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PG Select Baseball Festival  | General  | 8/31/2023

14u Select Festival Roster Preview: East

Jheremy Brown     
Photo: Graham Keen/Chase Fuller
The game that started it all. Back in 2016, Perfect Game announced the birth of the Perfect Game Baseball Select Festival, better known now as the Select Festival, the Festival or simply "the Fest" and since the original iteration some things have changed, but the core of the weekend has remained the same. The 2023 14u Select Festival marks the 8th chapter in the game's history, returning to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida just as it has in each of the prior seven years.

At the center of it all, even in 2016, was the philanthropical side of the weekend and the 52 players chosen for the 2023 14u game will once again raise funds for the Golisano Children's Hospital while visiting the hospital and spending the afternoon with some patients. At the time of writing the players have collected over $72,000, all of which will help the children and families in Southwest Florida who are fighting cancer at Golisano.

Those rosters in 2016 featured the likes of Golden Spikes winner and the 2nd overall pick in this year's MLB Draft Dylan Crews and fellow first round picks in Mick Abel, Robert Hassell III and Jacob Gonzalez as well as several other draft picks and international signings. The inaugural game also provided the first ever Festival alum to make the big leagues in Victor Mederos who made his debut with the Angels this season, tossing a pair of innings in relief while striking out two. 

In 2019 the 13u Festival was established, followed by the 12u and 11u in subsequent years so it's fitting that at the last game of the cycle each summer is the one that started it all. Settled on Labor Day weekend as it has been since 2016, this year's Festival features 52 players from across the country, from Vermont down to Florida, out to Hawaii and back up to Washington with 23 different states represented. 

Amaree Griffin, LHP, Class of 2027
6-3/175, L-L, 643 DP 15u Jaguars, Loganville, Ga.

Griffin certainly looks the part out on the mound with a long limbed, higher waisted 6-foot-3 frame and given the jumps and progress he made throughout the 2023 circuit, it’s scary to think what the future holds for the Georgian left-hander. Playing for the Georgia-based 6-4-3 program, Griffin threw in his fair share of events early this spring where he lived in the 80-83 mph range, but as the summer wore on, the velocity continue to climb, peaking at 86 mph at the 14u National where he finished with an incredible 82% strikes. He’s a 6.8 runner with feel for the barrel, but the rhythm and ease on the mound makes him an incredibly intriguing pitching talent.

Anaiscio Ortiz, LHP, Class of 2026
6-1/170, L-L, East Coast Ghost Scout, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ortiz made the most of his opportunities on the mound this past summer as he consistently showed off a heater that ran into the upper-80s from the left side, though it’s the slider that time and time again proved to be the real separator. A loose and athletic defender both in the outfield and at first base, the Brooklyn native brings those intangibles to the mound as well where he shows pretty incredible arm speed, generating the big velocity with ease. Combining the velocity with a difficult slot, hard running life and perhaps one of the best breaking balls at the 14u level in his upper-70s slider, Ortiz is a name you’ll be hearing a lot about moving forward.

Banks Addison, SS, Class of 2027
6-1/160, L-R, Team Elite 14u National, Germantown, Tenn.

Take a look at Addison’s .436 batting average on the year while playing through a gauntlet-type schedule with Team Elite National, you get the idea for what type of hitter he is in the box. The bat-to-ball skill for the young Tennessee native is for real as he struck out just 9 times on the year while living on the barrel for most of the summer. There’s looseness in his wrists and solid present bat speed as well, with a power tool that’ll continue to come to fruition as he fills out his long 6-foot-1 frame. He also shows active footwork in the dirt, gliding with range to either side which he couples with plenty of arm strength across the diamond.

Blake Lundy, C/3B, Class of 2027
6-3/205, R-R, Wow Factor National, Ooltewah, Tenn.

Lundy became a household name throughout this past summer circuit, appearing in a couple different PG Game of the Weeks in early spring before proving to be one of the more consistent performers with eye-opening tools. A physical presence in the batter’s box at 6-3/205, Lundy rarely gets cheated at the plate as he looks to impact the baseball with each and every swing, something he was able to do more often than not. He’s a solid athlete who ran a 7.2 at the 14u National Showcase and showed off one of the biggest arms both across the infield (90 mph) and behind the plate (82 mph) where he shows quickness in his actions with plenty of athleticism.

Broder Katke, C, Class of 2027
6-1/193, R-R, Motor City Hit Dogs, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
College Commitment: Duke

Though he’s a Michigan native, Katke essentially set up home base in Georgia early this spring before traveling the Southeast, racking up 130 at-bats over 56 games, a span in which he slashed .414/.510/1.071. The offensive approach is simple for the young Duke commit, and he does a nice job of staying balanced with rhythm at the plate while also showing the ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field with natural leverage through the point of contact. For as good as the bat is, Katke is one of the more refined receivers in the class as well, sticking pitches with intent while showing an arm that’ll quickly slow the opposition’s running game.

