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Tournaments | Story | 7/16/2018

16u BCS, Super25 Notes: Day 1

Taylor Weber         Perfect Game Tournament Staff        
Photo: Matthew Sullivan (Perfect Game)

16u BCS National Championship: Event Page | Daily Leaders
16u PG Super25 National Championship: Event Page
| Daily Leaders

The 16u BCS tournament is under way with teams playing all around the Fort Myers, Fla. area, facing off to be the team holding the trophy at the end of the week.

Starting things off on a great note was one of the favorites to win the tournament in powerhouse MWE Bombers 16u. The Bombers have talent strewn up and down their lineup and found success in the game winning by a score or 16-6 and collecting a team total of 15 hits. Grabbing two of those hits and driving in four runs was leadoff hitter Colby Jost (2019 Copperas Cove, Texas). Jost is an uncommitted outfielder who stands at 5-foot-10, 150-pounds, patrols the outfield well and also handles the stick. He shows a high ability to put the ball in play and knows that trying to hit for power isn’t going to be his game. He’s able to find contact on pitches on any part of the plate. He was able to use strong wrists to flick a ball into right field for a couple of RBI.

Hitting one spot behind Jost was Washington commit Jordan Andrade (2020 Yucaipa Calif.). Andrade is the 46th-ranked player in the 2020 class and really showed the tools that got him there in the game. He has smooth glove-work that played well up the middle, and although he played second base in this game, his defensive set will allow him to move over at shortstop if needed. Andrade currently has good gap power in his swing and likely will continue to add to that. In his approach he really looks to drive the ball as he swings the bat hard with quick hands to the ball. Andrade collected two hits with three runs scored and an RBI.

Hitting in the three-hole for the Bombers is another top-ranked shortstop in 6-foot, 165-pound Jorge Figueroa (2020 Southlake, Texas). Figueroa is an uncommitted shortstop from Southlake Carroll HS with highly projectable tools, both offensively as well as defensively. He’s another smooth defender with clean glove actions when fielding on both sides of his body. He has the arm strength and carry to stick on the left side of the infield. He can also swing a sweet bat generating easy jump off the barrel to the pull side of the field. He is a rare power potential bat in the middle of the field and projects for more down the road.

Batting cleanup was fellow Southlake Carroll HS player Yanluis Ortiz (2020 Grapevine, Texas). Ortiz is a big-bodied catcher who’s committed to play at the University of Miami. Ortiz shows a lot to like behind the dish. Though he didn’t have to show it off in game, he has a cannon of an arm with throws hitting 88 mph and popping a sub-2.0 during the Jr. National Showcase in mid-June. He shines just as much with bat with a patient approach and solid ability to hit with two strikes. He worked a couple of walks in the game as well hitting a laser into left field for an RBI single. He’s a smooth swinger with a lot of juice in his bat.

Playing left field and hitting sixth for MWE is 6-foot-5, 190-pound righthanded hitter Francisco Hernandez (Laredo, Texas). The Oklahoma State commit presents a lot of ability with the bat in hand. He went 2-for-2 in the game with a couple runs scored as well as three RBI on a triple into the opposite field gap. He has good jump to all fields with quick hands to the ball, which allows him to let the ball get deep before he starts his swing and still is able to catch up. He also generates good backspin off the bat, which also allows him to get carry on his hits.

The Bombers continued to show their deep lineup with eight-hole hitter Jovan Gill (2020 Overland Park, Kan.). The uncommitted switch-hitter is another large-framed quality bat standing at 6-foot-2, 210-pounds. Gill is a primary pitcher but shows solid two-way ability going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. He also showed of his athleticism as he was able to beat out a well-placed bunt.

Finally, hitting in the No. 9 spot in the order for the Bombers was uncommitted 6-foot-1, 165-pound third baseman Bryan Muniz (2020 Orange Park, Fla.). Though he hit at the bottom of the lineup, Muniz showed just as much ability with the bat as those at the top. He has a quick swing path with the hands inside and looks to drive the ball middle away with some jump. He collected a couple of doubles to right field, driving in two runs.

