Tournaments : : Story
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

PG Showdown team breakdowns

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

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2014 PG High School Showdown team previews

Allatoona Buccaneers
(Acworth, Ga.) - Roster/Schedule

Clarke Schmidt
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 2014, 215
Grayson Harbin, RHP, 2016, Top 1000
Pete Derkay, C, 2016
Justin Evans, SS, 2015, High Follow
Kyle Jacobsen, LHP/OF, 2017

The pitching staff is lead by South Carolina commit and senior leader Clarke Schmidt, who at the time of writing this was 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 14 innings of work. Schmidt is no stranger to Perfect Game events having participated in several tournaments as well as the National Showcase last June in Minneapolis. Schmidt continues to grow and fill out physically with a gain in velocity each time he takes the ball. Keep in mind that Schmidt's older brother – 2011 PG All-American Clate – was a late bloomer physically and has come into his own at Clemson.

Schmidt and fellow senior Cooper Murphy (Emmanuel College commit) form a strong 1-2 punch for Allatoona, as Murphy owns a 2-0 record with a sub-1.00 ERA in 20 innings pitched. Sophomore Grayson Harbin has proven to be a key factor in the pitching rotation, serving as Coach Keith Hansen's No. 3 starter and helping out in the bullpen when called upon.

The seniority for the Buccaneers lies within the pitching staff as the offense is led by a solid group of underclassmen who will be together for at least the next two years.

Not only does the duo of shortstop Justin Evans and second baseman Brady Eeles hold down the defense up the middle, but they also help pace the Buccaneers offense. Evans, who is batting .500 with three RBIs, and Eeles, .368 and three RBIs of his own, set the table for Pete Derkay in the middle of the order who has one home run, 10 RBIs, and is hitting .391.

Allatoona has also received solid contributions from freshman Kyle Jacobsen on both sides of the ball. He’s batting .300 and plays center field when he is not on the mound.

Allatoona is a young club in terms of offense but have held their own in Georgia's 5A classification (second highest division) opening the season at a perfect 9-0. The Buccaneers find themselves atop the standings with the offense scoring 55 runs and the pitching staff also doing their part, allowing only 14 runs, and they haven’t allowed more than three runs in any game. Some of the pitching that the Buccaneer's may run into in Fort Myers will challenge their young hitters, but the experience will help Coach Hansen's club once the Georgia playoffs begin.

Bishop Verot Catholic Vikings (Fort Myers, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Evan Dougherty
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Thaddeus Ward
, RHP, 2015, 199

Evan Dougherty, OF, 2014, 333
Jonah Owenby, LHP, 2014, High Follow
Dominick Stefanacci, RHP, 2014, High Follow
Jeffery Passantino, RHP, 2014, Top 1000


University of Central Florida commit and Perfect Game veteran Thaddeus Ward leads a senior heavy pitching rotation, a staff that returns all their arms from their 24-7 season last year. At 6-foot-3, Ward can pump his fastball up to 91 mph and through 15 innings pitched this spring, Ward has yet to surrender a run with a 22-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Senior Jeffery Passantino, who Coach David Nelson described as the “ultimate competitor,” has been equally impressive this season with a 32-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ration through 22 1/3 innings and a 0.31 ERA.

Joining Ward and Passantino on the mound are seniors Dominick Stefanacci (Tusculum recruit), who owns an upper-80s fastball, and Jonah Owenby (USF), a pitchability lefty with strong command of three pitches.

The pitching staff as a whole is putting up video game numbers, allowing only six earned runs in 76 innings of play.

Duke commit Evan Dougherty mans center field for the Vikings and is off to a hot start with the bat, leading an offense that has scored a staggering 117 runs through their first 12 games. Dougherty has scored 21 of those runs and is batting .405 with two home runs, three triples.

As great as Dougherty’s .405 average is, he is fourth on his team with a minimum of 30 plate appearances. Seniors Danny Tufariello (Tusculum commit, .455 batting average), Zack Chappell (uncommitted, .444), and Jeffery Passantino (Lipscomb, .429) lead a team that collectively is hitting .351.

