Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, April 06, 2014

PG HS Showdown Day 3 Recap

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

Mentioned in the first recap, 2016 catcher Ryan January (Swampscott, MA) showed the same bat speed and strength in Saturday morning’s game, this time barreling up the ball and driving it down the right field line for a three-run home run, something he does regularly for the East Cobb program on the summer circuit. Speaking of the East Cobb program, Perfect Game All-American Kel Johnson (Palmetto, Ga.) also went deep in the first time slot, showing nice strength to the right-center field gap.

University of Connecticut commit and righthanded pitcher William Montgomerie (2014, Lakeville, Conn.) came out firing for Salisbury in their afternoon matchup with Faith Baptist. Montgomerie is listed at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, and while he may not actually weigh that much, he does have square, broad shoulders and will continue to fill out as strength is added to his frame.

Throwing from a three-quarters arm slot, the UConn commit creates very nice angles from his arm side and stays low in the zone with all three pitches he showed.

In the early going Montgomerie topped out at 91 mph with his fastball, also touching a 90, while sitting 87-89 mph. The ball came out clean and easy, making it easy to project more velocity to come.

Montgomerie also showed two different breaking balls with his upper-70s 10-to-4 slider being the most effective with tight, late break and nice swing-and-miss potential. His curveball crossed the plate in the low-70s with 11-to-5 shape, but wasn’t as tight as his slider. The off-speed pitch that shows the best potential however is his changeup, which he threw sparingly in game action but with his arm angle flashed nice fading life to his arm side.

Righthanded pitcher Ronny Orta (2014, Brandon, Fla.) didn’t show the velocity he did this past fall when he topped 93 mph in Jupiter, but he pitched just as effectively throughout his complete game victory in the Championship game of the Academies division over a very talented Salisbury Prep squad. Orta’s fastball sat 87-89 throughout his outing, often touching 90 mph. What was most impressive about Orta’s performance was on his 111
th pitch of the game Orta reached back for a little extra and hit a 91 on the radar gun.

From the moment 2014 righthander Maikor Mora (Brandon, Fla.) took the mound he intrigued all the scouts in attendance who were watching fellow 2014 Gareth Morgan, who was in the dugout opposite of Mora. Although he only stands 6-foot-1, Mora is able to work downhill very well with a full arm circle and a high three-quarters slot.

Mora’s frame projects well with some added strength to his lower half as his long, loose arm moves well and releases the ball very cleanly. Warming up at 90 mph prior to the first inning, Mora continued to show that velocity throughout his outing, reaching as high as 92 mph. Given his lean frame, it was surprising how well he held his velocity throughout the game, both from the windup and the stretch. He worked the lower half of the strike zone very well with occasional life and also was able to work both sides of the plate.

Mora, a Polk State commit, showed strong feel for his 75-77 mph slider with 10-to-4 break. He maintained the same arm action, and when the ball leaves his hand it comes out looking like a fastball with late break away from righthanded hitters.

(Toronto, Ontario) continued to attract scouts, and in his first at-bat Saturday morning he gave them a glimpse of what they were looking for. Facing Mora, who as noted above was throwing 90-91 mph consistently, Morgan jumped on a first-pitch fastball at 90 mph, squaring it up and lining it back up the middle coming off the bat at 92.

Following Morgan’s hard shot, 2014 third basemen Robert Byckowski (Etobicoke, Ontario) turned on an inside fastball and blasted it over the left-center field wall, a shot that was gone as soon as it left the bat.

Freshman center fielder Kyle Jacobsen (Acworth, Ga.) had quite the day at the plate for the Allatoona Buccaneers, going 4-for-4 with four singles, three from the left side and one from the right. His first three trips to the plate were lefthanded and hit his singles to left, center, and right field, showing a nice feel for the barrel, and his fourth single was to left field from the left side.

Although he is only a junior, righthanded pitcher Jordan Gubelman (Sarasota, Fla.) has pitched in over 20 Perfect Game events with the latest outing coming in the 2014 PG High School Showdown Championship game.

Standing at 6-foot-4, Gubelman still projects well as he adds strength and will see a bump in velocity once he incorporates his lower half and drives down the mound. Gubelman throws from a high three-quarters slot and shows nice command of his fastball, spotting it when and where he wants to.

He maintained his velocity throughout his complete game effort, sitting 86-88 mph, topping 89 a couple of times, with hard run to his arm side. Gubelman would find himself in a 3-0 hole late in the game, but continued to compete and battle on the mound, twice striking out the batter when he was behind in the count. He shows a full arm circle on the mound, and despite not using much lower half, he is able to work downhill and pounds the bottom of the strike zone.

Of his two off-speed pitches his changeup shows the best potential with nice, last fade to his arm side. The velocity on the pitch is a bit firm at 80-82 mph, but he showed a strong feel for the pitch and showed the same slot while maintaining his arm speed. When Gubelman stays on top of his curveball it’s a solid offering with 11-to-5 shape in the low-70s. His elbow drops at times on the pitch, getting around the ball and becoming more of a slurve. Once he gets on top consistently Gubelman will have a solid three-pitch mix with high pitchability and swing-and-miss type stuff.

From last summer and fall to this spring it’s very clear to whoever has seen infielder Dylan Busby (Sarasota, Fla.) that he has grown a good 2-3 inches. And while his new 6-foot-4 frame may push him to third base permanently at the next level, Busby still shows the same athleticism and range at the hot corner that he displayed up the middle.

Both Keegan James and Austin Riley (both Mississippi State commits from Southaven, Miss.) continued to swing hot bats for DeSoto Central. A night after throwing six shutout innings and topping out at 88 mph, James went 3-for-4, making hard contact in all four at-bats. He doubled twice, once high off the Green Monster at JetBlue Park, and the one time he recorded an out it was a sharply hit ground ball to second base that came off the bat at 95 mph.

Riley uses his strength extremely well to generate bat speed and consistent hard contact, both up the middle and to his pull side, recording exit velocities of 90 and 92 mph in back-to-back at-bats.

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