plate are very advanced and any school that picks him up is getting a very solid player.

Dominick Scalese, SS/RHP, Georgia Bombers 17u Marucci
Scalese checks a lot of boxes as a potential two-way player at the next level; Scalese proved this with a great summer and WWBA to cap it off. On the mound, Scalese sits in the upper-80s with his fastball but has great feel for a 12-6 curveball with a high spin rate. At the plate, Scalese has gap-to-gap power and uses his speed to extend hits and get himself into scoring position. Scalese has a wiry athletic frame with potential to fill out as he matures. Scalese has a long track record and has proven that he has potential at the next level.

-Hayden House

Chase Morgan, LHP, Texas Twelve Maroon 2023
In his start for Texas Twelve Maroon 2023, Morgan was dominant. The southpaw went 3 2/3 scoreless while punching out five. The Texas native works in the mid-80s with his fastball and topped out at 87 from a clean, low-effort delivery. He pairs it with a sharp curveball and shows a solid feel to pitch.

Jack Radel, RHP, USA Prime American
Radel had a very strong showing on the mound across three outing. The South Dakota native tossed three innings while punching out six. The righty works in the mid-80s and tops at 87 with his fastball. The heater played up with ride and missed plenty of bats. Radel also showed real feel for a slider with sharp two-plane break in the 75-79 range.

Samson Pugh, SS/RHP, Texas Twelve Maroon 2023
Pugh was excellent at the plate, batting .444 with an OPS of 1.167 during the tournament. The shortstop employs the combination of bat speed and strength while showing a really good feel for the barrel. Along with being a consistent performer with the bat, Pugh also came into relief and showed arm strength, running his fastball up to 91.

-Kyler Peterson
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