To say Bishop Verot is firing on all cylinders heading into the PG High School Showdown may be an understatement. Through their last seven games the offense has compiled 72 runs and the pitching staff has not allowed a run. Coach Nelson only lost one player from last year’s team that lost in the state semifinals, and the team is poised to go deep into the 4A playoffs this spring with a strong group of senior leaders.

Concordia Lutheran Crusaders (Tomball, Texas) - Roster/Schedule

Ke'Bryan Hayes
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B/RHP, 2015, 77
Garrett Wolforth, C/INF, 2016, 29
John Grimsley, OF, 2014, 500
Cooper Bailey, RHP, 2014, High Follow
Ty Clark, 2B/RHP, 2014, High Follow

Of the five primary pitchers listed on the roster, three of them are seniors. Cooper Bailey looks to lead the staff along with LSU-Eunice commit Glenn Otto and lefthander Alex Bridges. The last time Perfect Game saw Bailey on the mound he was up to 84 mph in 2012 and checked in at 5-foot-8, 165-pounds. It’s very likely that Bailey has added velocity, given two years of growth and maturity, as he now stands at 6-foot-2.

Ke’Bryan Hayes is a two-way junior and Tennessee commit who is capable of running his fastball into the upper-80s while mixing in both a changeup and curveball for strikes.  Fellow junior Brandon Ivey is a big 6-foot-2 lefthander who started off hot this spring for the Crusaders and hopes to carry the hot start into the Showdown. Ty Clark is another two-way guy that is capable of producing mid-80s fastballs and provides solid relief.

As a whole the staff has performed very well to this point and held their opponents to one run or less in seven of their sixteen victories this spring.

The Crusaders’ offense is led by three Division I commits on their roster: senior John Grimsley (San Diego recruit), Hayes and sophomore Garrett Wolforth (Dallas Baptist).

Wolforth turned in a solid performance at the National Underclass Session 1 Showcase in early December and looks to build off of that. He shows a smooth swing from both sides of the plate with quick hands and nice power potential. As solid as his bat is, Wolforth is equally impressive behind the plate showing athletic actions, above average arm strength and sound receiving skills.

Junior Trey Jimmerson started the season by swinging a hot bat, racking up multi-hit games with numerous extra base hits from the left side.

Concordia Lutheran has had a very strong spring to this point, opening up at 16-4 and have outscored their opponents 161-70. They hit a three game skid after beginning the year 11-1 but it is worth noting that all four losses were by a one-run margin. If the Crusaders can continue to swing hot bats there is a strong chance that they could find themselves in the finals of the Showdown.

DeSoto Central Jaguars (Southaven, Miss.) - Roster/Schedule

Clay Casey
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Austin Riley, RHP/C, 2015, 46
Clay Casey, OF, 2014, 96
Dallas Woolfolk, RHP, 2015, 157
Kyle Watson, SS, 2014, 487
Keegan James, RHP, 2015, 500

The Jaguars have a pitching staff that is loaded with arms, several of whom have already committed to a Division I college. Leading the way is physically imposing junior Austin Riley (Mississippi State commit) who stands 6-foot-3, 225-pounds and is an elite two-way talent at the next level. Perfect Game has seen his fastball in the low-90s, with higher reports surfacing this spring, throwing with a loose and easy arm action.

Potentially joining Riley at Mississippi State in two years is Keegan James, a 6-foot-2 righthander who can run his fastball into the upper-80s and shows a strong feel for his breaking ball. Dallas Woolfolk is yet another intimidating junior standing at 6-foot-3 who recently committed to Ole Miss, joining shortstop Kyle Watson who provides outstanding defense for his pitchers.

Lefthanders Drew Crosby (Memphis) and Trenton Mobley provide Coach Mark Monaghan even more depth and have been great this season for the Jaguars, allowing only one earn run combined in almost twenty innings pitched.

The offense hasn’t had trouble scoring runs as they have plated 76 of them through the first ten games of the season. Leading the charge is recent transfer and Ole Miss commit, Clay Casey. Coming in from Olive Branch (Miss.) High School, Casey has made an immediate impact, batting a robust .500 through the first 10 games and has already connected for three home runs. The hot start comes as no surprise as the athletic and well-built Casey put his hit tool on display throughout the second half of the summer circuit.

