Tournaments | Story | 9/15/2019

Fall Champs: Day 2 Scout Notes

Jheremy Brown         Brian Sakowski         Connor Spencer         Colton Olinger        
Photo: Mitch Jebb (Perfect Game)

PG Fall National Championship: Freshman Daily Leaders | Upperclass Daily Leaders | Day 1 Scout Notes

The eXposure West Fall club rolled through pool play with a 3-0 record, setting themselves up nicely for the playoffs beginning Sunday morning. Mitch Jebb (2020, Saginaw, Mich.) has had a good weekend hitting atop the lineup, as the Michigan State commit has picked up six hits in his 12 at-bats thus far. Jebb has been on the radar for most of 2019 following a very good performance at the Great Lakes Indoor Showcase back in February, which earned him an invite to PG National, where he again showed well. A shortstop by trade, Jebb’s athleticism and physical projection both stand out, with lots of quick twitch to the profile overall. He moves well laterally in the middle infield, his hands work well and he projects to stay in the middle infield long term.

Offensively, his bat-to-ball skills stand out, though he does consistently hit against a collapsed front side, causing the barrel path to take a more downward, slashing path. He makes firm contact consistently, on pitches all over the zone, but adjusting that lower half and hitting more against a firm front side, therefore creating leverage, will allow him to drive the ball into the gaps more and more. A Michigan State commit, Jebb projects as a top-of-the-order hitter and middle infielder with pretty significant upside.

Jebb and Jack Nehls (2020, Phoenix, Ariz.) form quite the formidable 1-2 punch atop the eXposure lineup, with Jebb getting on base a ton and Nehls showing significant extra-base pop so far this weekend in his first Perfect Game event. He picked up three doubles in their first game of the day on Saturday, showing the ability to get the barrel out and drive the ball, with a projectable frame and whippy bat that combine to give him quality power projection long-term. He’s a middle infielder by trade as well, and though he wasn’t necessarily tested in this look, the athleticism and hands look like quality tools for him in terms of defensive projection, and the New Mexico commit possesses very good upside overall.

Perhaps no one has been louder in the eXposure lineup than Emilio Morales (2020, La Mirada, Calif.), a PG National attendee and Southern Cal commit. Morales can play a few different spots defensively, though he stood out more in this event for his bat. He has OPS’d 1.976 through pool play hitting in the middle of the lineup, staying committed to the middle of the field with his advanced approach and overall hitting acumen, finding the barrel consistently and showing pretty quality raw power right now as well. There’s a good combination of strength and athleticism to his profile right now, which aids him both offensively and defensively, giving him a well-rounded profile that should draw draft interest in the spring and serve him quite well long-term at Southern Cal.

In eXposure’s second game of the day, Jack Wenninger (2020, Cary, Ill.) got the ball and the win, striking out nine over 4 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits and a single walk. Wennington is a long, lean righthander with good physical projection and he dominated with his fastball-breaking ball combination. He ran his fastball up to 88 mph, working north-south with the pitch and settling into the 84-87 mph range. The arm works pretty well, generating easy velocity with a fair amount of projection for more, and he has quality feel for spinning the baseball as well. The breaker isn’t overly firm yet, thrown more in the low-70s, but he shows the ability to make it more of a true curveball and land it for strikes while also able to sharpen it up and bury it down and out of the zone, getting several swings-and-misses over the top of it. Uncommitted right now, Wennington is likely to draw significant college interest and shouldn’t be uncommitted for long.

GBG Marucci Navy moved to 3-0 in pool play and secured their seed in the playoffs on Saturday afternoon via an 8-0 decision. Charlie Saum (2021, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) had a loud day at the plate in this one, picking up two doubles and two RBI, adding to what was an overall good day for him across two games. Athletically built with quality tools throughout his profile, Saum’s offensive prowess is built on very good bat speed with hands that work really well through the swing, allowing him to cover the plate and get a barrel on pitches all over the zone. A Stanford commit, Saum is a highly talented catching prospect as well, though he played first base in this look. He’s most certainly a player to follow in the talented 2021 class.

