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Tournaments  | Story  | 11/22/2023

All-State Games: Week 2 Notebook

AJ Denny      Tyler Russo     
Amari Maxwell (2028 Pflugerville, TX) proved to be a consistent performer on both sides of the field for South Texas and was a major factor in the squad’s Championship run, finishing with a .529 BA including four XBH offensively while also tossing three shutout innings against Arizona during pool play. The left handed hitter starts from an open base in the box flashing looseness to the hands with the ability to work both gaps. He successfully limits swing and miss in the path and is able to find multiple ways on base. Maxwell can also run it up to 80 mph on the mound and can be considered a well rounded prospect. 

Dylan Mercado (2029 Houston, TX) got the ball in the Championship game for South Texas and did not disappoint, shutting down a high powered Southern Cal offense by chucking 4.2 innings of nine strikeout, one run baseball. The 13 year old is already up to 83 mph with signs of developing spin in the arsenal in the form of a vertically shaped breaker with late bite. He’s mechanically clean and refined for his age with an additional velocity spike expected in the future. If that wasn’t enough, Mercado also launched a no doubt bomb in a playoff game against Louisiana with clear barrel control and young power potential shown offensively. Earned both MVP Pitcher and All Tournament Team honors.

Major Ciers (2029 Conroe, TX) was certainly one of the more intriguing LHP’s of the event, tossing 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball over two appearances while racking up ten strikeouts. The frame has really developed nicely here, as there’s still plenty of projection remaining in the 5-foot-10, 155 pound frame that can already run it up to 78 mph. He uses a high leg lift and works into the lower half effectively while hiding the ball well and releasing from a clean over the top slot. Ciers displayed the ability to work all four quadrants for swing and miss and successfully challenged up in the zone. 

Easton O'Quinn (2029 Branford, TX) was certainly locked in at the plate over the course of the weekend, posting a .615 BA with five XBH, one of those that still may not have landed yet. O’Quinn displayed the effortless ability to hit for both contact and power to the pull side of the field, creating natural lift in the path that generated easy carry on the baseball. This performance should come as no surprise, as the ‘29 prospect has put up video game numbers in 2023 with a 1.364 SLG including almost 100 RBI.

Colton Windham (2029 Lakeside, CA) was a consistent two-way performer for Southern Cal and played a vital role in their deep playoff run, finishing with a .429 BA offensively including a HR while also starting the Championship game on the bump and picking up seven strikeouts in four IP. The primary RHP displayed balanced mechanics on the mound and broke off several tight SL for swing and miss. He’s been in the low 80s in the recent past and will continue to fill out the athletic 5-foot-11, 170 pound frame. 

Kamber Keller (2028 Marrero, LA) started his weekend out with a bang during Louisiana's opening game against Midwest, rocketing a no doubt bomb over the LF wall while also picking up a double. The right handed hitter has evident strength for his age with plenty of leverage created in the stroke, constantly punishing pitches left over the middle to ultimately post a .357 BA on the event. 

Carter Thibodeaux (2028 Carencro, LA) was an on base machine for Louisiana in the heart of the order, finishing with an eye opening .692 BA flashing an aggressive approach at the dish. He displayed a direct powerful stroke through impact with the ability to use all parts of the field for solid impact. There’s already present strength in the hands here with further power developing as the ‘28 prospect physically matures.  

Cihan Paso (2028 Wayne, NJ) led the charge for Chesapeake in the leadoff spot, playing the role perfectly with a .583 BA consistently getting in scoring positions and giving guys behind him RBI opportunities. He displayed solid barrel control throughout his weekend and created contact to all parts of the field, nothing new for the 5-foot-6, 140 pound righty who has now moved his overall 2023 average to .592.

Alexander Scott (2029 Santa Clarita, CA) provided a spark at the top of the order for Northern Cal, as the lean 5-foot-6, 117 pound righty worked both gaps effectively with present contact tool to post a .500 BA on the weekend. From a crouched wider base, Scott successfully stayed inside the baseball and generated backspin for consistent line drive impact. He also provided value on the basepaths, swiping four bags over the course of five games.