Most of the pitchers for Coach Monaghan also play an integral role in the Jaguars' lineup, with Austin Riley being just as lethal at the plate as he is on the mound. Keegan James, Colin Coates, and Brant Blaylock have all seen time on the mound and are all batting above .350 with one home run each.

Don’t let the 7-3 start fool you as the Jaguars have a potent lineup with the ability to send a quality arm to the mound on any given day. The lineup, both offensively and defensively, present no obvious holes and are one of the deepest teams in terms of talent in the tournament.

William T. Dwyer Panthers (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Thomas Szapucki
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Thomas Szapucki, LHP, 2015, 10
Duke Stunkel, OF, 2014, 224
Hunter Whitman, LHP, 2015, 466
Colton Rendon, RHP, 2016, Top 1000
Tyler Ahearn, RHP/OF, 2017, High Follow

On paper Coach Frank Torre has an impressive pitching staff and they have lived up to expectations to this point, leading the team to a 9-3 start. All four have college commitments and have also provided valuable innings for the Panthers to this point.

Junior lefthanded pitcher Thomas Szapucki has been a household name now for about two years now, having committed to the University of Florida during his freshman season. The last time Perfect Game saw Szapucki was at the WWBA World Championship last October where he took his game to the next level, touching 94 mph with his fastball while throwing an above average curveball with sharp, late break.

Committing early like Szapucki is freshman righthanded pitcher and outfielder Tyler Ahearn, who has decided to stay in state after his four years of high school, committing to Florida State about a week ago. Ahearn has a bright future ahead, having already touched 87 mph on the mound last summer.

Junior lefthander Hunter Whitman and sophomore righthander Colton Rendon are two big-bodied underclassmen who possess mid-80s fastballs and will be certain to attract college attention in the upcoming months.

The Panthers were hit hard by graduation last year and lost one of their top bats in third baseman Hunter Hope, who is now at Tulane where he has continued to hit.

Senior Duke Stunkel looks to lead the offense and provide senior leadership for a lineup that has underclassmen scattered throughout. The Florida Atlantic commit participated in the National Showcase last June in Minnesota, as well as the World Showcase at the beginning of the year, and in each showing put his big lefthanded power on display. He creates nice bat speed with lift to his pull side and has the ability to change the outcome of games with one swing of the bat.

The Panthers boast a young, talented lineup, both on the mound and with the bats, and they have competed very well in the regular season to this point. The offense seems to have overcome their slow start, scoring at least 12 runs in three of their last nine games. It will be interesting to see how the pitching staff handles some of the elite offenses that will be in attendance and if they hold their own overall. If so the team has a chance to make some noise.

IMG Academy Ascenders (West Bradenton, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Luke Bonfield
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Luke Bonfield, OF, 2014, 52
Eric Feliz, OF, 2015, 71
Taylor Lane, OF, 2014, 198
Logan Allen, LHP, 2015, 118
Andrew DiLacqua, OF, 2014, 500
Ryan Karstetter, 3B/RHP, 2015, 288

To this point in the season the pitching has been the Achilles heel for the Ascenders who dropped a couple early season contests in the late innings of the game.

A pair of transfers have led the staff this spring with senior righthander Stephen Hueber (transferred from Virginia) and junior lefthander Logan Allen (from North Carolina) combining for a 5-2 record with 50 innings pitched. Allen is no stranger to Perfect Game events winning the MV-Pitcher at the 16u WWBA National Championship, throwing very well for the EvoShield Canes. Hueber is a 6-foot-5 righty who works in the low- to mid-80s and generates nice sinking action due to his arm slot.

Boston College commit Brian Rapp has been effective out of the bullpen, picking up a save in IMG’s most recent win, and has struck out 13 batters in 8 1/3 innings.

The IMG offense is led by a number of potent bats, all of whom are committed to high Division I schools and a majority of them are new to the IMG program.

Luke Bonfield is an elite level hitter who put on a show throughout the summer circuit, consistently squaring up the ball for hard line drive contact. The trend has continued for the Arkansas commit into his senior season as he is batting a sound .333 and has begun to drive the ball with some leverage, leading the team in home runs. Andrew DiLacqua (Arizona State commit) and Taylor Lane (Florida) have provided hot bats, senior leadership and smooth defense.

