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

14u Select Festival Roster Preview: West

Jheremy Brown     
Photo: Max Hemenway/Andrew Bennett
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 AbelRobert 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. 

Andrew Bennett, RHP, Class of 2027 
6-3/195, R-R, USA Prime National, Mobile, Ala. 

It’s pretty scary to think about what Bennett will look like on the mound come senior year, at least from the perspective of the opposing hitter, as he’s already showing some high-octane stuff on the mound and has plenty more in the tank. A strongly built and well-proportioned 6-foot-3, Bennett stole the show when he toed the slab at the 14u National Showcase as he proceeded to punch out five, running his fastball upwards of 91 mph while coasting in the upper-80s. He uses his size well to leverage the ball downhill, generating some heavy sinking life, though it was a hard, downer curveball in the upper-70s that proved to be the separator with vicious and late bite through the zone. 

Carson (Bear) Calvo, SS, Class of 2027 
6-0/180, R-R, MVP Hustle/East Cobb Astros, Fullerton, Calif. 

Calvo entered the 14u National Showcase as one of the top ranked players in the country and he simply continued to show what we’ve come to expect out of the Fullerton native. With a collection of standout tools, Calvo’s simple and balanced right-handed swing is one that you’ll keep hearing about throughout his high school career and into the future as it features lots of bat speed, strength and present juice to the pull side, all of which play at a high level. He’s also a fluid defender on the left side of the diamond with quick, snatchy hands and sound fundamentals, showing more than enough arm strength as evidenced by his 87 mph on the bump with turbo sink. 

Carson Liedel, RHP, Class of 2026 
6-0/189, R-R, Motor City Hit Dogs, Monroe, Mich. 

Liedel isn’t a stranger to the Select Festival as he appeared in the 12u game two years ago and he’s back after being limited during the 2022 season. A physically imposing righty on the bump, Liedel works in full attack mode as he comes at hitters with a fastball that’s been upwards of 90 mph already with heavy life, though it’s a true four pitch mix that highlights what he brings to the mound. He averaged over a strikeout-per-inning this summer while maintaining a mere 0.92 ERA and it was the slider that proved to be the difference maker, as its thrown with intent and conviction in the low-80s with late biting life, missing a fair bit of bats this summer. 

Carter Hadnot, SS, Class of 2027 
6-1/160, S-R, ZT Prospects, Rialto, Calif. 
College Commitment: Miami 

Hadnot is the picture of projection with a long and athletic 6-foot-1 frame, already gracefully moving around the left side of the infield with a bounce to his step, manning a premium position. His footwork is efficient as he takes sharp angles to the ball, exhibiting some of the smoother hands in the class with a clean release and solid arm strength across, leaving no reason to think he won’t remain up the middle for a long time. The young Miami commit is also a switch-hitter with real barrel skills from both sides as we saw in game at the 14u National as Hadnot continuously barreled up baseballs already the yard while showing flashes of his budding strength as well. 

Conor Rae, OF/IF, Class of 2027 
6-0/170, R-R, Canes West, Gilbert, Ariz.
Rae is the West’s version of William Cutshall in that he’s capable of doing quite literally anything on the diamond at a high level as we saw throughout the summer. He’s a 7.1 runner who moves with balance around the diamond, whether in the outfield, dirt or behind the plate, all from which he shows quality arm strength and athleticism. It’s with the stick however where Rae separates himself as he slashed an incredible .495/.584/1.436 over 190 (!!) at-bats, a remarkable line for a single tournament, let alone the entirety of the summer. It’s a direct stroke and he lives on the barrel, consistently showing timing in the box as well as a strength/speed combo highlighted by 15 triples. 

Drew Davis, IF/RHP, Class of 2027 
5-11/155, R-R, Canes National, Sumrall, Miss. 

Davis is the definition of a performer, whether you look at what he’s capable on the mound or at the plate, but don’t mistake the “performer” tag to mean there aren’t tools here. One of the more accomplished players here already given his spring season on varsity in which he went 14-0, Davis shows a refined operation on the mound while pumping the strike zone with a heater up to 87 mph and a hard, late biting curveball which has proven to be a real whiff generator. He also went deep early at the 14u National Showcase which proved to be a continuation of his summer as he stays short and quick through his process, handling the barrel exceptionally well. 