Caden Dawson, OF, Class of 2027
6-1/185, L-R, East Cobb Astros, Marietta, Ga.

Making his third trip to the Festival, Dawson continues to up the ante each year, making serious strides to an already impressive toolset. Dawson showed off his improvements right away at the 14u National, turning in a 7.08 60-yard dash before throwing 93 mph from the outfield, but it’s the bat that continues to shine brightest, even amongst those aforementioned measurables. The bat-to-ball is clear watching Dawson as he digs in, striking out only 9 times over 129 at-bats, but it’s the strength in his hands that truly stands out. He wasted little time at the National to prove that true, going way out in his very first at-bat, putting an exclamation point on his 2023 season.

Chase Fuller, SS, Class of 2027
6-1/165, R-R, USA Prime National, Tallahassee, Fla.
College Commitment: Florida State

Fuller enters the 14u Select Festival much like he entered the initial Class of 2027 rankings: at the top. Physically gifted with loads of athleticism, the Florida State commit impressed this summer with his ability to drive the ball the other way with authority, something we repeatedly saw while still turning on balls and doing damage to the pull side. At the 14u National Showcase we saw an improvement in numbers across the board as he ran a 6.73 in the 60-yard (tied for the second best) and threw an impressive 91 mph across, though we knew that arm strength was already there given his abilities on the mound, while also posting a 90 mph exit velocity.

Cole Crawford, 3B/C, Class of 2027
6-2/196, R-R, East Cobb Astros, Cartersville, Ga.

Time will tell where Crawford ultimately ends up on the diamond, and that’s not said as a knock, but rather a testament to his overall athleticism and versatility as he can make an impact all over the diamond. Wherever he ends up, you can be certain the arm strength will be a weapon as he has long shown a cannon from behind the plate and his 85 mph across from first was one of the tops at the National. He’s a 7.2 runner, which again speaks to his athleticism given his size, and he shows ample bat speed at the plate while generating loft off the barrel to all parts of the field with plenty more juice to come.

Derek Yormack, RHP, Class of 2027
6-2/195, R-R, Stick Northeast, Merrick, N.Y.
College Commitment: Duke

If you’re looking for video game type numbers and a true model of consistency on the mound, look no further than the 2023 season Yormack put together while dominating in the Northeast. One of three Duke commits in the 14u game, Yormack has seen a steady upward tick in velocity over the last year or two and really took off this spring as he consistently popped 88s on the radar gun, a number he should continue to build upon in the very near future. There’s lots of present arm speed in the operation and when you consider his size, ability to pump the zone and spin a breaker, this is a name you’ll continue to hear about moving forward.

Finnian O'Loughlin, OF, Class of 2027
6-1/163, R-R, Motor City Hit Dogs, Jersey City, N.J.

O’Loughlin slashed an impressive .416/.548/1.100 over the course of 154 at-bats this year and for as eye-opening as those numbers are, it’s scary to think his best days are still ahead of him as he continues to fill out his long and athletic 6-1 frame. He’s already a 7.19 runner and he moves with fluidity both on the bases (36 swipes) and in the outfield, where the arm (86 mph) also plays and will only continue to climb. There's a lot of looseness and leverage in his swing as he does a nice job of generating separation at the point of contact, staying on time while spraying hard line drives around the diamond and showing plenty of whip to the barrel head.

Gabriel Norman, LHP, Class of 2027
6-3/175, L-L, FTB/Philadelphia Phillies, Melbourne, Fla.

In terms of results and the ability to miss bats, not many in the game did it better than the left-hander out of Florida as Norman amassed 93 strikeouts throughout 2023 and did so in just 52.1 innings on the bump. Routinely up to 87-88 mph with his fastball this summer, the projection is huge with Norman as he stands 6-foot-3 and has plenty of room to fill with additional strength. The arm speed is already there and he’s able to generate riding life on the heater through the zone, allowing the velocity to play up even more while possessing a pair of secondary pitches with which he’s capable of missing bats and putting hitters away with.

Graham Keen, 3B/RHP, Class of 2027
6-4/185, R-R, Motor City Hit Dogs, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Keen burst onto the national scene very early this past spring, jumped into the top 20 the following rankings update and, quite frankly, never looked back. A long, lean and ultra-athletic 6-foot-4, Keen is a true two-way talent at this point of his young career, showing big intent in his right-handed swing with standout bat speed and lots of juice at the point of contact. Despite his size, he’s also an agile defender at third base where he shows coordination and balance in his actions and more than enough arm strength across. Keen’s right arm is also capable of producing an upper-80s fastball with big running life while tunneling a hard, tight slider from a similar slot.