Ryan Karstetter (Virginia) and Eric Feliz (Notre Dame) are two high profile players from the Northeast that have made themselves comfortable in Florida. Karstetter is leading the team in batting average at .395 and has played well on the left side of the infield, splitting time with Lane. Feliz is a player who Perfect Game has seen develop nicely from one event to the next, and now that he has started to incorporate his lower half into his swing, the ball is jumping even harder off his bat.

IMG Academy has not played a light schedule to this point and have already played three teams who are also competing the in High School Showdown – Bishop Verot and Montverde Academy, Arlington Country Day is one of the Academies tournament participants. The offense will carry the team and have the ability to put a crooked number on the scoreboard in any given inning.

Lowndes Vikings (Valdosta, Ga.) - Roster/Schedule

Josh Day
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Josh Day, C, 2014, 379
Cory Pope, LHP, 2014
Logan Hutchinson, RHP, 2014, Top 1000
Nick Higginbotham, OF/RHP, 2014
Mason Miller, SS, 2015

Coach Danny Redshaw and his Lowndes Vikings have had a rough start to the season, losing several key components to a team that reached the quarterfinals in last year's Georgia state tournament.

They lost the ace of their staff before the season even began with all-state selection and Kennesaw State commit Logan Hutchinson being put out of commission for the entire season. Hutchinson has twice been named MV-Pitcher in his Perfect Game tournament career and was up to 89 mph in his most recent event last summer.

Fellow all-state selection Cory Pope has performed well as expected, taking charge of the Vikings pitching staff. The lefthanded Georgia Tech commit has picked up two wins this season and has maintained a sub-3.00 ERA the entire season. Lefthander Henry Huff has been a pleasant surprise on the mound, serving as the teams closer in the early going while picking up a pair of saves. His line has been impressive, striking out 14 in 20 1/3 innings and sports a 1.38 ERA.

Like the pitching, the offense has been plagued with injury after injury, losing senior catcher and University of Georgia signee Josh Day, along with Buck Carter, Andy Perking and junior Cody Mason.

Senior outfielder Nick Higginbotham has stepped up in a big way leading the team in nearly every offensive category, including a .382 batting average with eight extra-base hits (five doubles, three triples). Higginbotham also takes charge in center field and has been superb defensively for the Vikings.

The top underclass performer has been speedster Mason Miller, their starting shortstop and catalyst at the top of the lineup. Miller leads the team in stolen bases and has driven in seven runs at this point in the season. Cole Bradley has filled in nicely for fellow senior catcher Josh Day, batting .300, and is third in RBIs behind Higginbotham and Miller.

The Vikings were ranked sixth in preseason polls for the 6-A classification in Georgia but, as noted, were hit big by the injury bug shortly after committing to the Showdown. The season hasn’t gone to plan but several of their losses were by less than three runs. They are a team playing with a chip on their shoulder and shouldn’t be taken lightly in the tournament.

Montverde Academy Eages (Montverde, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Keven Pimentel
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Keven Pimentel, RHP, 2014, 80
Bryan Scheker, OF, 2015, 209
Rahman Williams, SS, 2014 271
Gabriel Garcia, 3B, 2015, 381
Nick Bottari, SS, 2014, 364

Montverde is a benefactor of players from the Northeast moving south for the senior season of high school, just as fellow Showdown participant IMG Academy is. The most notable of which for Montverde is Keven Pimentel, a strongly built righthanded pitcher who impressed the Perfect Game staff with his mid-90s fastball at the National Showcase last summer which led to his slection to participate in the 2013 PG All-American Classic. Scouts will be lining up to see Pimentel throw later this spring as he missed the second half of the summer circuit after suffering an arm injury.

Currently leading the staff are senior Bailey Ward and junior Stephen Santiago, both righthanders who are uncommitted and sit in the low- to mid-80s with their fastballs. Other players who have played a significant role on the pitching staff are juniors Bryan Hampton and Julian Quintana along with sophomores Tyler DeClerq and Ryan Williams.

Handling the pitchers are seniors Nick Bottari and junior Gabriel Garcia. Bottari is a newcomer and has worked hard to learn the staff and what they throw, but one pitcher he won’t have trouble with is Pimentel. Both Bottari and Pimentel transferred from Shoreham-Wading River in New York to Montverde for their senior seasons and have both signed their letter of intent with the University of Miami. Garcia has showed well at all three Perfect Game showcases he has attended, never popping higher than 2.00 seconds from behind the plate.