George Ferguson, RHP, Class of 2027 
6-3/185, R-R, Texas Angels, Abilene, Texas 

Ferguson certainly fits the billing of “big, hard throwing Texan” but he’s more than just an arm who can light up the radar guns. A standout at the 14u Sunshine South where he put himself on the map and ultimately earned his invite to the National, Ferguson is a combination of present stuff and long-term projection, a not-so-good thing for opposing hitters given what he’s already showing on the mound. The arm speed absolutely stands out for Ferguson and we’ve already seen him take that next step in terms of velocity, topping out at 88 mph during the 14u National while spinning a hard and sharp curveball which helped to strike out 7 of the 9 batters he faced. 

Jared Grindlinger, 1B/LHP, Class of 2027 
6-0/165, L/L, Team Elite National, Huntington Beach, Calif. 
College Commitment: TCU 

Grindlinger came out this spring looking like an entirely different kid, literally, as he shot up from 5-foot-9 in the fall to his current 6-foot in just a few months’ time. The TCU commit was a true two-way standout throughout the summer for Team Elite, whether it be as a middle of the order presence from the left side of the plate or on the bump where his upper-80s fastball gets on hitters quickly with hard life. He hit nearly .500 on the year thanks to a loose and whippy stroke and a true ability to unlock all fields but he may have been even better on the mound, showing big time arm speed and consistent strikes with sky high upside. 

Jordin Griffin, OF, Class of 2027 
L/R, USA Prime National, Baton Rouge, La. 
College Commitment: LSU 

Griffin has been a known name for some time now despite just wrapping up his 14u season and though he’s been in the spotlight, he continues to up his overall game and shows no signs of slowing down, literally. He posted a 6.88 60-yard at the 14u National Showcase and it’s a tool that aids him well in center field as he shows outstanding range and closing speed to the gaps, covering big chunks of grass in an instant. It’s the left-handed swing however, and more so the lightning quick hands, that have made Griffin such a known name as he’s able to whip the barrel head through the zone, impacting the baseball with authority all over the yard. 

Jorvorskie Lane Jr., OF, Class of 2026 
5-11/185, R-R, USA Prime National, Fort Worth, Texas 
College Commitment: Texas A&M 

You might not find a better all-around athlete in this year’s 14u Select Festival than Lane Jr., a true standout on the diamond in everything that he does. At 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, the future Texas A&M Aggie is tightly wound with fast-twitch muscle and it appears throughout his entire skill set, beginning with his 6.84 in the 60-yard and playing into his defensive actions. The swing is one where you walk away and say “that’s different” as the strength he possesses in his hands and the ability to get the barrel head through the zone while making it look like a toothpick are both uncanny at the 14u level and the results speak for themselves. 

Jose Partida, LHP, Class of 2027 
6-0/175, L-L, San Diego Show, San Diego, Calif. 

Partida took the mound at the Houston Super Regional earlier this spring where he turned in a quality start in the playoffs, but he did so bumping 81 mph with his fastball, though the overall pitchability still stood out. Fast forward to his two most recent PG outings and the fastball was working upwards of 87 mph, showing a clean and fluid arm path while pumping the strike zone. There’s undoubtedly more velocity in the tank, especially considering the jump he’s made in such a short time, though his secondary offerings have been a calling card throughout. He’s able to land the curveball for strikes at will in the low-70s, showing quality depth while turning over a changeup in the mid-70s. 

Joshua Priest, OF, Class of 2027 
5-10/170, R-R, ZT Prospects, San Diego, Calif. 

There isn’t much about Priest’s game that suggests his age as he’s already ultra-physical at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and his peripheral tools are just as eye opening. His speed is a very real tool as he posted a 6.73 in the 60-yard and it plays extremely well both on the bases. And he certainly had plenty of chances to show it off throughout 2023 as he finished the circuit with a .553 on-base percentage, a testament to both his ability to get on base as well as put the barrel on the ball. Priest’s combination of strength and bat speed are also top of the class as he’s able to create lots of lift and impact at the point of contact. 

Lash Henderson, OF, Class of 2027 
6-4/197, R-R, USA Prime National, Frisco, Texas 

You could put Henderson out on the field with a college team and nobody would think twice about him belonging out there given his long and athletic 6-foot-4 frame. Then he’d start showing his tools and he’d only further fit in with the older crowd as his skillset is at that level and he’ll only continue to build on them. Not only is Henderson big, but he’s coordinated in his actions with long and graceful strides, floating around the bases as well as in the outfield where he can cover a vast amount of ground. The power in his swing matches the frame as well as he’s capable of making any field look small, impacting baseballs line to line with authority. 