In an exciting game that went down to the final inning, Florida Pokers Underclass Carolina was able to grab a couple runs in the bottom of the seventh to grab a 2-0 victory over 5 Star Eady. Throwing six strong innings for Eady was 6-foot-2, 175-pound righthanded pitcher Wesley Marchman (2020 Lagrange, Ga.). Marchman has a clean arm action and utilizes his long limbs well with a smooth take back, releasing from a three-quarters slot. He struggled some with some inconsistent release on his breaking ball but found it in the middle innings and held the Pokers to zero runs in his six innings. His fastball is mostly straight in the upper-70s, but once he found his consistency he worked a lot of off-speed and mixed very well. His curveball, when on, showed a 12-to-6 shape and he was able to keep it in the bottom the zone, landing it for strikes. His best pitch was a sinking changeup with good feel which helped him grab five strikeouts while eliciting weak ground ball contact.

Facing off against Marchman for the Pokers was lefty Matthew Sullivan (2020 Parrish, Fla.). Sullivan is a slow-paced, deliberate hurler on the mound with a lot of balance and repeatability in his delivery. This helps him stay consistent with his release while commanding his pitches well. He allowed just one run on four hits with five strikeouts and no free passes. His action is long and loose and releases from a high three-quarters slot getting some angle to the fastball. He also showed good feel for a sinking changeup and curveball mix, landing both for strikes.

Providing the Pokers with late inning heroics was Kyle Lyons (2019 West Chester, Pa.). Lyons had been all about defense throughout the game. He has good range moving to the glove side as well as an above average arm to the bag. Soft hands fielding out front allow him to be a smooth and consistent fielder who should be able to play either middle infield spot moving forward. He hadn’t done much in the game offensively until the seventh when he hit a long fly ball that left the yard to straight away left field that tied the game 1-1.

Florida Burn 2020 Platinum showed that they are one of the teams to beat in the tournament as they grabbed an easy 11-0 victory. Starting for the Burn was righthanded pitcher Patrick Groark (2020 Land O Lakes, Fla.) Groark threw 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball and didn’t allow a run. He’s a lengthy 6-foot-1 with a long and loose action with a mostly low three-quarters release. He showed the ability to drop the arm slot down a touch, getting even more side-arm action, giving the opposing hitters a different look. His fastball showed some natural life through the zone topping out at 80 mph. He’s able to command the pitch to both edges of the plate and pitches off it well. His secondary pitch was a sweeping curveball down in the zone that generated a good amount of ground balls.

Batting fourth for the Burn was 6-foot-1, 180-pound first baseman Pierce Chambers (2020 Treasure Island, Fla.). Chambers is a TCU commit with a strong upper half and generates good torque in the lower half. He has some rotation to his swing and looks to get a hold of the ball and hammer it to the pull side. There’s intent in his swing but he stays under control and repeats well. Though he swings to pull he can make adjustments later in the count and keep the hands in and drive to all fields. He collected a base hit into left that drove in a run as well as a sacrifice fly later in the game.

Jayden Rivera (2020 Jacksonville, Fla.) also provided solid offense for the Burn. He’s a consistent free-swinger who looks to attack early on the count. He makes hard and loud contact with a line drive barrel plane. Rivera controls the barrel well and generates some turn when meeting the ball out front. He wants to do damage, especially to the pull side. Rivera also showed high potential tools on the infield. He played second base in the game but really appears to be able to handle playing at shortstop. He has a big strong frame with well above average arm strength across the field. He also showed good range to both sides with quick exchanges all game.

– Taylor Weber

The East Cobb Astros sent an early message in their first game of the 16u BCS National Championship, a run-rule pool play victory at Florida Gulf Coast University. An unrelenting offense, air-tight defense and dominant pitching ruled the day for East Cobb.

Righthander Zachary Murray (2020, Sugar Hill, Ga.) showed dominant stuff over his three-plus innings on the hill against the Carolina Athletics. The 6-foot, 170-pound junior-to-be at Lanier HS, used classic drop-and-drive mechanics and a high three-quarters arm slot to hammer the zone with his impressive arsenal. His riding four-seamer was consistently clocked at 89-90 mph. He also mixed in a heavy sinking two-seam fastball (85-87 mph) with plus arm-side run. His curveball (77 mph), which he used sparingly, is a sharp 12-to-6 breaker that shows advanced depth at the dish. For good measure, Murray also displayed an advanced changeup that has tumbling sink at the plate and is very deceptive. He punched out nine in 3 2/3 innings.