Bryan Scheker is one of the big hitters in the Eagles lineup, and with the swing adjustments he made last summer, he should be able to consistently crush the ball this spring. Rahman Williams, who came down from an Illinois high school, has proven to be a big pick up on both sides of the ball for the Eagles. At the plate he shows a sound approach from both sides, while he and freshman Cash Case have provided sound defense up the middle of the field.

Like Williams, Case is a switch-hitter, and despite being a freshman, Case will be competing in the High School Showdown for his second year, thanks to his athletic ability and the fact that Montverde allows eighth graders to play on the varsity team.

With the senior leadership the Eagle’s inherited from their transfers, and the fact that they lost only two starts from last year's team, Montverde is poised for a stronger performance than their 1-3 record at last year's Showdown. Coach Layden and his team are off to an 8-4 start in 2014, with one of their wins coming against IMG Academy, another participant in the 2014 edition of the Showdown.

Sarasota Sailors (Sarasota, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Dylan Busby
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Dylan Busby, SS, 2014, 175
Jordan Gubelman, RHP, 2015, 155
Evan Mendoza, RHP, 2014, 244
Cody Brickhouse, 3B, 2015, 385
Zachary McMullen, LHP, 2014, Top 1000

The Sailors will look to continue the ride the hot arm of senior Evan Mendoza who has been lights out in his last two starts. The first start he took down the No. 1 ranked team in the country and fellow Showdown participant, Venice High School, with a complete game, nine inning performance. For an encore, Mendoza threw a complete game shutout with 6 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball. The strong bodied North Carolina State commit is capable of touching the low-90s with his fastball and also shows power with the bat from the right side.

Jordan Gubelman has long been on the summer circuit, appearing in over 20 Perfect Game events, and will be adding to that total this upcoming summer. The 6-foot-4 junior comfortably sits in the upper-80s with his fastball and frequently touches 90 mph while showing a feel for two off-speed pitches. His changeup is the better of the two, showing plus potential for the power pitch in the low-80s.

Joe Cavallaro is another solid arm for the Sailors and is committed to South Florida. Cavallaro is able to spot his mid-80s fastball very well throughout the zone with hard sinking action on the pitch. Joining Cavallaro with college commitments on the pitching staff are lefthander Zachary McMullen (South Alabama) – whose fastball peaks at 87 mph – and Andrew Beyer (Florida Tech).

The bats have been hot for Head Coach Clyde Metcalf since the first game of the season and show no signs of slowing up.

Senior Dylan Busby was solid last summer and shows very nice versatility all over the field. The Perfect Game staff is looking forward to seeing Busby, who has been attracting attention this spring from pro scouts, and has grown three inches since the National Showcase last June. He showed intriguing power with this 6-foot-1 frame and it will be interesting to see if he can create even more leverage with added strength in his now taller frame.

Both junior third baseman Cody Brickhouse and senior catcher Brandon Chapman will provide additional power for the Sailors.

Skylar Frey made his presence felt at the Florida Qualifier with the Sarasota Baseball Club – a travel ball team put together with players from the Sarasota High School roster – hitting his way to MVP honors with a .526 average, two doubles and eight RBI.

If you look at the Sarasota roster you won’t notice any commitments to high-end Division I schools and that doesn’t faze the team at all. Everybody knows their role and executes them extremely well, which has resulted in a 15-1 start and includes a win over the top-ranked team in the nation two weeks ago. They have ascended to the No. 4 team in Perfect Game's National High School Team Rankings and are ready to match up with the other nationally ranked teams to show what they are capable of.

Venice Indians (Venice, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Dalton Guthrie
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Dalton Guthrie, INF, 2014, 67
Michael Rivera, C, 2014, 162
Ryan Miller, C, 2014, 232
Brandon Elmy, OF/RHP, 2014, 341
Trevor Holloway, 3B, 2016

Leading the pitching staff is Brandon Elmy, a two-way player that impacts the Venice lineup on both sides of the ball. Overall Venice has received strong contributions from everyone that has taken the mound, and as a whole the staff has combined for six shutouts, exactly half of their wins to this point. Only twice have they allowed four runs or more and not surprisingly those came in both of their losses.

