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Friday, January 11, 2013

World Uncommitted Top Prospects

Frankie Piliere        
Photo: Perfect Game

OF/RHP James “Jae” Skoda (2013, Grand Bay, AL) has the look of a physical force the minute he steps on a field. One of the strongest players at the event, Skoda showed some of that strength in batting practice. But, it was his performance on the mound that made him one of the event’s standouts. He flashed the top velocity at the event, touching 91 mph, and sitting 87-90 with good life. His curveball was also impressive, flashing good downer action. There’s more velocity on the way with Skoda, as he appears to be just getting things together mechanically. His command got better as his outing moved along.

OF/IF Alexander Melendez (2013, Benjamin Harrison HS, Cayey, PR) couldn’t have been much more impressive in all facets of the game. He posted one of the best 60 times, at 6.69, threw 86 mph from the outfield, and put on quite a show with the bat. He showed some of the best bat speed at the event, displaying some loud pull power in batting practice. Melendez also has a large, highly athletic body with some projection. His upside is as high as any player’s in attendance, and his ability with the bat is of particular interest.

OF Luis Touron (2013, Westminster Christian HS, Miami, FL) could certainly stake a claim to having the best power bat at the event. A switch hitter who currently shows better skills from the left side, Touron deposited two long home runs over the right field fence in BP as lefty. He followed that up with a display of opposite field power from the right side, bouncing one ball off the fence in right center field. This power carried into the game as well, as he drove a long double to straight away center field. This is a strong young hitter with an idea at the plate and possesses easy power.

OF/LHP Kevin Garner (2013, Little Rock Central HS, Little Rock, AR) seemed to pop up everywhere you looked at the World Uncommitted. Whether it was on the mound, in the outfield, at the plate, or in the 60 yard dash, Garner was consistently among the most impressive performers. He had five ringing hits over a two game span, and showed some game ready power from the left side of the plate. He also flashed an 82 mph fastball from the mound and a solid feel for his secondaries. His strong arm from the outfield and 6.96 60 yard dash coupled with his impressive hit tool from the left side will make him a more attractive commodity as a position player, however.

SS Michael Landestoy (2013, Saint George School, Santo Domingo, DR) plays the game like the son of a big leaguer, and as it turns out, he is. The son of 8-year big leaguer, Rafael Landestoy, Michael was one the events most well rounded talents. He has a projectable, athletic body, and shows impressive quickness on the infield. He has shortstop actions and the arm plays well enough across the infield. At the plate he showed some quickness in his wrists, flashing some hard line drives in batting practice. Landestoy looks like he’s just scratching the surface and should be a very interesting follow.

RHP William Griffin (2013, Kennesaw Mountain HS, Kennesaw, GA) unleashed some of most powerful fastballs of the event, sitting around 86-88 and topping out at 89 mph. He also flashed a hard curveball and decent command. This is a high upside arm with more velocity and strength on the way.

OF Zach Elder (2013, Chanhassen HS, Carver, MN) looked to be one of the most sound, well rounded hitters in attendance. His hands were quick in BP and game action, and flashed some impressive opposite field power. Aside from his good bat speed, Elder also showcased an 82 mph fastball from the mound and threw 86 mph from the outfield.

C Omar Figueroa (2013, Carlos Beltran Academy, Ponce, PR) displayed among the most impressive power strokes at the World Uncommitted, lining multiple deep drives off the high right field fence. He has a very strong lower half, and clearly has a swing designed to hit the long ball.

SS Davyon Dozier (2013, Brooks Debartolo Collegiate, Wesley Chapel, FL) was clearly one of the best “hit tool” players at the World Uncommitted. He needs work on the defensive side of the ball, and he needs to get a little stronger, and that showed in his defensive workouts. But, when he took the field for BP, it was clear very early that he was one of the highest upside bats of the event. His bat speed stands out, as does his impressive loft to straight away center field. His power potential is very exciting, considering he still has a lot of room to grow into his athletic, projectable frame.

RHP David Contreras (FA, Miami, FL) showcased a sound delivery and a live fastball at the World Uncommitted, and his athletic frame has some decent projection to dream on. The ball comes out of his hand nice and easy, sitting 85-88 mph, and he snapped off a couple good 70 mph curveballs.

MIF Noel Rosario (2013, Woodrow Wilson HS, Camden, NJ) definitely fit the description of “toolsy” with his showing in Fort Myers. He ran a 6.76 60 yard dash and threw 87 mph across the infield. As impressive as those numbers are, it was his game performances at the plate that stood out. He made consistent, line drive contact and found himself on the bases as often as any player at the event.

1B Michael Avila (2013, Immaculata Lasalle HS, Miami, FL) is the owner of a large, mature frame and it shows in his batting practice power. He hit some of the loudest shots off the bat in the event and showed carry to the middle of the field. There’s some length to the swing there, but his power should translate well as he moves up in competition.

SS/RHP Miguel Angel Riestra Rivera (FA, Caguas, PR) made a lot of infield workout onlookers very curious to see him on the mound after tossing an 88 mph rocket to first base. When he got to the mound, he showed some intriguing things. He touched 86 mph with an easy delivery, sitting 82-85. And, he’s hitting these velocities without much lower half involvement right now. With some tweaking, he may be a 90 mph arm from the mound.

OF Kyle Wilson (2013, Lake Dallas HS, Hickory Creek, TX) showcased one of the strongest outfield arms at the event, flashing 87 mph from right field. His throws were on-line and consistent. His 6-foot-2, 180 pound frame and bat make him all the more intriguing. He showed an ability to sit on his back leg and lift some long drives in batting practice, as well as some hard line drives. His offensive game is one to be watched very closely.

OF Cristian Bracero (2013, Carlos Beltran Academy, Manati, PR) threw 86 mph from the outfield and showcased some good athleticism there as well. At the plate, he hit consistent line drives in batting practice and flashed good bat speed.

1B/RHP Willie Fabra (2013, Belen Jesuit Prep, Miami, FL) is a strong, physical righty hitter who flashed some serious power potential in batting practice. There are some aspects of his swing that need to be ironed out, but the power to the middle of the field is very evident. He consistently drove deep shots to right center field in his batting practice session.

OF Jake Carr (2013, JL Mann HS, Greenville, SC) had a true standout moment in game action with his throwing arm. After putting together a solid BP and some good at-bats, his on the fly laser to third base from right field made most in attendance do a double take. Carr also ran a 6.79 60.

3B/OF Troy Sieber (2013, Salem HS, Salem, NJ) threw 84 mph across the infield and a pair of good hands. But, his best impression was made at the plate. He took a solid batting practice round, using a high leg kick and he doesn’t get cheated when he takes his hacks.

OF/RHP Spencer Phillips (2013, Bayside HS, Palm Bay, FL) reached 84 mph on the mound, but was more impressive with his swings in game action. He displayed a quality approach and a consistent line drive swing. He’s only going to get better with strength and maturity.

1B Kevin Cruz-Sanabria (2013, Haines City Senior HS, Haines City, FL) makes the cut for this list on the strength of what was the swing the of the event. The big first baseman launched a long home run to left field on a high fastball, showing big carry and quickness inside. He’s very raw at this point, but there’s no doubting his strength after this big swing.

SS/RHP Elijah White (2013, North Cobb HS, Kennesaw, GA) threw 85 mph across the infield and showed a loose arm with good fielding actions and good footwork.  He also reached 86 mph on the mound with his fastball and had a good curveball at 76 mph. 

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