– Brian Sakowski

In the early morning slot San Diego Crush took on Slammers Loseke in a game that showcased promising young arms for both squads. San Diego Show started New Mexico commit Charlie McBride (2022, Murietta, Calif.). McBride has projectable arm strength with a free and easy arm that topped out at 86 mph. His fastball possesses slight arm-side run at times and has the ability to get in on hitter’s hands from both sides of the plate. He unfortunately struggled with his command in his outing and it got him into trouble early. His front side was leaking early down the hill as he consistently missed cross body away from righthanded hitters. There was flashes of brilliance with the fastball as his young arm has plenty of room to improve.

Opposing him on the mound was primary infielder Everett Martin (2021, Littleton, Fla.). Martin looked dominant early in his outing as he filled up the zone and was extremely efficient with generating ground ball outs. His short arm action and quick motion gives some deception to his 82-86 mph fastball that has the ability to touch 87. His motion has a compact look overall. When he has a feel for his arm slot and his tempo stays up, he glides through opposing lineups. Martin also mixes in a 78 mph cutter or slider that has a smaller 10-to-4 shape and when located down in the zone it has the ability to fall off the table slightly. There’s plenty of projection in the strength of his arm and with more development has the potential to be a two-way asset at the next level.

MountainWest found another win in a tight 2-1 ballgame against GBG Marucci 2020. Uncommitted outfielder Cameron Ostmark (2020, West Jordan, Utah.) looked fantastic at the plate going 3-for-3 with an RBI. Ostmark uses an upright, open stance with a tall backside and crouched front knee. His small and simple bat wag adds rhythm to his stance pre-pitch and he uses a small hanging leg lift trigger. His load is quiet and crisp as his hands fire through the zone with present bat speed. Ostmark’s swing feels balanced and fluid, and his hands work well to the inner half of the baseball. At 5-foot-10, 180-pounds there’s still room to fill out in his frame, and if he’s able to maintain his 7.09 60-yard dash time as his frame fills, his tools are really going to catch the eyes of college coaches. There’s a lot to work with in his swing, especially with the strong handsy foundation he’s developed for himself. His presence and maturity at the plate is noticeable to scouts and if he keeps on displaying that it’s only a matter of time before he commits. Ostmark is a very interesting uncommitted bat heading into his senior year.

Cayden Collins (2021, Surprise, Ariz.) pitched a fantastic five frames for GBG Marucci Navy 2020. Ranked the No.1 overall 2021 righthanded pitcher in the state of Arizona, Collins has projectable length and fires from a true three-quarters slot that generates nice arm-side run on his fastball. Collins lived in the low-80s throughout his outing and filled up the zone well, locating to all four quadrants of the plate with consistency. His breaking ball sits around 74 mph and has an effective 11-to-5 shape, but his off-speed shows plus actions from his three-quarters slot as he maintains his arm action and turns the pitch over at the window. There’s some solid pitchability there as well with his arsenal, mixing up his sequences between left and righthanded hitters. Collins recently decommitted from Arizona, and after the interest he sparked at the Indians complex in his outing, it won’t be long until he finds a new college home.

GBG Vegas tied MVP Red as the game ended due to time limit and uncommitted righthander Carson Bonus (2020, Las Vegas, Nev.) looked strong on the mound. With a large and long 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame, Bonus possesses a demanding presence on the mound with a longer arm action that sweeps down and behind his back. It should be noted that there were multiple discrepancies on his velocity during his outing, and it was determined after recording multiple gun readings from college coaches taking in his outing that his velocity was more accurately around 84-86 mph on his fastball. Nonetheless, Bonus still located well and finds effective downward angle thanks to his lengthy frame and high window. He mixes in an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that possesses good depth and flashes kill pitch actions at times. His size and effective fastball actions make it tough for hitters to find solid barrel against him, as he fanned an impressive 12 batters through his 5 2/3 innings pitched. Bonus is another high follow heading into his senior year.

In the first afternoon slot AZ T-Rex continued to build on an excellent 2019 season with a win over the San Diego Crush. Uncommitted southpaw Ben Meyerson (2020, Phoenix, Ariz.) had a fabulous outing throwing five full innings while allowing just one hit and fanning four. Again, there were some discrepancies over his fastball velocity as he was actually sitting around 82-84 mph. Meyerson has a shorter arm action that whips up to a high three-quarters arm slot. He has a mid-to-high leg lift that inverts towards his push off leg as he then opens his hips and sweeps down the hill. He primarily pitches with his fastball and he was extremely efficient with using his defense behind him. There’s potential in his arm to become a lefty specialist at the next level if he can fine tune a breaking ball that takes advantage of his cross-body window against lefthanded hitters.