There are not many high school teams in the country that can lose their best hitter (Nick Longhi), who also was one of their better pitchers, to the MLB draft and come back just as strong, if not stronger, the following year. The Venice Indians have done just that thanks to the veteran leadership of their four Division I committed seniors in the middle of the lineup – Dalton Guthrie and Michael Rivera (University of Florida), Ryan Miller (Florida Atlantic), and Elmy (Furman).

While Coach Faulkner has his four D-I commits to help carry the offense, it’s a team effort for Venice, who has been a nationally ranked team throughout the 2014 season. Trevor Holloway is a sophomore that has stepped up in a big way offensively, as has fellow sophomore Scott Dubrule.

A majority of the Venice team plays together during the summer for the Florida Burn, helping to form a tight knit team with great chemistry. That bond, led by the four senior bats, propelled the Burn into the championship game at the WWBA World Championship last October in Jupiter, Fla.

With the combination of talent and chemistry that Coach Faulkner possesses on his team, it’s easy to see why the Indians have consistently been a top five team in the national rankings. Sitting near the top of the rankings will put a target on their back, meaning they will more than likely see each team’s ace as they enter the PG High School Showdown as the defending champs as well as the favorites to repeat.

2014 PG High School Showdown-Academies team previews

Arlington Country Day Apaches (Jacksonville, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Fernando Garcia
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Fernando Garcia, OF, 2014, 414
Christian Cuevas, RHP, 2014, High Follow
Sixto Torres, LHP, 2015, Top 1000
Isaac Nieves, 1B, 2014, High Follow

Fernando Garcia is one of three prospects on the Apaches’ roster that attended the National Showcase last June, joining Christian Cuevas and Sixto Torres. Garcia shows nice upside with the bat as he shifts his weight through his lower half, and with fast hands is able to create contact out front with nice extension. He is an excellent runner, running a 6.52 60-yard dash at the World Showcase, and has showed improved arm strength from the outfield.

Pitching is the biggest strength for the Apaches and is led by big lefthander Sixto Torres who stands 6-foot-5, 210-pounds. Torres showed a nice improvement with his fastball velocity from June to January, topping at 88 mph with hard bite on his 74 mph curveball. It appears as though Torres has also reclassified to the 2015 class. Cuevas is a 6-foot-3 righthander who topped at 84 mph and projects for more with slight mechanical adjustments, showing strong use of his lower half in his delivery.

Faith Baptist Eagles (Brandon, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Ronny Orta
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Ronny Orta, RHP, 2014, 274
Maikor Mora, RHP, 2014, 500
Juan Campusano, RHP, 2014, Top 1000
Jose Monge, RHP, 2014, High Follow
Arthur Rolle, RHP, 2015, High Follow

The biggest strength for Faith Baptist is clear by looking at the top prospect list: pitching, and as the old adage goes, “good pitching beats good hitting.” If the Eagles and their staff throw the way they are capable, and the offense is able to score a few runs each game, look for them to make some noise on the Academies side of the Showdown.

Junior Fermin
is committed to the State College of Florida and is a solid runner, posting a 6.70 60-yard dash time last summer and made the 17u BCS Finals All-Tournament Team. Jesus Astudillo is a strong, physical 6-foot-3 third basemen and is committed to Bryan College.

Ronny Orta
is the name of the pitching staff that is most recognizable as he turned in a strong performance last October at the WWBA World Championship. A State College of Florida commit, Orta is capable of running his fastball up to 93 mph and generates swings and misses with the pitch due to the pitch's deception and life. Maikor Mora's fastball has topped out at 91 mph in previous Perfect Game tournaments and is joined on the staff by 6-foot-4 Juan Campusano, who has been up to 88 mph.

FTB Platinum (Orlando, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Endry Guzman, 3B/OF, 2014
Edwin Muniz, C, 2014, High Follow
Evan Miranda, LHP, 2014, Top 1000
Justin Degrandis, OF, 2014, High Follow
Chase Rimes, RHP, 2014, High Follow

FTB Platinum is a team that consists of players from all over Florida (seven players), Venezuela (three players), and one player from both the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

Endry Guzman is a strong-bodied infielder who Perfect Game was told has plus arm strength across the diamond from the left side of the infield. He shows a nice ability with the bat and owns a high baseball IQ. Joining Guzman in the lineup are catchers Edwin Muniz and Joshua Cordero, both of whom show nice tools behind the plate. Cordero and shortstop Andruid Martinez both show an exceptional feel for the barrel of the bat with the ability to use all fields.