Matthew Passantino (2028 Mount Sinai, NY) was lights out on the mound for Northeast, as the projectable 5-foot-8, 140 pound righty was near unhittable in two separate appearances for his squad. Totaling up five innings of shutout baseball with six strikeouts, the righty utilized quiet compact movements throughout the delivery with a quick arm path that he repeated well to pound the zone. He located well and sequenced effectively to keep hitters off balance, ultimately topping out at 77 mph.

Jason Marll Jr (2028 Catonsville, MD) had himself a weekend for East Coast, putting up monster numbers offensively with a .667 BA and 1.810 OPS while also chucking two scoreless innings on the mound with four strikeouts. The athletic 6-foot, 178 pound righty earned All Tournament Team honors with value all over the field and natural actions to his game. He starts from a spread base to start at the dish and does a nice job of impacting the baseball out in front with clear bat speed generated through the zone. Power potential here is going to continue to grow with evident strength already present in the frame.

One of the premier arms of the tournament, Select Fest Alum Trent O'Malley (2028 Great Falls, VA) was his usual self on the mound in a relief appearance against Georgia Saturday, tossing a clean inning and striking out the side. The physical 5-foot-11, 206 pound righty ran a heavy FB up to 83 mph with effortless life out of the hand, working down the hill well with velocity generation from the lower half. He snapped off a nasty two-plane breaker for swing and miss with good spin profile present in the arsenal. The arm talent is special here with further velocity jumps almost certain in the future.
-AJ Denny 

Nathan Malone, OF/2B, Alabama
Malone was one of the big winners of the weekend in terms of showing things we haven’t seen before as he hit .500, with half of his hits going for extra bases, and drove in 12. He’s a good athlete with real strength to the hands offensively, allowing him to handle the barrel in a really impressive way and drive balls all over the yard, even when he’s not getting his best swing off.

Peyton Lopez, SS, South Texas
Lopez hit at the top of the lineup for the eventual champions, and he swing it well to the tune of .438 on the event. He’s also a good athlete with a lot going well offensively in terms of the control he has in the box, the bat speed he shows and the impact he generates without being anywhere near full strength; he sets the table in a really good way and he’s already fun to watch.

Noah Jarolimek, SS/RHP, Carolina
Jarolimek was the one of the best players in this age group all year long and he got it done in a big way on both sides of the ball over in Houston. He hit over .500 and showed the good swing paired with big bat speed we know of, while also running it into the low-80s on the mound with big running life, feel for secondaries and struck out a casual 13 across 6+ strong innings of work.

Reese Parker, MIF, Mississippi
Parker was one of the early offensive standouts and he managed to pick up a hit of every variety throughout the event, logging a single, double, triple and home run to the pull gap. It’s a good swing that pairs well with his young physicality, and the foundation allows him to get into his strong impact on the baseball pretty often already. The upside is certainly easy to see in there.

Kannon Derry, OF, Tennessee
Derry is a fun young hitter to watch as he puts the ball in play a ton, evidenced by not striking out in this event, and he hit .667 with a few doubles. It’s a “top of the order” type of profile given the approach and he gets the most out of his smaller stature as he can backspin the ball to either gap and moves well, which adds to the profile; he reached at almost an .800 clip here.

Greyson Bell, LHP, East Coast
Bell is one of the younger players that you can look at on the field and know that it’s probably going to click and he’s going to be good long-term. It’s a really good delivery with a loose and fast arm, showing ease to his upper-70s heater and an ability to beat guys, while showing both feel for spin and great feel for a changeup that’s already missing bats; it’s a high-upside profile.

JonLuke Harper, IF, Carolina
Harper just turned 13 and you wouldn’t think it with his current size/physicality on the field. He swung it well overall, hitting .500, and hit a bomb for good measure. It’s a swing geared for getting the ball in the air already, and his strength he has makes it easy to hit for extra bases.