Two-hole hitter and center fielder, Tiger Borom (2020, Jonesboro, Ga.) is a gifted athlete with plus-plus speed and easy actions both in the field and at the plate. The switch-hitting, rising junior at Strong Rock Christian HS is a quick-twitch defender with a plus arm and a great understanding of positioning. At the plate, he shows outstanding patience and an advanced knowledge of the strike zone. He has a short, quick and flat swing path and keeps his hands inside the ball like a seasoned veteran.

University of Georgia commit Spencer Keefe (2019, Canton, Ga.) is a gifted athlete who displays all of the tools that make him a future Southeastern Conference player. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound shortstop shows advanced skills in all phases of his defensive game. He has outstanding lateral movements in both directions and very smooth and soft hands. His arm is as good or better than anyone on the field. His short, quick and consistent throwing action produces tosses that are firm and true. Keefe, a rising senior at Woodstock HS, is a true three-hole hitter. He has advanced bat-to-barrel skills and the ball sounds a little different coming off of his stick. He can drive the ball, with plus power, to all fields. He never expands the zone and always seems in control of every at-bat. Lastly, he is a power runner with long strides and an ability to aggressively take the extra base.

Mitchell Daly (2020, Madison, Ala.) is the East Cobb second-sacker who is gritty and tough and plays with an edge that keeps his teammates alert and involved in the ball game. The 6-foot, 180-pound middle infielder shows surprising pop in his bat. His flat bat path and middle-of-the-field mentality, along with his noticeable bat quickness, allows the rising junior at Bob Jones HS to consistently drive the ball from gap-to-gap. He has a shortstop’s range at second base and always appears to be in position to make any play on the right side of the infield. He shows plus arm strength and great accuracy in his throws.

Manning first base for East Cobb is Hunter Gray (2020, Blue Ridge, Ga.). At 6-foot-2, and 200-pounds, Gray has a power hitters approach at the dish. He looks middle-in and shows plus punch. He has a slugger’s lift at contact and the ball jumps off his bat. Around the bag, the junior-to-be at Fannin County HS is agile and sure-footed. He has soft hands and makes all the plays around the base.

Handling the Astros pitching staff is Lambert HS rising junior, Garrett Hollenbeck (2020, Cummings, Ga.). The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Georgian shows easy movement behind the plate. He has soft hands and sets up low and comfortably. He frames pitches like a veteran, and although he had limited chances to throw the ball around the diamond, he shows a short and quick arm motion and outstanding accuracy on his throws.

The CCBA club from Prosper, Texas, also made an impressive first showing at FGCU. Prosper HS was well-represented by three of their very best. The first of which was Jimmy Hutson (2020, Prosper, Texas), a slugger at the DH spot for CCBA. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound, lefthanded swinger has outstanding quickness with each pass. He has a slight lift at contact and shows the ability to hit with plus power, especially to the pull side.

Another Prosper HS lefthanded hitter who hits in the middle of the CCBA lineup is Hunter Tengvall (2020, Prosper, Texas). The 6-foot-1, 185-pound rising junior has more of a gap-to-gap, line drive mentality. He lets the ball get deeper in the zone and uses a flat path. It appears Tengvall would rather hit the ball up the middle or to the off field, but he does show the ability to open his hips and turn on an inside pitch.

The CCBA center fielder is Caden Scherer (2020, Prosper, Texas). The 5-foot-10, 150-pound outfielder has surprising gap-to-gap pop and plus speed. He has very quick hands and displayed consistent bat-to-ball skills. In the outfield, he is a go-getter. He understands positioning and gets outstanding jumps on the ball. Scherer has a playable arm that is very accurate.

The CCBA second baseman is Seth Medley (2020, Lantana, Texas). The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Medley will be a junior next year at John H. Guyer HS and he is a dynamo who plays with an edge and grit. He is especially good going to his glove side and his arm strength allows him to make throws from every angle. Medley can also swing the bat. He takes a middle-of-the-field mentality to the plate and uses a flat bat path to hit the ball with authority to all fields.