Logan Schmidt, 1B, Class of 2027 
6-3/195, L-L, BPA, Villa Park, Calif. 

Schmidt made a big impression last summer as he toed the rubber and ran the heater into the upper-80s, taking home the 13u Pitcher of the Year award. We saw a different side of the 6-foot-3 lefty this summer as he thrived in the batter’s box, playing both at his age level and in the 15u ranks while collecting some hardware along the way. The physically built Schmidt was a centerpiece of the BPA offense throughout the summer and rightfully so as he slashed .458/.545/1.1153 with 13 extra base hits, exhibiting real strength in his hands while consistently getting the barrel out front. He also tied for the second-best exit velocity at the National with a 94 mph blast. 

Maddux Lessard, C, Class of 2027 
6-1/185, R-R, USA Prime National, Muskego, Wisc. 

Another 13u Select Festival alum, Lessard has continued to hone his craft on both sides of the ball and possesses some of the best raw power in the class. Looking to impact the ball with each and every swing, Lessard does a nice job of creating some serious separation in his swing and when he catches the ball out front, outfielders are typically turning and running to the fence in a hurry. There’s athleticism that plays in his swing as he’s able to repeat his mechanics with each stroke and has hand-eye as well, hitting .448 while increasing his walks from 2022. Add in his catch-and-throw skills behind the plate and Lessard has some of the louder tools in attendance. 

Matthew Kelley, SS, Class of 2027 
6-1/165, R-R, USA Prime National, San Diego, Calif. 
College Commitment: Miami 

If you’re looking for consistency, look no further than what the young Miami commit brings to the table as he squared up baseballs against some of the best arms in the class throughout the summer, finishing with a .419 average across almost 200 at-bats. His hands are loose and he’s able to manipulate the barrel through the zone, consistently staying on time while utilizing a true all-fields approach, even showing flashes of big power potential to the pull side. Kelley is also a refined defender up the middle where his skills will suit him long-term at the premium position, showing a bounce to his step and snatch in the hands and, of course, plenty of arm strength as he threw 90 mph across at the 14u National. 

Max Hemenway, SS, Class of 2027 
5-11/150, L-R, Wow Factor National, Puyallup, Wash. 
College Commitment: Tennessee 

Hemenway saw his stock take off during last fall’s All State Games and he truly never looked back, riding the momentum into a University of Tennessee commitment and a loud summer for Wow Factor National. He does a nice job of getting the most out of his left-handed swing, generating some serious barrel whip and lift at the point of contact but he’s also capable of shortening up and utilizing the opposite field. Take in a game or two of his and you’ll see how truly gifted he is in the dirt as well, showing big time lateral range to either side with body control and fluid footwork, not to mention glove skills that stand out amongst the best. 

Michael Teasley, RHP, Class of 2026 
5-11/185, R-R, Knights Baseball National, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 

Teasley may not have the lengthy track record of others on the either roster but he made the most of his time whenever he did toe the rubber, especially so at the 14u National Showcase. A physically imposing presence at 5-foot-11, Teasley came out attacking hitters with a fastball that sat very comfortably around the 89 mph and bumped 90 with near minimal effort. Not only does the ball jump out of his hand but the Tennessee native does an excellent job of hiding the baseball which only aides in its effectiveness, especially when you consider the heavy life he’s able to generate. His breaking ball is an equally effective weapon with sharp, two-plane shape that plays well off his heater. 

Noah Everly, 3B, Class of 2026 
6-0/180, R-R, Wow Factor National, Pasadena, Calif. 

Everly is another player who’s completed the 3 year Festival cycle, debuting in the 2021 12u game and he’s shown steady progression to his tools each and every time we’ve seen him. The California native does a nice job of remaining simple with his swing, letting the strength in his hands take over as he remains balanced, showcasing standout bat speed with real impact strength. His hit tool repeatedly showed up at the 14u National following a big round of BP with several balls squared up in game, including a no-doubter to his pull side. He’s also a versatile defender who stands out both at third base and the outfield with a quick first step and refined actions. 

Parker Robinson, SS, Class of 2027 
6-2/175, R-R, Chicago White Sox-ACE, Chicago, Ill. 