Griffin McKain, OF, Class of 2027
6-2/168, L-L, South Charlotte Panthers, Fort Mill, S.C.
College Commitment: South Carolina

The youngest player in this year’s game, McKain’s numbers from the 14u National stack up to his teammates and when you factor in his age and that he’s nearly 13u eligible, it makes the profile all the more enticing. Hitting at the top of the order this summer for the SC Panthers, the speed tool is at the center of what the Gamecock commit brings to the table, evidenced by the 6.89 he posted in West Palm. While his strength will continue to come, his ability to put the ball in play and consistently pressure the defense thanks to his speed is invaluable to an offense as he’s capable of spraying the ball around the yard and making things happen once on base.

Harry Chubb Jones Jr., RHP/OF, Class of 2027
6-2/168, R-R, Motor City Hit Dogs, Powder Springs, Ga.

Jones Jr. is amongst the best athletes in attendance, evidenced by his 6.66 60-yard (a 14u National Showcase best) in a talent pool of almost 300. Capable of impacting a game in a variety of ways, the upside on the mound is far too bright to ignore and he continues to get better each time we see him. With looseness and fluidity in his operation, Jones Jr. possesses outstanding arm speed and lots of whip as he’s already run his fastball up to 88 mph with hard run, missing plenty of bats in the process. His slider is the go-to secondary, a pitch he tunnels well with late tilting life from a similar release with maintained arm speed.

James "JD" Aufderheide, OF, Class of 2027
6-1/190, R-R, East Cobb Astros, Powder Springs, Ga.

Size, strength and athleticism are all adjectives you can use to describe Aufderheide out on the diamond, a combination you don’t always see at the 14u level. Listed at 6-1/190, the Powder Springs resident posted a 6.79 in the 60-yard and continued to impress at the National with big arm strength (87 mph) from the outfield and a similar result in the exit velocity testing. He had himself quite the showing in Hoover during the 14u WWBA as 5 of his 8 hits went for doubles (also grabbed a triple) while driving in 10, consistently showing a shorter stroke from the right side of the plate with serious intent and strength at the point of contact.

John Stowers, 3B/C, Class of 2026
6-0/190, L-R, Aces National, Mobile, Ala.
College Commitment: Auburn

The reigning 13u Select Festival Home Run Derby champ has shown no signs of slowing down or relinquishing the title with his performances throughout 2023, standing out at both the Sophomore and 14u National Showcases. Listed as a primary catcher who has standout arm strength, Stowers took plenty of reps at third base this summer and has more than enough athleticism to call it home long-term. Either way, wherever he ends up it’s the left-handed swing, and more so the juice, that’ll be his calling card and a big reason why Auburn locked in so early. The juice and leverage to the pull side comes naturally for Stowers, impacting the baseball like few can at the 14u level.

Kaiden McCarthy, RHP, Class of 2027
6-0/165, R-R, Allstars Academy Futures, Chester, Vt.

While Vermont may not be your traditional baseball hotbed, McCarthy is a name already known on the national scene and he took full advantage of his opportunities this summer to cement himself amongst the best. A strong athlete, McCarthy delivered a gem during the 14u WWBA in which he went 5 innings of no-hit baseball against a potent offense, striking out 8 in the process. The results are solid for McCarthy but it’s the way he went about his business that stood out as the velocity gradually began to uptick throughout his start, showing his best stuff late in the game, eventually topping out at 88 mph. It’s a complete arsenal with real pitchability and an advanced feel to mix and match.

Landon Green, RHP, Class of 2027
6-1/173, R-R, USA Prime National, Clearwater, Fla.

Here’s what you need to know: he won’t turn 15 until September and he already sits in the low-90s, bumping 94 mph 5 times in his outing at the 14u National Showcase. Any time he toes the rubber a crowd quickly gathers behind the plate to see what eye-opening number the radar gun is about to spit out as the electricity that runs through his right arm is something we simply don’t see at the 14u level and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he pops the first 95 in Select Festival history. The ease in which he generates the velocity is just as impressive, speaking to his athleticism, as is the off speed when he needs to go to either offering.

Lucas Farrar, SS, Class of 2027
5-11/155, R-R, R3-Olasin, Tampa, Fla.

Farrar is the type of athlete and player who, when you look up in three years, has all sorts of eye-opening metrics on his PG profile given the type of projection his frame presents on top of his already impressive tool set. A consistent performer at PG events over the years, Farrar came to the 14u National and saw a big uptick as his 90 mph throw across the infield ranked as one of the best in the event, though he did so while showcasing fluid and balanced actions in the dirt. Farrar’s swing is a simple and direct one, limiting moving parts while living on the barrel with consistent loud contact and plenty of present bat speed.

