College : : Story
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WWBA: Top uncommitted prospects

Kendall Rogers        

The Perfect Game WWBA World Championships, annually held in Jupiter, Fla., routinely attracts many of the nation's most talented prospects at the high school level.

This year certainly is no exception.

Perfect Game All-American and big-time 6-foot-3, 215-pound, outfielder Justin Williams (LSU commitment), ranked No. 2 nationally behind Clint Frazier, will be competing in the tournament for the prestigious Marucci Elite organization.

Scores of other big-time committed prospects will compete in Jupiter throughout the week, but there also are plenty of uncommitted prospects college coaches and professional scouts alike will be supremely focused on at the Roger Dean Baseball Complex.

The talented list of uncommitted prospects in Jupiter is led by outstanding California prep shortstop/pitcher Chris Rivera.

1. Chris Rivera, SS, Fullerton, Calif. (El Dorado) -- Yak Baseball West

Rivera is an elite talent who once was committed to Cal State Fullerton. Rivera was thought to soon be an Oregon commit just a month ago, but has since taken his time with the recruiting process. Rivera is a 6-foot, 180-pounder, and is ranked No. 11 nationally, No. 3 in California and No. 3 at his position on the national stage. Additionally, he could pitch with a fastball up to 92, while he's a prospect with a nice, easy swing, with some pop. He's also a very good defensive player.

2. Brian Navarreto, C, Jacksonville, Fla. (Arlington Country Day) -- East Cobb Braves

The outstanding defensive player and quite talented hitter has yet to make a commitment, and he'll no doubt have the attention of many coaches and scouts throughout the week. Navarreto is a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, from Jacksonville, Fla. (Arlington Country Day), and is ranked No. 31 nationally, No. 6 in Florida and No. 5 at his position on the national stage. Earlier this summer at the PG National Showcase, Navarreto, a Perfect Game All-American, showed off a strong arm with a 1.80 pop time.

3. Jan Alexis Hernandez, SS, San Lorenzo, P.R. (Carlos Beltran Baseball) -- Team Mizuno PR

Hernandez very well could follow in the footsteps of fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Correa, who signed with a college before joining the Astros organization after getting drafted No. 1 overall in the MLB draft. Hernandez, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder, was a Perfect Game All-American this past summer, and is ranked No. 18 nationally, No. 1 in Puerto Rico and No. 4 at his position on the national stage. In addition to excellent bat speed and much upside in the power department, he has a very strong arm from the shortstop position.

4. Preston Palmeiro, 3B, Colleyville, Texas (Heritage) -- DBAT/MSL All-Stars

Some might have expected Palmeiro to follow in his father's footsteps and commit to Mississippi State, but he's still very much undecided with Florida State, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas as options. Palmeiro is a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, and is ranked No. 171 nationally, No. 23 in Texas and No. 13 at his position on the national stage. Additionally, he has a very good lefthanded bat and showed good projection at the PG National Showcase earlier this summer. Scouts certainly are interested to see his skillset this week.

5. Rene Melendez, C, Humacao, P.R. (Caguas Military and Sport) -- Team Mizuno PR

Melendez is yet another Puerto Rico native who could see his stock increase with a strong showing in Jupiter throughout the next week. Melendez has an athletic 6-foot-1, 190-pound, frame and is ranked No. 225 nationally, No. 4 in Puerto Rico and No. 27 at his position on the national stage. Additionally, he has a strong arm with a 1.85 pop time at the PG National Showcase earlier this year. Melendez is interested in programs such as Alabama State, Florida State, Florida and Miami.

6. Roy Morales, INF, Lares, P.R. (Carlos Beltran Baseball) -- Team Mizuno PR

Morales is a prospect who can get the job done in a variety of ways. The talented 6-foot-2, 190-pounder, is a talented middle infielder with an exceptional arm, throwing 92 across the diamond at the PG National Showcase earlier this summer. Additionally, he has solid pop in his bat and can help teams from a pitching standpoint, topping out at 88 earlier this summer as well. Morales helps Team Mizuno PR be a team to watch in Jupiter.

7.Derek Rustich, 3B/1B, El Cajon, Calif. (Grossmont) -- ABD Bulldogs

His older brother, Brant, played his collegiate baseball at UCLA, but the younger Rustich has yet to make a college decision with the early signing period nearing. Rustich is a physically impressive 6-foot-3, 200-pounder. He's ranked No. 270 nationally, No. 57 in California and No. 16 at his position on the national stage. He has an impressive bat from the left side and is a prospect to watch throughout the week.

8. Juan Carlos Pena, SS/RHP, Syracuse, N.Y. (Westhill) -- Syracuse Sports Zone

Pena is one of the nation's most talented two-way players still left on the board. He has his choice of several big-time programs around the country. It's easy to see why, considering he's ranked No. 290 nationally, No. 6 in New York and No. 37 at his position on the national stage. Pena ran the 60-yard-dash in 6.70 seconds earlier this summer, threw 90 from the outfield, 88 from the shortstop position, and also topped out at 88 on the mound. In other words, he has a big-time arm.

9. Kyle Carruthers, OF, Atlanta (Riverwood) -- Atlanta Blue Jays

Carruthers has garnered attention from some of the nation's elite collegiate programs for a good reason. Carruthers is an athletic, 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, and is ranked No. 330 nationally, No. 24 in Georgia and No. 71 at his position on the national stage. Carruthers competed in the PG National Showcase earlier this summer, where he ran the 60-yard-dash in 6.71 seconds and threw 92 from the outfield. He's a guy to closely watch this week.

10. Sean Thompson, RHP, Southlake, Texas (Carroll) -- DBAT/MSL All-Stars

Yet another talented prospect from the Lone Star State who has several big-time college programs on his list, Thompson's stock could increase with a strong showing for the DBAT club this week. Thompson isn't a huge guy, standing only 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. However, he topped out at 90 with his fastball at the PG National Showcase earlier this summer. He also had a curveball at 74 and changeup at 76. Thompson is ranked No. 335 nationally, No. 38 in Texas and No. 102 at his position on the national stage.

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