Power bats emerged in the tight contest between AZ Athletics 2020 Founders Club and NC Tides Baseball Club. Vika Faasua (2020, Oceanside, Calif.) crushed a towering fly ball to right that kept carrying well past the fence down the right field corner. Faasua has a large, physical frame that possesses plenty of present pop, and he has the potential to drive the ball no matter where it’s located around the plate. On his homer, he did a nice job of keeping his hands back, staying inside on a middle in breaking ball that was left up and over the plate. He creates a ton of leverage with a solid weight shift in the box and there’s some whip to his barrel as well thanks to a slight hand coil into his load. He finished his day going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored.

AZ Athletics 2020 Founders Club’s starting pitcher and GCU commit Michael Keevins (2020, Peoria, Ariz.) also showcased his power in the game, smoking a shot out to the left that cleared the double fence on field six of the Reds complex. Keevins is listed as a primary outfielder and has strong hands with a simple approach at the plate. However, his 84-88 mph fastball that touched 89 can most definitely play at the next level, and his 11-to-5 breaking ball has strong enough downward bite to miss bats. His shorter arm action from a high three-quarters to over-the-top slot propels some slight arm-side run to his fastball. Keevins stays very lineal with his drop-and-drive actions, and he stays tall throughout the majority of his motion. There’s no question GCU could possibly use Keevins as a two-way player and mix him into a bullpen role at some point. He threw 4 1/3 innings while fanning six and allowing four and he also finished 2-for-3 at the plate on his day.

In the second game of the day for AZ T-Rex Easton, Ethan Bell (2020, Cave Creek, Ariz.) threw five strong innings, giving up just one hit while striking out nine. Bell sat at 84-86 mph with his fastball with a quick motion and a short arm action that fires into a three-quarters to high three-quarters arm slot. There’s some solid deception to his delivery with a low hand hitch before separating and sweeping up. He then fires hard down the hill with a high front side that he has to force quickly down to get his arm into the slot. His low 11-to-5 shaped breaking ball shows flashes of effectiveness as it possesses more side-to-side action than downward bite. The pitch is far better when he’s able to get it out in front and across his body.

– Connor Spencer

Matthew Bardowell (2020, Fontana, Calif.), a Southern California commit, helped lead his CBA Marucci 2020 club to a 3-0 start in pool play at the Perfect Game Fall National Championship getting the start in game one of their day two doubleheader. Bardowell showcased a fastball that sat in the mid-80s and topped out at 87 mph. The big, strong and physical righty commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate from his high three-quarters arm slot. He showed the ability to land a solid curveball for a strike with sharp 12-to-6 break. His solid frame and clean mechanics that project well moving forward.

John Howard Bobo (2020, Las Vegas, Nev.) was able to showcase his good barrel-to-ball skills with multiple hard-hit balls for hits. With a balanced stance he gets good separation through his low leg kick and hand load. From there his hands work well to the inside part of the ball with a quick compact bat path. After contact his extension through the ball creates carry and backspin. In the filed his athleticism showed through with two solid catches in center field. His long frame and good first-step quickness allow him to get good jumps and cover lots of territory in the outfield.

Eric Sims (2020, Litchfield Park, Ariz.) showed a lot to like offensively and defensively on day two of the Fall National Championship. The physical 5-foot-11, 175-pound middle infielder showed good range to both his left and right with plenty of arm strength to make all the throws. Offensively his ability to look smooth swinging it from both sides of the plate should give him the ability to continue to switch hit moving forward. Form the left side he showed a smooth, compact swing with a high lofty finish. From the right side he does a good job of staying direct to the ball with a line drive bat path.

Bannon Delmar (2022, Mesa, Ariz.) showcased a solid glove at third base with good first-step reads and range in all directions. His hands work well out front funneling the ball in as his feet continue to gain ground through the fielding process and carry him into his throws. With good athleticism and a strong arm, he proved to be able to make all the plays asked of him at the hot corner. At the plate his quick hands fire through the zone with intent. His compact level bat path produces a line drive swing.