Xavier Rodriguez, C, Georgia
Rodriguez is another that just turned 13 who you wouldn’t think it when you see him standing in the box. He’s got lots of physicality already, showing good balance in the box and his ability to impact the baseball already shows in that he hit a casual 4 triples in 5 games, all of which were long carried shots to the middle of the field/either gap, while he hit over .500 as a whole too.

Aiden Cervantes, OF, Southern California
Cervantes took home MVP honors from the event, hitting .600 with an OPS over 1.800, and his 14 RBIs was a pretty ridiculous number. He has good size, and his swing is a good one with real ease to how he gets the barrel out on a clean path, and his combination of good young impact with the overall physical upside and consistency is something that stands out for being just 13.5.

Nateo Victorio, 3B/C, Southern California
Victorio is one of the more established young hitters coming to the big field and he showed out atop the SoCal order, hitting .538 and reaching base at a high clip. It’s a really good offensive profile given his standout handle of the barrel, fast hands and ability to spray the field, and he’s a sneaky good runner. He also can both play the dirt and catch, further enhancing the profile.

Jordan Leon, SS/RHP, Southern California
It’s impressive what Leon brings to the table offensively in terms of pure explosiveness with some of the biggest bat speed you’ll find at this age, paired with real physicality. He swung it well at All-State, and for good measure got on the mound and was low-80s with a good delivery and fast arm.

Damian Rivas, RHP/MIF, Hawaii
Rivas’ talent certainly showed early on as he swung the bat well with real control of the barrel, good young bat speed and an ability to impact the baseball while being athletic. His time was cut short on the mound, but he was pitching in the low-80s early with a pretty loose/fast arm, athletic delivery and truly wicked slider that has the components to miss bats a ton long-term.

Russell Nelson, RHP, Arizona
Nelson didn’t have his most dominant of outings, but the stuff he showed and the upside he has is amongst the best on the mound in this group right now. It’s athleticism, arm speed, a tougher low slot, good fastball command in the low-80s and feel for a true short slider that has big traits.

Evan Thompson, C, Arizona
Had a huge ending to his weekend, hit 2 home runs in the same game in the playoffs; has pretty easy swing, works lofted through zone and stays connected well, good hitting traits for a young catcher.

Carter Nash, OF, Carolina
Hit .455 at All-State, including a long home run. Big juice already, gets into it often; swing geared for getting the ball in the air, really advanced power/impact for only 2 months into 13 years old.

Quinn Neal, 1B, South Texas
Big physical left-handed hitter who had one of the more clutch hits for South Texas in their long playoff run, a game-tying triple. Balanced swing, obvious juice/impact, creates it pretty easy too.

Jahmeer Damon, MIF, Carolina
Good showing overall, hit up over .300 and had a bomb; good swing, quicker hands and creates real launch, athletic profile overall and also ran it up into the low-80s on the mound in playoffs.

Max Malmstrom, OF, Midwest
Hit a casual .750, including an inside-the-park home run and a home run later in the same day; clean and functional swing, already separates well, has good size at 5’11/155 to build on too.

Merrik McGrath, RHP, Georgia
Big physical young two-way who stood out the most on the mound in terms of pure arm strength, ran the fastball up to 84 and showed standout feel for spin, one of the stronger arms of the age group.

Brian Ward, 1B, Georgia 
Super physical already and really shows up on the offensive side, lots of strength to the swing and can carry the ball well to the middle of the field already, had a few long extra-base hits.

Bryant Wisdom, MIF, Alabama
Hit .471 and was really consistent over the course of the event, loose wrists and easier swing, does a good job making body adjustments to be on plane, wiry and lots of room to fill out too.

Earon Ramirez, SS/RHP, South Texas
Hit .571 and can really swing it with good size/strength, also stood out on the mound up to 80 with a quick arm and hard downhill action to fastball, can spin it too, easy to build on all parts.

-Tyler Russo