Justin Degrandis is a two-way player that bats lead off for Coach Persio Rodriguez and shows nice power from the right side. He’s a solid runner with a strong arm, and that arm strength also plays well on the mound as he works in the mid- to upper-80s with his fastball.

Evan Miranda is a strong lefthanded pitcher who Perfect Game has seen up to 88 mph. The North Carolina A&T recruit shows a balanced, on-line delivery with a strong feel for his changeup. Chase Rimes is also capable of generating an upper-80s fastball from the right side and has committed to Seminole State.

Future Stars Baseball (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) - Roster/Schedule

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
D’Quan Matthews, RHP/OF, 2015, Top 1000
Jose Martinez Jr., SS, 2014, Top 1000
Emari Mills, RHP, 2014, High Follow
Kaleeq Brannigan, SS, 2016, Top 1000
Jed Joseph, SS, 2014, High Follow

This isn’t the first time Coach Darren Canton has brought players from the Virgin Islands to a Perfect Game event. In the past Canton has brought Akeel Morris, a righthanded pitcher who was drafted in the 10
th round by the Mets, and Deshorn Lake, who was selected as a Perfect Game All-American in 2010.

About half the Future Stars team still resides in the Virgin Islands or St. Thomas while the other half have moved to the United States and are enrolled in high school, most notably Lovejoy High School in Georgia. D’Quan Matthews is one of those players now at Lovejoy, and he looks to be the top arm on the roster. Matthews has been up to 86 mph in past PG tournaments but reports are that his velocity has climbed up a bit since last summer.

Jose Martinez
is the leader of the offense, showing the ability to hit to both gaps with a strong run tool and very good arm strength from shortstop. Kaleeq Brannigan is the top 2016 from the Virgin Islands and is able to consistently square the ball up from the right side, showing a short, compact swing with an above average arm from the left side of the infield.

Home Plate Citadels (Peachtree City, Ga.) - Roster/Schedule

Kel Johnson
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Kel Johnson, OF/1B, 2014, 38
Matthew Rhodes, RHP/SS, 2014, 300
Casey Lenoch, RHP, 2014, Top 1000
Caleb Kunkel, RHP, 2014, Top 1000
Ryan Goodman, 1B, 2014

Heading into the spring one question that surrounded Kel Johnson was “what is he going to do this spring” given that he has been home-schooled his entire high school career. Playing for the Citadels, who have a packed schedule throughout the spring, allow scouts to check in on Johnson, a power-hitting outfielder who has committed to Georgia Tech. Johnson will be one of two Perfect Game All-Americans in the Academies portion of the Showdown, joining Gareth Morgan of the Ontario Blue Jays.

Coach Maldonado has plenty of quality arms and is led by hard throwing two-way player Matthew Rhodes who Perfect Game has seen up to 92 mph on the mound with reports of him being higher this spring. Despite his power arm, Rhodes is listed as a primary shortstop and will provide some juice with his bat in the lineup. Casey Lenoch is a Kennesaw State commit who attended the National Showcase in June and has thrown in numerous Perfect Game events throughout his high school career. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-80s but creates nice sinking action on the pitch due to his side arm slot.

Ontario Blue Jays (Thornhill, Ontario) - Roster/Schedule

Gareth Morgan
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Gareth Morgan, OF, 2014, 31
Josh Naylor, 1B, 2015, 13
Zachary Pop, RHP, 2014, 253
Robert Byckowski, 3B, 2014, Top 1000
R.J. Freure, RHP, 2015, 347

Perfect Game was able to get a look at a couple of these players for two weeks as they traveled the backfields of Arizona with the Langley Blaze, playing low-A organizational teams.