Nico Libed (2023, Chula Vista, Calif.), a University of San Diego commit, looked solid behind the plate. His quiet set-up and soft hands allow him to receive the ball very maturely. He does a good job of transferring his weight to keep the ball centered on his body and present it well to the umpire. He showcased solid throwing mechanics with quick feet and a clean transfer as he was consistently between a 2.02 and 2.07 pop time to second base. At the plate his level bat path allows him to create good extension through contact with the ability to drive the ball to the pull side with authority. His athletic lean frame leaves him with plenty of room to continue to grow and fill out as he matures.

Gunnar Myro (2023, Henderson, Nev.) was very effective coming in relief with a solid two-pitch mix. His fastball sat in the low-80s as he showed the ability to throw it to all four quadrants of the zone. He backed his fastball with a low-70s curveball that showed sharp 11-to-5 break. His ability to mix both offerings allowed him to punch out two in his one inning of work. With a clean over-the-top arm action he projects well moving forward as he already has a good feel for using his strong lower half to drive down the mound.

Chris Newstrom (2024, Anthem, Ariz.) continued to showcase his great abilities with another solid day both offensively and defensively. At the plate his ability to find the barrel was apparent with two more multi-hit games. His ability to stay inside the ball and create extension allow him to stay back up the middle with lots of line drives. Defensively, his athleticism plays well at shortstop with plenty of range to cover the premium defensive position. He also displayed a strong arm with plenty of strength to make all the throws as well as making accurate throws on the run.

– Colton Olinger

Cole Kenrich (2023, Huntington Beach, Calif.), a primary first baseman, made his Perfect Game pitching debut Saturday morning for Dykstra Baseball and impressed not only on the mound but also with the bat throughout his team’s first three games. One of the more physical players in their lineup with a 6-foot-1, 180-pound build, Kenrich put forth a solid effort on the mound as he went three innings of shutout baseball, striking out three while eliciting plenty of weak ground ball contact off the barrel.

Kenrich does a nice job of remaining compact through the backside with his arm stroke, working up to an over-the-top release point which allowed his 79-82 mph fastball play up in the early going given the plane and life to the pitch. As a result, the opposing hitters had a difficult time elevating the fastball as he worked down in the zone well and showed both running and cutting life depending which side of the plate he was working to. There’s still room and plenty of time for Kenrich to develop on the mound in regard to his lower half mechanics and feel for his secondaries, the best of which was a straight changeup in the 70-72 mph range, but there’s also plenty to like with the young righthander.

Later in the day Kenrich showed his strength plays in the batter’s box too as he connected for a no-doubt shot over the left field fence, helping to raise his average to a .375 mark thus far in the tournament.

Nehuel Garcia (2023, Whittier, Calif.) moved around the order for the CBA Titans over their pool play games, but wherever he hit from he stood out both for his physical projection and overall game. Far from finished growing at 6-foot-1, 155-pounds, Garcia offers plenty of physical projection with a higher waist and square shoulders, all of which will aid his righthanded swing moving forward. Garcia found the barrel over a couple of at-bats worth of looks, utilizing a longer but fluid path through the zone with looseness to his hands. After lining out hard to left field on day one he managed to inside-out a double over the first baseman’s head, coming out of the box hard with longer strides down the line. Starting at his primary position of shortstop in his team’s second game, Garcia showed no fear getting in front of a well-struck ground ball, squaring his body up to it while knocking it down off his chest from which he simply recovered and got the force out at second base.

Heading into the fifth inning in their game against Team Schiel Bats, the LVR offense was held scoreless, something that would quickly change as the bats woke up in a big way. The inning opened up with back-to-back singles and a walk from Anthony Marnell, IV (2023, Las Vegas, Nev.), the team’s starting catcher who shows arm strength and doubled loudly in his first at-bat of the game, loading the bases for arguably the hottest hitter in the tournament in Zane Kelly (2023, Las Vegas, Nev.). Kelly was mentioned in the day one recap as well, connecting for a pair of triples, and he enjoyed it so much he once again raced around the bases, this time driving in three runs with a shot down the right field line on an 0-2 hanging curveball. The offense continued to stay hot and ultimately brought in nine runs on the inning, momentum the club looks to carry into a deep playoff run Sunday morning and afternoon.