Although they weren’t on the field very long due to their impressive 12-0 first-game victory, the 643 DP Cougars – Sterling showed that they will be a force in the 16u BCS National Championship.

South Carolina commit Jackson Phipps (2020, Dallas, Ga.) showed the stuff that makes him a future SEC pitcher. The lefthander dominated the strike zone during his outing with very promising and projectable stuff. His fastball, which he primarily used, was clocked between 86-90 mph. His three-quarters to low three-quarters arm slot and his whippy arm action make him especially tough. He commands an arsenal that features pitches that are always moving. Phipps also showed a biting slider at 79-81 mph that he uses effectively against righthanded hitters, throwing it at their back foot. He is a confident strike thrower and works with a veteran’s pace and poise.

Chase Engelhard (2020, Atlanta, Ga.) is a slick-fielding shortstop who is heading to Tulane University to continue his baseball career. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Riverwood HS junior-to-be has impressive first-step quickness and outstanding lateral movements. His arm shows the strength necessary to play successfully at the Division I level. Offensively, he is a contact-first hitter who shows a great ability to consistently get his barrel to the ball. He is also an easy, plus runner who is instinctive on the basepaths.

Handling the 643 pitching staff is Henry Gies (2020, Dunwoody, Ga.). The solidly built backstop is a very accomplished athlete who shows advanced receiving skills. He is smooth and steady with a glove on his hand. He sets low in his crouch and gives the home plate umpire a great view of every pitch. He transitions well to throw and gets the ball off quickly and accurately. At the plate, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound rising junior at Dunwoody HS brings that same poised disposition. He has a balanced stance and a short, yet powerful swing path, making consistent contact while showing gap-to-gap pop.

Nate Shipley (2020, Marietta, Ga.) is the sweet swinging right fielder for the 643 club. The lanky, 6-foot-2, 165-pound, righthanded hitter, who will be a junior next year at Pope HS, shows a consistent, flat bat path and a great ability to get his barrel to the ball. He uses the entire field and sprays line drives with consistency. He is a very capable defender and shows plus range and a very strong arm.

– Jerry Miller

Starting on the bump for Power Baseball in their first game of the tournament was righthanded pitcher Austin Amaral (2020, Debary, Fla.). The young ace is an uncommitted junior from University High School who looked good in his BCS debut. Amaral stands at a solid 6-foot and 200-pounds and looks strong on the mound. His long frame and strong arm allow him to put his fastball in the upper-80s, topping out at 88 mph on this day. His high three-quarters arm slot helps him create good arm-side run and sink that creates a lot of groundballs and swing and misses. The breaking ball receives a lot of intrigue as the high spin rate propels it towards the hitter with a lot of movement, both vertically and horizontally.

Taking care of the outfield from gap-to-gap on Monday for Power Baseball 2020 was center fielder Najer Victor (2020, Clermont, Fla.). The righthanded thrower and swinger is an effective leadoff hitter who can track down a lot of fly balls. At the plate the Victor stands tall using a leg kick. His approach doesn't stride very far, keeping a narrow base throughout the swing. This doesn't develop a lot of power but allows him to turn his hips very quickly defending the inside of the plate very well, a common place for pitchers to pitch a leadoff batter. The uncommitted junior starts the inning off right by putting the ball in play and using his speed to get on base. The outfielder from East Ridge High School also sports a plus arm that makes him a plus pitcher as well.

Behind the dish and doing most of the work back there for Banditos Florida Select is catcher and infielder Gregory Garcia (2020, Miramar, Fla.). The Somerset Academy Charter School junior has displayed some unique qualities behind the plate so far. Garcia sports a small frame of 5-foot-4 and 135-pounds but makes a huge impact behind the plate. His size allows him to get low in his stance and receive balls down in the zone very well. His quick feet help him get the ball out of his hands quickly and block dirt balls well. The small catcher is very vocal behind the plate and even at a young age helps control his defense and pitcher. This is an intangible quality every college coach wants in his catcher.