Mac Morris, SS, Class of 2027
5-10/162, R-R, South Charlotte Panthers, Taylors, S.C.
College Commitment: South Carolina

It’s safe to say Morris put in the work this offseason to elevate his game to not only the next level, but the level above that, as it was truly and impressive showing for Morris once he stepped foot into West Palm. A catalyst on both sides of the ball for the Panthers this summer, Morris’s swing produces lots of hard, barreled contact to all parts of the yard and he continued to show just that throughout his BP round, back spinning baseballs with ease. The future Gamecock has standout skills in the dirt too, showing real snatch with the glove and ample arm strength to make the long through while remaining balanced with lateral range to either side.

Malachi Washington, OF, Class of 2026
6-0/185, R-R, East Cobb Astros 15u, Stone Mountain, Ga.

Another player who’s younger for the 2026 class, Washington already shows a complete tool set that stands out at the 15u level and he made sure to show them all off this summer circuit season. The athleticism is obvious for Washington as he’s an exceptional runner with 6.63 speed, an element of his game that plays well in the outfield alongside his arm strength (88 mph) that delivers accurate strikes with lots of carry. Despite a summer in which he played only at the 15u level, Washington still finished with an average north of .400 thanks to a short and fast stroke through the zone which is already producing some leveraged contact, especially to his pull side.

Ricky Lopez, SS, Class of 2027
5-10/145, R-R, East Coast Ghost Scout, New York, N.Y.
College Commitment: LSU

A native of New York who has been training in the Dominican for parts of the spring and summer, Lopez is a 13u Festival alum who already has his college commitment solidified with the National Champion LSU Tigers. There’s a sense of ease to everything Lopez does on the diamond and his ability to slow things down on the defensive side of the ball is pretty special. He’s a 7.1 runner and moves well in the dirt, showing refined footwork and a strong internal clock, both of which play well alongside soft hands and a big arm across. The defense stands out, but Lopez also possesses a direct stroke with lots of bat speed and strength to all parts of the field.

Ryan Yormack, 1B/3B, Class of 2027
6-2/195, R-R, Stick Northeast, Merrick, N.Y.
College Commitment: Duke

Yormack had himself a showing at the 14u National Showcase and truly never let the foot off the gas in terms of offensive production following a round of BP in which he showed his strength to all fields. That proved to be a sample of things to come as he fell a triple shy of the cycle in the game one which included a deep drive out the other way over the right field fence, truly exemplifying the type of strength he possesses in his hands and off of the barrel. He’s been upwards of 86 mph on the mound this summer, but the bat and overall strength are the calling cards here and he seems to unlock it pretty regularly.

Sebastian Wilson, OF, Class of 2027
6-0/190, L-R, Wow Factor National, Chicago, Ill.
College Commitment: Tennessee

Wilson owns the honor of being the first commit in the 2027 class as he’s coming up on the one-year mark of when he gave his verbal commitment to Tony Vitello and his staff. In that time, Wilson has continued to elevate his game and push his measurables towards some of the best in the entire class with a 6.74 60-yard, 89 mph arm in the outfield and a 94 mph exit velocity. While the testing numbers are good, so to was his performance throughout the summer, especially in the big national level events, as he proved to be a catalyst in the middle of the Wow lineup thanks to a powerful left-handed stroke with obvious juice off the barrel.

Will Brick, C, Class of 2027
6-1/170, R-R, Easley Baseball Club, Memphis, Tenn.

Of all the eye-opening numbers scattered throughout these rosters, Brick’s .588 batting average over 85 at-bats this summer ranks right up there, as does his .750 mark at the 14u WWBA where he picked up 15 hits in 20 at-bats. What Brick did at the WWBA was otherworldly across the board, but it’s a swing that consistently gets on plane and barrels up baseball thanks to exceptional hand-eye coordination as his 23:9 walk-to-strikeout ratio on the year suggests. His defense behind the plate is nearly as impressive given that his arm strength is a real weapon but so too are his hands, both in their quickness and softness, receiving the ball exceptionally well while delivering strikes down to second base.

William Cutshall, IF/RHP, Class of 2026
6-2/184, R-R, East Cobb Astros, Covington, Ga.

Cutshall is a Swiss Army Knife on the field as you can literally put him at any of the 9 positions and he’ll find a way to excel and stand out. A now three-time Select Festivaler, Cutshall made a serious leap across the board in terms of tools since the 13u game as he’s now running a sub-7, throwing 90 mph from both the outfield and on the mound while popping a 1.87 from behind the dish. Where he ultimately ends up will be decided down the road and while his low effort, upper-80s heater and late biting curveball are enticing, so to are his bat-to-ball skills that yielded a .412 average this summer with a simple operation and rapidly developing strength.