A day after closing things out for MBA Utah, righthander Jacob Faust (2023, Salt Lake City, Utah) got the start and impressed throughout his three innings of work, showing the best fastball thus far in the tournament. Strongly built at 6-foot, 178-pounds, Faust did a nice job of filling the zone and working ahead in the count, showing quickness to his arm stroke while working to a lower three-quarters release point. He lands closed coming down the mound, creating some crossfire at release, which when coupled with his slot, he’s able to create nice running life down in the zone on his fastball which peaked at 83 mph and lived in the 79-82 mph range. The young righthander out of Utah continued to live comfortably down in the zone with his fastball, attacking hitters with it while showing both a breaking ball in the upper-60s and a changeup at 72 mph. His feel for the breaking ball developed with each subsequent offering, showing 10-to-4 shape with some short, sweeping finish from a similar slot at the point of release.

Dillon Roberts (2023, Cave Creek, Ariz.) took the hill for the Scottsdale Dirtbags and went 3 1/3 innings, a span in which he struck out six, and though his command wavered late, he still put together a solid performance. Strongly built with broad shoulders and a 6-foot, 215-pound frame, Roberts showed a balanced delivery on the rubber and repeatedly worked on top of his fastball which lived in the 79-81 mph range early on, bumping as high as 82 mph. Roberts shows nice tempo to his delivery, varying his looks at times, and attacked with his fastball for the majority of his outing. Given the velocity and his ability to work on top of the ball consistently he was able to induce some late swings and weaker contact early in the outing, especially when you factor in the running life he was able to generate. He only went to his curveball a couple of times, an upper-60s offering, and it’s an offering that will continue to develop the more he throws it.

Following the opening day of action, I wrote about Top Tier’s Michael Harrison, who again found a couple of barrels, but the two batters behind him in the lineup also show tools to follow moving forward. Roman Martin (2023, Whittier, Calif.) and Abbrie Covarrubias (2023, Anaheim, Calif.) hit Nos. 2 and 3 in the order, and after his performance Martin was able to raise his average up to .500 on the tournament thus far. Standing at 5-foot-11, 145-pounds, Martin shows plenty of quickness to his hands, and after turning on a long foul ball that looked like it had the distance to get out, he went the opposite field for a single. He does a nice job of creating torque in his swing and found the barrel on a regular basis throughout day two, projecting for more as he continues to fill out physically.

Covarrubias hasn’t quite filled up the box score like Martin but he’s an important part to the offense as he fits the mold of a leadoff hitter from the three-hole slot. A twitchy defender at shortstop who shows quick feet up the middle and athleticism to his actions, Covarrubias brings that speed and instincts to the bases where he proved to make things happen and wreak havoc on opposing pitchers. The Top Tier Americans are looking to make a run in the playoffs and the top of their order will likely be at the forefront of the charge.

After a brief cameo on the mound during the opening day of the tournament, righthander Brady Strohm (2024, Winchester, Calif.) again took the mound for TEAMW Trosky and the young eighth grader showed impressive stuff to monitor over the next handful of years. Already standing at 5-foot-11, there’s ample physical projection for Strohm, who won’t turn 14 for another four months, and after touching 80 mph on day one he worked comfortably in the 76-79 mph range on day two. His arm action is a quick one through the backside, and while there’s some effort at release, he did a nice job of maintaining his balance throughout and will undoubtedly see an uptick in velocity in due time. While the velocity stands out for Strohm given his age, it’s his curveball that may be the biggest takeaway of his arsenal as it’s a sharper offering with late bite in the upper-60s and the comfort to land it for strikes.

Playing on adjacent fields, a pair of young catchers were doing the majority of the pitch calling for their teams in CBA Nevada’s Joshua Hartman (2024, San Diego, Calif.) and TEAMW Trosky’s Josiah Palomino (2024, Riverside, Calif.), both currently in eighth grade. A switch-hitter, Hartman is the more physical of the pair already standing at 6-foot-1, 172-pounds and has shown his tools throughout his first Perfect Game event. He sits well behind the plate and shows skill receiving along with carry on his throws, and while a majority of his reps have come from the left side offensively, he has shown a shorter stroke with some feel for the barrel. Palomino is listed at 5-foot-6, 140-pounds, but what has continuously stood out for the Trosky leadoff hitter are his catch-and-throw skills behind the plate. Whether on his throws in between innings or with would-be base thefts in live action, Palomino has delivered multiple strikes down to second base with true carry and consistent accuracy.

– Jheremy Brown

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