Pitching for Go Pro Daly on Day 1 of the 16u BCS was righthander, Connor Gill (2020, Plainfield, Ill.). Gill is a junior from Oswego East High School that showcased some real talent on the bump. His fastball was as high as 85 mph with an interesting delivery. The righthanded hurler has a straight-over-the-top arm motion that creates a very downward plane for the pitch, making it tough for hitters to make solid contact. His fastball has some late life, tailing towards the arm side. Gills' breaking ball is slow and has a lot of spin on it. The arm action is very late as he keeps it low and behind him until the last second, whipping his arm around to help create his solid velocity. This, accompanied with his head and shoulder tilt, makes his delivery unique.

Starting Game 1 for the Banditos Florida Prospects is junior hurler Austin Fawley (2020, Boynton Beach, Fla.). Fawley is a junior from Park Vista Community High School who is uncommitted at the moment. He looked good on Monday with a fastball as high as 84 mph and a good breaking ball. The curveball is a more conventional 12-to-6 shaped pitch with very sharp drop. The junior has a very clean and quiet motion.

In relief for the Banditos was another righthander by the name of Ethan Wilder, (2020, Lake Worth, Fla.). Wilder is a side-arm throwing pitcher from Palm Beach Central High School who is very effective from a unique arm slot. The arm motion is short like that of an infielder throwing from a side-arm slot, and the uncommitted pitcher sometimes drops a little lower than that. This style of pitching creates a lot of sideways spin on the baseball allowing fastballs to move more than usual to the arm side of the pitcher, at the sacrifice of velocity. Wilder was still able to top out at 82 mph from the side-arm slot which is very impressive, and makes him extremely effective against righthanded hitters. The breaking ball was impressive as well with a lot of horizontal movement, sweeping across the zone and away from righthanded hitters.

Behind the dish for the Florida Dodgers Scout Team on Monday was Georgia Tech commit, Danny Neri (2020, Fleming Island, Fla.). The future Yellow Jacket is a rare find as he is a strong defensive catcher who can hit well from the left side. Neri is a junior at Bishop John Snyder High School and had a great showing in his first day at the 16u BCS National Championship. Behind the plate, Neri uses his large 6-foot-1 and 170-pound frame and outstanding athleticism to help block balls in the dirt. The young catcher’s best quality his is arm strength, which saw him throw out two base-stealers on this day. His throw to second is firm and has a lot of carry on it. In the batter’s box, Neri’s swing is just as impressive as his defense, as the lefthanded hitter does a great job creating a lot of torque with his body and excels at driving the ball towards the middle of the field, a place where good hitters aim for.

Doing the fielding at shortstop for the Dodgers was a Bishop Kenny High School junior Colby Halter (2020, Jacksonville, Fla.). The future Florida Gator looks impressive before he even steps on the field. The righthanded throwing and lefthanded hitting middle infielder stands at an impressive 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, a build rare for a middle infielder that shows so much athleticism. At the plate the junior looks solid from the left side with a low and powerful stance that clears the front side early. Once his hips clear, his hands stay back very well until they are ready to drive through the zone with a purpose.

Playing shortstop for the International Baseball Academy Green Knights was junior Edward Gonzalez, (2020, Yaboucoa, Puerto Rico). The 6-foot and 175-pound infielder sports great size that provides him with a lot of strength. The big lefthanded hitter is quite mobile for his size at the shortstop position and he can cover some ground on the left side of the infield. At the plate is where Gonzalez is most successful where he hits third for the Green Knights. The Florida International commit has an open stance at the plate with high hands to start. His stride and load are very quiet and smooth. Gonzalez is very patient at the plate and will battle with two strikes. Expect big things from this shortstop during the rest of the tournament.

Mario Zabala (2020, San Juan, Puerto Rico), a teammate of Gonzalez, had a good day for the Green Knights. Also, a Florida International commit, Zabala hit in the four hole and played center field where he was able to showcase both his defensive and offensive talents. The junior stands at a solid 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and is currently the No. 1-ranked player in Puerto Rico for the 2020 class. The center fielder hits in the middle of the order because of the power he brings to the plate. Displaying his talents on Monday, Zabala was able to knock in a run with a double to left field. He stands very wide at the plate with a low and comfortable stance that helps create a lot of power and torque for the young hitter. His hands sit about chin high but are extremely quick to the baseball. His long arms extend even after contact, helping him stay on the baseball and backspin it to the gaps.

– Carter Sibley

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