Gareth Morgan, the first Canadian player to be named to the Perfect Game All-American Classic, is a player that scouts are really going to be bearing down on in Fort Myers, as there is a lot of upside in his righthanded bat. Morgan can be very polarizing in a single at-bat as he will swing over the top of a curveball in the dirt, lay off a similar pitch, and then show extremely quick hands and drive a ball deep into a gap. Once he begins to lay off bad pitches early in the count and find himself in better hitter’s counts, the potential is through the roof.

Like Morgan, Josh Naylor and Robert Bykowski were both present at the Metrodome last summer, Naylor for the Junior National and Bykowski for the National, and both have the ability to generate excellent bat speed and hit the ball a long way.

Senior Zachary Pop has been up to 91-92 mph with his fastball and shows a strong feel for two off-speed pitches. Joining him on the mound is 2015 righthander R.J. Freure who was up to 89 mph with his fastball last October at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla.

Salisbury Knights (Salisbury, Conn.) - Roster/Schedule

Austin DeCarr
Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Austin DeCarr, RHP, 2014, 114
Paul Campbell, RHP, 2014, 500
Will Toffey, SS, 2014, 500
George Hewitt, 3B, 2015, 281
Ryan January, C, 2016, 66

Salisbury has been a top team in the Northeast for some time now and are ready to make an impact on the national scene.

Salisbury picked up big additions to the pitching staff this spring with Austin DeCarr and Paul Campbell, both of whom are Clemson commits. DeCarr has made some noise early on this spring with reports of him touching 95 mph on the mound. William Montgomerie (UConn recruit) and Scott Hovey (UMass) are both righthanded pitchers that have touched 87 on the mound, as has Jacob Lamb, a 6-foot-5 2015 lefthander who is sure to garner the attention of college coaches this spring.

Vanderbilt commit Will Toffey is poised to lead a potent offense with his lefthanded bat and sound defensive ability at shortstop. Newcomer Ryan January isn’t new to the national scene, playing for the East Cobb program for the last several years.

SBO Storm Florida (West Palm Beach, Fla.) - Roster/Schedule

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Jose Martinez, OF, 2014, High Follow
Gerald Collazo, OF, 2014, High Follow
Miguel Lopez, RHP, 2014, Follow
Jaime Fuentes, RHP, 2014, Follow
Enrique Colon, LHP, 2014, Follow

The SBO Storm organization is bringing two teams to the 2014 High School Showdown-Academies tournament. The team from Florida has players that can impact the game on both sides of the ball.

Leading the team on the mound is senior Miguel Lopez, a 6-foot-4 righthander from Coral Springs, Fla. who his coaches say is capable of reaching the upper-80s with his fastball. Jaime Fuentes is a righthander from Puerto Rico, and like Lopez, is able to top out in the upper-80s with his fastball. Luis Quinonez and Enrique Colon both have impressive fastballs from the left side. Quinonez is a junior that has reportedly been up to 88 mph and Colon is a two-way player who performs well both on the mound and in the outfield for the Storm.

Jose Martinez
is the top position prospect who shows above average arm strength and speed in the outfield. Handling all the pitchers is junior Albert Schmidt who shows soft hand receiving with a strong arm on throws down to second base. Gerald Collazo rivals Martinez as the top player in the infield as his speed is equally impressive allowing him to cover ample amounts of ground.

SBO Storm Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico) - Roster/Schedule

Top Prospects (Position, Class, PG National Rank):
Ronald Velez, C, 2014
Oscar Rivera, OF, 2015
Bayron Rosario, RHP, 2014

This will be the first time Perfect Game will be laying eyes on any of the players on the roster for Coach Rodriguez and the SBO Storm Puerto Rico. As the team name suggests, a majority of the players reside in Puerto Rico, with two juniors living in Florida and attending high school there. The team is heavy on underclass talent with ten juniors and a sophomore compared to only five seniors.

Ronald Velez
provides his senior leadership both behind the plate and in the middle of the order for the Storm. Velez is a strong 6-foot-2 athlete who has showed sub-2.00 pop times according to the coaching staff. Along with Velez’s bat, the Storm will look to junior outfielder Oscar Rivera to provide some offense with his righthanded bat.

The ace of the staff is Bayron Rosario, a senior righthander from Caguas, Puerto Rico. The four primary pitchers on the Storm roster may not show the towering height that other teams in the tournament do, standing between 5-foot-4 and 5-foot-9, but they will throws strikes and compete.
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