Robinson might be a name you’re not too familiar with just yet, but watch him play for a game or two and you’ll be certain to remember him moving forward. The Chicago native is already listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and despite his size/ago combo, he’s already running a 7.1 and shows graceful actions in the dirt while maintaining body control with clean glove work and more than enough arm strength across the diamond. He also lived on the barrel over the course of two games, picking up 4 knocks while showing a right-handed swing that’s going to his for some real power down the road considering just how quick and loose his swing already is. 

Teagan Scott, C, Class of 2026 
5-11/195, R-R, Team Elite National, Salem, Ore. 
College Commitment: Oregon State 

The future Oregon State Beaver proved to be a focal point in Team Elite’s success throughout the summer circuit, hitting .440 on the year while with some serious strength while also showing some of the best defensive actions behind the plate of anybody in the country. Both his 76 mph throw and 1.88 pop ranked amongst the best at the 14u National, but it’s the receiving, catch-and-throw and ability to block and recover on dirt balls that help separate him aside from the metrics. He’s also a 7.08 runner despite his physicality which plays well as he continuously blasts the gaps with a shorter, leveraged stroke and lots of bat speed, generating some of the better juice in this year’s crop. 

Trent Buckley, RHP, Class of 2027 
6-4/190, L-R, East Coast Sox National, Columbia, Miss. 

The long term-potential Buckley possesses is high intriguing as his fastball is already one of the betters ones, but as he continues to fill out his long 6-foot-4 frame, his overall upside is sky high. Already up to 88 mph, Buckley’s arm speed is a big-time asset as he’s able to generate the velocity with relative ease, working to a lower release height which allows the heater to play up through the zone even more with some serious ride out of the hand. It’s the type of fastball he can work through an entire order with a time or two given the ride up but also the sinking life down in the zone while spinning a quality breaker in the 72-74 mph range. 

Tucker Long, RHP, Class of 2026 
6-1/150, L-R, Canes National, Ottumwa, Iowa 
College Commitment: Iowa 

There’s nothing comfortable about facing Long from a hitter’s perspective and if you watch a single pitch or two, you’ll quickly realize why. The Iowa commit possesses some of the best arm speed at the 14u level as it truly acts as a whip, working out to an extended slot from which he’s capable of bumping 91 mph. The heater runs in on right-handed hitters with authority, chewing up hands and eliciting weak contact off the barrel. Both his slider and changeup have the potential to be lethal long-term as he turns over the changeup with conviction and a mimicked release while the slider is a big horizontal sweeper that covers the width of the plate and then some. 

Tyler Shindo, SS, Class of 2027 
5-6/125, B-S, Trosky Baseball, Honolulu, Hawaii 

If you look at Shindo’s Perfect Game profile you might do a double take thinking there’s a mistake as he’s listed as a SS/LHP though it’s no typo, instead it highlights how unique he is on the diamond as he’s both a switch-hitter and both-handed thrower. It’s in the dirt however where he’ll call home long-term, showing nice lateral agility with soft hands and confident actions with the leather overall, getting the ball out quickly with consistently accurate throws across. The swing is more or less mirrored from both sides for Shindo and he handles the barrel well, getting it out front while spraying line drive contact from line to line with balance throughout. 

Tyson Moore, C, Class of 2027 
5-11/175, R-R, MN Icemen, Buffalo, Minn.

Moore is another player who made the most of his time in West Palm, riding the momentum of a strong summer circuit season into the 14u National Showcase. While Moore is listed as a primary catcher, the young Minnesota native possesses the type of athleticism that would allow him to patrol the outfield with ease, but ultimately at the end of the day his talents behind the plate are too loud to ignore with big catch-and-throw skills and refined receiving mechanics. Offensively there’s just as much to like as he shows a real handle for the barrel, creating lots of hard contact with a relatively simple swing while showing the ability to read spin and adjust mid-swing as well. 

Will Hayes, RHP, Class of 2027 
6-3/180, R-R, Team Elite National, Highlands, Colo. 

Scroll through Hayes’ PG profile and you’re going to see a lot of “All Tournament Team” tags throughout, as well as a Most Valuable Pitcher award at both the 14u PG Elite and the 14u World Series, speaking to the 2023 season the Colorado righty had. He continued to solidify himself as one of the top arms in the country with a barrage of strikes from a lower slot, allowing his 87 mph heater to generate some serious sinking life. The projection here is clear given his lean 6-foot-3 frame but the stuff is already more than enough as he maintains deep into a start and shows a slider that’ll rival any in this game with late, sweeping action in the mid-70s.